Thursday, 2 October 2008

If You Like-a Film Like I Like-a Film...

I have looked at things with my eyes and listened to things with my ears (don't try it the other way) to bring you the following conclusions from the grey lumpy bit that sits in-between them.

Hancock - In a nutshell - An oddly disjointed film that smacks of studio interference. A really odd film, this. It doesn't quite seem to know what sort of film it wants to be and veers off in a completely different direction at one point (I'm not going to spoil it by saying much more about it - surprisingly, it's one of the few films recently where the trailer doesn't quite tell what it's about. I think there's a pretty good independent film in there, struggling to get out after a few more re-writes but it's crow-barred into something else by studio interference as it has a "name" attached to it. An oddity - worth a look (and it's pretty short - barely feature length).

Persepolis - In a nutshell:- Personal, stylised and intriguing animation. From this list, it's beginning to look like I only watch films that are comic book adaptations (I do watch a lot of them but I like to think I'm more varied than that...). In this case, it's the autobiographical tale of a young girl growing up 70s/80s Iran, based on the author's own graphic novel. It's got a very distinctive visual style and is an enjoyable film but there's something indefinable lacking which stops it from being a great film. I can't quite put my finger on it.

The Squid And The Whale - In a nutshell:- Another autobiographical tale but a little to self-consciously quirky to like. I'm a fan of some of Wes Anderson's films - The Royal Tennenbaums and The Life Aquatic are firm favourites but I found the main character in Rushmore too unappealing and The Darjeeling Limited left me cold. This effort from Anderson collaborator Noah Baumbach (who wrote and directed it based on his own upbringing) fell into the latter camp for me - I found the characters too self-consciously quirky to really care about them and it teetered on the brink of out-and-out annoying for some time. It just didn't do it for me.

Get Smart - In a nutshell:- Likeable but extremely forgettable. So a mate of mine had offered to take me to the cinema as a birthday present (as we all know I like films but I'm impossible to buy DVDs for - I've probably got it). We quite fancied going to see Tropic Thunder but were a week early and I'd seen everything else. So we settled for Get Smart. Steve Carrell's a good performer - I like him a lot. The material, however, was fairly weak and, to be honest, I've already forgotten a lot of it. On the plus side, I'm starting to see the appeal of Anne Hathaway in a strange sort of way.

Death Proof - In a nutshell:- Surprisingly boring. Now, it could be because it suffered from being split our from Grindhouse into a separate film but I just found this pretty dull. Not a lot happened for nearly two hours and the dialogue, which normally works in a Tranatino film, came across as trying really hard to be the cool dialogue you get in a Tarantino film. Of the two, Planet Terror was much more fun (even despite the extended cameo from Quentin "Can't Act But It Doesn't Stop Me" Tarantino).

That's most of the stuff I've watched recently. You seen anything good, bad or indifferent?

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