Monday, March 27, 2006

And so into 2006...

It's the end of March and I've seen 5 films at the cinema. Pathetic. A foot operation has rendered me immobile, thus missing the entire Oscar season (secretly grateful, otherwise I'd have spent two months being morbidly depressed)

As my cinema days approach once more, I'll recap briefly on the start of the year.

7th Jan 06 - March of the Penguins (7)
Look at the little penguins. I do think they're cute. And oh, they fell over. Ha ha. This is a documentary along the same lines of the recent BBC series Planet Earth. It's stunning to look at, but the information content is a tad sparse. What was that big thing that just attacked the babies? Oh, you're not going to say. Ok. (Luckily I'm incredibly knowledgable when it comes to topics like this, so I can guess albatross)
This film was 'nice', probably difficult and cold to film, but I didn't come away knowing anything more, and was entertained for a short while. You can't see the facial expression I'm making, but imagine eating something very sour, while being patronising to a small child.

11th Jan 06 - Brokeback Mountain (7.75)
Ah Jake. Lovely Jake. Yeah, Heath played it well, even when he was being affectionate he was rough and gruff and mumbly like a big bear. But lovely Jake with his lovely little grin. Branded 'the gay cowboy movie', it pulls away from the labels almost immediately. You can see the love between these two. The fact they're both men loses its novelty, and you're left with one of those very long, drawn out, crushingly depressing tragic love stories, that I usually hate. If I wanted my despair to be very slowly dragged across time I'd employ someone to follow me everywhere and mutter 'you will die someday' into my ear every five minutes. So, this is why, what is essentially a 'good film' (albiet a little too long) doesn't score the magic 8. I just don't like films like this that much.

25th Jan 06 - Jarhead (7.5)
Ah Jake. Lovely Jake. More importantly - Jake in a santa thong. He's bald and beefy and struggling to cope with the violence that's been trained into him, and that's used for narthing. Usual army training scenes with shouty guys doing shouty things, and it looks like hell but the shouty ones do it because it's their life. What saves this from being another bloody war film is that its focus is purely on the mental effects on the soldiers, before and after. It won't blow you away, but it ain't half bad, and you see Jake in the shower.

1st Feb 06 - A Cock and Bull Story (8)
Some might say this film is so far up its own arse you can't even see anything except a little tiny dot of light in the middle of the screen. Thankfully, because I'm so far up my own arse, I saw this film in its entirety. The comparison between Steve Coogan and his character is all too clear in my poncey analyst eyes, and with that in mind this film makes for a bold, different take. Sometimes amusing, but not an out-and-out comedy, I found this to be a refreshing attempt at something new. Imagine!

8th Feb 06 - Munich (8)
Being the last cinema venture before I was in a different type of theatre (the operating kind) I decided to opt for a jolly tale. Long and brutal and unclear. Yep, that's my idea of jolly. I watched this film with unease, not because of the frank violence, but because I could tell my brain would be a'thinking afterwards. Trouble was, I didn't have time to be a'thinking during, because there were too many other things going on. This is a dark film that digs up everything you thought about terrorism and makes you sit and ponder it and the people involved. I wasn't alive when this all happened, so I didn't know very much about it. I still don't, really. I'm not entirely sure why these two groups were fighting, but, as this film suggests, did they?

Top 10 of 2005

In no particular order (because they're different genres, therefore you can't lump them together) these are the top ten films I saw at the cinema in 2005.

1. Team American: World Police
2. The Woodsman
3. Sin City
4. Batman Begins
5. War of the Worlds
6. The Descent
7. A History of Violence
8. Serenity
9. Nightwatch
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Watch them all now and tell me I'm wrong.

Film 2005

In 2005 I saw 41 films at the cinema. Not bad. Not a film a week, though. Because a full review would bore you (and me) to tears, this is a round-up of all the films I saw, the rating I gave each out of 10 at the time of viewing, and a summary sentence.

5th Jan 05 - Napoleon Dynamite (7.75 )
Amusing, slightly pointless, better on second viewing.

12th Jan 05 - The Aviator (8)
Epic, should have won an oscar, DiCaprio is excellent.

19th Jan 05 - Team America World Police (8.5)
Hilariously stupid, mindless entertainment. Class.

26th Jan 05 - Ocean's Twelve (6)
Not a patch on Eleven, badly acted, painful.

2nd Feb 05 - Closer (5.5)
A stage play that doesn't adapt well to screen, with unrealistic dialogue.

9th Feb 05 - Vera Drake (6)
Oh God, not oscar season. Well acted, but fairly loose on plot and so, so dreary.

16th Feb 05 - Sideways (8.5)
Breath of fresh air, amusing although a tad slow in places. Better on second viewing.

18th Feb 05 - Ray (8.5)
Captivating performance and story, though the rise and fall thing can get a bit tiresome.

23rd Feb 05 - Million Dollar Baby (8)
Oscar fodder. Boo hoo, let's have terrible things happen so Clint can squint and look sad.

2nd March 05 - The Life Aquatic (7.75)
Refreshing change from oscar blues. Unusual. Just missing something to get it to 8.

16th March 05 - The Woodsman (8)
Superbly acted by Kevin Bacon, should've won an oscar. Uncomfortably fantastic.

23rd March 05 - The Machinist (8)
Disturbing, intruiging, might lose it at the finish, but Bale is impressive as a skeleton.

30th March 05 - Constantine (6)
Only teenage boys know what's going on in this confusing mess that should've been more fun.

6th April 05 - Melinda and Melinda (6)
The drama wasn't dramatic, the comedy wasn't funny. Clunky dialogue. Disappointing.

13th April 05 - The Assissination of Richard Nixon (7.75)
Great acting, jarring finale. Good, but not enough depth to the story to make it to 8.

4th May 05 - Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (7.5)
Wanted to like it, but on retrospect would lower the score. Messy editing. And acting.

18th May 05 - Mean Creek (7.5)
Good crop of new actors, seen the story before though.

25th May 05 - The Jacket (7)
The writers didn't really know what they were doing. Interesting. Would be nice if there was a point.

8th June 05 - Sin City (8.5)
Visually fantastic. The story improves with second viewing.

22nd June 05 - Mr and Mrs Smith (7)
Brainless fun with pretty people.

29th June 05 - Batman Begins (8.5)
Dark, edgy, British. Takes the camp out of Batman and leaves him formidable and fantastic.

13th July 05 - War of the Worlds (8)
Fun, thrilling summer blockbuster. Enjoyable fluff, no matter what people say.

20th July 05 - The Descent (8)
Fabulously jumpy, claustrophobic, British horror. Ace.

2nd August 05 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (7)
Colourful, Depp is fun, but strangely empty despite all the chocolate.

3rd August 05 - The Wedding Crashers (7)
Should've been much funnier, but a few scenes bump it up to 7.

10th August 05 - Herbie: Fully Loaded (7.25)
Don't care if it's kid's crap - fun, fun fun.

17th August 05 - Crash (7.75)
Oscar 06 winner. Yes, racism, very good. But too polished to be truely affecting.

24th August 05 - Unleashed (7)
Good premise, good fights, but loses it somewhere in all the silliness.

31st August 05 - The Island (7)
Two McGregors. Fab. But Bay needs to cut the chase scenes. We get it.

14th Sep 05 - Green Street (7)
Dodgy accents aside, grittyish drama. Made me want to start a gang.

21st Sep 05 - Wolf Creek (7)
Disappointed. After all the good reviews, not scary enough. But the characters were well-developed.

28th Sep 05 - Howl's Moving Castle (7.5)
Bizarre, interesting, bit too long.

4th October 05 - A History of Violence (8)
Viggo is excellent. It's a simple story that's been twisted to unearth some interesting ideas about violence.

12th October 05 - Serentiy (8)
I'm a Whedon fan. Good dialogue, good characters, good action, good story. It's dead good.

19th October 05 - Nightwatch (8)
Choppy, dirty horror with fab effects and wibbly story. Can't wait for the next one.

26th October 05 - Lord of War (7.5)
Good premise, Cage is usual sardonic self. Makes you think and then be depressed.

9th November 05 - Corpse Bride (7)
Burton dissapoints again. Good, but just no Nightmare Before Christmas.

16th November 05 - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (8)
Confirms Downy Jr is a stupendous actor. Funny, dry, needs to be seen again and again.

30th November 05 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (7.5)
Best one so far, but the books are getting too big to transfer competently on to film.

21st December 05 - King Kong (8)
Jackson should've let go and cut half an hour, but there's no denying some of the set pieces are bloody fantastic.

28th December 05 - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (8)
Not Lord of the Rings, but still enjoyable, with non-irritating kids, fabulous effects and a solid story to back it all.