Friday, 31 October 2014

Gucci Première (2012)

Beautiful, but it's still just a perfume ad and I really, really hate perfume.

Long story, but my nose was broken a couple of times when I was young and I ended up getting nosebleeds everyday. So I had it cauterised, and if anyone has had this done they know how wonderful it is to have, what seems like, a golfball sized blood bogey jammed up your nose for a couple of weeks and be unable to pick it. Even better, I still had the nosebleeds. Had it cauterised again but this time the nurse forgot the anaesthetic, which was fun. The nosebleeds finally stopped - yay! What was not "yay" however was that my nose was now super sensitive and dust, pollen and PERFUME would send me into fits of sniffles and sneezing. Plus to help matters my mother worked on a perfume counter and if I had to visit her the rest of the staff would spray me in the damn stuff as a joke. So we have a teenage boy smelling of White Linen in fits of sneezing in the middle of a busy department store. Very fucking funny.

So, one star for Refn because I hate Perfume so very fucking much.

Oh, and why do American's pronounce Première so weird?

Original letterboxd review

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Godfather (1972)

"You found paradise in America. You had a good trade, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. So you didn't need a friend like me. Now you come and say "Don Corleone, give me justice." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me "Godfather." You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder - for money."

Filled with love, honour, betrayal and death The Godfather is structured very much like an opera and is the film that set the template for every subsequent Mafia and gangster film. Pinochle, cannoli, sleeping with the fishes, offers you cannot refuse - you heard them here first.

An obvious comparison would be with Goodfellas but where Scorsese's film is brash, fast and in your face, The Godfather is slower, theatrical and considered. Goodfellas is the Shangri-las' Leader of the Pack and The Godfather is Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. Which do I prefer? I don't know, I really don't, but I seem to remember reading that the real Mafia had a bit of a soft spot for The Godfather and I really wouldn't want to go against them!

Filled with great performances, editing, composition and a terrific middle-8 set in Sicily, the Godfather never seems like a three hour film and is one that you'll watch again and again.

Original letterboxd review

Friday, 17 October 2014

Girl Most Likely (2012)

Well, I didn't hate it I suppose. I laughed a few times...when I say laughed, they were those sort of silent laughs you make inside your head.

Oh, and Annette Bening channelled Shirley MacLaine and there was a bloke in a half-shell.

Original letterboxd review

Monday, 13 October 2014

Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux (2006)

Alice runs through a set of classics with the odd later track thrown in for good measure.

Not so many theatrics as the previous Brutal Planet (2000) set but some of the favourites are present and correct: the sword and the billion dollar bills, the guillotine, the Schools Out balloons, the re-animation chamber and, drum roll please, the beautiful Calico Cooper, yay!

The sound is pretty good but the guitars needed to be a little more crunchy and dirty, especially on the earlier Alice Cooper group songs (Under My Wheels etc.). One rare track performed was Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills (From the Inside, 1978) with Calico, yet again, playing Paris Hilton complete with a handbag dog.

Highlight of the set has got to be the black and white, straight-jacketed Ballad of Dwight Fry with Alice at his creepy best.

I prefer the earlier Brutally Live dvd but this was still a great show and Alice proves, yet again, he can still kick arse.

This is how it's done Jagger!

Original letterboxd review

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Here Comes the Devil (2012)

A low budget slice of 1970s, euro-style grindhouse from Mexico.

The camera-work is almost schizophrenic with some beautiful framing let down with way too many Jesus Franco zooms and some loose editing.

A truly intense killing and a deep sense of unease running throughout made this a pretty decent watch and well worth it if you're into schlocky, euro horror (even though it's Mexican).

Original letterboxd review

Dances with Wolves (1990)

Forgot how good this was. Great story, beautiful photography. Don't expect a decent review as I was cooking a roast pork at the time :)

Original letterboxd review

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Gone Girl (2014)

A woman who lives in the shadow of a best-selling, fictional doppelgänger creates another version of herself to become a celebrity... or something like that.

How much more black could this be? None. None more black. I think this may be the most delicate and deliciously balanced black comedy I've ever seen.

Original letterboxd review

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Machine (2013)

Mediocre sci-fi. Caity Lotz as the machine annoyed me and her silly, little girl, breathy voice got on my tits; apparently sentience means you need to talk like a six year old Marilyn Monroe cyborg. The kung-fu shit at the end was fun though.

To give you an idea how forgettable it was I started watching this a week ago, fell asleep and only realised I hadn't finished it today.

Why is Dennis Lawson so good at playing dicks?

Original letterboxd review

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Wow! What a film!

Toby Jones is a British sound engineer who goes to Italy to work on a film he mistakenly assumes is about horses when in fact it is a rather bloody horror movie. The film follows Jones' gradual mental decline caused by his isolation from everything around him bar the sounds of murder, death and torture that he conjures up from his (really, really cool analogue) recording and foley equipment.

The film is chock full of symbolism, take, for example, the decomposing vegetables reflecting Gilderoy's deteriorating state of mind.

The sound design is stunning but the photography is equally excellent with close-ups, macro shots and shallow depth of field that serves to isolate Gilderoy even more even more than the language barrier.

Great to see some of the old recording studio techniques; the long tape loop delay for example.

Is it possible to create a horror film with not only no blood but no on-screen violence - you're damn right it is.


Original letterboxd review

How I Live Now (2013)

I get not telling us exactly why the conflict (I don't think an actual war was ever specified) happened but this doesn't excuse simple logical flaws. The information we are given is that the bomb was exploded by terrorists. How then do, I assume, a few terrorists, even if supported by a nation state, wage enough of a ground offensive to cripple an entire nation in such a short amount of time. I know we have several precedents for this (Ukraine for one) but the UK has a large standing army and I'm sure the UN would probably send a peacekeeping force and the US would also step in to ensure stability.

Also, how did they find their way home without a compass and map. It's pretty easy to miss a location if you are even a degree off course - the bird idea just doesn't cut it.

Anyway, gripe over.

The film is beautifully shot and the acting is pretty decent, bar the performance for the kid who plays Joe, the family friend. The conflict seemed very real and some scenes were extremely powerful, in fact a little to powerful for a lot of younger and probably older teens (this is a UK 15 certificate).

How the film compares to the book; I can't say. I borrowed the book off my daughter Ellie duing a flight to Norway and didn't finish it but enjoyed what I read.

Overall a great young adult drama, beautifully shot with good editing and performances.

Just remember kids; don't fuck with your cousins... literally.

Original letterboxd review

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Homefront (2013)

A decently paced, efficient action thriller with a shit-kicking soundtrack and an explosive climax.

Statham is Statham and is very good at hitting things. Nice to see Winona again and Clancy Brown puts in a nice turn as the local sheriff but James Franco plays the most interesting character; a conflicted drug dealer that gets in too deep.

Thank you Statham for saving me from the Ewe Bolls of this world (see my review of Assault on Wall Street that I watched just before this).

Original letterboxd review

Assault on Wall Street (2013)

I think this is my first Ewe Boll movie. Here goes...

Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, 53 minutes later Pointless is on and then dinner, over an hour later something happens, boring, boring, boring, boring, taxi driver ripoff, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, something happens.

For those interested skip to the last 15 minutes for anything that approaches action.

Dominic Purcell's character reminds me of "Tough Shit Wilson" as some of the older, punkier letterboxd'ers may remember. If you don't remember or have no idea what the hell I'm on about: Splodgenessabounds - Tough Shit Wilson.

If anyone knows of a good editor can they point them in Ewe Boll's direction?

Dull as fuck.

Original letterboxd review