La loi du marché – The measure of a man (2015)

 

Lai Lou

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A marmite movie on a large scale, this film has really divided many audiences, and they either love and adore it, or switch off within minutes.

Thierry (Vincent Lindon) a married factory worker with a charming disabled son (Matthieu Schaller). At the age of 51, he loses his job and after a painful period of unemployment he eventually lands a new job as a security guard in a supermarket. He tries to make ends meet in this difficult situation.

I had to admit it, the film is in fact very slow, technically the story could be played out in a few minutes and at times it does feel like it’s dragging but it’s these situations which do accurately depict life and maybe scenarios that none of us have had to deal with that makes the film almost charming. Continue reading La loi du marché – The measure of a man (2015)

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District 9 (2009)

District 9

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I had adored this bizarre and intriguing sci fi movie from the first viewing and managed to get it really cheap and it seemed to have done nothing but piss off the masses, which is good for me, so I suppose this just might be the unpopular review.. fuelled by stretched racial relations and tainted by oppression, power and greed a hint of humanity shines through but not from many of the humans in this mockumentary styled film.

The main premise is that an alien ship has got stuck over the city of Johannesburg, after the initial shock and the rescue of the aliens (who are called “Prawns” as a socially accepted insult), from their own ship, we’re not all that impressed with them, they have been moved to a  makeshift shanty town where they are monitored by MNU a weapons company who are acting as temporary care takers but who are more interested in alien technology and who have the laborious task of moving them to a new site. The job to organise this move goes to Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) an extremely mild mannered pushover sap of a man who encounters a strange chemical on the site which bizarrely links him to the “prawns” in a strange twist of fate it also makes him a target for MNU. Continue reading District 9 (2009)

A perfect storm (2000)

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This is one of those terrible Hollywood fuck ups that’s strangely enjoyable but to be frank it’s dank in so many ways. It’s not all that hard to love a terrible movie, but usually that movie has no budget  but while I have a love/hate relationship with this film it has much bigger problems which are more personal to the families involved in the real events.

Based on a true story, that is bound to be unknown to a majority of it’s audience, and using the real characters names without permission from  the families and getting sued only added to the original hype. This film is loosely based on real events which sees a group of experienced fishermen head to rough seas in the search for a profit and encounter a super storm. it’s as simple as that. Obviously being Hollywood there are all the classic elements, a rivalry, a grudge match and a blossoming romance.

After coming back with a measly catch and after a few sly remarks from Bob Brown (Michael Ironside) Captain Billy Tyne (George Clooney) takes the Andrea Gail and it’s beaten down and crabby crew back out again to bring back a real fortune. With promises of the biggest catch ever recorded they set out totally fearless and with a glint in their eyes.

The acting is good, I won’t knock most of the cast but the accents are so dismal and most are dropped after a the first few words and nearly all abandoned by the end of the film, which is a godsend as none of them were all that accurate and just come across as a painstakingly annoying. While no one looked like an actual competent fisherman they do all look busy, so that’s distracting enough. Every character is another stereotype, the crying kid (omg those big doe eyes, it was like watching Bambi) the old craggy guy who can remember the last big storm who just hangs around the bar, the doting girlfriend who just has a “bad feeling” about this trip the list is endless, and this film does stink of Disney, but it’s watchable.

The guys get along well for some time, there is a spectacular hatred between Sully (William Fichtner) and Murph (John C Reilly), along with some snide remarks things do get physical and if that wasn’t enough drama there is a random shark attack and lots of bouncing around by waves fit for the apocalypse.

There is a fair share of action and each scene is equipped with a variation of  “the theme tune” which does really start to grate on the nerves (I find making up words for it helps). But the big attraction is the now slightly dated special effects, it did the film some justice back in the day and still looks ok, possibly better than the hacked up mess of 300 – Rise of an Empire (2014) that came later but just didn’t’ put in the effort.

It’s a like-able film, despite the somber side to it like the family issues and fights between friends, poor Clooney having to swallow his pride and admit defeat that he’s just as shit as captain as he is as an actor.

Minimal attention is paid to the sea and scenery until the shit hits the fan, then the effects take over, and suddenly everyone is thrashing around in a giant swimming pool as epic waves crash about. Overall the film is  inaccurate, is weak in acting, characters, script and drama, tries to apologize with a lot of dramatic and enhanced storm sequences, they are incredibly well done but I was left feeling cheated as there is just some eye candy and nothing else.

It’s still a guilty pleasure for me, I haven’t decided if it’s just the campness of the movie that makes me laugh at it, rather than we with it. but i do enjoy watching it from time to time. It does raise awareness of the stakes involved in our fishing industry and there is a great tribute page kept in honour of the original crew.

Rating 5/10

L Sea flicks, based on real events.
R: Twister (1996),
5B George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, William Fitchner,
A How far can Holywood go before it’s just totally unreal?

 

Howl (2015) – Quick Flick

Howl

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I’m a sucker for werewolf movies, most people are into zombie or vampires but I’m all for the dogs with the big balls. So I’ve been very excited about seeing this low budget British Werewolf flick. Dog Soldiers (2002) instantly came to mind before even starting the film and I was so happy to see Sean Pertwee as the train driver. Oh wait I’m skipping details here. Howl is to Dog Soldiers as Train (2008) is to Hostel (2005),  so for a moment if you can just imagine Dog Soldiers on a train and you’ve got Howl and it’s brilliant fun.

A young train conductor with no self stem is the bum job of manning a late train to the middle of nowhere, will with shitty Londoners and a nice old couple among a few others.The train come to a halt in the middle of a spooky forest and the fun begins as the train is stalked by some hairy beasts.

There is a lot of character development and compassion is soon sent flying out the window as it becomes one man from himself vs a group effort but no mercy is shown by the beasts. Who are brilliant. Mostly real actors enhanced by a little CG they make are quite different from the usual werewolves that are forced upon us. Strong and vicious creatures that we only assume are out and about because of the full moon.

The cast are a blend of very ingenious characters, all solid actors in their open rights but never really when it comes to the big screen, but a few jump forwards for being decent actor material. It’s a shame it didn’t get a proper cinema release actually as it might have done well around Halloween.

A lot of good jump scares, some funny and scary scenes and it’s all padded out with gore and intelligent monster creation, there isn’t a lot wrong with this film, the ending is laid on a little thick but it does go out with a bang, I really enjoyed it all the way through and have enjoyed watching it again.

7/10

Full Film Review coming soon..

Intacto  – Intact (2001)

 

Intacto

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This gripping and very surreal drama is thought provoking and entertaining, there have been many books written about luck and how it can be manifested using charms and striking bargains but director/ writer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo had amazing fun playing around the the idea of an underground group who trade in luck.

A casino owner and head of this luck cartel, Samuel Berg (Max von Sydow) is amazingly lucky, not only did he survive a concentration camp but he constantly wins at his favourite game of Russian Roulette. His prized worker is Federico (Eusebio Poncela) a man who has the ability to steal people’s luck and is often dispatched to keep the odds in the favour of the casino. After a disagreement the two fall out and Samuel steals all of Federico’s luck and discards him, Federico then set’s out to find the luckiest man alive, a recent plane crash survivor in order to get enough luck to return and beat Samuel at his favourite game. He and Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) to have to go through many trials to increase and prove the levels of luck in order to win the right to play the game. Continue reading Intacto  – Intact (2001)

Nordwand – North Face (2008)

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One of the few historical movies that still has living witnesses and existing evidence as well as many documented accounts of the events, is retold in this light hearted and dramatically tragic masterpiece.

Toni Kurz (Benno Fürmann) and Andi Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas), a team of Bavarian Climbers, make an attempt to scale the murder wall of the Eiger, along with a few other specialists in 1936 after pressure from the (nazi) German government and in the run up to the Olympics, they are out to do their personal best to climb the imposing Ogre (Eiger) and be the first men to do so. During their attempt they are re united with an old friend who’s now working as a photographer for a newspaper covering the biggest story in European sporting history. Continue reading Nordwand – North Face (2008)

Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

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A few days ago I treated myself to a historical docu movie style drama, just over two hours and I don’t know why these entertain me more than any CG blockbuster 3D extravaganza, but they really do thrill me. My last fix was the Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) and that was incredible, but somehow with a subject that I know nothing about and had no interest in, this gripped me more. Continue reading Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

It Follows (2014)

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I managed to totally lose my original post and so here goes again..

I had a request for a movie review, not so strangely from the person who suggested that I did this blog in the first place so here goes, and if you have any requests please let me know in the comments..

It Follows is to Hipster as Donnie Darko was to Emo, There are a lot of trendy elements and the atmosphere is hazy, a lot of the film is filmed at twilight or night which adds to the mysterious atmosphere of this psychological horror.

Jay (Maika Monroe) goes on a date with a jock Hugh (Jake Weary), things go well but after sex, instead of the obligatory ciggy, he knocks her out, ties her up and takes her to an abandoned building, when she awakens tied to a wheelchair, the rules of the film are laid out. He’s given her a sexually transmitted curse and now there will be a “monster” after her, it’s slow but will constantly chase her and can look like anyone. Once this is done the lass is released, her friends gather around and try to protect her. Is it possible that a creature like this exists if it does how do you fight or kill it? Continue reading It Follows (2014)

30 Days of Night (2007)

30 days of night

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Based on a cult classic graphic novel of the same name that tells a chilling tale of a small remote town the most northern part of America that experiences an entire month of darkness during the midwinter, but during this particular season it’s prayed the upon by a group of mysterious vampires with the help of a raw meat eating wanna be vampire minion type stranger (Ben Foster) manages to isolate the town and slowly picks off the residents. Even though it’s just another vampire movie I think it has greater engagement due to its original graphic novel background which gives the fantasy, action and drama elements greater depth. as they come from a more obscure origin. Continue reading 30 Days of Night (2007)

Feher Isten – White God (2014)

White god

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Despite the scary title, this film is brilliant in every way, it tells an intricate story about a noble young girl who has been dumped into her father’s care while her mother is away on business, the trumpet playing princess is very attached to her mixed breed dog, Hagen. The pair are inseparable which is made difficult during a massive round up of stray dogs and a bitch of a neighbor who makes a false claim against the dog. The film separate and while Hagen is left on the highway and strives to survive in a dangerous environment with the help of a fellow dog who he bonds with, his owner Lili has her own problems and adventures to embark on, dealing with her missing dog, bonding with her estranged father and discovering boys and clubbing.

I really enjoyed the film, it has a lot of layers, with rising notes of coming of age, there are many subconscious links with immigration and slavery (that’s what I picked up), animal rights and modern families. Lili is such a strong and powerful girl, with her love can conquer all approach, the film slightly takes her perspective as she travels through the unknown.The filmmakers utilized the acting talents of 274 dogs from various shelters.

There are so many bizarre elements in this film, the father works in a slaughter house, the daughter is this comic style heroine, who’s so distinctive on her bike, with a blue hoody and a trumpet. Many of the scenes are poetic not coming from the script but purely from the moods and ambiance.. Generally the film is muted but still manages to convey massive waves of emotion.

The film has been likened to The Birds (1963), and ultimately it is, the story is about Hagen meeting up with a network of stray dogs, after being abused by some shady characters in the Hungarian underworld start an uprising. It’s something that is beautiful in terms of the oppressed rising up, but on the flip side it will agitate anyone with Cynophobia, but then I suppose Cujo (1981) did more damage in the 80’s.

9/10

Full review to follow soon…..