Dante 01: psychiatric research centre on the edge of the galaxy – Dante 01 – gets a new, unknown, patient,with some strange powers. So technically this is a Sci-Fi film, but for all intents and purposes it’s a glorified stoner flick – Philosophy 101, religion, mythology and lots of trippy visuals; like an unexplained freaky x-ray scan-o-vision. The leading actor had the most monotonous role ever; wriggle on floor, stagger through corridor, puke everywhere, pretend to be eating CGI space octopi. The film just goes through several boring cycles of the same CGI graphics and infection reactions, and nothing’s really developed. Weirder still, everyone was inexplicably a skin-head, which meant that in the low light it was ridiculously difficult to tell who was who quickly. Then at the end the films bursts into a ridiculous ‘2001‘ moment, which is just pitiful. I’ve NEVER been this bored or unimpressed by a Sci-Fi film, ever (Although Sci-fi is really just a guise to hammer home the “science can’t explain religion, lol” super-plot. God-awful. Not so much ‘Dante 01‘ as it is ‘Dante – #2‘
New York, I Love You: a collection of short stories all about New York and New Yoykers – loosely labelled under the umbrella ‘romance’. The vignette setup just doesn’t do it for me, far too many characters, and differing themes / tones / styles / storylines – all mashed together, tediously linked through the location. The second problem is the quality control, or lack of – a few of the shorts were really good; prom night, pickpockets, old couple – but the rest were all varyingly pretentious and dull stories featuring varyingly pretentious and dull artisan characters – some of whom are beyond absurd – Ethan Hawke, I’m talking to you. Despite being all about NY, and the ‘love of the city’ there’s not that much iconic scenery; it’s mostly grimy side streets, greasy spoons, apartments, bars, yellow cabs, ect, which doesn’t really capture the vibes of the big apple – although someone could probably argue that this captures ‘THE REAL NEW YORK, BRO’. Given the massive list of A-list actors (and them some) New York, I Love You is massively disappointing – parts are good, but overall it’s collectively dull. Give City Island a bash instead!
Hanna: Raised as an assassin, Hannah is cut loose in the real world and soon becomes a fugitive. It doesn’t take long for you to realise that this is nothing short of meticulously filmed – there’s some fantastic single takes, stunning framing / mise en scéne and the action is put together with enviable ease. Said action’s also heightened by a great soundtrack; not dissimilar to Lola. Being set, filmed and funded by Europeans – it has a great anti-blockbuster quality and feel that’s pretty difficult to describe. Distracting everyone from the all of the awesomeness mentioned so far is a cast jammed with as many ridiculous characters as the story could hold: a washed-up clown Grimm, two Neo Nazis, comedy homosexual hitman, ke-razy traveling family (with the worst daughter ever). Because of these characters, the tone bounces around frenetically – serious chase, followed by fish-out-of-water, followed by some action, then a Volver-esque ‘genuine’ Spanish street performance, then some serious plot development… Cast-wise, you can always rely on Eric Bana to pull through and Blanchett nails her portrayal of a determined, cold villain. Ronan was good, considering her part kept flipping between comedy and thriller. Hanna proves to be an above average, and well-directed cat-and-mouse movie with a nice backstory that’s drip-fed throughout the duration.