#782 – Horrible Bosses


Horrible Bosses isn’t the worst comedy you’ll ever see, neither though is it the best. Bateman’s dead pan humour is as always on the money however and the supporting cast elevate proceedings considerably… “Life is a marathon and you cannot win a marathon without putting a few bandaids on your nipples!”

Horrible Bosses Jason Bateman Charlie Day Jason Sudeikis


#781 – Byzantium


The problem with Byzantium is there are many flaws, mostly in the plot that is like swiss cheese in script format. It is stylish though and they’ve done their best to cover up the faults by having Arterton’s cleavage literally bursting forth in every single scene. Clever…

Byzantium Gemma Arterton

#779 – Her


The Spike Jonze filter is in full effect during Her, what does he do to make his movies look like they do!? Criticism as follows: it’s too long for the story it tells, there isn’t enough to sustain it and this results in too many ponderous moments where Joaquin is staring off into middle distance. But that’s all that’s wrong with it.

There’s been too much made of its sci-fi element, apart from high waist bands and glorious production design it really isn’t about technology or the future. Good sci-fi is never about science or fiction, and this movie at its heart, a very human heart, is about romantic loss. The pain of not sharing your life and the fear of isolation. It is also deeply sad as it lays bare the disconnect of modern living. Consider it depressingly beautiful.

There is a non-to-subtle image of Joaquin in front of a video screen of an owl taking its prey that needs to be mentioned. It is out of this world good despite the obviousness of it all. These few frames are a striking endorsement for the power of cinema. Amazing.

And finally I can’t decide whether casting Scarlett as Samantha’s voice was clever or a bit of a cheat. An audience knows the visual the voice comes from and that undoubtedly adds to the Operating System’s charm. It’s sort of necessary I suppose because she is essentially a sexy version of Windows. Nevertheless it’d be interesting to know what difference, if any, having an unrecognised actor voice Samantha would have made.

Her Joaquin Phoenix

#778 – Hesher


Hesher lacks a sincere end, it’s too contrived and the film as a whole suffers. It is black and comedic though, which is something a lot profess to be without really hitting their marks.

The film is indie and it’s quaint and Gordon-Levitt is great as the sociopathic title character (nb. title character yes, but not who the film is actually about). Unfortunately for Brochu, whose character the film is about, he becomes someone for everyone else to act around. It’s a shame, he’s not bad, it’s just the way things pan out. Portman, Laurie and Wilson do well too with very little in terms of script. It’s worth noting Portman also produced and seeing her returned to attractive and quirky undoubtedly helps this flick along.

Overall it’s close, but not quite there.

Hesher Natalie Portman

#777 – The Selfish Giant


It would be easy to talk about The Selfish Giant in terms of it being very like Kes and how it’s mostly northerners being abusive toward one another. And it is both these things.

That said it is also tonally magnificent and perfectly simple. It’s a story that matters, there is an important connection between audience and actors. This film is despair and beauty, it’s a powerful mix.

The Selfish Giant

#776 – Riding Giants


I hadn’t seen Riding Giants since its release, which coincidently was roughly a decade ago. As documentary filmmaking goes it’s exceptional. What floors me most is the archive footage Peralta has included, especially of the pioneer big wave surfers in 60s, notably of Greg Noll… possibly the coolest man on the planet.

Aside from the technical and historical stuff this film is about what makes a big wave surfer. Listening to these guys talk about their experiences is a privilege, and a joy. Their enthusiasm and love for what they do is unbridled and uplifting.

And if that wasn’t enough, you’ve shots for days of dudes riding 50 foot waves. Holy shit it’s intoxicating. I have no doubt the gromit in Point Break was right, surfing really is ‘the source’.

Riding Giants

#775 – American Hustle


Loved American Hustle. The show is stolen though by Jennifer Lawrence, her housework sequence will be referenced for forever and a day. Louis C.K. and Amy Adams’ dramatic plunging necklines do run her close though.

It might lack a little weight in the final act, but it’s easy to forgive. There’s too many excellent sequences, lines, outfits and hairdos set to a killer soundtrack not to be smitten right from the feet up with this movie.

#774 – Prisoners


This is a solid film. Prisoners feels like Mystic River crossed with Zodiac. Jackman and Gyllenhaal are dynamic different types of brutish, the individual versus the institution. The movie drips religious symbolism and a fair bit of Masonic iconography too as morality is questioned. Or more accurately assaulted in an interrogation room.

Stylishly it is unrelentingly bleak. A town pounded into the earth by driving rain and cold, all of which is morbidly shot with achingly slow zooms and tracks. It’s a quality even paced thriller with a finale to match. The ending, the very final shot, is absolutely on the money. No rising crane angles here…

Prisoners Paul Dano