Friday, January 20, 2006

Sixty Second Film Reviews: January 2006

Okay - so whats the deal? Well the plan is to do some pretty succint reviews of the films I see each month in one post, and then start another similar thread at the start of the next month. Films can be both contemporary, recent and old.

Anchorman: the sort of film that hammers away in the Steve Martin vein with the same crude gags that trip over each other endlessly, but are left into give it the sort of wacky visual dynamic that defines this rather torrid genre of

Hollywood slop. Network it ain't.

Jarhead: a war movie with a penchant for referencing the very classics it can't possibly live up to. Far more clued in than most of the critics give it credit for, Jarhead manages to present a vision of the sort of dehumanisation of economic draftees that leads to situations like Abu Garib, as well as grappling with the changing nature of how America wages its wars in the wake of Vietnam.

Sophie Scholl: critics fall over themselves to heap undeserved praise on this for its grappling with war time resistance within the Reich. With its hackneyed cries of "freedom" at the end, it does as good a job to mystify the failure of de-nazifaction as can be done.

Downfall: an excellent take on the complexities of commitment to the Nazi regime, as well as illustrating the internal power struggles that lay beneath what appeared as a behemoth of unified power. A fantastic dramatisation that moves beyond the Allo Allo cliches of Sophie Scholl.

The Descent: a second rate X-Files episode that's far to reliant on a host of leftover Gollum graphics from the Lord of The Rings series for its own good. Avoid.

Saw 2: A CSI episode gone haywire, with far too many nods to the Cube for its own good.

Napoleon Dynamite: an extremely off beat interpretation of the American highshool movie, filled with loathsome characters that'll leave you with a stockpile of instantly recognisable one liners.

Lord Of War: if Amnesty International were making a major motion picture - then this would probably be it. A fast moving romp through the arms trade and straight into its vicious darkened heart.

Dead Bodies: all its smart assed fast paced plot movements, can't compensate for this film that speds along to a "hip" indie soundtrack in a desperate attempt to associate itself with the new wave of Brit cinema spawned by Madonna's squeeze. So some twat accidently kills his girlfriend leading to a chaotic cover up, and more dead bodies. Sean Mckinley and a host of other Irish faces play their usual sterotypes in the background for the sake of a cheque. While the main actors all share the actorial range of Fair City's Jimmy Doyle struggling with constipation. All copies of this deserve a shallow grave, rather than the comparison on the cover.

28 Days Later: we like our horror here, so how I excused this from my horror list is beyond me. There's not much that can be said about this that hasn't been said. God Speed providing a tension laden soundtrack, the humour of the multiple endings, the subversion of the zombie convention. Ten
"Ah yeahs" out of then.


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