Archive for October, 2013

Yet another of Mark Kermodes top 10. The devil is an extraordinary film that left me speechless. It’s also based on a true story and a strong statement on the union of church and state. Oliver Reed plays Urbain Grandier who is a Roman Catholic priest in the town of Loudon. At the start of the film he is quite Promiscuous as he doesn’t believe in remaining celibate. Elsewhere Cardinal Richelieu is influencing Louis XIII in an attempt to gain further power. He convinces Louis that the fortifications of cities throughout France should be demolished to prevent Protestants from uprising. Louis agrees, but forbids Richelieu from carrying out demolitions in the town of Loudon, having made a promise to its governor not to damage the town.

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The deformed sister Jeanne is sexually obsessed with the priest and when she finds out that he has married, she goes nuts at his wife and attacks her. Her jealousy coupled with the cardinal’s plans to tear down Loudon set a horrific scheme in motion that will risk the very life of the priest and the town itself.

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This is certainly a very powerful film with a deep religious and political message. It hosts fantastic performances from its actors, superb direction and cinematography. The set pieces designed by Derek Jarman are amazing and give the film a real nice look. I have the BFI recent dvd of this film and I am sad to say that it isn’t the full directors cut that Mark Kermode helped put together. It’s a real shame that you just cant see the film the way it was intended. That being said it’s a fantastic dvd set and includes a nice set of extras. You can blame Warner Bros for not allowing the extra footage back into the film. It is the best dvd available though and doesn’t damage the film too much. You can read a lot of the history of the censorship on Wikipedia.

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I absolutely loved this movie, it hits hard and shows a very brutal period of time within religion. I feel that this is a very important film and needs to be seen. I am praying for the full directors cut. Sometimes they show the full version at certain cinemas, I for one would go along. Amazing thought-provoking movie that needs more attention.

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I have been extremely fortunate lately in that I have watched some fantastic films that I have given full marks to. I really do try to only give a 5/5 if it’s a special film, so I have seen some real special movies. This is another 5/5 and man it deserves it. It’s possibly my film of the year so far, it just blew me away. The basic story, (without spoilers) is that we follow a group of astronauts on a mission to reignite the sun. They are carrying a huge nuclear bomb, the size of Manhattan on their ship, and the idea is to fire it directly into the sun which will bring it back to life. The earth has turned into a non stop winter as the sun has been dying, so the mission is mankind’s last hope.

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However this is the second and last attempt as a previous attempt was made but the ship and crew from the first mission mysteriously got lost as no one heard anything from them. Soon into the mission, the crew of Icarus 2 discover the signal from Icarus 1, the ship from the previous attempt.

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They decide that they will go and investigate the ship because there may be a chance of taking the previous bomb from Icarus 1 to give them double the chance at their mission. However things start to go rapidly wrong for the crew and the tension is phenomenal. This is one hell of a white knuckle ride. Its a visual feast and also combines it with some fantastic music.

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It grips you from very early on and refuses to let go. Its nail-biting, edge of your seat danger and drama. Such a fantastic blend of drama and horror, all set in space. The acting is absolutely perfect, the crew of the Icarus 2 are completely believable. This film really had my jaw completely dropped and the ending is really thrilling. This is one of the best films I have seen this year and might just be my favourite so far. This year has been great for movie watching and I am going to really struggle when it comes to my end of year round-up.

 

Brazil 4.5/5

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Film Review
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Ok so this film is another of Mark Kermodes top 10. I have been told to watch this film before by a friend many years ago. It’s a very odd film with such a lot going on that it’s actually quite hard to follow at times. However I think I managed to keep up and I have to say that I really liked this movie. It’s very fast paced as it just throws lots of interesting things your way constantly, not giving you a moment to breathe. Its got a real sense of satire that blends with its often serious themes. Its set in a dystopian setting amidst weird technology that seems to not be that trustworthy.

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Our main character is Sam Lowry. He is a low-level worker for the government who has reoccurring dreams where he is saving a damsel in distress. In his dreams he can fly in a mechanical type winged suit, and often has to fight off strange creatures for his loved one. One day in his waking life he is asked to go carry out a job rectifying a mistake. When he gets there he gets a glimpse of a woman. The woman is the same woman he has been dreaming about night after night. He tries to pursue her but she runs off.

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He then tries a different approach and transfers job roles and starts working for information retrieval. It is here that he can basically abuse his position and track her down. He soon manages to track her down just as she is being arrested for being a terrorist. This then throws his world into all kinds of chaos.

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The film is a visual treat and very well filmed. It’s almost labyrinthine in its story and events. It deals with lots of issues beneath its satire. I really loved it and I have to say I have been really struggling with scoring it. I actually feel in my heart of hearts that this is definitely a 5 star film but I know that this will only come after a second watch. This is because of the sheer amount of stuff being thrown at you. I really want and need to watch this again. You can tell a lot of care went into this. I’m 100% sure that I will alter my score of this film when I watch it again. But for now because it requires another viewing I must give what I feel for my first view. Fantastic film that is such a unique mix of genre. Theres sci-fi, fantasy, comedy and romance all blended together in a rather weird but highly interesting package.

 

 

Well my reason for watching this film is that I had been researching on the so-called best films of all time. This film here seems to take the top spot a lot. Another reason I wanted to watch it is because it used to be in Mark Kermodes top 10 films of all time. (It has been replaced by Pans Labyrinth.) I respect Mark Kermode a lot, he definitely is one of the most honest film critics around in my opinion. Anyway this film is a classic example to me of how sometimes you watch a movie and then you give it a few days to “settle in,” and then after giving it time you feel different about it. This is actually one of the reasons that I will rarely ever write a review directly after watching a new film. The film itself is a story all about a mans life. The very first scene we see is someone dying after uttering the word “Rosebud.”

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From this mystery is born the main arc of the story. We learn that this man was Charles Foster Kane. He was the owner of a huge newspaper and was extremely rich. The story is told in a very non-linear fashion. It skips about at different stages of Kanes life for storytelling purposes.

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Beneath the surface of the story is a lot of themes to do with greed, loneliness, and selfishness. It’s quite a sad story in a way and its played very well by Orson Welles. One of the most interesting things about Citizen Kane for me though is its style. It uses lighting beautifully alongside with shadow. It also uses a technique called deep focus, which is where literally everything in shot, whether it is at a distance or close up remains clear and in focus. So yeah the style is very interesting. It’s strange because when I think about it, it’s a very simple little story but there’s so much going on at the same time. I loved the non-linear structure and the way it was used.

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While I definitely enjoyed the film and loved the style, it wont make it into my top 10. I respect that for its time it must have been really groundbreaking though. I do actually want to re watch it quite soon, so that says a lot about it.

Well I think I actually can’t decide which is my favourite Cronenberg film between this movie and The Fly. I had forgotten a lot of this movie from seeing it many years ago. This is a fantastic film with so many sub plots going on to keep you interested. Its based on a Stephen King novel of the same name and brought to the screen by David Cronenberg. Christopher Walken plays Johnny Smith  who suffers a severe car accident which causes him to sink into a 5 year coma. After waking up a lot has changed in his life. Not only has his fiancée moved on without him and built a new life. He also discovers accidentally that he has acquired a psychic ability whenever he touches someone.

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This enables him to see someones future or past. This brings him some media attention after he helps save a little girls life who has been caught in a fire. After a while a local sheriff decides to ask Johnny for help solving a murder case. At first Johnny doesn’t want to get involved but eventually comes around to using his new-found gift in a lot of situations.

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Theres a lot more going on in this story but I wont say much else for fear of ruining some amazing plot twists. The acting and direction are just superb in this film. Theres a lot of heart and morality to the story, which I really connected with. I liked the characters and could really sympathise with Johnny after he wakes up from his coma.

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I know a lot of people feel Stephen Kings stories and movie adaptations have terrible endings, but this is certainly not the case here. This film has an awesome and powerful ending that will leave you thinking for a while. Well there’s not much more to say really, this is a wonderful film and is my equal favourite Cronenberg film so far.

Well this is a very nasty little Italian crime film from the great action director Enzo G Castellari. Its story is simple enough but what makes this movie so fun is the wonderful action scenes and pacing of the movie. It follows Inspector Nico Palmieri as he tries his best to clean up the streets from the violent protection racketeers that have been making life a living hell for the local shops and businesses. However everyone is too scared to talk so it becomes really hard to get evidence or witnesses against them. They even throw his car down a steep hill with him in it and get away with it. It seems corruption is running deep here.

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Soon enough he manages to actually get a local shopkeeper to testify. However this doesn’t go well and the gang rape his young daughter in a particularly nasty scene, which is very hard to watch. Soon enough Nico is thrown off the case, but this leads him to break all the rules and get a group together to go vigilante. They all have got good reasons to want to kill all the gang members and soon enough they set a plan in motion to take them all out in one fell swoop.

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There are some interesting characters in this film. The action is really what makes it so fun though. The gang are just pure evil and you really want them to get their come uppance.

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Overall this is a nice entertaining film. It is very brutal and hard to watch but that just makes you want to see the revenge even more. Its violent and harsh but entertaining. Castellari is the master of Italian action, I love his films.

Yet another David Cronenberg movie here and this is a fantastic movie. It’s a multi layered film that hits you with emotion. It follows the story of Seth Brundle who is an extremely gifted scientist. He meets Veronica Quaife who is a reporter for a science magazine called particle. He takes her back to his place where he shows her his invention, a teleportation device. He has two “telepods” that are functioning and an older model. Basically he can teleport objects from one telepod to another. Although they don’t seem to be able to teleport living things at the moment, which is shown in a rather gross experiment on a baboon. However Seth and Veronica soon fall in love and start a relationship.

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She inspires him to tweak the  computer to allow for living beings to be teleported and soon enough he masters it. However she is not around to watch the other baboon come through unharmed. So Seth has his own little celebration and gets drunk. While under the influence he decides to put himself through the teleportation process. However he doesn’t notice a small fly gets in the telepod with him, and this leads to disastrous events.

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At first he feels great, he experiences increased speed and strength and also a high sex drive.  He soon believes this is due to him being purified by the teleportation process and tries to convince Veronica to go through. When she refuses he starts getting more and more manic and indulges in all sorts of crazy shit. Veronica becomes very aware that something has gone very wrong with Seth and soon enough she is proven right when Seth begins mutating rather disgustingly into a fusion of human and fly.

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This is such an amazing Sci-Fi, Horror, tragic love story. It’s completely heart breaking and that is an amazing feat for such a disgusting body horror movie. It really is a very touching film and I have shed a tear over it before. It’s an absolute masterpiece of science fiction and is a must watch if you like Sci-Fi or horror. Its my faveourite Cronenberg film so far in this run. Amazing.