I think I set my expectations too high for this one. An influential cult sci-fi classic it may be, but I have to say I found it laughable. From the jocks vs nerds in space opening to the ridiculous hippy-dippy flowery sequences with Joan Baez foghorning away in the background, this is a serious period-piece. At times it threatens to be better than it is and its impact on sci-fi, especially Moon, is evident, but I just couldn’t take it seriously.
The tale of a young boy, the son of a Nazi officer, who befriends another young boy in a nearby concentration camp, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas seems not to work because of its improbability (and maybe because of my dislike for child actors). Allowing artistic licence, the film is diverting enough and the ending is as surprising as it is depressing.
Apparently some people found this film exciting because it’s the first film to reunite Winslet and DiCaprio on screen since Titanic. Which tells you all you need to know really. This plays out like a workaday domestic drama of little consequence. It goes on a bit and frankly, the bloody ending is a bit grim. Apart from that though…boring!
I wanted to like it more than I did. It started and ended in excellent form. All fast-paced action, banging beats from the Chemical Brothers and cool, bloody violence. Sadly, Hanna totally loses its way during its middle section. The introduction of an annoying British family, there to provide a humour break and to show Hanna the family life she’d been missing out on, left the film floundering. Poor jokes and OTT characters whipped the prevailing mood from under you, leaving you unsure of what kind of film you were watching. It’s as if Hanna forgets what it is or wants to be, is something else for a bit and then goes back to what it was and should be. A brave, but failed, move.
Smart French thriller about a murder that did, or didn’t take place, and the disastrous unravelling of two families. Occasionally too clever for its own good and with a storyline that, on occasion, strays some distance from conceivable reality, Tell No One is gripping enough but ultimately flawed.
When this film first came out, I was excited to see it. But having missed out on it at the cinema, my enthusiasm waned. The more I thought about it, the more I imagined a Matrix-style thriller that would leave me cold.
I was wrong though. Inception is fun, head-scratchingly complicated to keep up with, its bowl-along action is always compelling and some of the special effects blew my tiny mind. Part of the fun of watching is trying to work out what’s going on, which requires concentration, leaving you feeling fully involved from beginning to end.
Haymarket Cineworld, London, 29/03/11
Following last week’s showing of Don’t Look Now, Time Out chose to show Terry Gilliam’s Brazil preceded by an interview with the film’s star, Jonathon Pryce, who provided amusing and fascinating insight into director Terry Gilliam and co-star Robert De Niro’s methods. Visually, Brazil provides so many delights, it’s a feast for the eyes. There’s always something happening somewhere to make you laugh, wonder or marvel. Its comedic moments are plenty and whilst some action sequences outstay their welcome slightly, Brazil remains a British film up with there with the very best.
Haymarket Cineworld, London, 22/03/11
Time Out began a season of great British films preceded by interviews with various people from the industry with a showing of Don’t Look Now. I’d seen the film before, although not for a while, and the chance to see it on the big screen was one not to be missed. David Morrissey introduced it, placing it well in context and giving a few decent pointers of things to look out for. As a film, its power is immense. The way it frightens is awesome and the opening scene is simply stunning. It shares that great depth of colour and its grainy feel with other great 70s horror flicks like The Omen and The Exorcist. Sutherland and Christie are excellent and whilst the story is a little bit on the hammy side, the acting, tension and creepiness of it all is awesome.
Though not Mike Leigh’s best work - every single character seems to be a bit too much, and it’s all so unglamorously 90s - Career Girls is still a decent enough way to spend an evening. It’s a little film that packs soft punches, most notably through Andy Serkis’ weirdo turned bitter character.