Non-Stop: an alcoholic veteran air marshal must figure out which of his passengers are picking the others off one by one until their ransom is met. To be fair, the director did all he could with this, but it’s a difficult task making a SMS conversation seem dramatic – although that can and has been done better with an even smaller scope. Neeson is in full-on Bryan Mills mode; the gruffly mumbling back-against-the-wall everyman with mad fighting skills and a character-defining family backstory. After the first couple of completely preposterous twisty-turney moments you learn not to think too hard about the rest of the plot. The one thing this film does have going for it is a sincere moment about the ‘Illusion of security’, which totally stands out against the dumbness of everything else going on. Probably an idea that sounded fantastic in a pitch, but was ultimately too great a task for the writers and director: leaving the end product feeling a bit daft. Japes on a plane! Proof that turkeys can fly! Plane rubbish! Etc etc…
– Dafuq Jeff – Plz stop sendin me grindr dik pics u basic bitch
– LOL IDGAF, shut yo skanky ass ratchet mouth #YOLO ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Crazy, Stupid, Love.: ensemble rom-com loosely following a couple’s divorce and the subsequent mid-life crises. This is a film of two halves: the front end is brilliant, Ryan Gosling in particular is on top form as the no-nonsense, face-slapping, tough-love female guru – and his relationship with Carell is very watchable. For me, the second half was much quieter and a bit more predictable, falling back on a bog-standard personal journey and ‘gratifying’ wrap-up – although the climactic scene at the house is wildly entertaining, and quite clever. The film also shoots itself in the foot by having about 4 endings, it seems to just go on and on. The humour catches you off-guard, usually big budget/big cast comedies are given terrible, watered-down scripts, but there’s more than enough laughs on the table here. Carell has a strangely Jim-Carey-lite-like watchable presence, however he can’t really hold his own when it comes to the more emosh scenes. Crazy Stupid Love exceeds expectations as far as a comedy goes, however the second half of the movie lets it down and drags it out.
A Single Man: [Blu Ray] – Follows an over-educated, depressed homosexual suicidal lecturer! The role could have been totally melodramatic Oscar Bait, but was played realistically by Firth. Stunning performance, well-earned gongs. He’s simply great to watch, and is the intense focus of every scene. The colouring / sound mix playfully tweaks with what you see and hear for around the first hour, but by the end it’s overused with some ridiculous gray = sad / colour = happy scenes. For being such an intense story, it’s very slow burning – with a few dramatic peaks to keep staleness at bay – I feel the drama could have been milked a little more. It’s undoubtedly well directed; every shot is stylish and looks cinematic, even scenes like a man on the toilet! The Blu Ray isn’t very watchable: much of the film has a stylistic (read as: shitty) diffusion / grain to the picture to set the era and tone. Overall, it’s quite a plain non-eventful story, boosted by a brilliant central performance.
Blindness: Julianne Moore plays the only sighted person in a compound for the quarantined during an epidemic of infectious blindness. Best part: lots of out of focus shots, conga lines, people walking in to things / falling over and random nudeness. Worst part: Children Of Men esque level of prophetic future gloom. As the quarantined spend longer in their prison human nature drives events to desperation, then worse, and worse… and worse. Depending on your disposition the film will become overbearing or hyper-dramatic – I landed in the latter camp, and despite the bleakness, couldn’t believe how much the last hour reeled me in. The camera’s used interestingly throughout, to convey certain people’s point-of-view, which enables you to feel right in the action. The underrated Mark Rofallo is ace, and Bernal plays a great villain and Moore pretty much mopes for the duration, but pulls it off quite well. The tone ends up somewhere between an inspiration and a critique of human nature. Blindness is an awesome idea, pulled off reasonably well. Check it out if you like your drama extra strong.
Children Of Men: Undeniably one of the best movies of 2006. Can’t really say too much without giving the story away other than it’s the perfect combination of plot, action, violence and cinematic genius. When I saw this first time round I was absolutely lost for words. The story’s bleak, but believable. Technically, this film is astounding. A lot of the key scenes done as single-takes, peaking with an 8-minute war shot that will leave your jaw in your lap. Some people will no doubt think that it’s too slow, but for me, it was just a great, well-told story. All the little details (posters, adverts, background chat) add greatly to the realism. The acting’s also top-notch, even Michael Caine, who I almost exclusively dislike. See this film at all costs, but make sure it’s on a big TV to get the full effect.