Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What I've Seen Lately.

Here's a somewhat truncated list of movies I have seen lately complete with an arbitary rating system out of 5. I'll probably do a few follow up entries later in the week.

Natural City- Korean Blade Runner-esque sci fi movie. Frankly the plot was too confusing and the characters too wooden to get involved with. 2/5

The Prestige- One of two films released last year about late 19th century magicians. It starts of well with a tale about two rival magicians who are driven apart by the accidental death of someone they both loved in a stunt gone wrong. It's well acted but much too long. However the most annoying aspect of the film is the way it changes the rules halfway through. If you are going to create a fictional world in which magicians use their ingenuity to create astounding looking tricks don't decide halfway through that one of them has learnt some sort of science fiction ability. 3/5

The Lives of Others- A magnificent German film set in the former East Germany. It captures the grimness of the communist system as well as showing a tale of personal redemption by the Stasi officer. 5/5

Underworld Evolution- No discernible plot, just action sequences pasted together and close ups of Kate Becnkinsale's arse. 2/5

Bang Rajan- Despite the title it isn't an Indian porno about Rajan but is in fact a Thai war film. It tells of a village which resisted an invasion of Thailand by neighbouring Burma for months. I'm not sure when it's set but it is several centuries ago at least. It is spectacular and exciting, however it was very difficult to tell individual characters apart, because one Thai man in his 20s or 30s dressed in period costume with a period hairstyle looks much like another to my culturally insensitive eyes. Oh and the Thais don't do Hollywood endings. 4/5

Ringu- Unlike most horror films this is genuinely unnerving. The Japanese have a knack for horror movies. 4/5

She's The Man- Lightweight throwaway stuff. It's supposedly "based on Shakespeare" like Clueless was. In reality it's about a girl who pretends to be her brother so she can play football and there isn't a girls team at her school and all sorts of inevitable gender bending confusion ensues. It does exactly what it's supposed to do, it isn't meant to be Citizen Kane, so it would be silly to judge on that level. 3/5

Der Untergang- Also known as Downfall in English. Conveys the madness of Charlie Chaplin's last days quite convincingly. By portraying him as human and not simply a monster it risked making Hitler appear sympethetic but that was avoided, his callousness and disregard even for the lives of those whom he was supposed to lead is well depicted. It has of course inspired about 12000000 YouTube remixes. so the film makers must take the blame for that. 4/5


JuliaM said...

"The Prestige....However the most annoying aspect of the film is the way it changes the rules halfway through."

Yes, that was a real 'Wha...?' moment.

Peter said...

It's Kate Beckinsale's behind you get to see a lot of, not Mrs. Mendes', in Underworld: Evolution, I believe.

Mind you, they all look the same, close-up.

Ross said...

Good point, I've edited the post accordingly.

Peter said...

Actually, maybe it was Mrs. Mendes'...

Ross said...

I'm sure I've read of at least one film where the actress's butt double was actually a man.