This is a difficult one as, tragically, I’ve not been to the cinema much this year; a mix of not much cash, not much time and not much I’ve fancied seeing. To be honest, I’d be hard pushed to make a ‘Top 10’ I’ve not really seen that many more and I didn’t like all of those.
In no order:
Iron Man 2
As much as I loathe Mickey Rourke and his randomly inflating face, I have to admit he was good fun in this. Sam Rockwell, who I usually like, was pretty awful. Not the best comic based movie ever but good brainless fun.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part one
Remarkable. Much derided for the dancing sequence and much bitched about the lack of plot, but what do you expect from half a book? You’re not going to to get any kind of resolution, so look at it for what it is which is a great first half. It more than adequately portrays the lose of innocence and dislocation felt by death of Dumbledore and the decision to abandon Hogwarts for a life with consequence. It shows that although being forced to grow up, Harry, Ron and Hermione are still children struggling to fit into an adult world. There are some great set pieces and genuinely moving end to a previously un-liked character and it sets up the next movie beautifully. Strangely, though, my favourite section was the telling of the Deathly Hallows story from Beedle The Bard. Beautiful Shadow Puppetry!
Brilliant. Not actually out in the UK yet, (innocent whistle) but a fascinating account of the obscenity trial surrounding Ginsbergs epic poem. Cut into dramatisations of the court case are animations of the poem. Marvellous.
Prince of Persia
The phrase ‘based on the videogame’ is rarely a good omen, but with a huge amount of surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this strangely old fashioned confection.
Alice in Wonderland
Clash of the Titans
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
3D is a double edged sword. In theory, it makes perfect sense to try and achieve the kind of realism 3D offers but in practice it means a lot of unnecessary things being thrust at the viewer. At least with Tron:Legacy and Dawn Treader, they were creative with the 3D and it was never less than interesting. Those two, of course were made in 3D, Alice and Titans were ‘3D-ised’ later on. It shows. Post-prodection 3D simply doesn’t work. Personally, I’d rather see a well made 2D movie than a half arsed 3D movie.
I rather enjoyed Alice, despite having little to do with the source story, but as usual with Tm Burton movies, the design is the thing that enthralled. Even Planet of the Apes, dog of a movie that it was, was beautifully designed. Neither were particularly satisfying as movies, although Alice was about 40,000 times better than POTA. But they looked lovely.
Had it’s moments. Sadly the ones that annoyed me outnumbered the ones that thrilled me. Didn’t know whether to pitch itself as a brutal gangster movie or a comedy superhero movie and got the balance wrong on almost all counts. Some great performances – Cage’s Adam West pastiche was a thing of Joy – but rather cruel and bad tempered.
Book of Eli
Humanity is heading this way. Try and stop it, there’s a love.
Found myself fast forwarding through this to get to the ‘gorey’ bits only to be disappointed when I got there. Dull, dull, dull.
I’m a sucker for a movie about Lennon. This is a particularly good one. Not quite as good as the Eccleston one on BBC4, but a fascinating account of the women who shaped Lennons life. Definitely worth a watch!
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Two documentaries that may or may not contain fake elements. Being a huge fan of Banksy, I have to be honest and say I found the movie extraordinarily dull. POstmodern self referentialism is all very good, but for gods sake make it interesting! Catfish was a much more fascinating movie. The makers insist it’s 100% real, but the beats and dramatic events do seem a little too perfect. Essentially, it a story about a facebook relationship between one of the filmmakers and someone who clearly needs help. She has set up a number of false identities and manages each one so well that they filmmakers thank that they really are talking to discrete individuals. When the truth is revealed we discover a disturbed woman and a house of cards. Amazing. Which reminds me . . .I must watch The Social Network. And Monsters. And Skyline.
Actually, looking back, there wasn’t a lot of merit happening, was there?