A movie length review of why The Phantom Menace sucks so hard. Seriously nit-picky, and I’m not sure about the self-indulgent character of the reviewer as a serial killer. However, this is brilliantly edited, extremely funny in places, and when you get to parts 6 & 7, you realise this is an awesome film critic using the godawful naffness of Episode I to sharply underline the timeless wonder of the original trilogy.
If The Fan was a baseball legend, it would be Barry Bonds. The film has various similarities with his stint at San Francisco, which include record-breaking contracts, shirt number confusion and of course, the Giants themselves.
This Tony Scott picture delivers a sleek first pitch followed by an unexpected knuckleball. Gil Renard (Robert De Niro (Goodfellas, 1990)), A down-on-his-luck knife salesman, goes round the twist whilst stalking his idol, baseball legend Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes (Blade, 1998)).
With a Falling Down (1993)-esque feel, De Niro’s steady decline of realism is well played to the best he can. Snipes fits the bill as the arrogant player and it is probably his best performance alongside Murder at 1600 (1997). De Niro’s character stops at nothing to keep his idol’s credibility in check, to the point of no return following a bizarre jinx over Snipes losing his shirt number.
Unable to perform and hit, Rayburn’s frustration is felt, generating more tension than a fat mans belt buckle. This results in a complete meltdown from Renard. Renard’s patience is tested throughout the course of the flick. As neck-cracking and collar-pulling are not usually associated with De Niro’s persona since the early days, it was refreshing to experience another one of these roles from the acting hall-of-famer. Benicio Del Toro (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)) fits into place nicely, as the irritating ex-centre fielder who steps up to the plate when Rayburn loses his metal.
On the downside, the film tends to drag somewhat. The ending feels slightly rushed and the acting from Patti D’arbanville (nothing else of note, for obvious reasons) is totally dreadful. Apart from that, Snipes is marginally better than usual and although it is not De Niro’s best work, I enjoyed this film somewhat. With a haunting Hans Zimmer soundtrack and supporting cast of John Leguizamo (Carlito’s Way (1993)), and Ellen Barkin (Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)), to keep you interested, The Fan is a steady thriller. Give it a chance and you may be more suprised than not getting socks at Christmas from Mummy.
Performance of the film – De Niro’s performance pushed me to more lip biting than a nuts/fly encounter on a cold day. He did his best within the role, slightly overshadowing Snipes’ stupid slugger act.
Quote of the film – De Niro’s powerful one liner “Some people are ungrateful…and they should be taught a lesson” lingers in my head.
Fact of the film – This is the second movie where the De Niro/Baseball bat/head cracking combo is in full swing.
Soundtrack/score – A nice selection of tunes ranging from the Rolling Stones to Terence Trent D’arby. Add that to a polished main suite from Hans Zimmer and you have a better bundle than a top-notch mobile phone package.
May be a miss for some but it struck a chord with me. A decent batting average. 77/100.
(Last watched 6 months ago. Reviewed by Mr. Holly.)
“Surreal” is one of the most popular and misunderstood words at work in Britain today, often mis-used by footballers and reality TV show stars when grasping for adjectives to describe their experience.
X Factor winner James Arthur described his experience as surreal, while returning West Ham hero Joe Cole also felt his return to the club of his youth matched the description. Assuming Cole’s contract signing wasn’t overseen by a dwarf talking backwards, or Nicole Scherzinger’s head didn’t turn into a lightbulb while singing him a lullaby, what they actually meant was the events were a bit surprising or unusual.
One thing genuinely surreal in 2012 was Leo Carax’s Holy Motors, a wilfully bizarre, gross, funny and melancholy headfuck that is likely to drive some regular cinema-goers to experiment with other examples of arthouse and avant garde cinema.
“Begin at the beginning then go on till you come to the end: then stop.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
What is it about the biopic that induces screenwriters to start somewhere near the end, then find some contrived way to kick the story back in time to all the interesting stuff, the events the viewer wants to find out about in the first place?
In many senses, any biographical film of an important historical figure is a kind of greatest hits compilation, and two of the finest British examples of the genre, Lawrence of Arabia and Gandhi, begin with such a device. Both those films have plenty of time at their disposal, clocking in at over three hours each, and focus on a relatively narrow time in their subject’s lives.
The Iron Lady, by Mamma Mia! auteur Phyllida Lloyd, tries to jam in former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s whole career into a paltry 105 minute run time, and makes the unfortunate decision to spend most of the movie stuck in the modern-day bookends. So if Lawrence of Arabia and Gandhi are like double LP’s, The Iron Lady is like a 45 single.
A joke: Today, a bomb went off in central Ipswich, England [delete and apply any shitty town/district/neighbourhood of your choice], causing millions of pounds worth of structural improvements.
I’ll come back to that joke in a minute. Christmas is over and I’m not feeling charitable, and as much as I admire the independent, amateur, can-do ethos behind Benh Zeitlin’s first feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, I can’t pretend I appreciated it as much as many celebrated critics seemed to.
The film tells the story of a little girl, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), who lives in squalor with her ailing father, Wink (Dwight Henry) in a ramshackle pre-post-apocalyptic community known as the Bathtub, separated from the modern world by a levee.
In the year of our Lord, 2012, most screwed-on Westerners are aware that the Catholic Church is the most institutionalized hive of nonces and kiddy fiddlers in the history of mankind.
This is interesting from a British perspective, because as a nation who forcibly battled and rejected Catholicism in its middle-past, our national conscience has found other ways of repenting. Most notably is cinema – our flicks must rank amongst the most confessional and penitent movies in the world.
As an Englishman living abroad, I socialise with many nationalities, and some of my best friends are American. One thing you will never hear an American expat say is; “America’s a fucking dump, and I couldn’t wait to get out of that shithole.”
If Love, Honour and Obey was a shop on the high street, it would be a charity shop: retro CDs, cheap tracksuits and mugs are all on offer here on a shoestring budget .
This BBC-backed, British gangster flick sees Ray Winstone’s (Scum) North London criminal faction pitted against their Southern counterparts, headed by Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers). Coincidentally, this is the third Pertwee film we have reviewed, and we’d just like to emphasise the fact that we are in no way attracted to this man. Coming up next week - Equilibrium…
Humourous from the offset, this tale of a turf war includes a varied British cast which portrays this cockney rivalry well. With much of the film’s hilarity coming from the crude dialogue between them, this film also incorporates karaoke as an unlikely, yet effective plot device. Although some of the musical scenes do tend to run on a little, the cast obviously had fun in the making of them. Other side plots accompany this gangland mock-up, including a wedding, erectile dysfunction, and a grudge match between Rhys Ifans (Hannibal Rising) and the courier-come-gangster Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting).
The film has a decent entertaining feel to it and after making Final Cut (1998) together the previous year, the repeat combination of Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Sadie Frost (Dracula) and Winstone make this a superior film to its predecessor. All the themes projected in this movie keep you interested from the start, from the plots to the dated cars,phones and clothes. Considering you would get more cash raiding a public payphone for the budget, Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis have done well here.
The main drawback with this flick would have to be the limited target audience, with regards to international viewers. Whilst the dialogue is entertaining for the cockney-hardened British viewer, it would make as much sense to other nationalities as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity would make to a Peruvian llama farmer. This would inevitably hinder the overseas profit margin; a common oversight within the British film industry. The film has a slightly predictable end result and it veers to become quite dark and serious in the last twenty minutes (the toilet brush-anal cavity combo springs to mind here).
With these faults aside, Love, Honour and Obey is a decent addition to the British film market. It is one of the best gangster tales that we have on offer and although not very well-known, it is generally a good, fun watch and should be checked out. With a bigger budget we can’t help but feel that this would have been able to compete with the likes of Guy Ritchie.
Performance of the film – Despite a talented cast, Ray Winstone is undisputedly the daddy in this one.
Quote of the film – Ray Winstone “You’re fat, and I’ll throw you in the river…”
Fact of the film – Many aspects of this film are true to life. Ray Winstone is a massive fan of karaoke; This is the second Anciano/Burdis collaboration in the space of a two-year period to use the cast’s actual first names; and ex-S.A.S henchman “Bill” was actually a former member of the special forces, having been awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in the line of duty.
Soundtrack/score – Most tracks from the film are actually performed by the cast, making it a refreshing karaoke mix including Tony Christie’s Avenues and Alleyways.
An enjoyable gangster romp, well worth 94 minutes of your time. Watch it you mug. 83/100.
(Last watched 7 days ago. Reviewed by Mr. Holly and Fuzzy).
Horror has been in a dark place for the last decade. When Scream 4 crawled out of the gate last year, with the tagline promise of “New Rules”, I hoped the writer-director team of Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven would apply the intelligence so freshly applied to the cliched stalk n’ slash sub-genre in the original movie to the depressing, sadistic trend of torture porn prevalent in the 2000′s.
While Scream 4 acknowledged the presence of grungy, industrial strength reboots of classic horror franchises and video nasties, and incorporated streaming live blogs and iPhones, the movie bottled out & played safe. Instead, it came across as deeply anachronistic and twee – in the era of Hostel, Human Centipede and The Devil’s Rejects, there was something nostalgic and almost comforting about seeing good-looking, middle class kids disemboweled by a nutter in a mask.
Video Krypt is now on the LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs)! If you haven’t checked it out, here’s the link -
It’s a great resource for film buffs who love reading movie blogs. This inclusion has made me feel pretty loved up, so here’s the final scene of Cinema Paradiso to celebrate -
Last week, the families of the 96 Liverpool fans crushed to death at Hillsborough stadium finally found out the truth, after 23 years of tireless campaigning.
Aside from the fans directly affected, the Hillsborough disaster touched most people in the UK’s lives. I didn’t even watch football at the time, but for some reason I was watching the 1989 semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. I remember feeling more shocked by the Bradford stadium fire four years earlier, when a decrepit wooden stand caught fire and turned into an inferno in a matter of minutes.
I suppose the fire had a more visceral impact on a seven-year-old boy, as there’s not many things more horrific than seeing a football supporter stumbling across the pitch on fire. I didn’t truly appreciate the horror of Hillsborough until a few years later, when I was on the terraces as a fan, and felt my first crowd surge.