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33 out of 57 people found the following review useful:
What a load of sh*t, 29 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had high hopes for this film, which were quickly quashed four scenes later, when not a thing had happened.

I think that it was a real shame, as the art direction was great, the camera work was interesting and pleasing, and the acting was really great. A particularly great performance from Garrett Hedlund as Dean. I don't think any of the actors can be blamed for the poor film that it was. What is to blame, in my opinion, was the script, direction and editing. It did not have a plot, or direction, and seemed to make no point. It was a series of scenes showing off how 'cool' these writers were, and how pretentious the filmmakers could be without making any real point.

The thing that I disliked most about this movie was that nothing but the costumes and sets reflecting the 1950s. The characters spoke as if they were in the 2000's, were open about sex, homosexuality, drugs and race. They seemed to face no repression or hardship whatsoever, they were living in the great depression, yet all they did was drink, party, do drugs, sleep with women and write. I found it very difficult how the characters talked constantly about how bad their lives were, how they wanted to die and were living in a society that was horrible. I saw none of this!!! Their lives seemed wonderful, partying with friends, writing and traveling around America with the ease of popping into any passing car and meeting an array of interesting and friendly people.

What was amazing about the true story of these writers was that they were emerging from a society of repression, they were the first intellectual writers emerging from an uneducated society due to the depression. They were opening up to the 50s as a modern generation, the first beat poets. However the writers within this movie faced no repression, the only hardship was money – but even money issues seemed to be solved, finding work a couple of days later. And the main character could even return to his mother if things got too bad.

The people they met were filthy, with clothes that looked old enough to be falling off them – yet they lived in houses with huge expanses of rooms, candles and fantastic ornaments, in even greater locations. I found myself saying, why not just have a shower and wash your clothes in one of your 5 bathrooms?

Although the reason for my issues with this film is its unrealisticness, the reason that I hated the film was because it had no plot. Now I am fine with movies that have no plot, but they need to say something, about ANYTHING. This movie was about a group of young writers who were trying to gather enough experiences to write a novel, but at the end of the film I found myself thinking – why was I involved in that? What did they want to say? Was there any point to what I just watched?

It went for two and a half hours, one hour easily could have been left on the cutting room floor. Don't even get me started on the useless character of a third chubby male who travelled with them and seemed to serve no point, and a elongated series of scenes at a house of two heroin addicts who had no real relevance to the story. It was self indulgent, pretentious and had no idea what its own reason for existence was. You just need to look at poster after watching the film to see that the filmmakers don't know what point they are trying to make. What a useless load of sh*t.

Drive (2011/I)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
An absolute masterpiece, 15 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had extremely high expectations when going into this movie, knowing the director from Bronson, and Ryan Gosling from excellent performances such as Lars and the Real Girl and Blue Valentine. But boy oh boy, were my expectations blown out of the water. From beginning to end, this film is completely captivating and memorizing. As soon as that first song begins to play over those pink lacy credits, I was lulled into a paradise world of cinema. The soundtrack and sound mix as well as the pace of the piece lulls you into a eerie and beautiful trance. This along with the extraordinary cinematography took me into a kind of dream world, where the lights are played like a piano, and seem to reflect how the characters are feeling at that particular moment.

The casting was perfect beyond perfect, Ryan Gosling disappears so that all we can see is the Driver, a deeply interesting character. There are some brilliant character moments in this film, which reveal so much by saying so little – its almost like poetry. A great moment for me was when the Driver is talking to Irene's son, Driver: is he a bad guy? How can you tell? Benicio: Because he is a shark. Driver: There's no good sharks? This plays along so well with the scorpion and the toad theme, of a scorpion's nature, a shark's nature, and the nature of the driver. Every character in this film is so deep and complex, something that I love more than anything in films, and I think something that is left out and forgotten in most films these days. The levels within Albert Brooks' character make him a 'bad guy' that is realistic, human and not altogether hated. Bryan Cranston's performance was one of my favourites, a very likable guy with a little wink of selfishness that makes him meet his end. That scene between the two is heartbreaking on so many different levels, as well as scary on many other levels. Standard and Blache are also very interesting characters, both beautifully casted as well.

The portrayal of violence in Drive is something I have never seen before. The film stays at the same pace and tone as the rest of the film, although such extreme things are happening. We are not influenced by a heighten of dramatic music or faster paced editing, everything stays on the same wavelength. This is a very good way of showing us that the driver has a very different mind state than most people, he is like a shark or a scorpion, in that these things are on the same level to him as any other spot of drama. This is what makes his relationship with Irene so special, as I feel, it is the only thing in his life that has ever moved him. It's the only game changer for him. Before this, he will crash cars and risk his life, and drive getaway cars, because, why not? What does he have to lose? He also has this feeling of invincibility, until Irene comes into the picture – and then he has a weakness and something to lose.

I must say I have become religious about this film after seeing it. I have seen it more times than I can count already, and would love nothing more than to shake Nicolas Winding Refn's hand and tell him he has made a masterpiece, an absolute classic that is up there with the best movies of all time.

19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
The Hunger Games and the slow death of cinema, 15 May 2012

I went to see this movie, without high hopes – but interested in what I thought would be a story focusing mostly on a dysfunctional futuristic society, and the reasons why it has turned to this barbaric way of treating different classes of society. However I had a lot of apprehension about it – with the hints of it probably becoming the next 'Twilight.' My conclusion 2 and a half grueling hours later, is that it is a stupid movie, made for a stupid audience. And it is bad cinema. Its target audience is most definitely the twilight fans lost at the end of the saga.

Every single moment that might not have been 100% clear to the audience, was spelled out even further by a voice over LITERALLY telling the cinema what was going on. For example 'I wonder if they realise that it's a booby trap,' and then 'It looks like she has worked out how this booby trap works.'

The reason that I felt that this story was completely unbelievable, was the explanation of why they have this class system and why they have these 'hunger games.' It was explained that it is a constant reminder of war, and so that there can be a winner that people can support. This is all well and good, if the movie had structured a society around this that worked. Perhaps if they had gone the way of propaganda and brainwashing, pushing the society to see these horrendous games as warnings to the people. This would have fitted in nicely with the media. That the media controls the world and the classes, entertaining the rich by the slow destruction of the poor. I just did not believe that a society that can create trains that travel at the speed of light, and a cream that can cure any cut, that they will treat people so cruelly that they can cheer when children are slaughtered with an axe.

The constant use of shaky close ups, gave me a headache as well as confusing the hell out of me. In the two most important fights, the use of constantly jolting close ups left me unaware who was winning or losing, or even what was happening. It also didn't help that in these two fights, the two people fighting look EXACTLY the same.

And was it just me, or did anyone find this movie a little racist? The whole notion of there being one sector that was mainly black, with black people representing them in the game. This is the sector that starts the rebellion. Also, I found it insane that one of the African American characters spared the life of Katnis because he had saved the life of another young black girl, we see no connection between them previously, and must assume they are on the same team because they are the same race. Also, another huge racial thing I noticed was that the entire upper class were white, there were no Asian's or African Americans, no one from any other race than Caucasian. And the fact that it is a fashion statement that everyone in the upper class paints their faces white, is just way too KKK for me. Maybe I am reading too far into it, but its something I could not ignore and it really offended me.

This movie left me feeling really angry, because I know I cannot just walk away from it and forget about it – there is probably another 5 movies to come – and if the first one is horrible, who knows how truly horrible the others could be.

48 out of 90 people found the following review useful:
Horrible in every way, 15 May 2012

The first minutes of this movie seemed promising, but it quickly sank into a horrible, slow paced film where nothing seemed important. The length of this movie is just silly, I love slow movies and sat through this movie longer than I would have anyway because I liked that it was a different pacing than most Hollywood flicks. But by half way through I realised that this pacing does not work for this film, because there is not enough happening to keep us interested through the slow points. The characters are not highly complex, the drama isn't compelling, and neither is their relationship or any of the relationships around them.

I feel as though half of this film should have been left on the cutting room floor, a very poor job in editing as well as script editing. This seems to me as a first draft. I loved forgetting Sarah Marshall, and feel as though the producers probably rushed the script of 'The Five Year Engagement' into production before it was developed. So what we are left with is a very slow, very boring, and sometimes plain laughable movie.

I never walk out on movies, and I walked out on this one because I felt the horror couldn't go on any longer - and surely it would come to an end soon, only to realise there was another hour to go. A really poor movie.