I watch quite a few films and recently a lot of them have been really good. I’ve tried to do movie reviews before but am not convinced they turned out as well as they could have so I am going to try something different. Below are all the films I can remember watching over the last few months with single paragraph reviews of each. I think, from now on, I will do a movie round up once every few weeks.
Brilliant – elements of the story are a bit clichÃ©d but Jet Li works wonders. The fighting (it’s a martial arts movie) is well choreographed by Yeun Wo Ping (of Matrix and Crouching Tiger fame). Generally I think of Jet as being quite a wooden actor, his fighting is stunning but he doesn’t seem to show much emotion, Danny the Dog changes this and by the end of the film you feel sorry for him and all he has been through.
A classic British ‘zombie’ flick. It’s taken me a long time to see it but it was worth the wait for the early scenes on their own. Seeing the hero wandering around a totally empty London (actually shot IN London) with upturned buses, and abandoned cars, is amazing.
I was looking forward to seeing this but couldn’t help but feel disappointed afterwards. Like Sin City and Sky Captain, Casshern is a film created entirely on virtual sets. In some places this works really well with fantastic anime style action scenes, but I found the story a confused mess. The twist at the end was unexpected and the story is surprisingly relevant (it’s all about cloning), interesting but not as good as I had hoped.
A man is inexplicably locked up by a mystery person for 15 years before being let out with no explanation. He’s then given 3 days to discover why he was locked up – or suffer the consequences. Oldboy is the second in a series of revenge films created by Park Chan Wook and it has to be one of my favourite films of all time. The film is beautifully shot, in particularly the single take hallway fight scene, and covers a massive range of emotions. The lead character is wonderfully played from the start when he is arrested (very funny scene – and the last one to be filmed) through his imprisonment, to the main thrust of the story. The story twists and turns all over the place but is surprisingly easy to follow. Not overly keen on the ending, but that’s the only bad point in my mind – I loved it.
A disappointment. I’m a massive fan of Gladiator so was really looking forward to this but it just seemed rather confused. Legolasses character didn’t seem to have any motivation and the battles were all over the place lacking the simplicity of Gladiator. It all looked nice enough but after an hour or two I just wanted it to end.
A new(ish) film by Stephen Chow. A talented, jobless, martial artist is trying to bring martial arts to the masses and can’t work out a way to do it. He meets a football (Soccer NOT American Football) coach and they end up getting together to create a team, who use their gravity defieing skills to win some tournament or other – eventually succeeding in bringing martial arts to everyone. Lots of cg and wire work with some slapstick elements make for a very different type of Kung Fu movie.
Stephen Chows next film. When Jackie Chan started making films he was heavily inspired by old black and white comedy stars such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Having seen King Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer I think I can safely say that Stephen Chows inspiration is cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. There are lots of very over the top action sequences and a few out and out cartoon moments. Despite this being more traditional I think I prefer Shaolin Soccer to Kung Fu Hustle, that doesn’t mean I think it’s bad, it’s just not quite what I imagined.
This is a really good film but it seemed to pass by unnoticed when it was released. Stars Bruce Willis as a hostage negotiator who retires to a small town after a nasty incident. Moving to the middle of nowhere as a small town sheriff he ends up getting caught in the middle of another hostage situation – right where he didn’t want to be. Everything is really fast paced with all the twists and turns you would expect. Mars, the baddest of the bad guys, is suitably menacing and everyone get’s what they deserve in the end.
A French film by the same director (Florent Emilio Siri) as Hostage. Stars Samy Naceri from the Taxi films (not the crappy Hollywood remake) and is incredibly good. The story is pretty straight forward, a group of prison officers are taking a prisoner to a new location when some terrorists try to break the prisoner out. After the initial setup most of the film is inside a warehouse where the prison officers gate crash a burglary in progress. Everyone in the warehouse ends up fighting for their lives against the terrorists who are trying to get to the prisoner. A lot of action and a lot of emotion and self sacrifice, very enjoyable.
My Mum always told me, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”.
So I won’t.