Melancholia: follows a group of upper-class people with first world problems as a stray planet is scheduled to do a close fly-by past earth. This film feels like Von Trier spunked most the budget in the opening and closing 5 minutes with the arty, expensive-looking, Tree-of-life-esque scenes – then worried about filling the rest as an afterthought. For being an ‘apocalyptic drama’ there’s not enough apocalypse or drama in the story for my liking. Dividing the film into two chapter-parts is ridiculous: part one is dedicated to Kirsten Dunst’s chest, at her wedding (which is brimming with pomposity) and showing us that her character is a total dickhead – this goes on for far too long. Part two is more of the same but focusing on Gainsbourg and her flaws… The film looks pretty good (cutting edge SHD Arri Alexa cameras) and is shot well barring the uber-shaky cam scenes. The acting’s also decent, but not as amazing as is being made out. The bottom line here is that it appears Mr Von Trier seems to have lost his flare for proper stories and proper storytelling. Annoyingly boring, really should have walked out.
24 – Season 7: Another action packed day of Jack Bauer disobeying orders to follow up the only lead, sound familiar? Cue the standard horde of real-time moles, threats, miracle cures, u-turns and law breaking in a different order. Like anything that goes on for this long the bar’s been pushed so high to keep it ‘fresh’ and ‘shocking’, that things like quadruple agents and people coming back from the dead make day 7 hit a new high on my ridiculous-o-meter. Bauer, Almeda and Voight are the only decent actors with most of the others struggling to convince – guess that happens when you kill off the talent every season. Unlike previous days the moral compass keeps raising its head; what’s the right thing? How many lives have to be endangered before torture is allowed? Let’s pretend Jack actually has a conscience, etc. Another thing that kept being repeated was every single detail relevant to the plot – they must think the average viewer’s pretty damn stupid. The writer’s strike also made it feel like two mini-seasons. Can’t believe they’re churning out another season… nothing new here.
24 Redemption: It was pretty good. Bit strange not having it set in LA, but made for a decent change. Favourite part was his rambo moment in the trees! That was phenomenal(ly funny). Not mentioning country names also leads to this being set in the mysterious African region of Sengala. Tee’d up season 7 brilliantly by introducing a new host of cannon fodder characters… except TONY ALMEDA! Only complaint was that there was a lot going on in the space of two hours. Thought they could have used the feature to break from real-time and get some location madness on the go.