District 9: part-documentary about life in South Africa 20 years after aliens first landed on earth. This is an unbelievably fresh take on the alien/sci-fi movie and when you pair the idea with such outstanding graphics, the film looks and feels a thousand times more real and believable than the clichéd outer-space bloodbath. Despite his radical transformation, the acting – pretty much one guy – is very good, and remains believable. It’s quite messy, but the blood, gore and black comedy makes this feel more like Braindead / Bad Taste – ‘specially the alien guns! The last 30 minutes are crammed with cheesy blockbuster action, which feels wrong here and is a bit of a let down: I also hate how humans can use complex, alien machinery without training! South African’s will no doubt pick up the racism and poverty undertones, although they’re not in your face (unless you’re Nigerian or a Nigerian Scammer). It’s a well-made and very fresh idea, that passes far to quickly but falls short in the last quarter. Leaves you hungry for prawns. Second viewing in a year, still great.
Micmacs à tire-larigot: a very unlucky guy who has twice been the victim of arms manufacturing companies plots his revenge with lots of shenanigans. The main guy (Danny Boon) is absolutely fantastic at playing the slightly vacant but humble lionheart whose dedication – and comedic delivery – keeps the audience transfixed. The rest of the cast are also great; full of interesting characters, and with all the small details / close ups you instantly relate to them and know what makes everyone tick. The camerawork, detailed semi-steampunk objects and great 5.1 audio track whip you feet-first in to Jeunet’s unique, offbeat & bizarre world. My only complaint visually is the gold/amber tint throughout the film, which saps a bit of colour & life out of the picture. The themes and graphics throughout the film make a love letter to early cinema, and when the story, scenarios and visuals come together it’s an entertaining fairy tale for grown-ups. The ending is a completely different tone from the upbeat film as a whole, but it’s still smart and engaging. A great twist on the revenge genre, whilst spoofing the arms trade. It is a bit style-over-substance but for some reason – I blame French magic – Micmacs is far greater and more enjoyable than the sum of its parts. Would recommend this to world cinema n00bs and pros alike.