Sunday, 17 May 2015

this week on 100 Films

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

Mad Max 2 (1981)
The most memorable part, however, is the climax... An almighty action sequence, a speeding battle through the outback. It feels wrong to just call it “an action sequence”, like that’s selling it short. You get the sense that this is why the movie exists; that co-writer/director George Miller’s goal with the entire rest of the film has been to get us to this point. It’s not just “the climax”, it’s “the third act”, and it’s stunning
Read more here.

Tarzan (1999)
Disney's '80s/'90s renaissance more-or-less came to an end with this adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's jungle hero... The animated medium is put to excellent use in thrillingly fluid jungle-swinging action scenes (normally the purview of CGI, but here peerless in 2D)
Read more here.

Time Lapse (2014)
Shallow Grave meets Primer in this indie thriller that sees three housemates discover a camera that takes photos 24 hours into the future. They initially use it to their financial advantage, but soon Things Go Wrong™... a sci-fi setup, but it’s a film driven by its characters rather than its high concept.
Read more here.

Tropic Thunder: Director's Cut (2008)
A bunch of obstreperous actors are too much to handle for the director of a Vietnam war movie, so he dumps them in the jungle to shoot it with hidden cameras. Things go awry; hilarity ensues.
Read more here.

Plus nine archive reviews were reposted on the new blog...

Brigadoon (1954)
“Oh dear,” is surely the initial reaction to Brigadoon. The Scottish accents are appalling, the costumes and setting gratingly twee, the Highlands recreated entirely on a soundstage... But, importantly — and thankfully — it does grow on you as it goes on. The ill-conceived cast, costumes and studio-bound setting begin to pale under the charm of Gene Kelly and the machinations of the plot.
Read more here.

The Day of the Locust (1975)
a slightly scrappy film about the seedy underside of Hollywood’s golden age. The plot is neither here nor there in many respects — the film is about the grotesques who are attracted to Hollywood, and that being exactly what it feeds on. The bizarre, surreal ending definitely makes more sense if you’re already thinking about the film in this way.
Read more here.

Death Wish (1974)
Paul’s encounters aren’t all easily won; he gets injured; his crimes create a media storm, on which public opinion is divided... There are still unrealistic bits, certainly, but by employing enough believability and leaving aside certain rules of the revenge thriller — for one thing, he never actually gets revenge — Death Wish manages to rise a little above the “heroic vigilante” sub-genre.
Read more here.

The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Disney's 40th (canonical) animated film had a very troubled production, which, from what I can tell, turned it from a derivative riff on The Prince and the Pauper into this load of tosh.
Read more here.

Juno (2007)
The most discussed aspect is Diablo Cody’s screenplay, with its idiosyncratic slang-laden dialogue and accusations that every character speaks the same. The first is true, the latter is rubbish, and one has to wonder if whoever thinks it watched beyond the first ten minutes. Most of the film’s teenage characters speak similarly… in that they use the same bits of slang, have similar speech patterns, employ a similar sense of humour — you know, like groups of teenagers tend to.
Read more here.

Manhatta (1921)
Another ’20s city film, showing off (as you might guess from the title) parts of New York. The focus appears to be industrial — skyscrapers under construction, finished architecture, tug boats, trains near the docks; the people of the city only crop up at the start and close, and then only in faceless crowds.
Read more here.

À propos de Nice (1930)
Short film about the French city of Nice, mixing documentary-style footage of people with shots of the architecture, as well as clearly staged scenes (a man getting sunburnt, for example).
Read more here.

Skyscraper Symphony (1929)
It’s probably hard to ‘appreciate’ this without getting a little pretentious; certainly, it’s much more aimed at creating the feeling of a city, or a visual representation of it, or something like that, than it is with, say, showing pretty views of New York’s buildings.
Read more here.

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
our bed-ridden heroine overhears a threat on someone’s life and begins to wonder if it’s actually about her... Barbara Stanwyck portrays a not-very-sympathetic lead character, which makes the viewer question how we feel about her possibly being murdered. We should be against it, but she’s not nice, but she is ill…
Read more here.

More next Sunday.

No comments: