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Josh Jarman (2004)
Australian films have a bad reputation, and this film is a prime example of why. It embarrassingly fails to entertain in any way whatsoever.
The sad truth is that it is not in any way funny. It uses some of the oldest and lamest comedy clichés imaginable. It was hard to believe this was written in the 21st century. I remember Australian comedy from the 70s which was more adventurous and cutting edge than this.
Seriously, when I think that the makers of this film are hoping that I will laugh at the use of rhyming slang, a bloke being unsubtly seduced by his girlfriend's mother and uncool dance moves, I'm insulted.
When i was about five or six, I might have been amused. The scary thing is that when I was five or six, I was indeed amused by pretty much the same stuff. It was called Adventure Island, a TV series that drew on pantomime theatre traditions.
Unfortunately, this is film designed for adults, and someone needs to explain to the makers of this film that the world has become a lot more sophisticated since 1970, and that grown- ups expect a bit of wit in their entertainment.
Kill, kill, kill, but not in a repetitive way
They start killing people on a list that Golda Meir gave them. They kill the first person. Then they kill the second person using a different method. Then they killed the third person using yet another different method. However, they almost accidentally killed the target's child, who played the piano, so they have to delay the murder until the little pianist is out of harm's way, and then they kill their third target. Or maybe that's what happened with the second target. I lost track. Then they killed a larger number of people by shooting them, which was a different method again, although very similar to the first method, which was shooting. And the interesting thing is that they kill them all in different cities, except when they kill a lot of people at once, which they do in the same city, or when they go back to a city where they've already killed someone. And that's what happens in the first hour and a half, which is when I unfortunately stopped watching.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
This comment can't contain any spoilers because there's nothing to spoil in the entire movie. What happens? An Austrian girl goes to France, gets married, has a couple of kids, dances, sleeps, wakes up, gets dressed, eats, drinks, giggles a bit.
It seems that Coppola has deliberately gone out of her way to take something as fascinating and monumental as the French Revolution and make it as dull and insignificant as possible.
On the plus side, the scenery and costumes were pretty. I also liked the music. Therefore, I'll allocate one star for the visual impact of the lovely frocks and palaces, and two stars for the quirky pop music.
To that I'll add absolutely nothing for the plot. I'm not bloodthirsty, but in a film set during the revolution, I want to see at least a couple of angry peasants and a few of the nobility getting what they deserve. It was very disappointing.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Don't take a ch-k-ch-chance on this one
I'm a die-hard Abba fan from the mid-70s, so I loved the music. Always have. And the cast did a reasonable job of singing the songs. They don't hold a candle to Anna and Frida, but it would be wrong to expect them to. But I did expect the movie to add something to the music. It didn't. I came out of the cinema thinking I should have just stayed at home and listened to Abba Gold. My 3-star rating is for the music alone.
The plot was worse than corny. It was lazy. Not even the slightest attempt to make a plausible link between SOS and Gimme Gimme Gimme. They could have played all the Abba film clips one after the other and the resultant plot would have been more coherent than this tosh.
Finally, although I've always admired Julie Walters, I'd like to wring her bloody neck for her performance here. Shameless slapstick is all I can say. Extremely offensive, and the last resort of a brainless filmmaker.
Death at a Funeral (2007)
Don't, under any circumstances, watch this film.
There, that's the warning I wish someone had given me. I admit I didn't walk out, because I held out hope that there might be a funny moment before the end, but I waited in vain. There were two chuckleworthy remarks from the bitchy widow early in the film, but her character wasn't developed at all.
In fact, character development is thin on the ground in this tosh. Half of the cast didn't seem to have any connection to the plot, and, apart from the two lines I mentioned, there is nothing in the script to make you like, dislike, or give a flying fig about any of the characters.
I just watched. and waited, and built up murderous grudges against anyone who was involved in the production of this codswallop. If I ever run into you, I'll expect an immediate apology and some sort of compensation.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Noisy AND Repulsive
I saw this because I was impressed by 28 Days Later. It was thought-provoking and very disconcerting. 28 Weeks Later, however, pushes the boundaries way too far, to the point where it became revolting and extremely annoying.
Firstly, it was much too loud. I suppose the makers were trying to involve us by giving us a sense of the chaos the characters were enduring, but I really could have done without the headache that was inflicted on me.
The opening scene was bloody and violent, I was thankful when it was over, but my relief didn't last long. It seems every single scene in this movie was designed either to scare the daylights out of us or to revolt us with gore. After a while it got on my nerves and I longed for a bit of intelligent writing. There was a bit, but not enough to outweigh all the blood and guts and noise.
13 Gantry Row (1998)
As feeble as it gets
The most engaging aspect of this show is that it's filmed around Pyrmont (despite the fact that the male leads says it's in the Rocks), and you see some beautiful samples of Sydney sandstone that haven't been hidden by the monstrosities of the casino and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (greedy vandals).
The plot and the script, however, are utter garbage. For most of the film I was asking myself whether they REALLY said what I just heard. Didn't anybody wonder about the credibility when they were learning their lines? Did they have rehearsals? Did anyone think about how plausible the film might look?
The actors proved their credentials. Rebecca Gibney has nice blond hair and John Adam has a chunky torso.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Well, it started off well.
Oh, come on, David Bloody Lynch. It's not enough just to be quirky and enigmatic in your films. They have to make a little bit of sense to the audience. Just a little, OK?
This one started off very confusingly and I was thinking that as time progressed the pieces would all fit together. That was a foolish thought, as it turned out. The pieces didn't so much fit together as disintegrate.
So perhaps David was trying to tell me that I shouldn't make such assumptions, that things don't always fit together. Well congratulations, pal, you've made your point. Problem is, I already knew that. Everyone knows that. But when I watch a film, I want to be entertained. With this one I gave up after an hour and started reading a book.
This film really got to me, probably because it was almost perfectly realistic. The characters are brilliantly drawn - no simplistic goodies or baddies. The setting, in the not-so-wealthy suburbs of Berlin, is very believable.
Full marks for the acting and directing. There are some gutwrenching scenes in this film. I won't go into the details because I don't want to spoil a thing, but both physical and emotional violence are portrayed with an alarming conviction. I wish more film makers could achieve this instead of resorting to comic book fights or glossing over the brutal reality.
I sincerely hope that this film is released internationally, and that it escapes the censors' scissors. It would be a shame if only German-speaking audiences could see it.
It starts off in a promising way. Some interesting characters with some way-out ideas. It even reminded me a little of an Almodovar film at the beginning, and that's always a good thing.
However, it doesn't live up to its early promise. The characters turn out to be very shallow. Some of the more interesting ones just disappear from the plot without a trace of explanation. There are some "twists" in the plot which which had my eyes rolling around in my head. I wanted to scream out a request for a bit of originality.
Worst of all, it relies, like far too many other films, on the outrageous concept that problems of violence can be solved with guns. This notion is not just annoyingly simplistic. It's extremely dangerous