Sunday, 26 August 2012

Some More Film Reviews

So I see that looking back to my last film review post I had only reviewed the first two films we've seen so far this year

I can't remember whether I mentioned this last time or not, but Herself and I have a voucher that allows you to go to the cinema at two-for-the-price-of-one, but you can only use it once a month.

As previously mentioned the cinema in question shows a lot of FROMAGE films (French ROad Movies About the Grimness of Existence) and there have certainly been a few of those to chose from along the way, but we have opted for a mix of films that were mainstream and also a couple that didn't quite make it to the multiplex

So here's a brief point of view of all the ones we've seen since last time

#1 All In Good Time
Let's face it: the British film industry is not what it was.  Gone are the days of Ealing comedies, no longer do we have Carry Ons and even James Bond is largely sponsored by other countries.

Nowadays British films are largely obsessed with gangsters, some hang-overs from the grim kitchen sink dramas of the 70s and not very successful comedies.

All In Good Time is one of those films, like East Is East (also written by the same person) that doesn't quite know whether to be a comedy or a drama.  It follows the story of a newly wed Indian couple living in a council estate in England.  On the wedding night various events, including an over-anxious father, stop them from consummating the relationship and from thereon their relationship deteriorates.

The film explores several of the same themes as the more successful East Is East: Indian youths facing cultural pressure from the older generation, communication issues etc.

This is also one of those films where the advert makes it look a lot funnier than it actually is - true there were some amusing moments, but the characters feel a little two-dimensional and the resolution, when it comes, feels rather rushed.

In general this film fits neatly into the category of a movie that if you turned on the TV on a Sunday afternoon then you would probably watch it for a while, but if the phone rang or you suddenly remembered the ironing needed doing then you would survive without seeing it all the way through.

#2: Marley
It's hard to believe looking at the music charts now that once upon a time reggae music was set to take over the world

You could barely turn on the radio without hearing the chikka-chikka-chikka of a reggae song and at the head of that was Bob Marley - possibly the most successful reggae musician of all time.

This documentary follows his life from being born in some obscure shanty town and his poor background to his rapid rise to fame, performing in front of thousands of fans and writing songs that were both soulful and uplifting whilst at the same time perfect for the beach.

As the film is sanctioned by the Marley family it's no surprise that it paints a mostly positive picture of a man who was both focused and perhaps a little naive, and its success is largely down to the amount of stock footage of the man himself.  This is a very enjoyable documentary and well worth a watch - but again probably not something you would buy on DVD and watch again and again.

#3: Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
Need a good news story to focus attention away from the latest outbreak of fighting in the middle-east?  Looking for a scape-goat who you can throw to the press?  Well, this is the situation that forces the dour fisheries expert played by Ewan McGregor into following an eccentric Sheik's plans to bring what initially looks like a massively impossible vanity project to fruition.

Throw in Kristen Scott-Thomas as a consultant hired to keep track of the project and an exotic setting and the result is clear but still enjoyable.

There have been some comments amongst critics that McGreggor is perhaps too good looking to play the awkward-around-women central character: but the main flaw of the film is perhaps in that the other relationships in the film feel like little more than obstacles to overcome.

Still: this is an enjoyable film with likeable characters.  Again - probably only one that I would watch again if it were on TV: but the difference being that I would put in the effort to sit and watch it through to the end.

#4: The Dark Knight Rises
Christian Bale, complete with silly grunty voice, is back for the third and final time before movie execs reboot the Batman series and start again with someone else (not that I'm cynical)

Coming on the heels of The Dark Knight this movie has a lot to live up to: not least of which being the film-stealing performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker from the central installment of the trilogy.

At over two-hours long the film falls into the danger of provoking the medical condition known as Tolkein's Bum (IE that discomfort that you feel when a movie goes on a little longer than is perhaps necessary), but whereas The Dark Knight felt like it had perhaps one too many plots TDK Rises keeps is fairly straightforward and simple.

The effects are good and Anne Hathaway is acceptable as Catwoman (although unlikely to trouble the top two Catwomen of Julie Newmar and Michelle Pffeifer),whilst Micheal Caine produces his best performance of the three.

Much has already been said of the main villain Bane.  Certainly he feels more of a threat than the Bane portrayed in the generally accepted to be awful Batman And Robin, but it cannot be denied that his voice is often difficult to understand, nor that he lacks the screen impact of Ledger.

Still, despite this and on first viewing I found myself enjoying this more than the last film and would definately recommend a trip to the cinema to see this


Stephen Hayes said...

In that Batman movie, Bane sounded like he was doing a bad Sean Connery impersonation. Kept laughing whenever he was speaking.

Titus said...

Surely Eartha Kitt is the top Catwoman?

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Stephen - so glad to know that I'm not the only one who kept thinking..."Sean Connery"

Titus - Personally I've never warmed to Eartha Kitt and would be in favour of the order proposed in The Big Bang Theory - Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeifer, Lee Merriweather, Eartha Kitt and lastly Halle Berry.

Not sure where Anne Hathaway fits into that - somewhere in the middle maybe

Friko said...

Thanks, doesn't look like any one of these films is unmissable. If the film industry were waiting for my shilling they'd have gone bust by now.

The Bug said...

I thought the Marley movie was about a yellow dog? Heh.

I would almost watch the last two batman movies just to see Michael Caine - to me he was the best part of the first (Bales) one. But we haven't bothered since we saw that one.

It's too bad Diana Rigg never played Catwoman - THAT would have been something!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Bug - i think you have Marley And Me there - the Jennifer Aniston movie, which i have never seen.

Diana Rigg would have been great as Catwoman for the Adam West/Burt Ward series - not sure she'd fit into the Burton/Nolan world.

Anonymous said...

I thought The Dark Knight Rises was excellent, and I understood everything Bane said. I think it's a theater thing. However, I thought Hathaway was completely unfit for a Catwoman. I like the overtly sexual one over the rebel against the rich one displayed here.

I was curious about the "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" one. I'll think I'll still check it out and see if McGregor fits the bill