Monday, 23 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
If you’re even the least bit interested/excited about Attack the Block, you’ve probably already read a gazillion reviews of it as the first press screening was quite some time ago now. I’m not going to get all emo again about how no one is inviting me to press previews of films, but I’ve just been to see the first showing of the film at the Liverpool Odeon, just so I can post a review of it before everyone is sick of hearing about the damn thing.
To give you a brief but extremely lazy sum up of the film, it’s like any alien invasion movie meets any gritty English movie about the hood, ya get me blud? Believe me though; it’s a lot better than that sounds. Its director comes in the form of Mr Joe Cornish, from The Adam and Joe show fame, which is responsible for moments like this;
Joe is the one in the bath washing the toy baby. He decided a few years ago that he’d go off and follow a dream of his to write and direct a film, and Attack the Block is what he made.
Even though I hold a soft spot in my heart for them, films like Kidulthood have one fatal flaw, they never address that their main protagonists are complete tossers and still expect their audience to root for them. In a way, Attack the Block turns this on its head within the first scene, we are shown the main characters, 6 or so teenage boys, mug a completely innocent women. Therefore, the film sets itself a huge task for the rest of the its run time, as the audience needs to get on the gangs good side to make sure that we actually care about themwhen the aliens land and start to tear up everything.
This is a target that is most certainly met, not through cheesy montages or ‘we have to work as a team and be nice to others’ speeches, but through pretty harrowing action sequences and a really fun script which tries to make the guys as relatable as possible.
As I’m not from London, I hardly hear anybody use words such as ‘merk,’ ‘shank,’ and ‘blud’ all that often, unless they’re being ironic. Unfortunately Attack the Block used dialogue like this a bit too much, nearly to an extent where subtitles would have been helpful, this was something that was not really needed as after half an hour it got quite stale and it got in the way of some lines that would have been fairly LOL-worthy (I hate myself for using that phrase.)
A lot of credit should also go to whoever designed the aliens in the film, I was fairly worried that they’d just be a pastiche of famous creatures from older films, but they looked like nothing I’d seen before. Crawling on all four legs with a blacker than black coat of fur and sharp as nails teeth that light up in the dark, they made for some pretty scary villains, and they really helped make the climax of the film incredibly thrilling.
Hopefully I’ve got it through to you that I thought the film was a lot of fun, not the masterpiece that some people have made it out to be, but great fun all the same. At times I thought there were moments that could have been made a lot bigger, this is probably down to Cornish’s limited experience and small budget, and also, it really didn’t need the scene where they loosely tried to explain why the aliens were there, but yeah, awesome fun.
As it’s just May and we’ve already had two super fun British films, this and Submarine, I’m hoping that there’s still more in store for us throughout the year, but for now we should all be proud that these two pieces of work came from our little island.
Also, two posts in two days, I’m spoiling you aren’t I!
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
As I finally got to witness the band Noah and the Whale on stage last night, it reminded me of two things that are relevant to this blog. Firstly, that the band are named after my favourite Noah Baumbach film, The Squid and the Whale, and secondly that the band’s lead singer Charlie Fink made a film to accompany their sophomore album The First Days of Spring way back when it was released in 2009. As an ever clear example of how efficient I am, it’s taken me until today to actually watch this film, despite the fact that the album it accompanies is one of my favourites of the past few years.
Anyone familiar with the album will know that’s it’s very emotional, it’s pretty much a concept album about a break up and Charlie’s lyrics manages to encompass every shitty feeling that a human being can feel after they’ve been dumped. So I was expecting the film to echo all this emotion, and boy, I was not let down, there was emotion coming out my ears (whatever that means.) I mean just look at these stills;
Yup, pretty damn emotional.
The album plays over every scene with only a few seconds of dialogue spread out through its 40 minute duration, and for something to look at while listening to the songs, it really serves its purpose. It’s shot incredibly well and manages to capture the essence of the album perfectly, a big criticism of the film is that some people only view it as a really long music video, but it’s definitely a lot more than that as it has a lot more depth than most music videos, and without sounding incredibly pretentious, you can tell that the film was very personal experience for Charlie and a lot of his heart evidentially went into making it.
Hopefully this won’t contradict everything I’ve said so far, but the films main downfall is that the plot is very hard to distinguish. The lack of dialogue and concentration on visuals makes sure that the narrative of the film takes a back seat, there’s also an un-linear timeline to distort it even more. There’s definitely a story taking place and I was desperate to work it all out, but it was only when the characters names came up in the end credits that I realised that I had just watched three segments of a man’s life.
If you know the album as well as I do and you haven’t seen this yet, I urge you to watch it as soon as possible. If you have never listened to it, this is definitely not the best place to start. You can watch it HERE, free and legal.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
From the opening, where Bond kills a man dressed as his own wife and then flies away in a jetpack, it all just feels very flat and uninteresting, despite sounding amazing on paper. There are a few moments during the first hour where it looks as though the film is going to pick up, such as Blofeld being a bad ass by electrocuting one of his top men just because he stole a few quid, but sadly the film never gets out of this rut, mostly due to the fact that nothing really very thrilling happens.
After the halfway mark the plot gets very confusing, due to long, boring conversations between some of the key characters where they discuss lots of spy things. Most of these conversations don’t really make much sense, and I’m pretty sure the director Terrence Young realised this, so whenever any of these spy talks are taking place, he just stuck a beautiful woman in the corner of the shot in hope that she would draw the audience’s attention away from the nonsense that the other characters are spouting.
There is also far too much water in the film, it seems as though the baddies set themselves a little target in which they have to kill Bond while he’s in the water. After many attempts of this, I actually got a bit bored of looking at water. I know the fact I’m getting annoyed about the use of water in a film seems very pedantic, but it’s a theme that doesn’t really have any depth (lol) or major relevance. Anyway, imagine my distain when I realise that the big climax of the film is set, you guessed it, under water. Usually the final battle is the part of all Bond films that is the most energetic and fun, but all the bloody water ruins this and makes things disastrously sluggish. Bond moves on from one wet suited enemy to the next, as though he is in a video game where the object is to discover how many places you can impale a man with a harpoon. The sequence goes on for ruddy ages as well, which makes things ten times worse.
When he miraculously survives the ordeal, I was actually looking forward to seeing him getting some nookie while the credits rolled, BUT THIS DIDN’T EVEN HAPPEN. He just gets pulled away by a helicopter or some shit.
However, the film did give me the opportunity to make this;
Stay tuned next month for: You Only Live Twice
Sunday, 17 April 2011
I’m sure you’ve seen it at every single bus stop under the sun, and I doubt you get as annoyed about it as me, but just look at Russell Brand’s smug face.
I’ve had a very on, off relationship with Mr Brand, I used to hate him, then he made a lot of funnies on the TV and I grew to love him like the messy tramp that he is, but now he’s started to shovel out tons of middle of the road comedies like this (the trailer is more than enough proof that Arthur will is pretty crap.)
Whatever my thoughts are on Brand, I don’t think you can argue with me when I say that you’d never stop wanting to punch his face in this poster, it’s pretty much the epitome of ‘smug bastard.’
Jennifer Garner isn’t looking as hot as she usually does either, so the poster loses points there as well.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
So here's the trailer for Lars Von Trier’s new film Melancholia.
I usually hate trailers, but after having no exposure to this film before watching this one, it’s done a very good job of getting me very hyped to see what it's advertising.
I’m not very clued up on Trier’s earlier work; I’ve still only seen Antichrist, but I loved that and I love this trailer. I love that Charlotte Gainsbourg still looks like the clit cutting nut job that she played in Antichrist, I love that it hasn’t ruined the film by giving too much away but has given us enough insight to warrant the state of anticipation that I am in, I love that the sci-fi element is only hinted at and isn’t completely overblown, I love how 75% of the shots that Kirsten Dunst is in, she’s got a good percentage of her tatty boobs on show. As everything in this post implies, I'm very excited about this film.
I also know that simply listing all the reasons why I like something is pretty lazy writing, but I don’t care what you think.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Hello, and welcome to Douche on Films first post based solely on all things Pixar. I’ve had to refrain so far, otherwise all my posts would be filled with incessant ramblings on how I think Pixar is the best thing to happen to film, EVAR!
Before I go any further, I just want to tell you all that Monsters Inc is my all time favourite film, a lot of people seem to scoff at me when I tell them this, because it isn’t Citizen Kane, it isn’t The Godfather, it isn’t some random obscure film that only a few people have ever seen. My favourite film is certainly Monsters Inc, and if you have a problem with that, you can go and suck a fuck.
When it was announced last year that my favourite film was going to get a sequel, my face probably looked a little like this;
Although I have an amazing amount of faith in Pixar, I was very worried that they were going to arse it up and ruin the story of Michael "Mike" Wazowski & James "Sulley" Sullivan as we know it. As we can all agree, the first film has an amazing, heart wrenching ending and I didn’t want it to be changed in anyway. There was a rumour that in the sequel we were going to see Boo as a teenager, and I’m sorry, but that just sounded like the worst thing ever. Boo is the cutest, most loveable character that Pixar have ever produced and nothing sounds worse to me than seeing her as a spotty, bratty teenager, as that’s what all teenagers are like, right?
However, it was announced last week that the new film will actually be a prequel, entitled, Monsters University. So now we’ll never know what happened after Sulley opened Boo’s door again at the end of the first film, and we can still imagine what fun and frolics they got up to. This has made me a lot more optimistic, one thing that we never really got from the first film was any back story for the characters, unlike most other Pixar films, for example the amazing opening of Up and the equally tragic opening of Finding Nemo. Instead we are simply thrust into the world of Monstropolis with Mike blowing an air horn straight into Sulley’s face. I might be the only person who really cares about all this, but I’m seriously considering freezing myself until June the 21st 2013 so I don’t have to wait one and a half years pondering about what happened when my two favourite characters met at university.
I’m sure things will improve though; they’ve got to improve, SURELY!