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The Kid (2010)
Film of the year!
Don't know where i was when the book came out, can't remember any hype or fuss about it, but apparently there was, but no matter, i've seen the film now, and it's quite simply brilliant! I didn't even know it was a true story till the end, and what a story. Some of the early scenes depicting Kevin's abuse are painfully breathtaking, so uncomfortable to watch, and this is partly due to Natasha McElhone, almost unrecognisable as his bitter, angry and repressed black-toothed mother. The story chugs along in a way that never lets up, you're always interested in whats coming next, and when finally the credits rolled, along with a feeling that i wished i was just starting it all over again, to see Nick Morans (Lock, stock and 2 smoking barrels fame) name as director, didn't shock me as much as excite me, if he can even come close to this again, it'll be worth watching. Summing up, great acting throughout, great direction and with a nostalgic 80's soundtrack, if ya like your films gritty, edgy and ultimately 'hard to watch' in places, then this is for you! My film of the year so far!
Brutal prison film
I've always been a fan of Stephen Dorff,just don't seem to see a lot of him, not enough anyway. This starts like so many American movies,you just want to jump through the screen and become him,perfect wife, cute kid, business doing well, hell, they're even getting married and he agrees to an extra $650 for the dress. Then, one night they hear an intruder and Dorff ends up killing him with the aid of his baseball bat which of course he keeps under the bed, well, this is America!He's then arrested for murder, and you're left (as he is) thinking, hang on, this ain't right. Sentenced to 3 years, he finds himself in a max. security sort of 'escape from new york' type hell-hole, where all the prisoners do is fight each other for the amusement of the guards, one of which has serious issues with one of the inmates. Enter Val Kilmer, a sort of Charlie Manson( the English prison variety, not the American cult leader) character, a legend in the penal system for his brutality and quotes about philosophy.
Sharing a cell, they make inroads to becoming as close as either man ever could in the circumstances and they do end up mutually respecting each other through the hardships they endure. When Dorffs wife sends him a 'dear John', Kilmer understands his pain and we are left wondering if he is actually as bad as all that. The yard scenes are depicted in a kind of gladiatorial way, extremely brutal and we've long past the point where we want to jump back through the screen into the safety and comfort of out own living rooms.
This is primarily a hard, brutal ,prison drama, but underneath all that, its also a story about hope, faith and the need to put right a lot of what is wrong with present day society, as Kilmers character declares' i would have wiped out the whole goddamn planet just to have them back'. Brutal, yes,and un-compromising at times but there's also a message here regarding what is happening to certain elements of our society, all in all though, a cracking and well told film.
Emotional Arithmetic (2007)
Poignant and affecting
I watched this film last night and its been with me on and off all day. First off, don't expect Entertainment in the purest form of the word here, this is a very adult, cerebral and slow-burning experience. Ultimately, its about pain and the memory of it and how that can affect life and relationships afterwards. To say the acting in this film is good is a serious under-statement, but Susan Sarandon is absolutely sublime, it honestly cant get much better than this.
The relationship between her and Christopher Plummer is at best dubious, and when Gabriel Byrne is introduced, we are left guessing as to whats the story here.Through some very subtle changes of tone, as the story progresses, you do wonder if Von Sydow and Byrnes presence, are finally filling some need in Plummer, through jealousy or a sense of competition , which, it has to be said, he feels he's losing desperately.
There's one scene in particular which shows just how sad memories can be when not shared with others and its only when it rains and the words are washed from the diary that you feel Sarandon has finally let go of the past as is symbolised by the rain making clean for the future.
Von Sydow realises he's been at fault by making her suffer through remembrance and declares 'She should have lived'. Great writing, direction and SUPERB acting, all add up to a very worth-while and deeply poignant movie.
worst film of all time
I've seen a LOT o bad movies in my time, but THIS? Quite easily THE worst film I've ever seen. I tend to read the comment given by IMDb and then decide whether or not to d/load, and its very rare i'm disappointed, but what is rfiles on? Not to be missed? The end certainly isn't, just to be sure its finally over. I watched it all out of a fascinated curiosity, i honestly couldn't believe what i was seeing. Whoever made this film were serious, thats the worst part, if it was meant to be tongue in cheek or a bit slap dash on purpose you could give em a bit of license, you can tell though, they thought people would like it. Its honestly like a couple of in-bred day release stoners have made it in a day, its EASILY the worst acting I've ever seen. PLEASE someone else watch this film and leave a comment so i can prove to myself im not going mad.