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Brick: when his ex-girlfriend goes missing, a teenager goes prodding around in his school’s underbelly to try to find some answers. Given the high school setting and the film’s leanings towards a Noir detective story – where everything down to the dialogue & clothing of feels old-timey – you don’t really get many films with such a uniquely stamped style and feel. Borrowing so heavily from the Noir genre starts off quite refreshing, but becomes borderline tedious and annoying by the end – it’s also the film’s biggest downfall that anybody remotely familiar with the genre will see the major twist way, way before it’s revealed. The olde vernacular and slang-heavy dialogue also flips and flops between cool and stupid, as some parts become hard to follow, given the speed of delivery and unfamiliar phrasings. The adherence to Noir also means that the characters are simply drawn – one-dimensional – and overly familiar. The film’s stupendously shot: light in particular is used superbly throughout to add crazy good detail, depth and subliminal characterisation – especially during the indoor scenes. It’s also full of nice little touches, details and tricks that raise it above your average genre rip-off picture. As a crime story Brick pretty good, but it’s a film that is 100% defined  as a modern take on 60-year-old conventions: sure it’s unique, stylish, funny and entertaining, but it’s also predictable, clichéd and full of stock characters because of its rigid adherence to the Noir genre. The positives do outweigh the trappings, making Brick worth a watch.

Score: 7/10

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Antichrist: since studying Europa / Zentropa in Uni I’ve made it my business to see all of Lars Von Trier’s films, most of which push the envelope of style and content. This film sees none of his characteristic rules or obstructions in the film-making process, perhaps why there’s not much content and only a couple of memorable scenes. It’s it’s essentially a film too far, and with loads of needless violence, sex and symbolism – it feels like a slow burning ‘Hostel’ or ‘Saw’ flick. Technically it seemed a waste of the mighty Red One cameras used and things like the GCI animals / talking fox are plain absurd. Eden’s cabin and cheap atmospheric music seemed to nod at the Evil Dead series. The acting’s the only redeeming part of this flick, but I suspect this film will be a stain on both their careers. You can tell Von Trier’s depression was severe when he wrote this; uncharacteristically crap!

Score: 2/10