Sunday, 18 January 2015

this week on 100 Films

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

Always (1989)
Released the same year as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and followed by Hook, Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in his filmography, Steven Spielberg’s remake of 1943 fantasy drama A Guy Named Joe is sandwiched between several all-time classics (and Hook), which probably explains why it’s been widely overlooked and, consequently, underrated.
Read more here.

American Movie (1999)
A behind-the-scenes making-of with a difference, American Movie: The Making of Northwestern is a documentary about wannabe-filmmaker Mark Borchardt attempting to produce a horror feature film with little more than some mates and good intentions, battling against a lack of money, interest, and dedication.
Read more here.

Frankenweenie (2012)
Even if the narrative is no great shakes, there’s plenty of fun to be had along the way. The dog, Sparky (ho ho), is very well observed; indeed, all of the animation is naturally top-notch. It retains an indefinable but desirable stop-motion-ness, something I felt Burton’s previous animation, Corpse Bride, lacked
Read more here.

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978)
quite a slight story, but that’s OK: we’re here for the action, and it delivers that in droves. There are more fights than you can shake a stick at; and not just minor skirmishes littered between two or three headline bouts: regular highly-choreographed duels make up the bulk of the running time.
Read more here.

Plus a full seven archive reviews were reposted this week too...

Alone in the Dark (2005)
I could go through every scene in the film describing what’s wrong in this way, but no one wants to suffer that. Suffice to say it only gets worse — none of the initial flaws improve, but are compounded by more weak performances (Tara Reid as some kind of scientist?) and the story entirely vacating proceedings.
Read more here.

The Aristocrats (2005)
The Aristocrats is, apparently, an incredibly famous joke, well known to all comedians -- and, generally, only told to each other, not to audiences -- that is flexible enough for anyone to tell in their own way and still have it work. It's also incredibly vulgar; in fact, the point is often to make it as vulgar as humanly possible. To explain much more would ruin the point of the film, which aims to expose and explain this cultish joke to the masses.
Read more here.

Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004)
What if the Americans made a movie of Winston Churchill's life, prone as they are to re-write World War 2 history to show they won it all by themselves?
Read more here.

Exiled (2006)
features several impressive action scenes. They're Leone-like in the way there's often an extended pause, the threat of violence hanging in the air -- then a sudden burst, over quickly. But within this style there's a lot of visual flair -- unlike Leone, slow motion makes the moments last minutes, underlined by the entire climatic shoot-out taking place in the time it takes for a can of Red Bull to be kicked in the air and drop back down.
Read more here.

Frankenstein (2004)
According to the blurb on my DVD, it's a "contemporary retelling of Mary Shelley's gothic horror classic". I guess no one in the publicity department actually watched it. In actuality it's more a sequel: Dr Frankenstein has somehow survived to the modern day and emigrated to New Orleans, where he continues his experiments, while his original monster... has tracked him down in the name of justice.
Read more here.

Holiday (1938)
not the funniest of comedies — though I did think it was funny — instead hitting a level of dramatic/character interest that I didn’t predict. I think it’s more a personal favourite than an objective Great Film (but then, one might argue, what is?), so the best I can do is encourage you to seek it out
Read more here.

Ripley's Game (2002)
the Radio Times criticises the humour included in the murders and thriller sections, viewing it as a failure of director Liliana Cavani; conversely, Roger Ebert approves of it, praising them as appearing somewhere "between a massacre and the Marx Brothers"... I'm inclined to agree with Ebert: these sequences do have tension, but they marry the humour to it, leaving you chuckling on the edge of your seat.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.

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