Friday, July 02, 2010

June Film Highlights

Find more at the old 50 Word Reviews Blog

Four Lions
(2010) Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Dir: Chris Moriss.

A group of wannabee jihadists argue about what to try and blow-up. A dark comedy which gets plenty of lives aims at the incompetence, ignorance and stupidity of the faux terrorists. The problem is that they’re still just as effective at taking lives and causing anarchy. A frightening film.


Peeping Tom (1960) Carl Boehm, Moira Shearer, Anna Massey, Maxine Audley. Dir: Michael Powell.

A girl becomes attracted to a cameraman who secretly films women as he murders them. Months before Psycho, Powell created a complex psychological film that destroyed his career. The exploration of voyeurism is quite fascinating. But if you’re not swept up by it, you might notice a variety of implausibilities.


The Bed-Sitting Room (1969) Rita Tushingham, Peter Cook, Spike Milligan, Dudley Moore, Arther Lowe, Marty Feldman. Dir: Richard Lester.

In post apocalyptic Britain, a young mother and her family return to the surface and move into a man who has mutated into a bed-sitting room. A genuine curiosity. Surreal and bleak, there are brilliant ideas, and the landscape is truly startling, but it’s hard to follow and very disjointed.


American – The Bill Hicks Story (2010) Dir: Matt Harlock

A solid overview of the life of one Americas most controversial cult comedians. The participation of close family and friends provides a lovingly detailed look at his formative years, but the impact of his later controversial material seems a little unexplored. It’s also a little hard to tell who’s talking.


Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2010) Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Brad Dourif. Dir Werner Herzog.

After injuring his back saving a prisoner’s life, a Police Lieutenant becomes addicted to narcotics and slides of the rails. Cage seems to be playing a comedy character but in a very serious film. Hard to be sure exactly what Herzog’s trying to say, it’s bewildering and a little unsatisfying.


Kick Ass
(2010) Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong. Dir: Matthew Vaughn

A geeky teen dons a costume and becomes a super hero, but things get very serious when he crosses a mob boss and a rival hero team. Although the premise is more original, this action packed film soon becomes very much like the standard super hero fair. Still entertaining enough though.