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I'm Not There. (2007)
Dylan may not be there - but everyone else is there...
I'm not there. (2007) Directed by Todd Haynes There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.
Ignoring the word simply, the last time I heard "I'm not there" was from the amazing film American Psycho so the first thing that sprang to mind when I first heard of this title were these words uttered by Patrick Bateman. But alas this is something far different.
"I'm Not There" the Biopic of the forever changing man Bob Dylan comes to us from Todd Haynes already familiar with the music genre having delivered the highly original Velvet Goldmine back in 1998. The title stems from a previously unreleased Dylan recording of the title song "I'm Not There", which was recorded during the "The Basement Tapes" sessions. Haynes has set out on a Dylan Journey capturing the truth in the lies, grandeur, childishness and arrogance that made Dylan as notorious as he was and ever will be. Some have called him genius and if you're a fan of any of his work you will marvel at his rhymes and playfulness with harmonica and guitar. Haynes transports you into Dylan's mind as well from a side line through the eyes of many of the people that came across him over the years, by bringing us six incarnations of Bob Dylan: an actor, a folk singer, an electrified troubadour, Rimbaud, Billy the Kid, and Woody Guthrie. On top of this Todd Haynes with pure mixing skill and musical greatness that could probably only be emulated by Bob himself puts Dylan's music behind their adventures, soliloquies, interviews, marriage, and infidelity.
Before seeing this cinematic work I had heard rumours that some of the cast were strong while others put in a weak performance. Well I'm not usually a fan of Richard Gere his movies such as "Shall we Dance" should never had been made and I had heard a lot of bad press in regards to his performance but I think this simply may be down to people not really getting the reasoning behind him as Billy the Kid. Without ruining it for you Gere is a version of the elderly Dylan with the other stories being in the past of this story. This story focuses on Dylan's country life of the Woodstock era and his later years. A very solid performance from Gere - don't believe the haters.
It has been said before but I will say it again: Cate Blanchett turns in the strongest and most recognizable performance of Dylan playing the character Jude Quinn, a version of Dylan who was at the height of his fame in the 60's as he toured with the Beatles in London when his original fan base was rejecting him as a sell out truly mesmerising and dream like sequences reminiscent of many 60's art films of the era and interviews given by Dylan.
Christian Bale (Jack Rollins) focusing on Dylan's early folk era and then later finding Christianity is as you would expect nothing but solid will Bale ever do a bad movie? Reign of Fire isn't a bad movie! The late Heath Ledger turns in phenomenal performance in the form of the fictional Robbie Clark who focuses on Dylan's personal life and his brief appetite into the world of acting as he plays Bale's fictional character Jack Rollins in the film "Grain of Sand" referenced to 1981's haunting Gospel song.
The most enjoyable performance to watch musically probably comes from the very young and talented African American actor Marcus Carl Franklin (a name to watch I personally believe) he is the traveling Dylan reminiscing about the past always on the run with the other hobo's while singing the Blues while giving youth and crossing borders to who Dylan is and was and wanted to be.
And last but by no means least a solid performance is put in by Ben Whishaw who is forever being questioned by what could be the CIA, FBI or just simply the establishment spouting vague poetic meaning to his questions that some could interpret as meaningless but others will interpret to mean a thousand things that only Dylan could of come up with.
If you're easily confused and simple in the head and possibly not a fan of Bob Dylan or you have no appreciation for any of the above actors mentioned then maybe yes you won't enjoy this Biopic of a mysterious musician who was many things. But if you approach this with intrigue and the desire to escape into Todd Haynes world of Bob Dylan then you will find a highly rewarding 135mins that will urge you once again to dig out your old Dylan records for another play.
9/10 Well Done Todd Haynes
Cassandra's Dream (2007)
Another British Allen Movie & it's not very good ;o(
Cassandra's Dream - (Released in the UK in 2008) Another Woody Allen Film filmed and set in the UK this seems to becoming quite a habit for the New Yorker. However I fear the uninspiring British Film industry might be rubbing off on him. While great Hollywood movies can be made in the UK (The Dark Knight 2008) so often seems to be the case that purely British Movies seem to fall flat on the face and inspire no one (last one I can think of St. Trinians Garbage). While this is no where near as bad as St. Trianians and it should no way be compared if we're being realistic Cassandra's Dream isn't great.
I approached the film with optimism as you always have hope from a Woody Allen movie as well as for the fact that it had Ewan McGregor and the very inconsistent Colin Farrel. I'm not sure what happened here by Allen seems to of pulled a Rogue Trader (1999) Performance out of McGregor meaning very wooden and in parts not very good. While Colin Farrel shows signs of flare and of something better the performance really isn't anything that shines. As soon as you realise where this film is headed you won't believe how predictable the story pans out and my word does it pan out slowly the only slight surprise in the scheme of things is the redeeming ending however many will of seen this coming. What this film does get right are the nice choices in locations and a fairly strong performance from Sally Hawkins who plays Colin Farrel's Girlfriend while Tom Wilkinson in the odd scene who plays Uncle Mike puts in a fairly consistent performance.
All in all I highly doubt you will be overtly impressed. 4 out of 10.
St. Trinian's (2007)
A Right British Waste of Money
Oh dear oh dear - I didn't rush to see this - I waited to see it on the small screen and I must say what a waste of time that was. I'm embarrassed to be British sometimes because of the tripe the British Film industry churns out. How can the UK be taken seriously when it produces garbage like this? Yes its pleasing to see Girls in School Uniform but really this doesn't merit a remake of a dire series that was finished years ago! This film is consistently bad throughout; badly edited would be an understatement! Did the magical duo directors really know what they were doing? "Oliver Parker" & "Barnaby Thompson" should really never work again! If these two geniuses ever do read this - can you answer my question why such a primitive badly put together film really required 2 directors? Fragmented, predictable, badly acted, badly acted, very badly directed, and appalling soundtrack that made you want to stab someone - oh dear oh dear oh dear! Don't waste your time on this School garbage!
Sharkwater illustrates to us how we are all Parasites - Lets end this mindless destruction!
Sharkwater If you watch one Docu/Film, then I urge you to watch this one.
Before I explain what this Documentary is about I want to explain to you that the human race isn't some divine species that has the right to choose what lives and what dies because we were brought here by some high and mighty God. The reality is far simpler the human race is an evolved species of Ape who in the last few thousand years since the population of the species has accelerated has become an over destructive out of control ape that won't stop breeding. A good definition for all human beings is: "Parasite". To truly understand by what a Parasite is, please allow me to give you the definition of a Parasite: "An organism that lives on or in a different kind of organism (the host) from which it gets some or all of its nourishment. Parasites are generally harmful to their hosts, although the damage they do ranges widely from minor inconvenience to debilitating or fatal disease. A parasite that lives or feeds on the outer surface of the host's body, such as a louse, tick, or leech, is called an ectoparasite." Hence the reality is we are ectoparasites we feed on the surface of Planet Earth sucking the life dry from this planet. Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change the only parasite responsible for all this destruction is the human race! Now most of us are aware of the threat to Polar Bears, Whales, Panda's and Tigers yet in recent years the Shark Population on Planet earth has reduced by more than 90%. Does the human race give a damn it doesn't seem to. The Orient continue to believe Shark Fin soup will solve their health problems and the west still portrays the Shark as a killing machine but the reality is Elephants kill more people a year than Sharks. The Drinks machine in your canteen is going to kill more people each year than the humble shark so because of the Spielberg effect with Jaws people don't give a damn if Sharks are wiped out.
They are intelligent and peaceful creatures and yet in the last 100 years we as a race have replaced them as the oceans number one predator. The illegal trade in Shark Fins is now 2nd to the illegal trade in drugs in terms of profitability.
Rob Stewart who narrated and Directed Shark Water is one of a small percentage of people on this planet that actually give a damn about other species. In his Documentary Sharkwater he sets out to highlight the destruction of the Shark Species. Rob meets up with fellow Eco Warriors on the Sea Shepherd and sets sail with the great Captain Paul Watson on a mission down to Costa Rica and then later to the Galapagos Islands to experience first hand the illegal trade in Shark Fins. We witness is graphic bloody detail Guatemalan and Costa Rican Fisherman Long lining international waters dragging Shark after Shark onto their boat cutting the Sharks Fin from their bodies and then throwing the still alive Shark back to sea where it will sink to the bottom and die a painful death.
In witnessing the illegal trade and capturing it all on film you would think the Sea Shepherd would be in the right when it towed the boat to Costa Rican waters ready for arrest but because the Costa Rican Government is corrupt like most governments of this world the Costa Rican Police proceeded to arrest the crew of the Sea Shepherd putting them under house arrest because the government was earning to much money from the trade of Shark Fins with Taiwan to merit Eco Warriors disrupting that trade. Strangely Ironic for a country that boasts its main GDP is from Eco Tourism.
I could go into more detail about the journey Rob Stewart takes in Sharkwater but I think that would spoil the emotional experience that needs to be experienced by everyone who believes they have a heart for something other than themselves.
People need to sit up and realise that the fishing industry is globally responsible for the destruction of sharks as well as every other species in the seas. The next generation will look upon our generation with such disillusionment if we allow this to continue just like we look upon those in the past who took part in Slavery.
A 5 star 10/10 Docu/Film
Three and Out (2008)
Three and Out - Average but enjoyable
Three and Out (2008)
As the overpaid and Naïve London Underground employee's picket this film before they've seen it complaining that it insults their occupation I felt it would be fitting to go see this film to see what the fuss was all about. Paul Callow (Mackenzie Crook) has a bad couple of weeks as a London Underground Tube Driver (Spoiler but not really giving anything away here) Paul hits and kills two Passengers while driving his Underground Train. Paul then hears from his matey colleagues that there is a Three and Out Rule in place if he kills three people with his train within a month he will be retired and paid 10 years salary so judging by what the average tube driver earns this probably equates to over £500,000+ ($1m+). Hence, Paul sets about to find a third victim of course this is where the film really begins and the journey for Paul moves from off the track to the streets of Liverpool and the scenery of Cumbria, on this journey Paul may end up finding more than just another victim but potentially finding himself.
Now I always like to give British Films a chance and on first impressions this one isn't too bad for a light comedy however everything about it strikes you while you watch it as "Average". The jokes will make you smirk and maybe laugh occasionally but it's not side-splitting and it's certainly not original. From the word go the film is predictable and nothing that special. Imelda Staunton and Colm Meaney are the strongest performers in this flick. The St Trinian who only left RADA last year (Gemma Artertan) is the eye candy in this film but her performance is almost comparable to the cameo of the awful and dire Kerry Katona. However the biggest gripe comes half way into the movie when the Director thinks it would be a good idea to experiment with Angles. Now camera angles rarely bother me but in this film while Mackenzie and Colm are shouting near a bunch of cows the director really should have re shot shaky almost out of focus and badly directed however thankfully the rest of the movie isn't shot in this way.
An enjoyable film if you're not expecting anything, but it's certainly not going to make waves over seas as this is no Full Monty or Four Weddings. It certainly doesn't merit the attention of the overpaid Underground Unions; it simply doesn't insult the occupation of driving Underground Train so they really shouldn't bother picketing as this film will be forgotten very quickly.
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
Shoot em Up - Finally Hollywood has the balls to make something funny
Clive Owen really is every man's action hero for the Naughties. Men want to be him and women want to sleep with him. Lately If Clive Owen touches something it turns into something rather special. Look at Closer and Children of Men - Both very clever movies with very clever casting and very clever directing. Shoot em Up is the same - cast by Diedre Bowen - this clever little casting agent gets Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti (Sideways) and Monica Belluci (every Italian Boys wet dream as well as the rest of the global male population) on board. With this sort of casting - I'm excited that Diedre Bowen will be doing the casting to the upcoming feature film of Max Payne. Michael Davis the director someone you wouldn't normally trust to pull off a good movie - his debut was back in 1994 - the very bad Double Dragon movie (I had such high hopes at the time!) However, Davis has finally emerged from the abyss and has pulled off something very special here. Yeah it's a lot of shooting (hence the title) but what you get is far better than what you expect. It's fast paced with some highly original gun fights - each shoot out is memorable (ridiculous yes - but memorable). For a fast paced comic book violent movie you can't go wrong than spend 90mins watching Shoot Em Up!
Jonathan Ross is so past it - its not funny how not funny he is!
Friday Night With Jonathan Ross must have those in charge of Ross rubbing their sweaty little palms together. They know the BBC lacks imagination when it comes to talk shows so when they have Jonathan Ross at their disposal they are quite settled to just sit back and let a half wit command this primetime slot.
Ross Spends most of the show grooming his ego and smiling about how much the BBC is paying him. The show is a complete copy of many US Chat Shows - Leno, Letterman, Conan O Brian, the list goes on - but he and his team have clearly seen what works on the masses can also be done for the dumb masses in the UK also.
The unfortunate situation - he has no competition? Parkinson has gone by the reality is he was never really up to much except grooming a celebs ego. Can't we have someone funnier and slicker on British Screens instead of Jonathan Ross? Once Ross has built up his ego enough he will then proceed to the very boring concept of the stiff celebrities in the green room - so trying to get on with each other. If an A-Lister is present (which is so often the case these days - as there are no other chat shows they can turn to - to promote their latest movie) - he will spend the next hour either flirting with them or trying to be their best friend in the Universe. Sqeamish when he had Ringo Starr on - a man that cares nothing for licking arse - Ross genuinely was begging for his mobile phone number (as common policy on this show is for Jonathan Ross to get everyones number so he can be seen in the right company when not working). Of course Ringo said it how it is - and simply said no I don't like you - dead pan serious.
Ross needs to be axed from all Awards and TV shows - the masses will get over it.
I Am Legend (2007)
28 Days Later and Castaway rip off...Hollywood style
This is classic Hollywood - It rips off 28 Days Later except rather than actors playing the infected its mainly CGI. Except Hollywood moves 28 Days later to 2 and half years later in New York rather than London and mixes a sense of Tom Hanks Castaway to the scene. Will Smith has no one to talk to so spends the movie talking to Manicans who are slightly more sophisticated that Wilson. The best Actor in this movie is not Will Smith - but Sam - Samantha is played by the German Shepard Dog - she steals every scene. I do wish this movie had more substance - I felt let down by the disappointing ending and why did there have to be a zombie that just simply wouldn't die - he was like that annoying Zombie in Land of the Dead - JUST DIE!
2 hours I will never get back - Terry Gilliam needs to retire
I don't want to waste to much energy on this title - but the reality is I went into this movie with an open mind not really knowing what to expect. I sat and sat waiting for Gilliams past talents to kick in. But the reality is this was a weak story - a story that shouldn't of even been thought up. What a waste of time, money and energy. And I'm not talking about the money I paid to see it. I'm talking about the money wasted by the Canadian and British film industry - money that could of been better spent on not letting a Monty Has been create true crap! Don't waste your time on this - I haven't seen such a bad movie since What Dreams May Come!
Land of the Dead (2005)
Had so much potential - yet ended up to be Zombie Tripe!
I was expecting so much from this - and it started off with so much potential - yet after 10mins it was all down hill. Very few new ideas - pointless story. I cared for none of the characters. Was I supposed to care for the Zombies or the pathetic try hard heroes? Simon Baker was the only thing that made this movie even slightly enjoyable to watch. This pales in comparison to Dawn of the Dead (which isn't that great). The Director could of learned a lot from 28 days later - but didn't. Land of The Dead is stuck in the past and didn't deserve a Cinema release. If a good story is your thing - then you should definitely look elsewhere. If mindless tedious killing is your thing - then there are other Zombie movies that would deserve your attention before this Tripe. Its such a shame it could of been so good!