I went and saw Ghost Rider 2
I do love Nic Cage. His very own brand of awesomeness is really addictive to watch. This is why I decided to go and boil my own eyeballs in the flaming depths of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
It’s all simple tricks and nonsense
I do love a good gothic horror story, and I’d heard positive things about WOMAN IN BLACK. I’d also heard there’s some fuss about it being rated just a 12A. All excellent things to have in the back of my mind when going to see the film.
Unfortunately, it just didn’t scare me.
There is some excellent work creating mood, and the locations are perfect. The problem is that there is nothing new or unique in the scares, so if you’ve seen a few horror films before, then the jumps are too easy to see coming.
Radcliffe is fine. Not the horrendous actor that some people seemed to have been hoping for, but not a spectacular display of talent either. He’s mainly just looking scared and determined, which are the main emotions he mastered playing Potter.
Ultimately, I found the film to be disappointing. But, as with all of my reviews, this is a very personal opinion. I just found the set-ups for the scares too easy to see, and I generally jump at anything.
Initially I wouldn’t have bothered with this film. I expected it to be another ‘misbehaving’ comedy along the lines of Bad Teacher. Entertaining, but not breaking any new ground. Finally, after reading the excellent Coconutboots review on Cinetalk, I decided to give Young Adult a go.
Boy am I glad I did.
The film is an uncompromising look at someone suffering from Depression, and going through a break-down of their life. Don’t misunderstand – this is no Melancholia – it’s not going to take a week to recover. But it’s not the comedy I was expecting.
Charlize Theron plays Mavis. Having split from her husband, and her line of books failing, she becomes fixated on Buddy Slade, ‘the one that got away’. Unfortunately, he’s married and just become a father.
Her fixation on this part of her history, when she feels she was ‘at her best’, her alcoholism and self destructive tendencies. The fact that she pulls her own hair out, which is a common form of self-harm. These all, for me, make the film a realistic portrayal of someone going through such a period in her life and they add far more value to the film than I would have imagined.
Thankfully, there is plenty of comedy to balance this. Just don’t expect big laughs, it’s all about the chuckles. The humour is very dark in places.
I found Young Adult to be a much better film than I would have thought from the posters and trailer. I felt that with a little more confidence, it could have made a much stronger statement about coping with depression, but it’s still definitely worth watching and has more to it than you would at first think.
I visited the very shiny and new Hackney Picturehouse in order to catch this interesting feature. I’m not sure what I expected from the film, but certainly it impressed me a great deal!
The film is a study of Martha, played by Elizabeth Olson, who has spent the last two years of her life as part of an almost self-sufficient cult. She escaped and is now living with her sister, recovering. She refuses to speak about what she’s been through, however, and is working through it all in her head. The film jumps between this new existence, and life with the cult.
Where this could have become a simple ‘cults are bad’ message, the strength of this film is that the Martha provides an opportunity for different values to be explored, and for our own society to be examined from the outside. It is also an interesting study into how our personalities are infused not just with societies values, but with those we consider friends and family.
Patrick, the ‘leader’ of the cult is a charismatic man that has built this community around him. Whether he believes in the ideals or not isn’t really explored.
The performances fantastic with Olsen and Joh Hawkes standing out in particular.
Very engaging, very moving. I felt like I wanted to ‘know’ more of the facts, and I wanted to see Martha before life in the cult to understand why she would be so attracted to this way of life. (We are told several facts, but telling ain’t showing, people!).
Overall, one of the best of 2012 so far, and well-worth checking out!
As a writer for Cinetalk and a supporter of Indie cinema, I couldn’t be more happy that Cinetalk and Genesis Cinema have teamed up to create the greatest Film Quiz in East London – if not all of London!
8PM, in the Genesis bar. Free entry! Hope to see you all there…
A Useful Life is a small film – only 67 mins long – but has such a big heart.
Set in Uruguay, the first half of the film is centred around an arts cinema, called cinematica, which is struggling. Amongst the assorted managers, projectionists and directors we meet Jorge. He has worked at the cinema for 25 years. The cinema runs on routine. We see Jorge go through an auditorium, checking all the seats. This is a lovely insight into the running of a cinema. There is one regular customer that he has a crush on, but finds himself to shy to do much about. He is happier sorting through old film reels.
The cinema loses its funding and is forced to close.
Jorge is, for a short while, stunned. There is a touching scene where he is sitting on the bus, crying.
The second half of the film follows Jorge in the new period of his life. No longer having his safe routine to hide behind, he is forced into action and embraces change.
At its core, A Simple Life has a simple message about embracing change, and how by living by routines we are lying to ourselves about our nature.
There are some beautiful shots in the film, but nothing flashy. There is fantastic use of music, too. Like I say, it’s a small film with a big heart. A Simple Life is one of the gems of 2012, and I highly recommend hunting it down.