Sunday, August 05, 2012

July Film Highlights

The 50 Word blog awaits you...

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Modine. Dir: Christopher Nolan.

The Dark Knight Rises 50 Word Film Review

A reclusive Bruce Wayne re-dons the cowl when a terrorist threatens Gotham. So much plot emotive moments sometimes vanish, but by the end, you’ve invested so much it's exhausting. Nolan pulls all the stops, creating an urban war movie full of engaging personal stories. Huge in every way. Awesome cast.


Onibaba (1964) Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Sato. Dir: Kaneto Shindo.

Onibaba 50 Word Film Review
Two poor women survive by killing lone samurai and selling their belongings. Described often as horror, although that’s only in the supernatural final section, Onibaba’s a haunting work about the depths people sink to to survive, losing their inhibitions and humanity. Stunning on screen, full of beauty, dread and menace.


The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Stéphane Audran, Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Cassel. Dir: Luis Buñuel.

The Discreet Charm of the Bougeoisie

Increasingly bizarre events prevent a group of wealthy friends from enjoying a meal together. Surreal satire that takes witty swipes at a privileged class whose inane, shallow, ridiculous existence persists even through extreme circumstances. Its tricks, twists and occasionally shocking turns reward repeated viewing, but is accessible enough for casual viewers.


A Royal Affair (2012) Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander, Mikkel Følsgaard, David Dencik, Søren Malling. Dir: Nikolaj Arcel.

A Royal Affair 50 Word Review

A princess is married to the imbecilic mad Danish King, but both are taken with an ambitious new doctor. More than your average costume drama; this sumptuous tale draws attention to a fascinating little-known romance that resulted in political and social change, covering subjects still relevant. Fabulous performances.


Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy. Dir: Don Coscarelli.

Bubba Ho-Tep 50 Word Film Review
An elderly Elvis and a black JFK team up to fight a mummy feeding off the elderly in their rest home. A Goosebumps for pensioners; this delightfully eccentric story is genuinely poignant, as a cantankerous, mournful, contemplative King, decides to take his final bow. A little slow, but Campbell’s magnificent.


Killer Joe (2011) Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple. Dir: William Friedkin.

Killer Joe 50 Word Film Review

A life insurance seeking family are unable to pay a hitman, so they offer their youngest girl as a retainer. As with Bug, Friedkin and writer Letts are interested in exploring the need for family and togetherness in even twisted circumstances. As much black-comedy as thriller, McConaughey is frighteningly good.


Repo Man (1984) Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson. Dir: Alex Cox.

Repo Man 50 Word Film Review
A teen joins a car repossession firm which is tasked with retrieving a vehicle with something alien in the trunk. Entertainingly off-kilter comedy which explores eccentrics on the fringes of society with surrealism and satire. It’s frequently very funny, but hard to figure what it’s about, if anything.


The Lodger: A Story of London (1927) Ivor Novello, Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, June Tripp, Malcolm Keen. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock.

The Lodger 50 Word Film Review
A serial killer terrifies London while a landlady gets a sinister lodger. One critic claimed this was the best British film to date - with good reason. Hitchcock brought moody European expressionism to his first thriller, and many Hitchcockian themes first show here. Editing and title cards worth praise. Terrific climax.