Monday, February 22

Film Review: Arthur

Arthur is a comedy which relies totally on the terrible jokes of an mostly unlikeable lead who acts inebriated for the whole film. At some point in the movie you realise that you're laughing at an alcoholic, or at least that you're not laughing at an alcoholic and this is before realising that the premise of the movie is ridiculous to the point of being unbelievable.

Arthur, a bored and spoilt multi-millionaire and alcoholic, prides himself on being funny and rich, his inheritance is threatened when he refuses to not marry the suitor his parents choose for him. Marriage, in the eyes of her parents is Arthurs right of passage into adulthood, however his wry, snobbish but loving butler and surrogate father correctly surmises that love will be the catalyst for Arthur's growth.

It is the butler who provides the only pathos and emotional interest in the film, and thankfully some comedy with his sarcasm and casual prejudice toward everything and everyone. After he exits the picture in a way that tonally is not handled well at all, and in fact could go unnoticed if you blink, we are left with the a long wedding scene which is basically and literally the punchline to a joke that was never funny, and is actually quite distasteful.

Maybe alcoholism was inherently funny in a bygone era, funny enough maybe to carry a movie with few jokes, a ridiculous plot and very little charm. Unfortunately for Arthur, he has not aged like a good Scotch, and instead a bitter taste is left in the mouth after watching this.

Wednesday, February 10

Film Review: Die Hard

Roy Rogers is a clown, a clown with a performing horse and a guitar. He wears the trappings of a Hollywood hero like John Wayne or Zoro but then cracks wise and burst into song like an outmoded TV host as well as a matinee star and a restauranteur.

He's a pussy cat in comparison to John McClain, so it's strange he would prefer Rogers over Rambo because of the "spangly shirts". But there's something of the performer in McClain too. His modus operandi seems to be shock and awe, combined with sass and cheek. Smack talking his enemies over radio waves and provoking them to reveal their plan or screw up in some other way.

In Die Hard, John get's his ass kicked four ways from Sunday, but he finds the reserves to pull through. Most of Bruce Willis' performance in this film is played alone, with most of the dialogue spoken into a walkie talkie. These moments are great for fleshing our character and to stand as a counterpoint to some hectic action and slow-mo violence (an impromptu kneecapping with the victim then falling through a plate of glass is particularly shocking).

But it's the violence that we came for, the redemption of the broken down old cop, the reconciliation of the broken down marriage and even the foiling of the bad guys plan doesn't matter as much as the guns and explosions that lead up to it. And it's on this count that Roy and John couldn't be further apart and thank god for that.

Yippe Ki Yay!

Tuesday, February 9

Film Reviw: The Matrix

It's hard to disassociate a film from the creator's latter works. Francis Ford Coppola will always be celebrated for The Godfather parts I and II but then will he ever be forgiven for part III? Eddie Murphy is a riot in his stand up movies Raw and Delirious and great in Coming to America and even Shrek, but Norbit is surely an indication of a career in decline, right?

Well, imagine being The Wachowski Brothers, a pair of film makers who's first film Bound, a tight and sexy thriller, becomes a cult classic and their second film, The Matrix becomes the success that they just can't match. Two films in and on the slopes to Has-been-ville already, it's a shame.

It's not actually this reviewers opinion that the two follow up films in the Matrix trilogy were abject failures. I believe that the follow ups failed only in matching up to the fanboy hype. Was that hype ever necessary? I don't think so, The Matrix is good, don't get me wrong, but it's not the masterpiece that the fanatic's fervour would lead us to believe.

It got our attention because it was a surprise, it seemed to have come out of nowhere, with new film techniques, a fresh take on kung-fu and enough gun-porn to take make any bullet fetishist wet. It kept our attention because it painted a non-reality so visceral that we could all imagine being inside of it, and escaping our own.

The film's main conceit, that our reality was a construct that we could escape at the drop of a pill spoke to me and my generation, allowed us to fantasise and dream beyond the new messiah story line present in the film. For me, that was the main strength of The Matrix, that the scope was so limited, the ending so open, that as the credit rolled I couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities for the characters and for the story.

Monday, February 8

Film Review: The Chronicles of Riddick

I find Riddick to be an enigmatic and engaging character. He's stoic in the face of danger, self-preserving and ruthless but has a set of values which in his first story saw him attempt to lead the less capable to safety.

This time around there is more in jeopardy than the lives of a disparate band, there is the diversity of the universe at stake as the religious cult of The Necromancer invade and mind-wash one planet at a time.

Riddick can not manage to avoid the maelstrom of The Necromunger because it has been foretold that he alone will be their downfall, so quite unintelligently the Necromancer peruse their fate instead of letting him to his naturally selfish ways. This sets us up for some awesome set pieces, the most exciting of which is a race against the dawn to the last ship off of a planet where the sunlight will burn you to death.

Dame Judy Dench appears in a career misstep as a ghostly fortune teller, and even with her credentials this movie will only ever be of the B-type. All other principles are capable and the dialogue is chucklesome rather than absurd. But despite the grander setting over the stars and the story about the sanitisation of culture through extremist worship, Chronicles is simply a balls out action movie and probably more enjoyable for it too.

Film Review: The Mask of Phantasm

Gotham's criminals are being stalked by a dark cowled and masked figure. Silent in the night this menace preys upon them, first filling them with dread, then toying with them before eventually catching them and killing them.

No, this is not Batman gone rouge, this is the titular Masked figure who seeks revenge upon Gotham's underworld on a trajectory that leads straight to Gotham's most maniacal villain, The Joker.

The story's twists and turns are sign-posted pretty clearly and as such come as no surprise. However the story zips along at such a pace with revelations about character's that are interesting enough to keep a viewer engaged and forgiving. What needs to be forgiven, apart from the slightly obvious plot, is some laboured dialogue and an unfortunate restriction of the medium in that makes characters feel as life-like as, well, cartoons.

For Batman lore, adventure and action this is a great watch. Stylish, fast paced and a lot of fun.

Sunday, February 7

Film Review: E.T.

A story about a boy who shelters a lost and homesick alien and grows to befriend and love him. The boys love for the alien creates a bond between the two that is so strong that they share each other's emotional and physical states. This is hilarious when in one scene the alien gets drunk while left home alone whilst the boy, Eliot, goes to school. The aliens drunkenness results in Eliot liberating a classroom full of deathrow amphibians and passionately kissing the girl he admires, while the alien watches soppy movies and eats junk food.

However things go awry when the alien's homesickness manifests as an ailment that begins to kill him and his now symbiotic human host too. Throw into the mix the further complicating factor of the government wanting to capture the alien and what started as a moving account of friendship turns into a race against the authorities and time to return the alien to his ship and safe from the clutches of the government.

With great comic moments and touchingly sweet displays of affection from a young and believable cast and a very convincing alien creature, this film is an enduring classic.

Monday, February 1

STREET FIGHTER IV: More Oppurtunities to Kick Adam's Ass

Chances to humiliate your friends and make them look like the inept skill-less twerps you suspect they are don't come in many forms, the most devastatingly humiliating way to make a mate look like a prize-class putz is to put a joy pad in their hand and then load up Street Fighter.

Time to bring the pain.

Oh, yes sir! That was an Ultra Combo which finished with a one-inch punch from Fei-Long. I'm going to enjoy pulling that one out.

Click the 'View Original Post' link to see the video.

Label Cloud

London (66) Just Plain Silly (46) Yak (43) Photos (40) Photography (39) Rant (35) Photo (34) Video (33) people (24) photoshop (22) Poetry (20) Portrait (20) Review (16) film (16) England (15) Travel (15) Music (11) Photowalk (10) 5adaychallenge (6) Bestival (6) Festival (6) art (6) movies (6) (5) Japanese (5) Night (5) School (5) Street (5) UK (5) trailer (5) Black andamp; White (4) Cathedral (4) Costume (4) Greenwich (4) Love (4) Norfolk (4) Tattoo Convention (4) WDPS (4) Winter (4) Woman (4) America (3) Animals (3) Autumn (3) Bow Creek (3) Canterbury (3) Charlie Clempson (3) Hipstamatic (3) Performance (3) Photographic Assignments (3) Snow (3) Summer (3) flowers (3) iphone (3) religion (3) whitstable (3) Abstract (2) Beach (2) Bird (2) Carnival (2) Cats (2) Comics (2) Dancing (2) Fireworks (2) Flickr (2) Ganes (2) Hats (2) Leytonstone (2) Mirror (2) Monochrome (2) New Year (2) Notting Hill (2) Sculptures (2) Sky (2) Soho (2) South Bank (2) Tattoos (2) Toy (2) Trinity Buoy Wharf (2) Westminster (2) Wildlife (2) blog (2) camera (2) cars (2) forwards (2) nature (2) party (2) postcards (2) seaside (2) sport (2) spring (2) 620 Film (1) 90's (1) A-Team (1) Acrobatics (1) Aerosol (1) Airport (1) Alcohol (1) Anne Rice (1) Antique (1) Batman (1) Bicycles (1) Bokeh (1) Book Cover (1) Box (1) Boy George (1) Bridge (1) Bristol (1) Brixton (1) Brownie (1) Bull (1) Cake (1) Calm (1) Camden (1) Challenge (1) Chinese (1) Christmas (1) Church (1) City (1) Colour (1) Covent Garden (1) Crowds (1) DLR (1) Daruma (1) David Twohy (1) Diptych (1) Dog (1) Dulwich (1) Epic Fail (1) Eric Radomski (1) Erotic Book Store (1) Exotic (1) Fatboy Slim (1) Fire (1) Fire Eater (1) Flame (1) Foreign Policy (1) Fox (1) Fruit (1) GRass (1) Gallery (1) Gayla Partridge (1) Glasses (1) Goat (1) Gosh (1) Graffiti (1) Gull (1) HMS (1) Hands (1) Hawk-Eye (1) Hearts (1) Heron Quay (1) Heygate (1) Horse (1) Hot Chip (1) ICA (1) James Bond (1) John McTiernan (1) Kanye West (1) Katherine Green (1) Landscape (1) Leaves (1) Links (1) Lomo (1) Mac (1) Markets (1) Meetups (1) Michael Hoffman (1) Mobile Phone (1) Monkey (1) Niels Arden Oplev (1) Nuts (1) Orange (1) PC (1) PS3 (1) Panoramic (1) Patrick Cox (1) Pepsi (1) Rain (1) Reflections (1) Ropes (1) Science Museum (1) Security (1) Self-Pity (1) Sex (1) Shine (1) Spotify (1) Squirrels (1) Stain Glass (1) Stations (1) Steve Gordon (1) Steven Spielberg (1) Street Fighter (1) Summer Sonic (1) Sunset (1) Sunshine (1) Swords (1) TV (1) Taiko (1) Technology (1) Thames (1) The Last Shadow Puppets (1) The O2 (1) The Wachowski Brothers (1) Top 5 (1) Towers (1) Toys (1) Umbrella (1) Union Jack (1) Wellies (1) White (1) Window (1) Winner (1) Words (1) Youtube (1) anime (1) atheism (1) bikes (1) cartoon (1) cheese (1) cityPGame (1) comedy (1) dance (1) desk (1) doctor who (1) dreadlocks (1) email (1) (1) hair (1) hip-hop (1) huts (1) kites (1) lecture (1) memorial (1) nudes (1) parrot (1) piece (1) portraits (1) royal (1) running (1) sakura (1) shoes (1) square (1) symbols (1) symetry (1) tezuka osamu (1) the future (1) thoughts (1) transsexual (1) vide (1) wedding (1)