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The Double (2013)
I am reluctant to give any film 9/10, especially one that I won't talk to my friends about like I would The Silence of the Lambs, Inception, Donnie Darko or Goodfellas.
However, this film is excellent. A complex storyline which is subtly revealed through brilliant acting and a great script. The score is excellent, as is the cinematography and general directing. I was talking to my father before seeing this film that Ayoade was educated at Cambridge and "you wouldn't think he'd be so smart from his work on the IT Crowd etc, great as it is". In this film, however, you can really see his genius flourish.
Very dark, but not macabre and also hysterically funny throughout, this film achieves exactly what it set out to do.
I haven't read Dostoyevsky's The Double, but now I intend to!
People complaining that this film is "pseudo-art" or "pretentious"- please tell me, what film would you consider strong art which you don't think is at all pretentious? -If this film doesn't meet the bill, I don't know what will.
Glad it's cancelled
I've always hated this show, from the time I was about 12 and saw a couple of episodes on TV in Australia to the time I liked a Facebook page which, along with posting Doctor Who related content, occasionally posted Merlin stuff.
Let me tell you what's good about this show: They managed to get John Hurt involved.
Let me tell you what is awful about this show: The acting (The accents are peculiar and out of place in their modernness) The special effects The costume design The plot development The overall story arc
The main problem with the show though is that the writing is DIRE. As a result of this, the plot and the acting suffer terribly. The language used by the characters is far too modern and completely ridiculous in the Arthurian setting.
Now you may say that I haven't seen enough of the show, that I just need to get into it more to understand it. Anyone who applies this criteria to a show does not understand how good television works. I don't want to see in season after tiresome season, the king and Arthur look at Morgana Le Fay and say "nah she can't be the one trying to kill us, Merlin must be wrong," or events similar to this. I came to this show, very open about it, a big fan of Arthurian legend, only to have my dreams crushed in the first 10 minutes of the first episode I watched.
One of the very few shows that it can be argued needs a few episodes to get into would be The Sopranos because it requires the audience to develop an attachment with the characters. I personally was hooked straight away by the show, but it is understandable that others would not be. Merlin is not a character driven drama and no excuses can be made for its poorness.
I'm disappointed with the BBC and I was glad when it was cancelled, even though I didn't watch the show, as I feel that if it had continued much longer, the reputation of the channel would be in jeopardy. Maybe not now, but when the fangirls of the show have grown up and realised the error of their ways.
If you want to watch a good Merlin TV show, watch the Merlin mini-series (1998) with Helena Bonham Carter. The acting again isn't superb and the special effects are a bit lacking but it's a damn sight better than this rubbish. Better character development, more interesting magic and storyline and it tells a better story a whole lot quicker!
Donnie Darko (2001)
Timeless, brilliant film
Describing Donnie Darko in 1000 words is impossible, however, I will still try and do it!
This film is probably one of the most multi-layered in existence. It is probably of the psychological thriller genre, but it is much more than that. It is very funny in parts ("he told me to forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into my anus!"), very scary (who isn't scared of Frank) and of course, very sci-fi.
This film investigates the struggles of a troubled teenage boy in a very unconventional way.
I'm surprised at how hard writing a review for this film is, due to its incredible complexity, I don't quite know what to say.
At the end of the film you won't know what has happened, by the third or fourth viewing (provided you haven't googled it) you may have some clue, but its obscurity takes nothing away from the film.
All in all, this is probably my favourite movie of all time- the acting is great, the dialogue is either witty or genuine depending on the scene. It's cleverly directed (such a shame that everything else that Richard Kelly has directed has been so uninspiring). The storyline is very interesting and draws the viewer in immediately- and keeps you hooked throughout.
One of the best cult films of all time.