Sunday, 16 September 2012

Mike's Micro Movie Reviews - Episode 4

The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe - Movie Poster
The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe

The Woman In Black

Hmm... NEVER go to a city centre movie theatre at 14:00 on a Saturday afternoon to see a 12A film!  The worst audience I’ve ever known for annoying chav kids and Potter weirdoes!

Never seen Daniel Radcliffe in anything before, didn’t particularly like him, and he had little script, just had to look scared a lot! Having said that, this was enjoyable enough with some jumpy moments, and well set. Apparently written by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass and Jonathan Ross’ missus) and differs quite a bit from the book and stage play according to my sister who is a bigger fan of this stuff.

Mike's Rating: 6/10

The Company Men - Movie Poster
The Company Men

The Company Men

Really enjoyed this – a topical scenario of 3 workers from a big corporate office in Boston who become victims of the recession/greed culture, and how it affects each of their own lives. Especially impressed by Tommy Lee Jones performance he brought a touching humility and ethical edge to his top executive character. And I like Ben Affleck too maybe the media have been too harsh on his turkey films which are now firmly in the past!

Mike's Rating: 8/10

Biutiful with Javier Bardem - Movie Poster
Biutiful with Javier Bardem


Well I must say, this was not the Barcelona I remember when I made a trip in my student days! A very bleak and moving film hitting home the abject poverty in which immigrant classes survive in so called developed cities. Javier Bardem deserved his Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film. Hard to criticise any aspect really, maybe it was a bit meandering and could have been edited down to a shorter duration. I’m a big fan of Spanish director Inarritu – recommended.

Mike's Rating: 7/10

By Michael Court.

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Match Point - Mini Review

Woody Allen's Match Point - film poster with Scarlett Johansson
Match Point with Scarlett Johansson
I only got around to seeing this 2005 Woody Allen film about a year ago when it was on the telly box - Match Point is set in London, England, where everyone is frightfully posh and plays tennis or goes to the opera (or both). A former semi-pro, turned tennis coach makes friends with an incredibly wealthy family and soon begins to date the daughter (Emily Mortimer). Her father (Brian Cox – the actor, not the professor) gives him the chance to work in his company and earn fortunes...

Seems strange to me that he would give up his lifestyle as a tennis coach to work in what is essentially a high-stress job which he hates. Likewise, he seems to marry into the family at break-neck speed. This despite the fact that he’s clearly in love with the fiancĂ©e of his new brother-in-law – Scarlett Johansson - who wouldn’t be? She is absolutely smouldering on screen!

What follows is the inevitable affair and lots of sneaking around, it appears to be heading the way of other films such as Fatal Attraction or Unfaithful and when did they ever have a straight forward ending?

Scarlett Johansson's Sexy Kissing Scene in Woody Allen's Match Point (2005)
Scarlett Johansson gets steamy in this sexy & passionate scene in Woody Allen's Match Point

For a while, Match Point was looking to be a pretty average film; the pacing and editing of the developing story is very odd (at times even jarring) and the overly posh English accents are enough to make you cringe (like fingernails down a blackboard), it almost seems like terrible acting, but I guess there are people just like this in real life who go Clay Pigeon Shooting on the family estate at the weekends(?)

Thankfully the final act is rather very good, it's like the film equivalent of a 'page turner', you just HAVE to know what is going to happen next... But its not what I would have done if I was ever in a situation like that!

Match Point is a little difficult to get into at first, but if you can get past the posh accents and lifestyles of the characters and the film's odd pacing it is ultimately well worth sticking with to the very end. The final act is worth the price of admission alone.

My Rating: A high 6/10

About the Author: Chris Russell loves movies, and shares that passion here on Movie Retrospect where readers can join the discussion in the comments below or directly to Chris though his profile. If you enjoyed this post, please follow @MovieRetrospect on Twitter.

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Mike's Micro Movie Reviews - Episode 3

Cemetery Junction film poster
Cemetery Junction

Cemetery Junction

Really enjoyed this. Reckon it must be the best movie Ricky Gervais has done – the stories behind ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘The Invention of Lying’ along with bad reviews put me off so much I didn’t bother with them. However this one works as a bittersweet drama with a degree of comedy very much in the style of 'The Office' – in a good way.

It struck a chord with me about small town mentality and wanting to see the world. It also shows how scarily narrow minded and racist our parents and grandparents generations could be - without necessarily realizing it. The young cast of unknowns were excellent and complemented the bigger names such as Ralph Fiennes.

Plus a lot of it was filmed on the Great Central Railway, Loughborough.

Mike's Rating: 8/10

Youth In Revolt - film poster
Youth in Revolt

Youth In Revolt

Michael Cera again playing a geeky loser – not that he is typecast – at lease he does it well! A very quirky take on having a dangerous, daring alter-ego as he goes all out to impress the girl, blowing up half the town along the way! What impressed me the most about this was the strong supporting cast – I was crying with laughter when Steve Buscemi opens the front door and walks in on the gang who are all completely f****d on mushrooms! Offbeat, out of the mainstream comedy done well.

Mike's Rating: 7/10

The Scouting Book for Boys - film poster The Scouting Book for Boys

Made a mental note to see this ages ago as it was recommended by Charlie Fink who wrote the soundtrack (Noah and the Whale) on his blog and at a gig I went to at the Camden Roundhouse a little while back. Thomas Turgoose stars in his first non Shane Meadows film, about two semi-delinquent kids who permanently live on a caravan park in Norfolk. What starts off as a teenage runaway story takes a very unexpected and sinister twist at the end. A quite disturbing and intense movie but well acted and a good advertisement for the British Film Foundation/Channel 4/Lottery funded arts projects.

Mike's Rating: 6/10

By Michael Court.

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About the Author: Chris Russell has a passion for movies, films and cool TV shows and loves to share that passion here on Movie Retrospect where readers can join the discussion in the comments below or directly to Chris though his profile. If you enjoyed this post, please follow @MovieRetrospect on Twitter.