"Freaky Friday"

After a pretty slow start, I actually ended up really enjoying this film. The basic premise is that Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan are mother and daughter, who magically swap bodies on the eve of the mother’s wedding (following the death of the husband/father 3 years previously). That said this is firmly aimed at the young teen market, and has it’s humour and tone pitched accordingly. Nothing too heavy here, everyone! It must be said that Jamie Lee absolutely blew the socks of LiLo in terms of acting, although I guess it’s an easier ask for a 40/50 year […]

"To Die For"

Perhaps I only like kooky films these days, but I found To Die For a mild disappointment. There was nothing desperately wrong with it, and I quite like the idea of the story unfolding as Nicole Kidman videoed a CV and her relatives gave interviews to the media, both in response to the events of the film. This probably made up half the film – the other half was the events themselves, told through flashbacks. The problem was it didn’t really work for me. Nicole Kidman’s character Suzanne Stone simply didn’t hang together very well. On the one hand utterly […]

"Manderlay"

Yup, it’s another cracker. Crying shame they couldn’t get Nicole Kidman back (I don’t have anything against Bryce Dallas Howard, but her Grace doesn’t have the fragile beauty of Kidman’s Grace) – not that I’m particularly surprised since I don’t suppose our Nicole would have agreed to a scene were she is in flagrante delicto : lying on her back, naked, with her legs spread wide, filmed from the bottom of the bed…. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lars von Trier has struck gold again, and the above gratuious sex was only about 2 minutes in an otherwise entirely […]

"V for Vendetta"

Hooray, another film for the “loved” pile. What a fantastic piece of work. Rave rave! The story follows Evie (an awesome Natalie Portman), an ordinary-ish girl who gets caught up with a modern day Guy Fawkes (the ‘V’ of the title). You know I don’t even know where to start describing it. The film opens with a split-screen of Evie and V getting ready to go out – Evie putting on makeup, V putting on his mask and cloak. Did I mention the mask? By modern day Guy Fawkes, I meant someone who dresses up as him, wears a Guy […]

"Ghost World"

What an interesting and compelling film this was – absolutely hilarious most of the way through, but a very downbeat last 20 minutes or so, and ends really on a bit of a downer. The story follows Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) as two social outcasts who have just graduated from high school, and am trying to make their way in the big bad world. Actually it’s mainly Enid’s story, and to be brutal I found Rebecca to be fairly weak. I haven’t yet decided if Scarlett Johansson really is as gorgeous as everyone seems to think she […]

"American Beauty"

After three reviews on the trot that were – franky – downers, finally a film to get excited out! American Beauty was fab. It gripped me from the opening sequence through to the end credits. It set up a fantastic tension in the opening voice-over that was resolved in the final 5 minutes, but kept me guessing how it was going to resolve the whole way through the film. It was a film of suprises – as often as not scenes ended up taking a radically different route from the one I was expecting. The characters were also full of […]

"Underworld"

Extremely disappointed in this film. It had everything going for it – vampires vs. werewolves in a guns’n’bombs age (great concept), Kate Beckinsale in black leather (for those who like that sort of thing), gothic mansions, an at least half-intelligent story, … So what went wrong? Well, nothing in the film was probably explained – the soundtrack was so poorly mixed if it was loud enough to hear the dialog it was deafening with the guns (and there were a lot of guns!), everything was shot in dark/grainy/gritty low contrast mode, which meant you couldn’t really see what was happening, […]

"Serenity"

I was hugely looking forward to Serenity, and this probably resulted in my mild disappointment in the film. I guess I really should have watched Firefly first to clue me in, but I didn’t so there we go. There was nothing really wrong with it – in fact there was an awful lot right with it, and I have to say I was hooked the whole way through (and ended up watching the end half of an episode I came across on Sky One). In general I liked the characters, and the plot was fine – in fact it had […]

"Broken Flowers"

This is another of these trendy films in the vein of Lost in Translation, where not very much happens, no real reason is given for the whole film, and nothing is resolved at the end. It’s not a style of film-making I’m particularly fond of, although I did quite enjoy both Lost and this one. I think the closest film to this genre that manages to pull it off (outside French cinema) is Sideways. Anyway, the film is about Bill Murray as Don, a retired, wealthy bachelor who is semi-dumped by his girlfriend as the film opens. As she leaves, […]

"Comme une Image"

Comme Une Image (altogether unsatisfactorily ‘translated’ to Look at me) follows the life and times of Lolita, her family, and random other people along the way. It’s a study of hero-worship really, and how people’s attitudes and attention vary enormously based on whether or not they are considering their hero. Young Lolita lives under her father’s shadow – is absolutely convinced she’s overweight and ugly, and further convinced that people are only interested in her in order to get to her father (who’s a very famous – and rich – author and publisher). The film follows various people as their […]

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