Sunday 22 March 2015


Two Tribes
2x20 (13/3/15 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
[#36 in 100 Films in a Year 2015]

this week on 100 Films

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

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
When it comes to hitman movies, I’d’ve said there’s Léon and then there’s everything else. Now, I’d happily slot Ghost Dog in that gap.
Read more here.

Machine Gun Preacher (2011)
The film on the whole is too preachy, both about Christianity and the situation in Africa. It doesn’t feel like a professional medium-budget movie made by experienced filmmakers with a name cast, but instead like one of those specialist Christian movies, Preacher(gun)manmashed together with a polemical charity documentary about Africa, and then with some Rambo action sequences grafted on for good measure.
Read more here.

Punisher: War Zone (2008)
The 2004 film of Marvel’s foremost vigilante killer was the Punisher as mainstream Hollywood PG-13 blockbuster, but this follow-up takes a different route. It’s more the grimy, low-budget, direct-to-DVD, B-movie version of the character; all action, gore, and a conscious lack of class. For some that will make the entire endeavour distasteful, but I can’t help but feel it’s a more faithful depiction of the character.
Read more here.

Ten Little Indians (1965)
one of Agatha Christie’s bleakest books, this follows the track of most adaptations and uses the upbeat ending Christie herself wrote for a stage adaptation. Apparently other changes abound, with characters and their actions updated to have a more ’60s vibe. Novel purists may wish to avoid it.
Read more here.

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

Agatha (1979)
It’s easy to see the attraction of Christie’s disappearance: it’s a real-life mystery about arguably the greatest mystery author ever, with enough unusual events surrounding it to make it extra suspicious and a long enough gap for something significant to have happened. But while the idea is initially exciting, when it comes to retelling it there isn’t a great deal there
Read more here.

Clockwise (1986)
all go wrong it does, in a manner that’s rather reminiscent of Fawlty Towers — not in the sense that Cleese is repeating himself, but rather that you could replace Stimpson with Basil Fawlty and merrily carry on along much the same path; though, I hasten to add that Stimpson is not a clone of Fawlty, but he is prone to ending up in similar accident-and-misunderstanding-based farcical situations.
Read more here.

Exam (2009)
Eight young professional types go into a job exam/interview; the next hour-and-a-half is all mysteries and riddles... The film occurs in real-time (more or less) in a single room. These are two narrative tricks I always enjoy the potential of... Writer-director Stuart Hazeldine's screenplay is inventive enough to keep the story rolling throughout the entire film
Read more here.

Force of Evil (1948)
I found it dull. The romance subplot feels tacked on and implausible, the main gambling plot is often poorly explained. I never felt properly attached to any of the characters — it doesn’t help that the lead is half-villainous, but then that’s worked fine elsewhere — and as the plot rumbles confusingly on I cared less and less, which made it tough to sit through.
Read more here.

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert [3D] (2008)
Rubbish. In almost every way possible. I could expand on that in numerous ways, but what would be the point?
Read more here. It was part of Channel 4's 3D Week, which I also posted about this week.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
every inch a Boy’s Own adventure, packing every facet of that genre of storytelling into its brisk running time. There’s secret bases, ray guns, giant robots, flying aircraft carriers, snow-bound Himalayan treks, creature-infested secret jungle islands, huge underground bases, space rockets, planes that are also submarines, tree bridges over impossibly deep gorges… If it’s part of the genre, it’s probably here, and all finally executed with ’00s-level special effects.
Read more here.

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
melding several styles into a cohesive whole — mystery, rom-com, existentialism, a bit of fantasy, and those IKEA graphics from Fight Club. Some plot beats may be clichéd, but that’s almost the point; besides, there’s plenty of originality to make up for it.
Read more here.

The World of Tomorrow (1998)
Before Sky Captain, there was this: a six-minute reel, shot, edited and, er, special-effects-ed, by Conran on an amateur basis over four years, demonstrating the production techniques and storyline he had in mind for a feature-length homage / reimagining of ’40s cinema serials.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.