Archive

Tag Archives: Scar

Enemy 2013 2014 José Saramago, The Double, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Stephen R. Hart, Frank Welker, Denis Villeneuve Spider Ring

Enemy [Mild Spoilers]: when a history lecturer spots his doppelgänger in the background of a movie scene he becomes increasingly fascinated by the actor. Quite a difficult film to articulate, this probably falls vaguely under the Psychological Thriller banner. There’s a deliberately slow and intense build up, magnified by a doom-laden score that the intensity relies heavily on. This is completely Jake’s film, as we see him pull off playing two people, and then each character ‘impostering’ the other (Imagine Face/Off^²). Stylistically, there’s an intense amber hue for the duration, which I didn’t really see the point of – or understand. Naturally, there’s a lot of playing around with duality, repetition, mirrors, doubles, from the get-go, and although the film’s not explicitly wrapped up (the ending is a bit of a mystery/clusterfuck) there are a lot of clues and lines in there; namely that our lead may have a split personality. Definitely the least accessible film since he started working with ‘big’ names; this bleak, tense, and dark thriller is the perfect appetiser for Arrival; and lays out the “un film de Denis Villeneuve” style that he’s kept right through to his current, mega-budget films.

Score: 6.5/10

Enemy 2013 2014 José Saramago, The Double, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Stephen R. Hart, Frank Welker, Denis Villeneuve Doppelganger

Sharknado Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Jaason Simmons, John Heard, Ian Ziering, Diane Chambers, Julie McCullough, Chuck Hittinger, Aubrey Peeples, Robbie Rist,

Sharknado: a freak storm is sucking sharks from the ocean and dumping them into flooded Los Angeles! You don’t watch a film called ‘Sharknado’ for its plot, cinematography, or effects… that being said, it would have been nice if the film tried! The normal shots look quite good, but the added “speshul” effects are piss poor – even basic stuff like rain looks bad; why would you not use real water!?! No tension or suspense is built up at any point; shots are disjointed and poorly cut together – everything ‘important’ to the ‘plot’ is shot as a close up, and quickly cut in and out – giving you no sense of scale, time, or location. Even silly details like the gang being chased up the street by a wave, but finding the time to individually winch an entire school bus of (50!?) kids and their driver to safety. Worst of all, it didn’t make much use of the actual ‘Sharknado’ – focusing instead on sharks swimming in flooded areas or just landing on people. The biggest distraction from all the mess isn’t even sharks; it’s Cassie Scerbo; a leggy short-shorts surf babe with a bikini / mesh top, who spends most of the runtime cocking a shotgun – as a male, this is a feasible distraction (I can only imagine American men getting a little light-headed.) There’s a few good quips, championed by “looks like that time of the month” as the guys stare at gallons of splooshing bloody water – a period joke lol. Despite a promising concept and wild title, Sharknado is more of the same from the company that brought us stuff like Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. It feels more like a weak drinking game or marketing exercise, than even a basic attempt to capitalise on the attention-grabbing title. Not the worst film I’ve ever seen, but could and should have been way better than it was.

Score: 3/10
B-movie Score: 5/10

Sharknado Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Jaason Simmons, John Heard, Ian Ziering, Diane Chambers, Julie McCullough, Chuck Hittinger, Aubrey Peeples, Robbie Rist

Shark Deaths

  • Compressed Air Canister
  • Pool Cue Stabbing
  • Bar Stool Smash
  • Shotgun (x4)
  • Chainsaw Split
  • Car Bumper Impalement
  • Pylon Blasting
  • Flaming Water (!!!)
  • Knife Attack
  • Internal Combustion

Spectre Mask Mexico Festival Street Party Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen,

Spectre [Plot Spoilers]: a posthumous video from ‘old’ M sends 007 into the belly of the beast; going after the head of the global criminal super-organisation SPECTRE: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

This starts with a beautifully choreographed long single-take; moving from the sky, down through crows, up an elevator, through some rooms, and over rooftops. The pre-credits mission ends with an overlong and confusing shaky-cam helicopter set piece; the Greengrass-style shaky-cam style of which spoils much of the subsequent action – which is defined by big, loud, turned-up-to eleventy-stupid explosions right, left, and centre.

Spectre Choppah Helicopter Mexico Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen

After the initial setup, the film immediately starts throwing up a lot of overly familiar scenes; fortress on a snow-covered mountain top, Austrian forest chase, train fight with a brutish henchman, inviting Bond in to the secret lair before he escaped and blows the place up, scars, cats, exploding watches, Aston Martin gadgets, London chases… it feels like a rejected script for the 50th Anniversary film; that half-assedly tries to tie the last three movies together and leans on the aforementioned ‘classic Bond’ moments, ‘jumping the shark’, and even doing stuff that’s been parodied in Austin Powers – including drinking and advertising Heineken.

Spectre Meeting Broken Lights Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen

Going back to the old mould of ‘classic Bond’ the film also contains a higher level of silliness than the rest of the post-Casino Royal reboot movies: from out of nowhere Blofeld and Bond grew up together? Even bringing back a campy evil genius like Blofeld (who was in a handful of the early Bond films) feels like a strange villain choice; especially following after Javier Bardem‘s demented Skyfall performance. The dodgy science of drilling in to precise parts of the brain that contain memories / facial recognition / balance also feels ridiculous.

Spectre Widow Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen,

While Craig continues his streak of gritty and remorseful Bond, pretty much everyone else feels under-used: Waltz is only in about 20 mins of the movie, and he doesn’t look remotely interested – I can only imagine it’s because he’ll be in the next few movies too? Monica Bellucci (not even a proper femme fatale) is in two back-to-back scenes, and Dave Bautista (silent but violent – OddJaws) gets a couple of frenetically shot action scenes and one word to say. Bond Girl Léa Seydoux starts off promising; but soon turns into the generic helpless love interest. in On the flipside M and Q get slightly more screen time and even a bit of action in the field.

Spectre Car Chase Astin Martin Jaguar Rome Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen

Of course, not everything about the old movies are bad: there’s more tongue in cheek moments, a better script for quips, one-liners, and wordplay (“I guess we know what C stands for now… Careless“). There’s also more of a throwback vibe of escapism and glamour, which somewhat po faced Casino and Quantum films were missing – every shot looks like Bond and the Bond Girl are straight off a GQ cover. Although this goes a little too far with the cheesy ending, and the fact that there’s very little believable threat to Bond and his breakaway MI6 team.

Spectre Blofeld Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen,

Skyfall and its focus on Bond would always be a tough film to follow; and switching the focus to big names, big story, big locations, big explosions and bigger budget – Spectre doesn’t come close. Being one of the most expensive films ever made (but it’s not that obvious) this had to tick all of the constituent boxes of a ‘classic’ and safe Bond film. Although the surface is presented as the new Post-Bourne reboot Bond (nanotech, drones, cybersecurity) everything under the bonnet is straight outta the 1960s/1970s. Joe Public and those that grew up with the first 15 or so movies will love this because it’s a familiar romp, but I feel that more recent and more hardcore fans of the franchise will be let down by a fairly profunctory and borderline cynical by-the-numbers Bond outing.

Score: 5.5/10

TOP TRUMPS
Villain: Information-hoarding new-age Blofeld. Like Elliot carver after a funectomy – 3
Henchman: Goatee’d Hinx; somewhere between Oddjob and Jaws – 4
Bond Girls: Two-scene widow; and slightly less ridiculous Christmas Jones – 6
Action: Mexican Helicopters / Rome Car Chase / Austrian Forest / Desert Shoot-em-up / London Bombing – 7

Spectre Ring Octopus Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen

Largo Winch Window Tomer Sisley, Mélanie Thierry, Bojana Panic, Karel Roden, Kristin Scott Thomas, Miki Manojlović, Elizabeth Bennett, Steven Waddington, Anne Consigny,

The Heir Apparent – Largo Winch: when a billionaire tycoon is murdered his secretly adopted son has to prove he’s the true heir to the business empire, while fighting off an aggressive takeover attempt. It’s an easy film to engage with for several reasons: firstly, it’s not a completely dead by-the-numbers affair – the story is interesting and is split between the eponymous Largo discovering his roots, and getting tangled up in action-based situations. Secondly; it looks great – sometimes even Bessonesque. Thirdly; it’s full of familiar spy/espionage aspects like frenetic action and chase scenes, global locations, femme fatales and everything else you’d expect from a James Bond type film – minus the budget. Think Bruce Wayne in an indie Bourne film and you’re almost there. LW also aims high with blatant global aspirations: it’s primarily English and French, with a decent ‘World’ Cast, and worldwide filming (Brazil, Hong Kong, Baltic States). There’s something for everyone in here: action, politics, drama, family, business, espionage, rumpy pumpy – but the only real problem is that large parts of backgrounding made it feel more like an ‘origins’ story, setting up a larger franchise. Having not heard of it, and with a wildly international scope and graphic novel roots, I was expecting a total euro-pudding; but with a charismatic lead, interesting story, and solid action Largo Winch is a fun, albeit lightweight, film.

Score: 6.5/10

Largo Winch Tomer Sisley, Mélanie Thierry, Bojana Panic, Karel Roden, Kristin Scott Thomas, Miki Manojlović, Elizabeth Bennett, Steven Waddington, Anne Consigny,