Thursday, 7 April 2011

April Movie Update

Here are the films that Pete and I have received from and watched on TV and DVD over the past few months (sorry for the delay in posting this) in reverse order, with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on IMDB. 

(2008) 6

 Kick-Ass (2010) 8
I loved the silly action and some of the lines were memorable.

 Cruel Intentions (1999) 7
Classic movie with the gorgeous Ryan Phillippe.

 Christopher and His Kind (2010) (TV) 7

 The Illusionist (2010) 8
A stunning animation from the makers of a favourite of mine: Belleville Rendez-Vous.

 Micmacs (2009) 8
Mad French film from the makers of the wonderful Amelie

 Easy A (2010) 2
Full of stupid story directions and cliches.  I found it annoying.

 White Material (2009) 5

 Another Year (2010) 7
Mike Leigh film - you either love or hate his movies.  Apart from a couple of redundant scenes, this was very thought provoking.

 London River (2009) 5

 V for Vendetta (2006) 8
Atmospheric and full of twists.

 The Social Network (2010) 7
Impressive script, but I came away thinking how none of these mega rich kids deserve it.

 Undertow (2009) 7

 Rope (1948) 8
Hitchcock at his best - made with long unbroken scenes, unheard of at the time.

 Plan B (2009/I) 6
Interesting gay film that would have achieved an 8 if the editing had been better - too many scenes dragged.

 Loggerheads (2005) 7
Pretty good gay film - not the usual plot.

 Certified Copy (2010) 1
Lacking in every area you can imagine.


  1. I loved Loggerheads and have seen it a few times. And just the other night we watched The Social was good. Intense. But not Academy Award material.

  2. I agree about The Social Network - it was good, but not THAT good.

  3. Only 8 out of your 18 this month, Stephen.

    I'll single out two of them for extended comment.
    'London River' was my number 2 film of last year (after 'Inception'). I'd give it a clear '8', very nearly a '9' - which for me is highly unusual.
    I'm surprised (but not complaining!) at your '5' score. Each to his own, of course, but I find it astonishing that this film has been so unacknowledged. For me it was totally believeable - and, yes, harrowing too. An amazing, convincing performance from Brenda Blethyn being as good as she's ever been. Of course when I saw it (at the cinema) I'd known of the added poignancy of the actor, playing the character whom she reluctantly befriends, having died shortly after the film was completed; so that must, I admit, have fed into my judgment. But trying to put that aside, I still think it's a truly remarkable film of an unusual and heart-troubling situation. Would certainly be one of my all-time top 250 (out of 4,000+).

    'Social Network' - I just can NOT understand why this dull film has received so many plaudits. It didn't help by my being unable to decipher about 3/4 of the mumbled dialogue - but even apart from this I found the subject matter so unengaging, and with no sympathetic characters. If I was being generous I'd have to give it a 4/10, but it doesn't deserve it. BORING!!!!

    - cont'd........

  4. to continue.....

    Kick-Ass - Just a 5/10. I found this film relentlessly 'over-knowing' and 'isn't-this- clever?'. Also not helped by the (at least) twice use of the word 'gay' as a put-down, which tended to irritate me from early on. Maybe that distorted my view more than I should have let it.
    I found the same sort of thing with the film 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' where the Kate Winslet character hurls with contempt the word 'faggot' at Jim Carrey; and that was only the once! But it still makes me squirm. Maybe it's another generational thing.

    'The Illusionist' - a good 7, but I was expecting a little bit more.

    Micmacs - yes, an easy 8. Another sadly overlooked gem. Very enjoyable indeed.

    Another Year - maybe an 8. For me Mike Leigh, always makes films worth watching, though he hasn't regained the heights for me with his consecutive masterpieces of around 20 years ago, 'High Hopes' and 'Life is Sweet', the latter being as close to a British Woody Allen as he's ever been, which for me is something to aspire to (though you probably disagree). But I'd rate 'Another Year' is certainly one of his half-dozen best.

    'Leon the Pig farmer' which I saw on its release but cannot remember a thing about it. Maybe that's a verdict in itself.

    'Rope' - In the hey-day of Gay Lib in the 70s, this film was cited as one of the most homophobic ever made. That may seem be laughable now, but because of that ringing 'un-endorsement' I couldn't bring myself to watch it until it was one of four Hitchcock films getting a cinema re-release in the late 1980s (another was 'Rear Window'). I saw it in Amsterdam, ready to walk out, but I didn't.
    Now I can watch it dispassionately but I would hardly call it one of H's best, with his experimental long-takes, which seem to distract from the content of the film itself. It's certainly not a bad film, but for me quite flawed. (I'd really like to have seen the rece stage West End stage version.)

    So, a mixed bag of views there for you, Stephen. For some of them I think it shows that opinions like yours are becoming more forgiving and tolerant than mine are, which is no bad thing.

  5. Thanks for your views Raybeard. The problem I had with London River were the coincidences - one after another. It's lazy writing and after about the 5th stupid coincidence, I has had enough! The story was depressing - but the acting fine.

    Another Year was going well until that scene in the garden near the end with the friend from 'up north'. It seemed to drag and not fit in, like it was an afterthought. Strange.

    MicMacs... yep, an overlooked gem.

  6. Now you mention the coincidences in 'London River' I do in fact remember thinking the same thing while watching it. (I'd forgotten about that.) But I was clearly won over by rest of the film's positive attributes. Certainly it wasn't a bundle of laughs, but it wasn't meant to be.

    Yes, in 'Another Year' that garden scene was interesting in that it united for the first time on screen (I think I'm right in saying) the two main actors from 'High Hopes' (the biker couple) which I mentioned, if only briefly.