Reviews written by registered user
sharkies69

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25 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The director of this turkey needs to be suplexed., 16 March 2014
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only thing going for this pretentious film is the premise itself. Two soldiers return home from the French foreign legion and get work in the wrestling world, eventually becoming caught up with gangsters.

As part of the French FIlm Festival in Australia (who compared this with Tarantino and Scorcese) I honestly would have walked out after forty minutes were I not with a friend and seated in the middle of the row.

Raging Bullesque cinematography can't save this dreadful film. Poorly scripted (like a first draft) with characters you don't care about, little action, tension or pacing. Heavy handed direction and way over stylised.

This isn't even a great tribute to wrestling itself.

Avoid at all costs.

A doco on French wrestling in the 60's would have been more entertaining.

Girl Model (2011)
13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
The cold, bloodless world of modelling close up., 12 August 2012
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hard to try and beat the earlier review of this by Backseat Director.

Just saw this at MIFF today and found it very absorbing. Whilst it is very sad watching the young women (girls) being exploited the saddest character by far is "scout" Ashley.

From her inability to leave an industry she clearly loathes, to her massive but ultimately empty mansion (complete with two plastic babies) to her revolting cyst. The scene when she "checks up" on the two young Russian models is a real highlight. Cannot believe how ignorant and cold Ashley is in this sequence. Her inability to communicate is astounding (Hey Ash, did it ever occur to you that the girl's are Russian and didn't have English skills?) and I cannot believe she couldn't fork out some of her fat payroll to hire an interpreter.

A must see documentary.

20 out of 55 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing and tedious, 4 August 2011

After really enjoying Cold Fish at this years Melbourne International Film Festival, I went ahead and got a ticket to a screening of Guilty of Romance.

The only thing that really held my interest (and stopped me from walking out of the cinema) was the gorgeous Megumi Kagurazaka. Outside of this, I found GOR to be underwritten and pretentious.

Didn't care about any of the characters and the stories of three Japanese women quickly became laboured. Overly long scenes, characters shouting at each other, ridiculous literary quotes, a half baked attempt to add a crime caper twist, some kind of messages about modern feminism in Japan? Everything becomes muddled and there is simply no emotion here. Granted I am an Anglo Aussie so I can only assume I am missing much by not being Japanese and understanding their culture.

As a film, Cold Fish was in another league compared to this sorry, overblown mess.

Bullhead (2011)
32 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
Easily the best film I have seen at Melbourne Film Fest 2011, 4 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You really do have to tick all the boxes for this film. Start with the screenplay, it almost feels as if you could be reading a great crime/noir novel. Very few screenplays have that type of feel anymore. Lots of conflict and flesh and blood characters. Speaking of which, the actor portraying Jacky does an amazing job in what must have been a very difficult role to play. Apart from the screenplay and acting, the direction and photography is also of a high order. It takes a special script and director to get you to care about the characters and I felt this one long after I'd left the cinema. It packs a real emotional punch.

Without giving too much away, the story revolves around a rural Belgian family who are in the cattle business. They manage to get caught up in the illegal use of hormones in their animals, the drugs supplied by typically nasty underworld figures.

What really makes this film so riveting is the gripping and harrowing back story involving several of the main characters.

I believe this works as a crime film, drama and even part revenge flick. There is also a doomed love story.

I really hope this film gets a wide release as it certainly deserves it. I look forward to more films from this director.

Symbol (2009)
2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Imagine a Gary Larson 'Far Side' cartoon come to life, 7 August 2010
7/10

Many viewers may find this film or the main character quite idiotic or stupid but those who enjoy physical comedy should get a lot out of it.

A very creative and imaginative concept with man in bright spotted pyjamas trapped in a white walled room. On the walls are hundreds of 'buttons'.

With no visible way out of the room, the man becomes desperate and curious and one by one begins to press the buttons, with each button delivering odd 'products' and 'ojects' that are seemingly no help to him getting out of the room.

At the same time, a parallel storyline runs of the real world, with an underdog Mexican wrestler getting ready for a bout.

The two story lines come together with mixed results.

I found the film to be very entertaining although was a little disappointed with the third act.

Funny and offering something different than the usual Apatow 'hits' churned out by Hollywood.

Anyone who likes early Jim Carrey style physical slapstick might enjoy this.

Hahaha (2010)
9 out of 96 people found the following review useful:
Avoid this low grade 'comedy' at all costs!!!!, 7 August 2010
1/10

Have no idea why they chose to screen this at the recent Melbourne International Film Festival. I would have walked out after fifteen minutes but was trapped in the middle rows and had friends with me.

Knew I was in trouble from the opening scenes. Lousy photography with heavyhanded zoomed close ups throughout. Poorly lit and the most annoying thing of all, the story/script. Nothing at stake here, no conflict, annoying characters (both the male and female leads) no structure.

Have no idea why anyone would fund such a poorly written screenplay.

There is little humour in this film and it is filled with clunky dialogue as the lead actors fumble through a series of dates and relationship issues.

Love Korean cinema but this was surely one of the weakest ones I have ever had to sit through.

172 out of 237 people found the following review useful:
A good film in desperate need of editing, 5 August 2010
7/10

Saw this at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Whilst I didn't enjoy Noe's first film I Stand Alone, I loved Irreversible.

There is lots to like about ETV and much to dislike as well. An hour into the film and I would have given it perhaps an eight or nine but by the end of the film I was frustrated. Why? Noe just can't help himself and you get the feeling he either didn't know how to end the film or simply just wanted to be shocking for the sake of it.

Visually, I couldn't help but be impressed. Some amazing shots, lighting (strobe) and editing techniques. Noe also mixes up the story well as he did in Irreversible. You are not spoon fed the story and I love the way he told the back story of the two leads.

Plenty of people walked out at the screening after the hour and forty minute mark and I couldn't blame them. Probably not because they were shocked but just bored and frustrated. Noe pads this out and it is such a shame as overall it ruined the film as a whole.

The acting is quite wooden and doesn't ring true but that is only a minor quibble when compared to the film's bloated running time.

Hard to fault Noe for his creativity, energy and style and refusal to follow norms in terms of narrative structure etc. Still, I wish a friend or colleague had tapped him on the shoulder or given him some constructive criticism about the last half of the film.

I can only imagine how much footage Noe might add into a Directors Cut - Lord help us. Perhaps he could learn some lessons from this and streamline his storytelling and not feel the need to bludgeon the audience just for the sake of it.

The Search (2009)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Slllllooooooowwwwwwwww, 2 August 2010
4/10

Love my art-house fare but found this film tedious in the extreme.

Aside from a few nice visuals this one didn't seem to go anywhere. Lacks the charm of something like Tulpan and the drama and conflict of an Iranian film.

There is a love story in here somewhere but I didn't care enough about the characters to sit through this.

Not sure if this would have been better as a doco.

Some of the scenes in the 4WD in particular really grated on me. Way too much dialogue and the story he was trying to tell simply wasn't interesting.

14 out of 79 people found the following review useful:
Underwritten, underwhelming film that goes nowhere..., 28 July 2010
4/10

Saw this at the Melbourne International Film Festival the other night and walked out at about the 70 minute mark.

I'm not sure if Hungarians or Romanians might understand this film better, I certainly couldn't.

The lead actress is attractive and tries hard but isn't given enough to work with and the narrative keeps shifting. There was plenty of potential conflict in the opening scene but outside of that I soon lost interest in her character and the other characters she met along with way. The Director seemed to be going for stylish visuals and fantasy sequences whilst forgetting the most important things - the story and characters.

I found Lilya4Ever to be a far superior film about a similar subject. I find it difficult to believe films like this one can even get funding.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Simple story well told, 27 July 2010
8/10

This one hooked me within minutes. Great storytelling using a simple premise. A man returns to Shanghai to see his wife and family after being forced to live in Taiwan for many years for political reasons.

It's amazing what you can do with basic storytelling fundamentals. Conflict, well rounded characters and heart. I wonder why Hollywood can't make films like this.

Anyways, the performances are wonderful from the entire cast, particularly the three leads. There is plenty of drama and some lovely warm and comic touches to lighten things up. I don't know a great deal about the history between China and Taiwan but this didn't effect my enjoyment or understanding of the story.

It made me think of my own family and past loves, etc. What good cinema is supposed to do.


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