jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Films I saw on my holidays



Wallace and Grommit in the Curse of the Wererabbit

I'm a big animation fan, and there's definitely something charming about Nick Park's Aardman animations. I enjoyed this for what it was, but I couldn't help liking Chicken Run more. Chicken Run had a bigger "cast" and more going on and seemed more like a real film than an extended short. That being said, Park manages to fit in a lot of references to monster films, werewolf films in particular, the voices are charming and he still can direct action scenes better than Michael Bay. I liked it, can't say I loved it.

Serenity

I'm also a big Joss Whedon fan, and Serenity was definitely worth seeing on the big screen. It was good to see all the crew from Firefly back again (some with limited screen time) and Joss exceed budgetary limitations the old fashioned way with a good and clever script. I'm not sure that non-Whedon fans (or even non-SF fans) will get any thing from it other than - space western?! - but murasaki_1966 and I loved it.

A Tale of Two Sisters

I've been waiting to see this Korean horror film for awhile and found it in my local video library. Supposedly based on an old Korean folk tale, it's set in the modern day and concerns two sisters who return to their childhood home to live with their father and their stepmother after - something. Very much a twisted fairy tale more than a straight forward horror film. It's a hard film to say anything about without giving too much away. To be perfectly frank, I got confused as to what was going on towards the end but a quick trip to the IMDB bulletin board for the film straightened me out.

The cover of the dvd is misleading, btw. The image doesn't appear in the film and would make you believe the film is more violent than it is (though there's a memorably nasty moment in it.)

Breaking News

A Johnnie To Hong Kong action film, about the police manipulating the media during a hunt through a residential block for a ruthless gang of robbers, and the robbers using the Internet to manipulate the media right back. Very clever, fun film with my sympathies wavering between the cops and robbers. Definitely worth seeing before it's remade (and screwed up) by Hollywood.

London Voodoo

Found out about this little film from MJ Simpson's website. It's a strange cross between horror and social realism. An American couple move into a terrace in London, and uncover a Voodoo shrine in the cellar. Mayhem ensues. Not especially great, or scary, but well-acted and tense in moments. Worth seeking out for horror fans.

Primer

If you are any kind of hard SF fan, this is the film you've been waiting for. I was blown away. Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance festival and one of the best science fiction films I've seen in years. No special effects (it was made for $7000 US!) but chock full of ideas. I really, really don't want to say too much about the plot (the friend who showed it to me didn't know anything about it and was blown away by where it went after a slow build-up.)

Just see it. You'll thank me.

Juon 2 - The Grudge

Like a bad photocopy of the original. Nowhere near as creepy as the first Juon, and the boy ghost (Toshio) looked far too physical for the most part. More of the same only less so.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Speaking of more of the same only less so. Has nothing but the initial premise in common with the magnificent Alan Moore/Kevin O'Neill comic series. I might have liked it more had it not pretended to have anything in common with it. But then it'd still be crap. Not just insulting to the intelligence, but downright rude and boorish. A pub-drunk of a film.

Sin City

Reminded me of the Final Fantasy film - an interesting experiment but not greatly entertaining in its own right. Film Noir stripped of any kind of depth or resonance, just turned into pretty pictures and compositions rifled through at a hectic pace. I'm not a fan of Robert Rodriguez and this film hasn't changed my opinion.

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Haven't seen 'League' - or any of the other films mentioned - but thoroughly enjoyed Sin City; very stylistic and unique in its look and feel. It seemed only natural for Frank Miller, whose work is steeped in noir, to gravitate to the making of a film in the same style.

The fact that Mickey Rourke re-emerged for this role after getting his face hammered didn't hurt the look either.

Berko

I did like Mickey Rourke as Marv, but I thought "Sin City" (which I understand is as faithful as you can get as a comic book adaption) didn't invest enough in the characters for me to be interested in them. Miller's noir work for me works better with pre-existing characters (esp. his Daredevil work), his self-created characters don't seem as fully-formed.

I'm with you on Sin City (and suspect you already know my thoughts on LXG, so won't go there).

On the others, you're years ahead as usual. Breaking News, London Voodoo and Primer sound good to me.

Don't miss "Primer" whatever you do. It's already had a limited release here so hopefully a DVD is not too far behind. It's the best hard SF film I've seen in years.

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