Marie Antoinette (2006) Director:Sofia Coppola Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Marianne Faithful .USA, France, Japan. 2h 3m
A lot of cake was eaten in Sofia Coppola’s punktastic retelling of the life and downfall of Marie Antoninette. From her teen marriage to the King of France and their bizarre and lavish life together, offset to a brilliant pop punk soundtrack, there’s probably just enough to get help you through a GCSE but there’s very little accurate history involved but lots of analogies to just how much of a pop princess Marie was for the age.
Director: David Lowery Starring:Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Barry Keoghan, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, Ralph Ineson, Sarita Choudhury, Kate Dickie .USA/Canada. 2h 5m
With everyone and the dog wanting to reboot classical literature and and give it some kind of modern twist, we can be thankful that David Lowery didn’t take easy route of , yet another, King Arthur retelling, as I find it hard to find anything that comes close to John Boorman‘s glittery Excalibur (1981) Instead Lowery casts his poetic eye over an equally aged text that, for some reason, is more enchanting but remains lesser known. The adaptation of the 14th century chivalric romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight into film has masterfully crafted into one of the more memorable films of the year.
Director: Bennett Miller Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michel Hall .USA. 2h 14m
My first viewing of Foxcatcher was quite surreal, I was more mesmerized by how different the cast looked, Carell’s beak nose and Ruffalo’s hairline are almost mystical, so much great effort went into the prosthetics and character development. This high level of glamour is only a part of a riveting tale of shocking depravity, orchestrated by a filthy rich individual pulling the strings in his own dangerous game, involving the USA Wrestling entry into the 1988 Olympic games. Continue reading Foxcatcher (2014)→
Directors: Karin Engman, Klas Persson Starring: Elna Karlsson, Thomas Hedengran, Ralf Beck, Nine Filimoshkina, Urban Bergsten. Sweden. 1h 27m
There’s been a modern trend of directors getting back to their ruddy roots and finding terror in the wood which is the driving force in this potent doom folk horror, as local hero’s search for a missing man of the cloth. Draug keeps a sharp edge through it’s dynamic set up of a foul mouthed beer swigging clan leader Kettil (Hedengran), his highly sensitive and possibly psychic adopted daughter Nanna (Karlsson), his main squeeze and apparently his bravest men.
It feels very “authentic” drab colours, crazy locals and lots of beer; it’s the stereotypical perception of any European pagan infused settlement, while not being historically accurate ,if gives you what you’d expect, and more, there are few whoopie moments, modern clothing being the main culprit, it will be interesting to see how many other goods a professional could pick out!?
After setting out, the rescue team start at the last place where the missionary was seen, a quite neighboring village but all they find there is beer and stories about the creepy woods, the only event is Nanna getting creped out by a demented old woman, signs start to appear that adopted daughter is quite different from the other morals around her and the movie hinges on her discovering her origins and powers.
Draug sits well between scandanivan journey epics like Wolfhound (2006) with touches of the dark mysticism of Sauna (2008), yet it really doesn’t know if it wants to be an action flick or something more supernatural. Without having the massive budget or drive, at times Draug flounders, yet manages to keep a somewhat brooding sense of danger until the final act, when all hell is supposed to break loose but this is where the lack of budget trips the production up and it ends up being an extended episode of Nightmare(1987-1994), the mood changes to some kind of ethereal neon lit world and a new entity finally makes itself known within layers of lightning struck scenery side steps all the good build up that the movie achieved until then.
There could be more character development apart from the ale quaffing kind and his daughter everyone else is just mud soaked Viking some braver than others but there’s no real emphasis on who these characters are. There’s a lot of technical and acting fails, see if you can catch modern clothes, people looking for the camera and lots of focal adjustments.
“Where’s the bloody beer”
It’s great to see the forest being used a home for monsters yet again, it’s certainly nothing new in folk horror sub genre, it happens time and time again but the strength of Draug is firstly with its approach of there being some peace between the religious and pagan people, and then in it’s bitter ending. Engman and Persson make a bold leap into the European fairytale narrative where there are no happy endings. There’s a lot to admire with the approach to feminine strength Nanna has to make some difficult choices, finding her a dark secret within her bloodline is something the film is set up to do from the beginning but the implications are so very damning. Draug is surely one that needs to be seen to encompass modern folk horror but it’s a movie which feels challenged by its own storytelling, it wants to be a dark nightmare but it’s a slightly confusing one at best.
Related: The Witch (2015), Hagasuzza (2017), Sauna (2008),The Ritual (2017), Wolfhound (2006) Lists: Folk Horror, A Witch in the Woods Trailer
Sometimes I watch a movie and I’m left with a feeling of nostalgia hinted with the question of did I really just watch a dream come to life on screen? There’s a rare select group of directors who can achieve this unique atmosphere but the determined efforts of Lisandro Alonso and Viggo Mortensen have made a movie which starts out quite straight forwards eventually boils down to a crazy trip in the desert, akin to any modern classic but it’s set in the past and it almost fools you into thinking that such a step into the unknown is not plausible.
Director: Simon Rumley. Starring.Terry Stone, Leo Gregory, Jamie Foreman, Roland Manookian. UK. 1h 51m.
I have to admit that I was spellbound by the cover of this lovely movie, but within seconds of the opening scene I was soon knocked off my feet that this is basically a retro version of Rise of the Footsoldier! In all fairness I really enjoyed the footsoldier movies, they started out with a purpose and were watered down but they had their own unique, balls in your face charm and a recurring cast, although a few characters are a little bit different in this war time london escapade, the most notable is Roland Manookian usually he plays the role of a drugged up loser who basically a bit of a plonker but he’s resurrected as a psychotic killer who’s not afraid to bleed. It’s pretty interesting to see him take on such a grisly role, maybe the boy will go far.
The film is based on real people and events, mostly surrounding Billy Hill and Jack Corner, again much like Rise of the Footsoldier (2007), and possibly with as much dreamy fantasties. The film looks authentic but doesn’t feel genuine in any way, it certainly feels like a modern movie but with just a cosmetic change and some different clothes, which is a shame as it could have been a real opportunity to branch out and try something an off key. The film seems to be poorly researched but the delivery is bold, a bit too forceful at times, it seems the use of shouting and violence takes the place of intense drama. Continue reading Once Upon A Time In London (2019)→
After the raging success of Yojimbo, Akira Kurosawa, adapted Hibi Heian, to incorporate the lead character and developed Sanjuro. A sort of pseudo sequel, while carrying on all of the comedy antics from Yojimbo, this film only has one classic full on Samurai scene and it’s very end, but it’s generally entertaining throughout, if only a little off key from the original.
A group of young Samurai, gather together the temple to discuss the Lord Chamberlain who they believe is corrupt, one of them tells the superintendent and he agrees to intervene and meet the secretly at the Shrine to discuss the problem. A Ronin (Mifune) emerges from another room where he’s been resting, overhearing the Summarise discussing their plan, he suggests that it’s the Chamberlain who is corrupted, they feel insulted by his claims but soon find themselves surrounded by the superintendent men proving that in fact the Ronin was correct. He persuades the men to hide while he goes out at face the superintendent Men full on, in this altercation he manages to save the young gullible Samurai, a manager’s to win rust on both sides.Continue reading Sanjuro (1962)→
(Historical, Romance, Costume Drama, Biography 2003) D: Peter Webber W: Tracy Chevalier P: Peter Block – 1h 40m. UK
TAGLINE : Discover the mystery behind the legend.
A Young peasant maid working in the house of painted Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and model for one of his most famous works.
A beautiful movie where nearly every scene looks like a Dutch masterpiece. Visually this movie is stunning, and I’m not saying that just because I’m an artist.
It details very little about the inner thoughts of any of the characters but informs and entertains much in the same way as The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).
I felt that the actors were forced into being silent and still for most of the pivotal scenes, using body language and close ups to express the emotional thoughts rather than bold action, but to be honest if you study historical artist Vermeer (Colin Firth) was always referred to as being a quiet man of the Dutch Golden Age, often being outspoken.
The cinematography by Eduardo Serra and the production of the movie ensure that every scene captures a painting; a lot of the scenes the actors are still, the colours all mimic the pallet of an 1665 painter the scenes are all very typical of the subjects of many paintings of that time and genre.
I really do like my historical costume dramas so I’m a little bias here. This is certainly one of the more entertaining. It’s not trying to answer any questions, reveal any secrets or rewrite history, it’s just a simple explanation of what might have happened. Simply Vermeer and a host of others, (Tom Wilkinson and Cilian Murphy) all fall in love with one natural beauty and all need to possess her in some way.
Q: “You’ve glazed my wife in dry piss” “How hard is it to paint a pretty girl”R : The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) T: the original title of the painting is Hey Meisje met de Parel
I only managed one movie last night.. it was only nearly 3 hours long!
DER UNTERGANG – DOWNFALL
(Biography, Drama, 2004) (15) D: Oliver Hirschbiegel W: Bernd Eichinger S:Ulrich Matthes, Bruno Ganz, Christian Berkel, Tomas Kretschmann. 2h 36m. GER
TAGLINE : April 1945, a nation awaits its…
Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Hitler tells of the Nazi dictators final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.
The final days of hitler.. whoo! What a pleasure to watch. Or is it? I’m not sure if the movie was trying to portray the homicidal f*ckwit as a fragile old man with 99 problems but he does come across as paranoid and feeling desperately abandoned. It’s enjoyable to see the downfall of a tyrant but it was never going to be a fun movie to watch, tons of suicides, killing off of the kiddies and doggies but ultimately the end of the war. It was different to see a screenplay deliberate the Second World War without really mentioning Jewish persecution or having yanks winning the war. It details the ignorance of the young. All in all it was interesting to see this from such a unique perspective with more humanist honesty than glamour.
Q : “And at that moment I actually realised that a young age isn’t an excuse. And that it might have been possible to get to know things.”
R: Schindlers List (1993), Pianist (2002) Medal of Honour
One thing that’s really bugged me about some post apocalyptic movies is… Where do they buy their hair dye and make up?
There seems to be this idea that with the breakdown of humanity we might all start being punks, thinking more about our hair and make up than where the next rat and cockroach burger is coming from.
My personal beliefs think that the situation would be more like the Road (2009) than Doomsday(2008) or the TV show The Tribe (1999 – 2003).
If you’ve ever been concerned about who was cutting the lawns of the zombie apocalypse then maybe they are the same bunch doing the door to door hair and make up sales.
Lets consider it for a moment, after all the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z have given us enough to plan what we’re going for the apocalypse be it a zombie one or not. Its not really from day one, that’s the day when you carjack the biggest all terrain vehicle you can find then raid Budgens and hide with as much ammunition as possible.
Now after 28 days (or so) we believe the world’s population is at a living history all time low and its safe to kill off your last few zombie assholes.
Maybe I’ve got this all wrong and it just a fact that people who dye their hair are more likely to survive an apocalypse? Which means I’m ok so that’s good news.
I’m not saying that these are bad movies but…
Here are a few movies that fit this unbelievable bill.
Steel dawn (1987) my only concern is who is selling the crimpers?
Here are some films that get the look right.
Book of Eli(2012)
Waterworld(1995) Basically mad max in a swimming pool….
Mad Max 3 (1985)
There are two films which come to mind showing a more decorated tribal future in a more realistic way, mad max 3 and salute the jugger, both show a 1% richer society who have access to privilaged things, although I don’t know where TinaTurner was getting her MAC foundation from?
I especially like the adaption of oriental culture into the costume of Madmax, and the high strung 1990s pseudo classical baroque of Salute the Jugger in the underground city.