Friday, 6 April 2012

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 in reverse order, with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on the IMDB.

Hugo (2011) 8
A visually stunning film with a sweet story. The two young actors were superb – overall, great entertainment in a very stylised Paris in the 1930's.
Weekend (2011) 5
Meant to be a gay “crossover” film. Both Pete and I were not impressed, especially with one of the characters who was simply annoying and stereotypically gay.
50/50 (2011) 6
A comedy drama that cynically used cancer as the main theme. It would have been a far better film without the childish comedy.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) 7
Amazing animation and the story zipped along, though was a little silly. Some people said that they couldn't follow the story – I had no problem!
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) 6
Strange movie about US gameshow king Chuck Barris. It didn't help that I had never heard of him.
The Four Seasons (1981) 5
Old movie about a group of friends. Nothing to see here.
Sordid Lives (2000) 2
Meant to be a classic gay film... it was truly awful. It felt like a student-made movie with some awful acting and crap story. Avoid.
My Week with Marilyn (2011) 6
Not as good as I had hoped. Not much happens, but the acting is fine.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011) 5
Some terrible acting but at least there were plenty of shirtless twinks. At least there is a story this time round as there last film seemed to lack any narrative!
Welcome to the Rileys (2010) 6
Tony Soprano makes some strange decisions to help a prostitute – seemed too far fetched to me.
The Ides of March (2011) 5
Political drama by George Clooney which seemed a bit up it's own ****. The UK equivalent would be a film about a bi-election in Sheffield South. Very very dull.
Midnight in Paris (2011) 5
Woody Allen disappoints me time after time. Yet again his characters are just walking cliches (yes, another author has personal problems, but this time in Paris). Silly time travelling story with really lazy script writing and perhaps one laugh. Like the past few films, it's begging to be a 30 minute comedy play with some co-writing help.


  1. So pleased we agree on 'HUGO'. It's my film of the year so far (out of 25 to date), even though I 'only' saw it in 2D. An '8' at least! (I'd have added another 1/2 point if you'd allowed it!)

    'WEEKEND' - I did a blog especially on this film on 22/11/2011 because, while watching it, I was having the hots for Tom Cullen whom I hadn't known before. I see what you mean about the 'stereotype' (I take it you're referring to the Chris New character). But as a whole I thought it was a reasonably worthy effort. After returning home I gave it a score of 6.5. which, interpreted for you, I'd now round down to a 6 - but, as I say, a large part of that was because I was watching a lot of it with my tongue hanging out!

    'CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND' - Wasn't even sure that I'd seen this despite your reminder of the subject. But looking it up in my register I see that, in fact, I had - and I'd also given it a score of '6'. But can't be bothered to look it up on IMDb to remind me, so that says it all.

    'MY WEEK WITH MARILYN' - yes, I agree a '6' is fair. Ought to have been better - Branagh looking nothing like my all-time favourite actor (who is now regarded as being old-fashionedly mannered) and only sounding slightly like him. But it wasn't meant to be a Mike Yarwood impression, so fair enough on that score. Reasonable enough film and worth watching just the once.

    And to end with, my two major disagreements from your current list.

    'THE IDES OF MARCH' - I thought it was rather more than just 'good'. Held my attention throughout. I awarded it 7.5 - rounded (again down) for you to '7'.

    'MIDNIGHT IN PARIS' - For me Allen has never again come close to his masterpieces of the late 70s and the 80s - 'Annie Hall', 'Manhattan' - and, my favourite of all his films, 'Hannah and Her Sisters'. However, that's like saying that because Beethoven's 4th doesn't touch the heights of genius which his 3rd does then the 4th isn't worth listening to at all. In his now sizeable catalogue, Allen has surely made more films worth seeing than not. (Okay, maybe SOME will disagree.)
    I make no apologies for having awarded this film a '7.5' which, in this case, I'd round UP to an '8'. I thought it was one of his half-dozen best of the last 20 years - a good concept (Silly? No - more like playfully diverting!), a smart script (yes! certainly not 'lazy'!), REALLY good acting almost throughout - I liked it A LOT! Deserves a place on 'The Essential Woody Allen Collection'. (Btw: I wonder, Stephen, if you have ever been a Woody Allen fan. I know some people just don't 'get' him - and there's nothing wrong with that!)

    The only other film on your list which I regret not having seen is 'TinTin'. Now with your pretty good recommendation it becomes almost essential to catch up on it.

    'Sordid Lives' sounds so bad it might be 'good' - at least for a laugh. No? Oh well. Let's give it a miss then.

  2. You may well be right Ray. I SO want to like Woody's films, but the writing is so lazy on recent films (they sound to me like he writes the script and does no editing). Small Time Crooks is great, but other more recent ones follow the same theme too many time (author with issues and/or young girl that falls for old guy). Perhaps I should avoid. The WORST part about the most recent film was the shoehorning of the historical characters name into the script so you knew who they were. Awful.

    Can we avoid talking about Woody in future so we just debate other movies?!

    Was thinking about Hugo again this morning and wonder what the 3D experience would have been like. Anyone seen it in 3D?

  3. Stephen, I certainly agree that the roll-call of names in 'Midnight' was painfully forced (What a small world!) but I was more prepared to accept it because of the delights already apparent (at least for me) in the film before that point.
    Strange - or maybe not - that you should so like 'Small Time Crooks', when I myself don't rate it that highly, falling down mainly in Allen himself playing a dim character, when with that nerdy look, he always LOOKS like the intelligent individual he is in real life. Just one small point, maybe, but it got right in the way for my enjoyment. I thought Hugh Grant was good, Tracey Ullman rather less so (She was better in 'Bullets Over Broadway', a film I much preferred - but I'm guessing you didn't?). Even though 'Small Time Crooks' did have a few very funny moments, as a whole I'd class it as one of Allen's middling efforts.

    I don't mind at all reading your thoughts on any Woody Allen films. Even though we tend to diverge, your opinions are every bit as valid as anyone else's including my own. Besides, you make me question whether my own positive judgments have been too hasty.

    Yes, I've also yet to hear from anyone who has seen 'Hugo' in 3D. I'd certainly like to see it again in that format - or, as it's such a strong film, just re-seeing it in flat 2D.