Sunday, November 07, 2010

October Film Highlights

The obligatory link to the blog.

The Illusionist (2010) Dir: Sylvian Chomet.

A musical hall magician struggling to find work in the 60s meets a girl in Scotland who believes in magic. A film so beautiful (the Edinbugh scenes are stunning), yet so heart-wrenchingly tragic - it deals with the casualties of the changing times. It’ll put a tear in your eye.


Cat People (1982) Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole. Dir: Paul Schrader

An orphan finds her brother, who believes they are were-cats that can only mate with each other. The subtly of the original is lost on this tawdry and lurid remake. The story, now more erotic than horrific, has potential, but it’s undermined by melodramatic direction and some laughably gratuitous nudity.


Scott Pilgrim Vs the World (2010) Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman. Dir: Edgar Wright.

A slacker kid falls in love with a mysterious girl, but must battle her seven evil exes before he can win her heart. Hilarious teen romance transformed into an action comic book and pop-culture piss-take. A little long perhaps, but consistently funny and imaginatively brought to life on screen.


It Happened One Night
(1934) Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns Dir: Frank Capra

An heiress on the run from her father gets help from a willing journalist as she tries to reach her new husband. One of the first and best road-trip comedies. Gable and Colbert are the perfect double act, the screenplay is virtually laugh-a-minute, and Capra never lets the pace drop.


She (1965) Ursula Andress, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, John Richardson, Bernard Cribbins. Dir: Robert Day

A former soldier is lead to a lost city by ‘she who must be obeyed’ as she believes him to be her reincarnated lover. Much more lavish than the average hammer horror, but pretty dull otherwise. The pace is languid and the leads have no chemistry. Lee is completely wasted.


The Seventh Victim (1943) Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter. Dir: Mark Robson.

A girl comes to the city in search of her missing sister and uncovers a sinister conspiracy. With excellent cinematography and a great build-up, it’s a real shame that this one doesn’t quite deliver, due to a vague expurgated script and cinema’s dullest cult of Satanists.


W (2008) Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss. Dir: Oliver Stone.

A look at George Dubya’s rise and time in power. Starts off with a balanced portrayal but slips eventually into parody. The needlessly non-linear storyline only emphasises the lack of focus, taking chunks of Ws life without really providing an overarching thesis. The supporting cast are all one dimensional.


A Bucket of Blood (1959) Dick Miller, Ed Nelson, Bert Convy, Antony Carbone. Dir: Roger Corman

A young artist becomes a success after creating a series of very life-like sculptures... Amusing Corman cheapie which has some good pops at pretentious artists and their world. Naturally the sets are few, and it’s not exactly thrilling (there’s no bucket or blood), but it’s a pleasant 60 minute distraction.