Are films becoming more and more irrelevant?

Posted on Jul 1, 2013 in Film | 0 comments

Is it only me getting older and more serious or are movies actually becoming dumber? It just seems to me as if the average movie coming out of Hollywood has less to say and makes more noise than ever before.

I love a good science fiction film and absolutely adored the ‘Star Trek’ TV series. This was intelligent science fiction; it looked at humanity and science and showed us what our future could look like if certain trends continued. Although there was time travel, laser guns and robots, the success of the series didn’t depend on that, it depended on a solid story line.

This is where the latest ‘Star Trek’ movie totally falls flat in my opinion. It relies on high-tech toys and zap guns to hide the fact that it actually has very little to say. I know millions of readers will probably disagree with me and the film will be a major box office hit, but I walked out of the cinema rather disappointed.

It’s not only ‘Star Trek’ that has suffered this fate; the majority of science fiction movies we see nowadays start with a great amount of background noise, end with an equally great amount of background noise and the 90 minutes in between is filled with special effects and lots of war cries without much substance.

As far as I’m concerned I like a film that gives you something to think about during the seven days before you go to see your next movie, but hey, I’m nearly 30 years old, so perhaps I’ve just lost touch with the youth of today.

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Les Miserables – hit or miss?

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 in Film | 0 comments

Let me tell you a little secret, deep down inside, I am a fan of musical theatre. True, it is not something a guy in my position usually admits, but there is a part of me that loves a good stage show. I am also a want-to-be film critic and as a result, I cannot wait to see ‘Les Miserables’.

From the previews, it seems that the film has perfectly captured the iconic theatre production. A few of the casting choices seem a bit odd to me, but the female leads seem amazing. My schedule has prevented me from seeing the two and a half hour performance thus far, but I cannot wait until I can.

What I do want to know; however, is why they chose some of the male leads. I mean, Russell Crowe is a great actor, but a singer; is he really a talented singer? I am not so sure. The male parts in ‘Les Mis’ call for strong vocal talent and it seems the directors chose these men for their screen appeal and acting ability, rather than their singing ability.

At its core, ‘Les Miserables’ is an opera, not a movie or even a play, so the talent should be opera worthy singers and in the male leads it simply isn’t. I am wondering if this alone is enough to garner some criticism of the movie.

Still, it looks visually stunning and I am certain the actors will have done their best. I am really excited to find some time in an upcoming weekend to get out there and see it.

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Your next DVD recommendation

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 in Film | 0 comments

Sitting in the pub the other night, one of my mates asked “what film do you always watch when it’s on TV?”   For me, the answer would often have been a toss-up between Dirty Harry or Goodfellas, which I think you could just about watch any night of the week if you’ve got TCM in your TV package.  Much as I love both of these films, there’s another Martin Scorsese classic at the top of my list right now.  It’s a little too long if it doesn’t start until 10.00 p.m., but every time I see the opening scenes of The Departed I promise myself I’ll just watch it until the first ad break, and then I just think that I’ll watch it until… well, I’m not going to say when, just in case you haven’t seen it.  No spoilers here, my friends. The point is that I get sucked in every single time.

What I will say is that you should add it to your list next time you’re looking for a night of the sofa with beer and a movie.  It truly is a modern masterpiece, with all the things we’ve come to know and love from Scorsese films over the years.  There’s one hell of a soundtrack, some great one liners and it’s more than a little bloody.  Your nan is probably not going to want to watch it with you. There is some spot-on casting, and some pleasant surprises too, with Mark Wahlberg leading the way there, closely followed by Leonardo DiCaprio.

I’ve found myself hooked and unable to stop watching it on several occasions, whether I managed to catch it all from the beginning, or just stumbled upon it from it flicking channels late at night.  Get the DVD, or pay attention next time it’s on – you won’t regret it.

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Tech World, No Tech World

Posted on Aug 20, 2012 in Film | 0 comments

It has been ages since we watched Lost In Translation, but last night Netflix offered it up at just the right time, it would be the perfect film for a tried night in.

I find that an action film is rarely worth watching a second time as it’ll all be about the story, the action, and you’re hardly going to be on the edge of your seat in breath held suspense if you already know who the baddy is. But a comedy can get better, you see more of what is taking place, you’re not concentrating on what the main man is saying or doing so much and that means you can catch what’s happening in the background.

Last night was a perfect example.

I love Bill Murray more every time I watch him, and the idea of him having a clandestine, yet innocent, affair with the young Scarlet Johansen is interestingly, if simply, constructed.

But something different that struck me last night, and which drove the title for this little post, was the utter contrast offered up by Japan.

Youth in arcades playing games that still look mad to us now nearly a decade after the film was released, while elsewhere the strict and beautiful ritual of ancient Japan is rigorously observed, such as a temple wedding procession and the art of flower arranging, which I’m sure will have a name, but I don’t remember it just now.

I had a similar feeling recently when I saw an exhibition of David Hockney’s new work. Each piece sat well with the old, yet each of the new was drawn on his iPad or phone.

Let’s keep surprising ourselves, pushing boundaries while not losing sight of tradition.

 

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