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There Will Be Blood (2007)
An icy cold movie that suffers from too many problems
There Will Be Blood is widely considered to be from many critics as one of the best films from 2007, as well as the first decade in the 21st century. And in sometime in the future, it will be hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time, if it hasn't already.
Most of the praise and hype seems to be focused around Daniel Day Lewis' performance, which, as although I find the movie to be overrated, he does deserve all the praise that he has been given for it. This film features great performances from all of its cast members.
But a good cast never means a good movie, and frankly, There will be blood is too long, and too boring. There Will Be Blood tries too hard to create tension, and often fails. This film features huge gaps of time where it seems nothing is happening, and I think its safe to assume that Paul Thomas Anderson wanted us to guess if something is going on- creating tension. But as the score screeches into our ears it is pesky and annoying. It's boring and emotionally detached in a sense. There will Be Blood may be, from a technical standpoint, a great film, but it's a draining movie that sinks in its flaws. A big disappointment. 6/10.
Too close to the source material
The first film of the Harry Potter series is funny and all together, an enjoyable film. The special effects are great and the themes of friendship are good. It creates the world of Harry Potter that it is visually impressive. The cast, especially people such as Alan Rickman act very well and performances are underrated in my view.
My problem with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is that it is too close to the source material, preferring to please fans as opposed to risk taking. The director is such a people pleaser that despite the surprisingly violent finale, this film lacks grit, character and lacks any source of imagination. Of course, the fans will be pleased, like this film over the next films but it's dull and unimaginative. It's entertaining, visually impressive, well acted, so close to perfection but so inoffensive, lacking in anything. Maybe the director should stop caring about what other people think, follow artistic instincts yet still keep to the plot. It's hard to find any sense of magic in here. And I have read the novels, but I am an avid film fan and understand the difficulties of trying to turn a book into a novel. People pleasing just turns potential classics into uninspired movies.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Not as smart, mature, deep or sexy as the director wants us to believe that it is.
Lost in Translation, by viewing the IMDb comments could just be summed up by this: You either love it or hate it. This film would like to think that it is smart, mature, deep and sexy but it is none of these. It's an immature film that has no substance, but it doesn't even have any style. For a film that nearly clocks in nearly 100 minutes, it feels much longer.
You could pinpoint this on the lack of plot and character development and the bland direction. The film is direction less and pointless. There was no point to this film, no moral to be told and the biggest insult this film makes is that it is targeted to a niche audience. But that does not make the film any better or mature in any way.
Lost In Translation, if viewed as a comedy, is just laughing at Japanese people. For a film which fan base always says that it is a film for 'mature' and 'developed' people, this is an insult on humanity. If it is not a comedy, then what is it? A drama where nothing happens? A picture of 'real life' that features some ungrateful rich people in one of the greatest cities in the world? I'm not saying that all movies have to be in a genre of film, what I'm saying is that films need a direction or purpose. This film has none.
I watch a lot of movies and have been writing reviews on this site for a while. According to a fan of this film, a typical 'hater' is someone who knows nothing in movies. Which sums up Lost In Translation perfectly: snotty and pretentious, a film which has nothing new to say or anything that would be passed off as knowledge. It's boring, dull, uninspired and lacks romance or chemistry.
Lost In Translation is about as interesting as looking at a canvas without paint on it, and is as much fun as being tipped into a bucket of nuclear active waste. Don't waste your time searching for depth in this film. You have more luck of finding an alien species of orange owls than discovering depth in this boring film.
American Psycho (2000)
Violent, shocking: A truly terrifying depiction of the mental state.
American PSYCHO features Christian Bale playing Patrick Bateman, a rich man with a huge ego who is also a psychopath. Christian Bale plays this role brilliantly, delivering great lines, and giving the audience a character that both frightens, disturbs and entertains at the same time. Performances, although minor by other characters such as Jared Leto and Reese Witherspoon are also good too.
Featuring enough pop culture references, it avoids being pretentious by instead of making the film appear cultured, it gives depth to the character and by that, making him more terrifying. The screenplay captures the want for wealth and money so well that the film becomes painfully realistic. Although this may never be the case because it is hard to relate to Bateman's hatred for all forms of life, it does present the characters as being wealth- obsessed and smug, but most importantly, how impossible it is to hide a hatred. Despite the over-the top violence, the deliberately cheesy lines and the exercise scenes featuring Christian Bale that seems to have been copy and pasted out from an infomercial, never does this film seem fake in any context.
The film does fall short of being sometimes direction less in its aims and a lot of violence does seem for shock value. People may find it to be emotionally vapid at times, due to its lack of morals or convictions, but American Psycho is recommended due to its realism and performances
28 Days Later... (2002)
Hopefully it redefines what horror could and should be.
28 DAYS LATER tells the story of a young man who is in hospital for 28 Days. During that time, a disease that turns people into citizens into flesh eating citizens. It's an apocalyptic film, but unlike other generic zombie films that Hollywood churns out every year, it is thrilling, scary, unpredictable, the political undertones are stronger and messages concerning humanity in the face of evil are strong. A fun, unpretentious horror movie that Danny Boyle is crafted in such an unpretentious way, that is memorable.
Using its low budget to its advantage, it swaps typical CGI for gritty realism, which is something that works in its favor. Well acting by Cillian Murphy, bringing more to the typical 'average- Joe', he is a character that is interesting enough to care about. It could be argued that the ending could've been better, yet 28 Days Later creates enough thrills and scares for that to be forgotten. A great film, that should encourage low budget film makers to use it to their advantage, and horror film makers to have more to their films than meets the eye.
Can't resist this cliché, but I'll remember it 28 Days later.
Well crafted film that is difficult to understand
MEMENTO is a well shot, well acted film that puts Christopher Nolan as one of the most promising directors out there. With a narrative that is disorientating and confusing, it is film that is frustrating as it is difficult to solve. A film noir style that enhances the film by putting us in the position of the main character, Memento is a film that deserves all the praise that it has gotten, because despite the films complex state, despite the fact that it will never make any real sense, it is worth a watch. It is so multi layered, that it is hard to be distracted, hard to take your eyes off it.
It's satisfying, well made, interesting, strong and memorable enough to impact on the viewer enough to try to finish the puzzle that the film creates through the atmosphere that evolves to the point of insanity. One of the best films of the 21st century, well deserving of the 10/10.
Whip It (2009)
The plot is clichéd, but everything else is fresh
WHIP IT is Drew Barrymore's film debut, and stars Ellen Page in a film about roller derby, a sport that I was beforehand unfamiliar with. To the point- the plot of Whip It is one of clichés, and it comes across as formulaic. But unlike She's The Man it doesn't make feminist points yet give us stock characters, Whip It remains fresh by giving us characters that seem interesting, develop and make the film more entertaining. It's a hard film to dislike, and that's probably because it is so charming, even in its most clichéd moments. It never feels dumb, it never feels like it is trying to please, it never feels tired, it never feels boring- in short, Whip It is a great film that should and deserves to redefine movies aimed at teenage girls. This film is a bit of relief for those who are sick of teenage movies that are vapid in both its aims and execution. And the way it uses 'Girl Power' isn't something you'd find in a Prue-teen magazine, more of a realistic way. An enjoyable film that I recommend to anyone who wants something a bit different from their teen movies.
Funny, entertaining- it's just not the film it could've been, thanks to Fox.
IDIOCRACY is a film that is set 500 years in the future and shows how stupid the human race has been. The film was discarded by Fox, leaving the cutting of the film messy and the film unpolished. It's sometimes clever, with by stating that the human race got stupider by the Oscar- winning film was just a picture of an ass. It's an entertaining movie, with Luke Wilson perfect for the role. However, with the fart jokes it seems that the film is becoming what it is making fun of- a really dumb picture of society. Its somewhat elitist in the way that it demeans people that are less intelligent. While it is funny at first, it runs tiresome throughout the film, and it only breaks new ground by being as ridiculous as possible. The future that it depicts is serious, and a lot of the films merit lies in the way that it makes the viewer think, even if it for ten minutes. The film could've explored more about human behaviour, the effects of apathy, but in the 80 minute time frame, simple it must be. Its funny, entertaining, but it is frustrating to watch how this movie could've been better by exploring more into its themes, trying to find new laughs and not coming across as hypocritical sometimes
Taxi Driver (1976)
Angsty, depressing: in the best way possible.
TAXI DRIVER is a late 70's film is timeless. The soundtrack may not have any similarities in today's movies, but the values that are present are universal. The loneliness of the main character, the wrongs of the world, the alienation of modern life is all present in this masterpiece of a movie. By the presentation of the main character, it avoids all the usual clichés of cinema, which is a relief. The city that is portrayed in this film is one that is decaying, one that is covered by filth and dirtiness. The film's main appeal is its focus on the human desires, such as trying to find purity in impurity. This is evident in Bickle's (played very well by Robert De Niro) interest in Betsey. The ending of the film is one of a masterpiece, with well done shots, memorable lines. It's gusts is something to be admired, that when doing with a subject matter such as drugs, prostitution it should be met with grit and realism as opposed to gloss. It will forever be a universal film, not because of the performances or script (which did help), but the universal themes and Martin Scorsese's uncompromising directing style. A must see film.
Blood Diamond (2006)
Decent, but not the film it could have been
BLOOD DIAMOND is quite boring. Which is a shame, because the moral of the story could have been used with something that could've turned out to be a film with its greatness similar to Hotel Rwanda, and although many have called it out for being preachy as a method to reinforce its message. The lack of character establishment aside, Blood Diamond fails to pack a punch, choosing cinematography that, instead of dazzling the viewer, distracts them from the message. It may be a masterpiece in the way that it is well-staged, the performances are at their best (but it could be said that they have had more challenging roles and have lived up to them). Despite the heart-wrenching scenes that are so often used in the film, it is dressed up as an irrelevant political point that is offensive. Edward Zwick's ambition is to display the exploitation of the diamonds and to make some political point about the lack of action in Western nations. The only moral that can be achieved is the former, because the second point is more distracting. The film does have a core: that a lot of the resources (in particular diamonds) we have today are only their due to the misery of others. But it requires far much thought than is needed due to the frustration that is evoked by choosing entertainment over matter, despite the risk that when matter is embraced, entertainment can stem out of it. Positives lie in the script and the positives and merit must be given in the importance it gives to survival.