Monday, 29 July 2013

July Hit, Miss or Maybe

1. Now You See Me - HIT

I really enjoyed this. I've never been to keen on magic shows but magic and magicians as a film subject is another thing, especially when its mixed with mystery and a police chase. I loved the entire cast, literally I didn't not like anyone of them. This is rare indeed. To be honest you can rarely go wrong with Woody Harrelson. The film is centred around 4 street/amateur magicians who are introduced through what their specialties are. They all receive a tarot card with a place and time to meet. They all think they have been chosen to be inducted to 'The Eye' a mystical ancient order of magicians, or so I gathered. A year later they are pulling in huge crowds in Las Vegas which is where they rob a bank, in Paris. They promise to pull off more daring stunts in their next few shows, all in different locations. The main focus isn't actually the '4 Horsemen' it is more about the cop (Mark Ruffalo) and the woman from interpol (Melaine Laurent) trying to solve how they robbed a bank in Paris. It is a fun and thrilling film, thrilling because the 'tricks' are so awesome.

2. On the Road - MAYBE

This would have been a miss if I hadn't loved the actors (except Kristen Stewart, sorry Twilight fans). The story is all over the place but I liked that. I wasn't about just one journey, it stops and starts. There was a sense that the personal journey that Sal is more important than the physical ones made with, mostly, Dean Moriary (damn cool name for a actual horrible person). But all the lovely men in the film has deep husky voices so I missed a lot of the dialogue, forever having to rewind and listen again.

3. The Art of Getting By - MISS

(SPOILER ALERT) Is it me or is Freddie Highmore just dull now he's made it through puberty. He was great as Charlie Bucket in that chocolate factory but in this, he was dull. His character was dull. In fact most people in this film were either dull or predictable. The only people I liked were the crazy old guy art teacher and Alicia Silverstone as the english teacher. Both small roles but both were far better than everyone else in this film. I know that is harsh but this film wasn't great. I liked it at the start but then it lost its way. It became stereotypical cliched teenaged love sick boredom. I liked the title though. the story is simple, loner outsider artist George doesn't do any work because he is lazy. He meets pretty run of the mill, has issues, Sally. They bond, he likes her, she likes him but don't say it. George befriends artist who used to go their school. They become friends, until Sally goes out with the older artist. Boring. George tries to win back Sally even though they weren't together. He has to complete all the homework he missed during the year including a painting which oh what a surprise is of Sally. They get together ultimately over a painting. Predictable.

4. Spork - HIT
Loved the trailer when I first saw it. The music was catchy. It isn't perfect but its just adorable yet depressing, but it is ultimately a feel good film, in a way. Spork is a 14 year old intersex (hermaphrodite)  teen who identifies as being a girl. She lives with her brother is trailer park. Her only friend and neighbour is Tootsie Roll, who all tries to include Spork in things. She plans on entering a dance off and using the money to visit her Dad in prison, but hurts her leg days before. Spork enters instead. The setting for this film is all over the place. The bitchy girls dress in 80s clothes and like 80s music but also worship Britney Spears. Spork and Tootsie dress in 90s clothes and listen to early 90s hip hop. This just makes the film better. The message is clear too, just be who you want to be and ignore those who try to mess things up for you. Not as eloquent as it sound sound. The end dance sequence is a Napoleon Dynamite worthy surprise.

5. Monster University - HIT

Pixar's first prequel and despite the one line error from Monsters Inc, this film was very good. Almost all the characters from the first one make cameos or supporting roles. We see how friendships were made, how enemies were made, how if someone believes in you, your talent can be discovered. The new characters were amazing especially the brothers of Oozma Kappa. Some were stereotypes but because this is the monster universe they are hilarious. Someone commented saying that the film was full of 'in jokes' for those who went to university, not true. If you went to school at any point in your life you can relate. The person who made the comment was promptly dealt with, no need to worry there Pixar fans. It's fun and games and about believing in your friends and of course yourself. Could not love it more.

6. The World's End - HIT

It's been a while but Wright/Pegg/Frost fans, the wait is over, the third film in the unofficial Cornetto trilogy has arrived and its all we ever wanted plus its grown up. We've had zombie romances, buddy cop adventures and now its alien robot things. Gary King gathers together his group of mates who he has touch with, mostly because he's a selfish idiot. He convinces them to go back to their home town and finish 'The Golden Mile' pub crawl that they failed to complete when they were teens. But all is not what it seems, no one remembers then and are acting strange. Fantastic cast assembled with the token hilarious addition you wouldn't expect (Pierce Brosnan this time) as well as the familiar faces. Everything about this film screams tradition and old comforts back for one last hurrah. In a way its sad because it feels like there won't be another collaboration like this again, although the trio have said they will work together again. I really though this film great, genuinely funny, so much that I was still laughing about one joke half way through the film. I love how all these films have things in common, mostly small towns, pubs, drinking and surviving something but above all that, these films are very British and that is a fantastic thing. Shut up all you British (film) haters, this was a great British film.

7. The Wolverine - MISS

I almost forgot I saw this. In truth I only sat through this so I could see The Lone Ranger. This was one of the films I couldn't talk about until it's release. I was so disappointed by the first Wolverine Origins film that I had not planned on seeing this at all. But seeing I saw this at the event, what harm could it be to see it. This was better than the first but still not great. Set mainly in Japan and following on from events in the equally awful X-Men 3, Wolverine is taken back to Japan to meet the man he saved back during World War 11 when Nagasaki was bombed. The man he saved is now very wealthy buy dying and he wants Wolverine's ability to heal. All chaos ensues when Wolverine does indeed mysteriously loose his power to heal and the mafia get involved. There are only two mutants in the entire film. Disappointing. Half the reason for seeing a film like this is to see the mutants. There is one amazing fight scene on top of a bullet train which was good but otherwise, meh.

8. The Frozen Ground - MAYBE

What is John Cusack doing? What is lovable Cusack doing? Seriously. You play one crazy sick murderer and then you get typcast. I really think Nicholas Cage should have swapped roles with Cusack. Just saying. Based on a true story of 1980s Alaskan hunt for serial killer Robert Hansen. He stalked and murdered around 20 young women, kidnapping them then taking them out to the Alaskan wilderness where he let them lose, hunted them down and then buried them. It's a grim tale but a good story to put on film. The cast is good, even Vanessa Hudgens as the victim that got away and helps bring the murderer to justice. I saw this film at 22:30 at the Media and Trade preview event. I saw it straight after another true story, also about murder and kidnap, it was alot to take in last thing at night just before I travelled back home on the last train, but it was good film, worth seeing. Maybe save for the DVD release.

9. The Heat - MAYBE

I loved Bridesmaids, I liked this. I am not that keen on Sandra Bullock but like a few other actress's, she has got better, or I have warmed up to her in her older age. Both the lead ladies are hilarious. But I wish that Melissa McCarthy would get given other roles rather than 'large tough foul mouth woman'. She is better than that, she was Sooki from Gilmore Girls for gad sake! Basic cop conspiracy story. Up tight FBI agent (Bullock) is sent to work on a case in Boston, the case leads her to end up working with a crazy, loud mouthed cop (McCarthy). They work together to find who is the major drug dealer is but going through the seller, suppliers and distributors, most if not all scenes are funny. Great twist in the old odd couple buddy cop movies, which all feature men in the main roles, this was a nice change, and I hope this isn't the last.

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