Wednesday, March 06, 2013

February Film Highlights

I'm in the process of making a new 50 word blog, but for the time being, please visit the old one.

Quatermass II (1957) Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sid James, Bryan Forbes, William Franklyn, Vera Day. Dir:Val Guest.
Quatermass II 50 Word Film Review

Unusual meteor fragments lead Quatermass to discover a secret government base and a horrifying secret. Bodysnatcher-esque story but more overtly horror focused. Like the first movie, it’s done in a grim documentary style, giving it a realistic quality, but builds to a bigger, more suspenseful climax. Donlevy still rubbish though.

Flight (2012) Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood. Dir: Robert Zemeckis.

A pilot safely crash lands his plane, saving lives, but was drunk and high at the time. Starting with bravura heart-racing crash sequence, this is a fascinating portrayal of addiction, with Washington putting in a performance that isn’t showy, but affecting and totally convincing.
Superbly played, written and directed.


Bananas (1971) Woody Allen, Louise Lasser, Carlos Montalban, Natividad Abascal, Jacobo Morales. Dir: Woody Allen.
Bananas 50 Word Film Review

After being dumped, a lonely man travels to South America and gets involved in a revolution. Too scattergun to be considered satire, but admirably gag-heavy, with more hitting than missing. A fierce pace crams tons into 90 minutes and silent comedy sequences give early hints at Woody’s willingness to experiment.


Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams. Dir: Roger Mitchell.
Hyde Park on Hudson 50 Word Film Review

President Roosevelt begins a new affair just as he is due to be visited by English royalty. Frustrating failure that can’t find its focus. It’s clear what scenes interested the makers; royal sequences are frequently delightful, Murray and West’s exchanges are particularly great. The romance, however, is flat and lifeless.


Paul (2011) Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Jeffrey Tambor. Dir: Gregg Mottola.
Paul 50 Word Film Review

Two geeks travelling across America encounter a real life alien. Almost entirely forgettable. Pegg and Frost’s humour seems to have been watered-down for the American market;bland and joke-starved, the characters are one-dimensional, the plot repetitive and dull. And Paul is not cute or funny, just irritating.


Zero Dark Thirty (2012) Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle. Dir: Kathryn Bigelow.
Zero Dark Thirty 50 Word Film Review

A CIA agent obsessively pursues a lead for over 10 years in the hunt for Bin Laden. For my two-cents: Bigelow hardly endorses torture; it’s depicted ugly with the results of dubious value. Shows the hunt as grim and arduous, performed by obsessive, numbed, damaged people. Absolutely cracking drama.