#320 – True Grit

Drama

The Coen’s remake of True Grit is better than the original. It’s heavier, has a better script, superior acting and style to burn in the direction – everything that was loose in the original has been tightened. This is hell of an achievement.  The only way the remake could have been any greater, would have been if Michael Biehn had got the role of ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper, he auditioned you know. No offense to Barry P. of course.

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#319 – Hereafter

Drama

At the beginning of Hereafter I was not convinced, it felt a bit contrived and implausible yet I was sucked in. And when it finished I felt pleased that all the characters had managed appropriate resolutions. It’s Clint’s hand that does it. This film is some way short of his best work, but he’s able to create a connection between screen and viewer, honestly it’s almost annoying.

#318 – Monsters

Horror

Monsters is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. It feels original. And as if it was made by people who genuinely love the story they’re telling. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Nick Love was an executive producer. The sincerity that exudes from this flick is in its improvised nature, the use of actors only for the two lead roles (both of whom are as tight as drums), shooting it on off the shelf cameras and that Gareth Edwards directed, wrote and importantly created all the creature effects, at home, in his office. I couldn’t believe how good it looked. This film is brilliant, it’s Stalker as a love story with some house sized extra-terrestrials – peachy!

#317 – 127 Hours

Drama

127 Hours never feels static, which considering it’s about a bloke stuck under a rock is impressive and an example of why you should get Danny Boyle to shoot your script. Franco matches his director offering a solid performance, but there can be no doubt this movie is all about a dude who cuts of his own arm. And this for me diminished things, there were Into The Wild like fragments, yet I feel it was almost impossible to relate the tale of Aron Ralston to a populous, to make it relevant. However, there is some smart split screening trying to address this in the title sequence which arguably does work up to a point.  But, what you really want to see is the twanging of nerves and tendons, the hacking of flesh and the cracking of bones… you won’t be disappointed.

#314 – The Happening

Drama

M. Night what are you like! You come up with these kinda cool and cooky ideas and then sort of ruin them – but what irritates me most is that I can’t put my finger on why. Is it the desire to always create a high concept pitch. I mean you can sum up each of your films in one sentence that reads like it’s sure going to be interesting. The Happening fits, nature decides to make humans commit suicide. Cool premise, huh? Reality though equals a funny film, I mean who can’t laugh at man laying down to die in front of his lawn mower! Actually I take the above back, forget my doubts M., you’re a genius!

#313 – Unknown

Drama

Unknown is going to get compared to Taken. So I’ll get it out the way. It’s not nearly as good as Taken. The desire to capitalise on Neeson as an action hero is justified, but this was not the vehicle to do it with. The characters are flat, the plot is kind of dull – I mean how many confused assassins does cinema actually need? If you like the idea of mixing The Fugitive with Bourne and creating something shitty, then by all means watch this and enjoy.

#312 – Heartless

Horror

Heartless isn’t that good, but it tries to be. The film is cumbersome in delivering too many messages that aren’t all that interesting and suffers for it, as the plot becomes fragmented and motivations are unclear. Also Sturgess’ character has this ‘horrific’ birthmark that is ruining his life though your reaction to him is not one of sympathy or empathy, more one of ‘get over yourself’, I mean he still looks like Jim Sturgess.