Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Bad Taste (1987)
Bad Taste is absolutely disgusting, tasteless (well, duh), devoid of any resemblance of a plot or characterisation, and ridiculously violent.
And I absolutely loved it.
Bad Taste is one of the funniest films I have seen this year. The DIY visual effects are a treat, and the action is genuinely suspenseful. A completely unrecognisable (well, he is much younger) Peter Jackson plays two roles as well as writing and directing (and he probably does a lot else as well).
This film will have you laughing and wincing at the same time. Literally- that's what happened to me.
Gangs of New York (2002)
At half the length, it would have been twice the film
Clocking in at an obese two hours and forty minutes, Gangs of New York is epic, sumptuous, confused and boring.
After an incredible opening scene (the battle between Daniel Day- Lewis and Liam Neeson's gangs) the whole film goes downhill, making its way from disappointing anti- climax to disappointing anti- climax. We have countless pointless subplots (the election, the civil war, the romance between Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz) on the way until DiCaprio finally does what he had APPARENTLY set out to do in the first place and kills Daniel Day Lewis.
DiCaprio and Diaz are dull, unsexy and unmemorable. The normally excellent Jim Broadbent, John C Reilly and Brendan Gleeson don't have enough time to shine. Day Lewis is the only redeeming performance, although it would have been much easier to take him seriously if he'd shaved that ridiculous moustache.
Martin Scorsese's direction is uncharacteristically flat and mechanical. There is a lack of sharp dialogue, dark humour and idiosyncratic characters normally seen in all his films. In short, Gangs of New York is a Martin Scorsese film that doesn't feel like a Martin Scorsese film.
Road to Perdition (2002)
Before seeing Road to Perdition, I was almost put off by the critical consensus that it was "self- indulgent". Certainly, it was a little at times but it must be hard not to be with such talent behind it.
Tom Hanks continues to "darken" following his rather stern prison guard in The Green Mile (also very good, by the way) with his performance as hitman Michael Sullivan. Ironically, his imposing presence is undermined to a degree by a flaw that was also seen in this film's closest contemporary rival, Gangs of New York: a rather silly moustache.
The performances from (particularly)Paul Newman, Stanley Tucci, Tyler Hoechlin and Daniel Craig are all superb. Jude Law is chilling as Harlem Maguire, even if he is a little bit of a caricature at times.
Sam Mendes was robbed of a best director nomination, as was Hanks and the film itself. After this and American Beauty, I can't wait to see what Mendes will do next.
Better than the first, but still flawed
There seems to be a fundamental division between those who see this film. Everyone either says decisively that they much preferred the previous one or they much preferred this one. Personally, I preferred this one. The ending is much better than film one, and the new characters (Theoden, Eowyn, Eomer, Gollum, Treebeard, Faramir and Wormtongue) make it much more interesting. However, I'm not sure all the changes to the book worked.
Let's start with the good changes. I think having Wormtongue banish Eomer at the start, only for him to return with Gandalf to save the day at the battle of Helm's Deep was a very good idea, and I think it makes him a more memorable character for those who haven't read the book (I've read it twice by the way).
The platoon of Elves arriving at Helm's Deep, and the death of Haldir was also a good idea, as I think people might be disappointed if Haldir had just faded after the first film, as he did in the books.
Faramir taking Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath wasn't a particularly good idea, but I can understand why Peter Jackson did it. At this point, the battle of Helm's Deep was at its climax and the Ents were wrecking Isengard. I think Jackson wanted to put in a third action sequence (ie. the Ringwraith attack) as if it had just shown Frodo and Sam walking along with Gollum it would have looked pretty silly.
Onto the bad changes now. Just what was the Warg attack all about? And even worse, Aragorn falling off the cliff? That scene belongs in Monty Python, not Lord of the Rings. People have said that Aragorn's fall was so that he could see the Uruk-hai army, but surely Theoden could just have sent a scout or something?
And of course, the most discussed flaw in the film itself: Legolas using the shield as a skateboard. Everyone mentions this, and no wonder. It completely undermines the serious implications of the battle, and simply isn't funny.
I also felt that the dialogue in this film wasn't quite as good as in Fellowship. Gimli boasting about his running ability was mildly amusing, but it was out of place. However, Theoden's poem (Where is the horse and the rider/ where is the horn that was blowing...) worked very well, and to be honest I quite liked Sam's speech at the end.
Generally, the acting was perfectly fine, particularly from Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Brad Dourif, and Bernard Hill. Jackson's inventiveness with the camera is inspired and I know he will make a fantastic film out of The Return of the King.