Film Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I’d completely forgotten about Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was just a DVD that sat on the shelf, one of a number that combine together to create a kaleidoscope of colour that pretends to be a modernistic approach to wall decoration. Or a constant reminder that I own and watch too many films.

Lost River, the directorial début Ryan Gosling is currently on a big screen release and Gosling is therefore, currently popping up for interview on the film podcast’s I listen to in the name of promotion and as is traditional for these audio features to attempt to stand out from the crowd and not just parrot-feed the same questions and answers, they expand their horizons and with Gosling having a starring role in Crazy, Stupid, Love it was thrust back into my radar and back into my DVD player. Read more

Film Review: Blade Runner (The Final Cut)

Posted on by 5WC in Film

There are times when mood, company and even the weather dictate what movie you watch. There are others when you simply throw anything on and don’t care what is it and there are those rare, rare times when the stars seem a align and consciously point you towards the film you should watch. This is one of those cosmic events.

Literally just as I finished reading Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? the movie it spawned, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, was re-released into UK cinemas and it seemed to be a rather big hint that it was time to see how the book and the film compared. Now, however tempting it was to charge to the big screen and take in “The Final Cut” in all it’s glory, I own it on Blu-ray, and a night at home is cheaper, and I don’t have to put up with people talking over the best bits! Read more

Film Review: Cowsboys & Aliens

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I love Cowboys & Aliens because I love how it instantly conjures up this imagery in your head of a slapstick parody. An idea that deserves to be rooted in Monty Python logic. And I love how you just know that the impressive cast (Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Harrison Ford) signed on not by being sold the story, but simply by being told the title.

And what’s even better is that for all the prejudiced thoughts that any film attempting to juxtaposition cowboys and aliens has to be a comedy you may start with, the film’s big twist, it’s cleverest move, is that it’s not. It’s a serious film using sensible ideas and yet, until you see it laid out in front of you, it’s just too hard to accept. Read more

Film Review: Simon Killer

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I can’t remember how I heard about Simon Killer, or exactly why I decided it was a movie I wanted to watch. I am certain, however, that the movie I was expecting had no correlation to the movie I got. It’s been a long time since I was treated to something as detestable as I found this, but hey it happens , you just have to put it down to annoying experience and move on.

Essentially this film is 100 minutes of soft porn, no plot and a main character so dislikeable, that I was routing throughout large portions of the film for somebody to smash him in the face with a baseball bat. And for me to wish a fictional character a violent and painful comeuppance, proves just how far from seeing eye to eye this film and myself are. Read more

Film Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I still remember the anticipation and excitement that built way back in 2001 when Peter Jackson unleashed Gandalf, Frodo and Gollum onto the big screen and gave the world, The Lord Of The Rings. Jackson managing to take Tolkein’s book, that many claimed was “unfilmable” and not only bring it to life, truthfully and respectfully to it’s source, but also change the entire face of fantasy cinema at the same time.

And with the one Ring binding a trilogy together, cementing Jackson’s place in the pantheon of cinema directors and keeping audiences wowed, delighted and immersed ever since it was not hard to guess that Hollywood couldn’t leave middle earth alone for too long. That the book that started it all would be next on the horizon. Read more

Film Review: The Fifth Estate

Posted on by 5WC in Film

So 24 hours after watching We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks documentary it was time to allow Hollywood it’s shot at portraying the whistle blowing events surrounding a website, a man and a whole lot of secrets, with Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate.

The Fifth Estate is essentially based on the written account of former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, and this is where my first problem with The Fifth Estate lies. It feels slanted. I shouldn’t have been surprised though, because if you look at events through a single pair of eyes then you will always see the events with the agenda purely as they see it. But in The Fifth Estate, the slant seems just a little too heightened. It focuses just a little too hard onto one man. Read more

Film Review: Ruby Sparks

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Ruby Sparks, on paper should be a good film. It should be a sweet, simple and funny teenage romantic comedy. But it misses the mark so much, you have to actually wonder if they bothered to take the shot at all! As a film, it just doesn’t work, it just feels sour and confused.

The underlying story. The foundation for the whole film is pure and simply, nothing new. Everything is almost cringe worthily borrowed from much, much better source materials. It is essentially Stranger than Fiction meets A Street Car Named Desire. Now it’s easy to argue that when it comes to films around mental health, and the isolation and destruction of perceived reality, A Street Car Named Desire, whether in film, on stage or dressed up as Blue Jasmine, is setting yourself up to fail but to attempt to echo the fundamental plot idea of Strange than Fiction, a film that never set the world alight, instead managing to simply carry it’s head held high is far more is intriguing.

Personally, I think Ruby Sparks is the creation of writer, Zoe Kazan’s pure, but simplistic, imagination rather than any attempt to borrow, steal, or copy other works. I truly think she sat there, dreamt up a fun idea for a story and started writing. It’s just a shame she was beaten to the punchline by people with more imagination and clarity. Read more

Film Review: Shadow Dancer

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I am still not 100% sure how I feel about Shadow Dancer. I certainly didn’t expect the type of film I ultimately ended up watching, but that is both a positive and a negative when it comes to forming an opinion and view as to where it’s actually any good. Shadow Dancer follows the life the of a single mother and IRA sympathiser who is turned into a MI5 spy; you can therefore, forgiven for thinking that this film has the potential for top quality action and gripping, tense twists that will leave you shaken to the very core. And based upon the reviews you’ll find online, from both the mainstream media and viewing public alike, things should fall that way.

Instead, what I found was a cold and sad story that never really wants to play with its audience but rather, asks that it audience to sit quietly and observe. It’s a library. What I mean by that, is rather than draw you and play with your emotions in a “cat and mouse” type of way as you’d expect, it simply takes you on a journey of reflection. It’s more a case of showing you just how pulled apart, and broken her life has become and how her loyalties can be tried, tested and examined by everybody around her and then simply asks the question of those watching: “how would you deal with all this?”.
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Film Review: The World Is Not Enough

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I have a problem with The World Is Not Enough. This movie is simply two things smashed together in the vague attempt to make a film that works and as shocking as this may seem, it doesn’t. There is a simple reason though why it fails so spectacularly to work. The two parts they chose to place together were the sound bite and the action stunt. So we have a film that limps sadly from stunt to stunt using a plot that wants to stand the test of time and leave you shaken not stirred.

Even the title demands to get in on the action.

But you shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, the opening sequence to the film sees Bond making one lines jokes about Swiss bankers and sexual innuendos about their female PAs which rather than pass flirtingly by, would these days have Bond arrested for sexual harassment in the workplace. Occasionally with a Bond film the opening sequence that feeds into the main titles can end up serving no relation to the rest of the plot and acts more as closure to previous story lines, but annoyingly this isn’t one of those times.
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Film Review: Tomorrow Never Dies

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Well the 18th “mission” for James as the DVD likes to refer to it and amazingly enough, against most critics opinions, I think Pierce Brosnan brings Bond back to the screen in a way that works. Unlike GoldenEye where he seemed to be channelling his over the top inner Roger, this time his return is toned down and matured. This feels like a decent portrayal of 007. This feels believable.

Sadly though, where Brosnan improves other parts of the film falter. Mainly through the casting. Geoffrey Palmer as Admiral Roebuck is just one example. I’m sure that it’s a conscious decision with Judi Dench playing M, head of the Foreign Intelligence wing of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, that Palmer is used as the head of the British Navy but it does instantly force As Time Goes By into your head and that serves not as the lightheaded, pleasant nod of appreciation that I’m sure it is intended as but rather, as a distraction that lightens what should be a serious start as they set up the story and plot of the entire movie. They could only have made it worse by walking Phillip Bretherton out as Alistair!
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