Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Recent film watching

The cinemas have done reasonably well out of me and various mates this summer. As have the manufacturers of Minstrels, that essential film companion. Alas I have not done all that well out of the cinemas...

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

2/5 Hugh Jackman and Liev Schrieber's rivalry was reasonable and there were some god set-pieces (and I suppose it helped make some sense of some of the other X-men films, though why that should matter, since the tangled web of comic books they are based on doesn't need to make much sense...) but most of the rest of the film was a wasted opportunity - a naff Gambit, a load of teenage mutants doing not a lot, silly effects, you name it.

Star Trek

3/5 Central plot twist so ludicrous that they pulled it off, and scenes set on the large Romulan ship were all over the place in terms of continuity and plausibility of movement (maybe no worse than Shakespeare in that regard?!), but excellent performances and good humour.

Terminator Salvation

1/5 Even the normally reliable Christian Bale was going through the motions here. The whole second half was pants, despite coming close to being heart-warming in the central robot-man (who am I?) plotline. Poor Helena Bonham Carter.

Red Cliff

3/5 A big canvas with a lot of paint, sometimes in unusual colours, shall we say. Chinese folk history and myth meets Hollywood, sort-of, in an epic swashbuckling thing. Lovely to look at, if rather stagey in execution. I think we Western Europeans have different dramatic expectations to the Chinese!

Sunshine Cleaning

4/5 At last something decent! Surely the smallest budget of the lot by a factor or 10, and certainly the best. Heart-warming without being cloying, funny without being silly, tender without being toooo sentimental, and perfmormed very well by all and sundry. Two sisters attempt to set up a crime-scene cleanup business while one comes to terms with being a grown-up and the other struggles to raise a child alone... Alan Arkin is their dad. Just see it.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The performances were great, compared to the earlier Potter films, and despite its length I wasn't bored, but structurally the film was a disaster. Very much a 'middle' section, with no shape or direction, not to mention a very anticlimactic final twist.