Had a real issue with the dual storylines. Loved everything to do with the kids, but found the monster movie stuff tedious. The stuff with the kids was so great though that I ended up really liking it anyway.
Cerebral and kind of frosty, but also ultimately rewarding. It's a film hinged on the interactions of its characters and Binoche and William Shimell carry it on their shoulders. Whilst there's a certain staginess to the film at times, there's no denying it's style.
Repulsive, glorious, off-beat and achingly sad. It's an amazing film, populated by grotesque (and very real) characters and captured with the frenzied eye of one of Spain's best directors. Acting as a kind of macabre romance the film's central narrative focuses on a love triangle between two clowns and the the acrobat they both love.
Both full of murderous rage the triangle soon turns vicious with one brutally disfiguring the other before fleeing from everything he loves. With a luciously rotten style The Last Circus is a baroque beauty.
Very impressively made, and with a great leading performance, but I actually ended up finding the main plot to be more frustrating than anything else. Feels like there really isn't a finale as such and Morra gets off way too easily.
Still Cooper is engaging and the film is never not well made, it just feels like something that could have been amazing.
Whilst I can certainly pick out a ton of flaws in SMALLTOWN MURDER SONGS the stuff that works in the film, works so well for me that I ended up loving it. I'm kind of a fan of overblown things anyways, and the use of music and imagery all create this immense southern-gothic atmosphere which the rest of the film doesn't really live up to. It's the kind of film that would work work without dialogue, and as such the central performances almost feel like afterthoughts.
It falters a little towards the end, losing a little momentum and a lot of its infectious charm, but by that point the film can afford to coast a little. Packed full of great, fun, little moments and boasting two fantastic lead characters Nine Queens is testament to how an audience can invest in even the most morally reprehensible characters if they're shown as being good at their profession.
With the first act almost structured like a how to guide on con-men the film whizzes along and only really loses pace once its main plot arrives and slows down proceedings.
Bruce Willis declares war on Nigeria for no real reason in a film that is well shot, but utterly plodding. With a nonsensical plot, dull characterisation, and poorly executed action sequences the film succeeds as neither an action movie or a drama and is more frustrating than outright bad as there is the germ of an interesting film buried within.
Whilst I don't think that's the central thesis that Ridley Scott wants you to take from BLACK HAWK DOWN it's kind of hard to take any other view from it. Sure it has the occasional moment where it tries to portray the Somalians as actual human beings, but 99.8% of the film casts the native residents of Mogadishu as essentially Urak-Hai. A ravening, almost unseen, horde of violence and destruction which rushes in on the American forces like a tidal wave of hatred.
Whilst it's easy to find this approach to be a little unsettling when dealing with real life events that happened not two decades ago there is a purity of vision to the film that is almost commendable. It's not attempting to tell a balanced account of what happened on that day, it's trying to get into the heads of the soldiers involve and really explore the idea of brotherhood under fire.
It's essentially TOP GUN for a modern audience and I'd be surprised if the film didn't convince a whole bunch of people to join up with the military after seeing it. Whilst the film attempts to portray the horror and carnage of warface, Ridley Scott is almost unable to completely commit to it and as such the savagery of combat becomes almost operatic in his film. Bullet casings fall to the ground in slow motion, explosions glower with malevolence, military equipment sheens like it was forged by the gods themselves whilst Hans Zimmers pounding score fills the air with chugging guitars.
It's a film completely lacking in subtlety, evidenced by its entire second and third act being devoted to one sprawling firefight, but it's endearingly unsubtle. Completely unconcerned with tact and diplomacy and more interested in deifying the men on the ground. It's Triumph of the Will with less Triumph and a lot more ohh-rahh.
But amidst the ooh-rahhiffic nature of the film are surprisingly well drawn characters, who you're engaged by, played by a relative who's who of upcoming talent. Watching it in 2012 almost makes the film more star studded than its initial release and there's something giddily satisfying about watching a film where Tom Sizemore is the veteran lynchpin actor. With its focus split between dozens of different characters its hard to pin down any real stand stars of the film, but Sizemore, Eric Bana and William Fichtner pretty much demand your attention whenever they're on screen. Bana in particular delivers the kind of performance that makes you rue and lament his eventual settling into the supporting character role as the guy is legitimately amazing whenever he's on screen.
Impossibly charming, with an amazing lead and a great deal of style. Whilst some of the effects work is a little spotty, the tone is so consistent and the performances so strong you quickly look past them. Louise Bourgoin is fantastic as the main character and she's ably matched by a sly, witty, script which barely stops for breath and constantly throws new characters and jokes into the breach. The most entertaining film Besson has made since The Fifth Element.
Genuinely amazing, really annoyed I didn't get around to this sooner because it's kind of astounding.
Pope is kind of amazing, just the way he sort of worms his way into the picture and is just in the background until he has to get really vicious. All through the first act your picking up on the potential threats from Baz and Craig and you don't even notice Pope until he brings the fire.
Very stagey and very uneven but when it works it works. Essentially it's about a new totalitarian regieme which abducts and transports 'wastrels' and scroungers to interment camps where they have to justify their existence or lose their existence.
I really loved the style of the thing. I actually found it to be a little oversprawling at times, like the story could possibly have been a little leaner. I actually didn't find the narrative particularly interesting, but the filmmaking and lead performances were amazingly engaging.
I'm 50/50 with Sodenbergh, for every film I love by him there's one I loathe. I love this more than loathe, but it's pedantic pacing really kills it dead at times. It's got so many great individual moments, but it's got literally no momentum.
I get what he was trying to do, but I think the David Holmes score is what did the most damage to the film for me and it's indicative of a lot of my issues with the film. It feels like Sodenbergh is trying to pull away from the allure of the material.
It kind of rushes a little and moves away from the actual interesting details of the productions. It's a little too big on lionising and a little light on actual insight, it also seems to completely skip about half of the Wrestlemania's, with the focus on the early events and key moments in later events. Pretty much every Wrestlemania from the 1990s is overlooked.