Category: Film

Film Review: Almost Famous

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It seems slightly strange that it has taken so long for me to see Almost Famous. And I don’t know why? Because as a movie, it seems to fit perfectly with that light-hearted comic exhale of relaxation film that I secretly enjoy. It reminds me so much of the earlier works of John Cussack, who created story after story (High Fidelity, Say Anything, Serendipity) of simple unpretentious love and idealistic life. Those almost guilty pleasure movies of nothingness hidden in the DVD collection. Watched in-often but remembered fondly.

And this oversight is even more bizarre when you start to look at the cast. Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Paquin, Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s an impressive ensemble and they have all gone on to feature in plenty of other movies – X-Men, Finding Forrester, The Hunger Games, Jack Goes Boating etc. – that I have watched, enjoyed and own; yet I still never bothered with Almost Famous. So long it’s absence that I start to wonder if I subconsciously turned away from it not for any other explainable reason than a case of ignoring it through age and routine rather than justification. Read more

Film Review: Clouds Of Sils Maria

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s fair to say that when two of my favourite actresses (Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche) come together to make a film I am always going to be interested, and it’s a fairly safe bet that whether followed by good, bad or different reviews I will watch it regardless.

So from the moment I first saw the trailer and realised that was exactly what has happened I have been counting down the days until release of Clouds of Sils Maria. Patiently waiting, not caring if Mark Kermode states it has “career best performances” or Robbie Collins declares it “bewitching”, because to me this was like the moment as a child when you discover your favourite foods worked better combined; it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or knows, this is your moment to be happy, regardless. Read more

Film Review: Pitch Perfect 2

Posted on by 5WC in Film

So, it’s only been five days since I was first introduced to the world of A Cappella singing, stereotypical university life and Fat Amy. And while I didn’t watch the original movie in isolated preparation for the sequel, having the movie so refresh in my mind has, undoubtedly, shaped my view of it’s encore.

The first thing that that is really noticeable about Pitch Perfect 2 is that is essentially just Pitch Perfect but with a larger budget. There is such a mirroring of the events and structure of the original that honestly, it is bordering on plagiarism. And while that isn’t exactly a bad thing, the first film is to a point, good, it means that you slightly wonder exactly what the film is trying to achieve or how anything is meant to develop. Everything is just choreographed and expected and the story a predictable journey. Read more

Film Review: A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Every podcast I listen to and every newspaper I read have reviewed A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence with glorious rapture. Stars (and tomatoes) has been thrown at it without second though. And it’s almost reached a point where to even remotely ponder or question any thought towards it other than “it’s brilliant” is to highlight just how clandestine, thick and narrow minded you must be.

And yet, every time I’ve watch the trailer I just have seen a strange, idling, static. I It’s never enticed me in, or made me feel any warmth towards it. I’ve simply seen it as vegetative and distant and if I’m honest, have wondered quite what all the fuss is about. I’ve truly not seen what there is apparently hiding within. Read more

Film Review: While We’re Young

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I have a strange relationship with the films of Noah Baumbach. I remember a good few years ago watching The Squid And The Whale and being left completely confused and befuddled as to what exactly it was; while Greenberg just left me cold, it’s one of those films in which nothing really happens, and Frances Ha managed to wind me up when watching yet become stuck in my head with such affection afterwards that I named it one of the top films I watched during 2014.

And, as I mentioned during my review of Greenberg, Baumbach’s latest creation is While We’re Young. A strange tale about a couple (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) transcending their middle years who are welcomed into the strangely free spirited lives of mid-twenties husband and wife Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). It’s an idea which seems simple enough, essentially a mid life crisis story, the reinvigoration of life by learning to view the world through less tired, weathered and sceptical eyes, told in a light hearted and comedic way. But this is Baumach, and nothing is ever that simple. Read more

Film Review: Pitch Perfect

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I’ve always turned my back on Pitch Perfect. I’ve had the preconceived idea that unless you wear a skirt and respond to questions with the phrase “yeah, woteva”, the cinematic equivalent of Britney Spears’s Baby One More Time video if you will, that there was no enjoyment to be had from it. That this was a movie that, as a man, you only watched whilst on a date in the hope of securing a second evening with the girl who demanded to see it.

But with Pitch Perfect 2 about to hit the big screen, and with rumblings that it isn’t actually as bad or as stereotypical as I feared, I thought why not. It’s available for free on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, and while I may not have the girl of my dreams to share it with, when you don’t have to pay to see it, that’s a worthy second prize. Read more

Film Review: Monsters: Dark Continent

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I can clearly remember the first time that I ever tried a mince pie. Being offered a little pastry parcel, biting into it expecting to find a warm and delicious meaty treat and instead being met by a mess of soaked fruits and crumbly, shortbread chewiness. To say I was disappointed is an understatement, I felt cheated, I felt lied to and I have never eaten a mince pie since.

And that is exactly how I feel about Monsters: Dark Continent. I feel as though it is a false representation of what it really is. I wanted bolognaise in a pie. I was given oranges and lemons and the bells of St. Clements. It is a mess and how it can even claim to be related to Gareth Edwards 2010 original is beyond me. They are so far apart in almost every way, that you wonder whether Tom Green (director/co-writier) and Jay Basu (co-writer) have even seen the original. It’s such a shame that Edwards left the franchise to move on to Star Wars and Godzilla. Read more

Film Review: Electricity

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Electricity is a film that feels like it really does have a good heart and good intentions. A desire to show truth and compassion, but sadly, tried to place this realism into a world that is just too competitive to the empathetic tone that surrounds it to sit naturally. The result is a film that feels disjointed and causes such mixed emotions that you struggle to fully engage with it.

It stars model turned actress Agyness Deyn as Lilly. A not so much down on her luck, but down on life girl who sets out in search of her brother after the death of their mother. The twist being that Lilly suffers with epilepsy and throughout her travels has to put up with the constant danger of fits and attacks. Read more

Film Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Posted on by 5WC in Film

On paper this should be an absolute winner. The opening to Stieg Larsson’s mammoth Millennium trilogy, directed by Hollywood heavyweight David Fincher and backed with a seriously impressive cast list. There is so much potential to like that it appears the only real debate is the actual need for the film. After all, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and it’s sibling sequels, already exist in well received native Swedish versions, but the success of the books meant that a wider, English version, was always going to be made.

This is only the second time that I have seen Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, and I remember the first time around being so encapsulated by the story and the film that I actually went out and bought the book of The Girl Who Played with Fire because I wanted to know, as quickly as possible, how the story continued. Read more

Film Review: John Wick

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I had wanted to start this review with a clever line about how Mindy Marin, casting director of Jack Reacher, was sat crying somewhere having chosen an ill fitting Tom Cruise for her title role. A prejudiced lined based upon the fact that podcast reviews of John Wick hinted at Keanu Reeves appearing as a bigger, tougher and more realistic figure head than anything Cruise had achieved and that, whether tonally suited to the role, visually he would have been perfect.

And then I saw the film and I can my preplanned opening fell totally apart. Reeves just doesn’t work for me in John Wick, let alone substituting him into any other role. John Wick is just a mess of a film that feels like it’s trying to cram too many ideas and styles into one film without enough experience, or expanded viewing to make it all work. Read more