I died for your sins, so accordingly, here are some inane musings to contemplate...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

PROJECT 365: 12 - 25

12. Wolf Creek - well I can understand why this film was lauded and loved, but honestly it was as formulaic as most horror films out there. John Jarrat and Kestie Morassi did great jobs with their characters, yet once again - like all these films - the protagonists have a ripe opportunity to kill the bad guy and they screw it up, or she decides to waste time watching video camera footage instead of looking for a car or her friend (and then gets what she deserves). 1.5/5.

13. *Awakenings - the first repeat of Project 365 and damn me what a great film to repeat seeing. I basically teared up the whole way through and was mesmerised by both DeNiro and Williams' performances. Was kinda weird seeing Julie Kavner in there - kept expecting her to launch into her Marge Simpson voice - but that didn't matter. This is truly an exceptional and wonderful and heart breaking film, all the more poignant 'cause it is all based on a true event. 5/5.

14. The King of Kong - A Fistful of Quarters - this is quite possibly the most perfect documentary ever made. It's hilarious, creepy, sad and really gets you sucked right in to the machinations behind these - let's face it - losers, attempting to break the world record in Donkey Kong. The whole story arc you couldn't have even dreamed up and the smarminess of Billy is just astonishingly awesome. Everyone should see this, it's just absolutely brilliant film making with a kick arse ending. 6/5. (yep, I loved it that much)

15. *The Fisher King - Terry Gilliam's films are a bit hit and miss with me and this one mostly hits. I like the redemptive story and also Williams' manic character suits him to a T. 4/5.

16. *The Joy Luck Club - another repeat and probably wasn't a good idea to do so. This film hasn't aged well but that might actually be due to the DVD I watched - it looked like it was shot on cheap video cameras like they use for dodgy foreign TV shows that appear on SBS and not proper 35mm film cameras. Apart from that the story was rather labored in that you kind of knew where each one was going; lay on the tragedy as much as possible and see them come through as stronger and more focused women - now I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff but the acting by Ming-Na Wen especially was just so wooden and unbelievable that I did not really enjoy this much at all. 1.5/5.

17. Valkyrie - had free tickets to see this through MIFF. I quite enjoyed it despite knowing that the whole thing was not going to end well at all (obviously they don't kill Hitler). Tom Cruise was quite good as the determined and driven main protagonist and the support cast had some big names who did very well in their roles. I was particularly impressed with Bill Nighy. The mix of Merkin, UK and German accents was a little off putting at the start but once the story kicked into gear I really didn't notice it at all. Will be very interesting to watch the original German version I recorded off SBS the other night as the ads had a few shots hat looked strikingly similar. 3/5

18. The Contender - Joan Allen plays a US Senator nominated for the Vice Presidency who has to go through a committee process where they basically dig through her past and rip sh*t through her. Caught it on TV and really enjoyed it with great performances all 'round especially from Gary Oldman. 4/5

19. *Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In) - had to re-watch after finishing the book and still really enjoyed it. They kept very faithful to the book although maybe finding out about Eli's past could have been good as well. 5/5

20. El Orfanato (The Orphanage) - nice little supernatural thriller with a gorgeous lead actress and a rather creepy story with a bittersweet ending. 3/5

21. Rock 'n' Rolla - Guy Ritchie attempting get back to his hey day of Lock Stock and Snatch and he sort of gets there. It was amusing enough the way he intertwined his stories and I enjoyed the end tie-up of the last few minutes even though you could see it coming. The gay club dancing was hilarious. 3/5

22. *Superman Returns - only saw this once at the cinema and thought I'd re-watch to see if my original vitriol was well deserved or not and basically - yes and no. Yes it is an atrocious script with one of the dumbest ideas for a villain's plan in the history of comic book films ever but Bryan Singer did shoot a beautiful looking film with really bright and saturated colours and some damn good editing and pacing. The actors are all quite good with Spacey being the stand out although why Kal Penn was mostly reduced to scenes where he has a stupid grin on his pace that is supposed to be evil rather than actually having a speaking role I will never know. I also found it amusing that Singer cast so many of his gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) buddies in the film in various roles (Spacey, that footballer dude, etc). 2.5/5

23. Charlie Wilson's War - a great film about the quest of a US Congressman to stave off the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 80's and covertly aid the Afghan's in their struggle. I couldn't figure out why I liked this film so much until the final credits rolled - written by Aaron Sorkin, creator of West Wing & Studio 60 - 'nuff said. Loved Julia Roberts in this. 4/5

24. My Sassy Girl - a great little Korean film about a guy who comes to the rescue of an abusively drunk girl on a train. He decides to stay with her and try and heal her pain despite the fact she treats him so bad. Very funny and heart warming, I'm tempted to check out the Merkin remake to see if they managed to ruin it or not. 3.5/5

25. Slumdog Millionaire - you've all heard about it, it's great to see the dude from Skins in the main role, everyone is awesome with fantastic performances from the two youngest boys especially. Absolute loved it. Was not too fond of Boyle's overuse of angled shots at the start of the film but he calmed that down soon enough so that I was completely lost in the story. 5/5

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