Films I saw at the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival

by SanjuroTokage | created - 24 Jun 2011 | updated - 26 Jun 2011 | Public

This is the first time I have attended the EIFF despite living in Edinburgh for a good while. Attached is the list of films I managed to see, this does not include events such as the spotlight session on IMdb's Col Needham or Frontline Club. There are many interesting films with personal comments.

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1. The Guard (2011)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
78 Metascore

An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.

Director: John Michael McDonagh | Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Ronan Collins

Votes: 71,196 | Gross: $5.36M

I have not laughed out loud at any type of comedy for a long time until I saw Brendan Gleeson's potrayal of Sgt Gerry Boyle. It is a comic take on the buddy cop films with foul-mouth cop and politically correct cop. There is strong language and offensive comments throughout however it actually fits Brendan's character completely. Certainly one to watch if you can.

2. Trollhunter (2010)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
61 Metascore

A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

Director: André Øvredal | Stars: Otto Jespersen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Nærum, Glenn Erland Tosterud

Votes: 60,061 | Gross: $0.25M

Who ruined the teddy bear's picnic, I don't know but let us ask that guy over there. Another film that I really enjoyed watching, this time from Norway. The film is well scripted and has a great lead with Otto Jespersen as the disgruntled troll hunter. A lot a humour in both dialouge and action, even though subtitled it is kept simple and to the point. Catch it quick if you can and do not wait for the US remake.

3. Page Eight (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the... See full summary »

Director: David Hare | Stars: Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Tom Hughes, Michael Gambon

Votes: 12,585

Bill Nighy takes the lead and carries the bulk of the performance in this made for tv film, this comes across more as a suspense drama rather than a spy thriller as some might anticipate. It has been advertised being shown on BBC, so recommend watching or catching up on the iplayer.

4. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

G | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi | Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias

Votes: 61,663 | Gross: $19.20M

Okay, I am biased towards anything that Studio Ghibli produces. Taken straight from The Borrowers, it is not done in a unique storyline compared to Ponyo. The film is a charming delight to watch with beautiful animation style that brings you into Arrietty's world even if some of the plot feels lost in translation, worth a watch if you have the opportunity.

5. Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (2011)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
57 Metascore

When two friends tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbors, they accidentally created one of the world's first 'viral' pop-culture sensations.

Director: Matthew Bate | Stars: Eddie Lee Sausage, Mitch Deprey, Daniel Clowes, Ivan Brunetti

Votes: 1,016 | Gross: $0.02M

Don't call me Goodnight! An interesting and amusing documentary on what happened when two aussies in 1987 started recording their abusive alcholic neighbours. Makes for an study in the the impact of listening in to others and the cult underground following that occurs, something that is worth looking out for the unusual. Warning that this film does contain strong language throughout

6. Stormhouse (2011)

R | 88 min | Horror

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

The military have captured and imprisoned a supernatural entity. And now it wants to play.

Director: Dan Turner | Stars: Katherine Flynn, Grant Masters, Patrick Flynn, Grahame Fox

Votes: 1,130

The UK military has a ghost and they didn't rent it! A serious take on the haunting storyline using the army, some good scare moments occur at the start and brings in twists to some original scenes that major fans will pick up on such as The Haunting. Sadly the film may not push the horror genre into a new light but does open up to audiences that may feel a little alienated with other films in the genre.

7. Sandheden om mænd (2010)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mads, a 34-year-old scriptwriter, goes through a crisis in life when a close friend of his has a stroke and ends up in a coma. Mads breaks up with his girlfriend for ten years and tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Nikolaj Arcel | Stars: Thure Lindhardt, Tuva Novotny, Rosalinde Mynster, Signe Egholm Olsen

Votes: 1,159

Before seeing this film, I was not sure what I was going to expect. I found it to be a clever and light hearted Danish film that attempts to break the typical form of the storyline to find the perfect partner. The film uses many traditional story plots that most people will be familar with and attempts to turn them around. Personally, I may not rush out to see it immediately but if you are stuck with someone who loves the traditional american romcoms, it may be the one to grab on the dvd rental for a change of pace.

8. The Adventures of Gerard (1970)

PG | 92 min | Adventure, Comedy, History

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Based on satirical short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about a vain, egotistical Etienne Gerard, a French brigadier serving during the Napoleonic Wars. He thinks he's the best soldier and lover that ever lived and intends to prove it.

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski | Stars: Peter McEnery, Claudia Cardinale, Eli Wallach, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 217

Napoleon needs a fool for an important mission enter Gerard, an officer in his cavalry. This film is loosely based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story but seems to be largely influenced to try and make it written as a bawdy version by Gerald MacDonald Fraser. There is some good humourous scenes that some people may find however it may suffer from the age of the print to many. If it makes the rare appearance on tv, you may want to catch it.

9. De día y de noche (2010)

90 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Dystopian sci-fi about an over-populated world in which the solution has been to program people to operate solely in either day or night, meaning that the population are only conscious half the day and can never interact with each other.

Director: Alejandro Molina | Stars: Sandra Echeverría, Manuel Balbi, Ari Brickman, Marius Biegai

Votes: 61

In the future, large populations will be split into shifts, the day and the night in this mexican science fiction drama. There is many beautiful shots, unfortunately poor subtitling (white lettering with a white background) and a slow pace to get to the plot with long silence between scenes makes this difficult to watch.

10. Countdown to Zero (2010)

PG | 91 min | Documentary

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
70 Metascore

A documentary about how the likelihood of nuclear weapons (or fissile materials) usage has increased due to the rise of terrorism and lack of safeguards and verification.

Director: Lucy Walker | Stars: Graham Allison, James Baker III, Bruce Blair, Tony Blair

Votes: 2,033 | Gross: $0.27M

It is a hard sale for the demand of zero in this documentary about the danger of nuclear weapons. It has an interesting start and contains some interesting stories about near misses even if they are dated, it is let down by the repetiveness of the message making too one sided with no true feeling to allow the viewer the choice of supporting the subject matter. It may gain some support within the US but may find it difficult of the majority in the international community especially in Russia.