Sunday, 31 August 2014

this week on 100 Films

Four brand-new reviews were published to 100 Films in a Year this week, and they were...

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
wants to have its cake and eat it by being both a sequel and a fresh movie for newcomers. Unfortunately it doesn’t work: it feels disjointed from the first film, but there’s too much carried over for it to feel standalone.
Read more here.

Gravity (2013)
This is a survival story, predicated on two things: one, the desperate attempts of our heroine to triumph against increasingly-poor odds; and two, the spectacle of weightlessness and space. Not every movie needs a complex storyline to keep it going; not every film needs to only be about its plot.
Read more here.

Sightseers (2012)
Like The Trip, only with quaint museums instead of restaurants and murder instead of impressions, the third feature from director Ben Wheatley is succinctly described as “a black comedy”.
Read more here.

St. Trinian's: The Legend of Fritton's Gold (2009)
Despite an occasionally slicker appearance, including some CGI-aided pirate-y flashbacks, and bigger sequences, like a commando raid on the school or a large flashmob musical number at Liverpool Street station, the whole doesn’t come together quite as well as the first movie. (Plus, the use of the term “flashmob” instantly dates it.)
Read more here.

And seven archive reviews (and one other piece) were new to the new blog...

The Brothers Bloom (2008)
From the director of the acquired taste that was Brick, The Brothers Bloom looks like it might be a little more mainstream: it’s got a lead cast who are all Oscar nominees and it has a con/heist plot — always popular — and a light tone. But while it’s not as specialised as Brick‘s near-impenetrable dialogue and considered (over-considered?) tone, it’s certainly Quirky.
Read more here.

Confetti (2006)
Largely improvised Britcom, shot in a documentary style, about three couples trying to win a most original wedding competition.
Read more here.

For All Mankind (1989)
It’s not a documentary in the sense that most people perceive the form — i.e. a highly realistic presentation of the facts — but instead something a little more interpretive, aiming to recreate the feeling and experience of travelling to the moon, not the hard facts of who went when and how it was done. As such it is both beautiful and artistic, featuring stunning photography that has been sensitively edited and scored.
Read more here.

Indy 4: Initial Thoughts
I'll post a proper review another time, but these are a quick handful of reactions having finished the film less than an hour ago. They are, as the title notes, spoiler-free.
Read more here.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Make no mistake, Harrison Ford is still Indiana Jones. The hair may be grey, the face covered in more lines, but the attitude and humour is still there. This is an older Indy, of course... [They] could have used his age as a crutch, leaving him with some comedy running away while the much younger Mutt got stuck in; this isn't the case, and that's great.
Read more here.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)
The telling is dominated by the words of the actual astronauts, describing their personal experiences and feelings. Rather than following a mission-by-mission chronology it mixes all their stories together, thereby telling the tale of a journey to the Moon and exploring its surface only once. It’s a neat way of editing it because it avoids repetition while also covering a variety of perspectives.
Read more here.

Paths of Glory (1957)
the film remains bleakly realistic: the depressing Old Boys’ Club-style hierarchy of the military (still all too much in effect, as series like Generation Kill reveal); the unjust unrecorded trial (an excellent courtroom sequence that can stand up to any other); through to the inescapable finale.
Read more here.

Starter for Ten (2006)
You'd assume the plot would focus on the characters' aim to win University Challenge, coupled with a woefully predictable romantic subplot; sadly, it turns out the woefully predictable romance is the main plot and the quiz only turns up now and then to lend some structure.
Read more here.

Tomorrow, it's the monthly update for August. That, and more, next Sunday.

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