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Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:23 am
I was really hoping for good things with The Black Dahlia, I think the film's trailer is one of the best this year... sadly the same can't be said for the film itself, for me it started averagely and proceeded to go slowly downhill... with 30mins still to go I'd really lost interest in the whole whodunnit plot. I was hoping for a pretty straight police-procedural film but this is all over the place with far too many irrelevant scenes and indulgencies from De Palma. The family meal scene felt like it was straight out of a period version of The Wedding Crashers, so misplaced... in fact all of those family scenes were so badly played they were just comedic. Such an obvious plot twist too! I thought Hilary Swank did okay, but everyone else struggled and Johansson was just miscast... honestly, it was ALMOST as bad as The Wicker Man.
Followed that up with DOA: Dead Or Alive which was stupid but fun. It's exactly the film you expect it to be...
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:03 am
I just watched Hostel again yesterday. Yay.
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:06 pm
Just out of curiosity, of those who have seen The Black Dahlia (both pro and con), have you read the book and did you like it?
Saw it Saturday night and would put myself in the pro camp although can see how it has split audiences, ironically this is a downside of how faithful an adaptation it is (bar a couple of places, where faithfulness would have doubled the length of the film! Quite easy to spot, as De Palma's imprint is far heavier in the changed scenes). The OTT family scenes really suffered from this, in particular the pantomime-dame character of Ramona whose dialogue is pretty much letter for letter with the book! The other negative effect is that in a book in Ellroy's style (and noting how obssessed with the case he was after the murder of his mother) it's easier to be disjointed and meandering...
Possible rock and hard place syndrome really - a better film would have been a lot less faithful!
Does make me wonder what L.A. Confidential would have turned out like with De Palma directing as even those who didn't like it seem to agree the look was fantastic...
One strange thing though - the blonde wig for Jemima Rooper, who otherwise would have looked a little like the Dahlia herself (especially if, as was once rumoured, Elizabeth Short had been played by Rose McGowan... although Mia Kirschner was very good in the limited role)
Wonder how Ulli Lommel's take on the murder will turn out?
Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:52 pm
Just come back from seeing The Black Dahlia.
Thought it was good rather good. I have never read the book so I cannot compare.
Do agree about the family scenes being over the top. Though Scarlett Johanasson looked like a siren and thought she looked great. Hilary Swank looked uncomfortable and not very convincing.
The story I read years ago. The story in this film kept me interested. Even though at the beginning I thought it was slow going. A couple of scenes I thought looked reeeeally good won't say to avoid spoiling the film.
Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:19 pm
Just been to see Children Of Men, easily one of the best films of the year, very clever, also it's very entertaining, some amazing camera work, and it gives you an idea of what London might look like in a few years time.
Well worth checking out.
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:01 pm
I'd second that... Children Of Men is probably my second favourite film this year (after Pan's Labyrinth)... I'm still reeling from it now. Entertaining and engaging story (how much it remained faithful to P.D. James original novel I don't know) it had me on edge throughout and was also deeply affecting and moving in places. I really wanted a hug when I left the cinema! Acting, directing etc are all top notch and the near future look remains firmly rooted in reality - which works so well, as does the use of familiar landmarks.
Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:27 pm
Talladega Nights - well, I was feeling a bit miserable yesterday evening and needed cheering up. This didn't do the trick overall, though there were a few funny moments. But (as Mark Kermode was opining on his Radio 5Live film review slot last week) is that enough? By a strict laughs/smiles per minute (or hour) count, even the lamest of the Police Academy sequels (2 and 7) are funnier.
Most of Talladega's best moments were from Sacha Baron Cohen which surprised me as I loathed Ali G and felt that whole character went on far too long. It was probably Ali I didn't like, though, as I caught half the trailer for Borat as well and that looked hysterical.
Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:19 am
do - not - miss - borat - it - rules -
peraps we should organize a festers eve out 2 see the movie once it opens - it's sooo offensive
Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:55 am
I just lurve Borat (I'm talking on the show having not seen the fillum yet) and so anxiously await his big screen debut.
Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:27 pm
Children of Men is definatley one of the finest films this year, welll paced, extremely tense and at times deeply moving. Clive Owen continues to crush my view of him as one of these worthy but dull actors, an image he began to shatter in Closer. Michael Caine excels in the comic relif dept. the vision of a soon to be war torn britain are disturbingly resonant.
there are some wonderfully subtle moments such as dogs and cats taking on an even greater role as objects of affection. things are never refered to.. this world just exsists, no crappy prologue etc etc
it feels very much like V for Vendetta meets 28 days later, plus it makes you wonder if 28 days later might have been slightly improved by jettisoning the first few Jim free minutes
Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Another thumbs up for Children of Men. Thought-provoking, downbeat and scarily realistic. It's good to see a future world where people don't give a s**t about how they treat the planet - they all know there's no chance of the human race being around another however many years it will take to destroy it through pollution, global warming etc.
One bit that stood out for me was Pam Ferris' speech about her previous work as a midwife, when it had first become apparent that there was a problem...chilling.
Oh - and hated The Black Dahlia - could have been good, but style over substance, poor casting imho and Hilary Swank as a poor Dahlia-lookalike. Then again, I suppose if you can have Elvises of every colour, shape and size, it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine that she looks like her dead 'double'. Aaron Eckhart was great though.
And Nacho Libre...wanted to really love it, laughed out loud at parts, but ultimately was disappointed. Hopefully the Tenacious D movie will restore my faith in Jack Black.
Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:32 pm
Yes, Children of Men is pretty bleak and horrifying. But it's so incredibly well done. The two principal "action sequences" (though that term cheapens them) are stunning, apparently shot in single takes and yet there's no way they could have been. As for whether this might be the way this country's going, well, that's a discussion for political boards rather than this one. Very impressed with it though, one of the best films of the year.
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:38 am
Count me as another participant in the Children Of Men love pile-on. Ludicrously accomplished.
Also, I have no trouble believing Children Of Men's single take sequences were just that. DP Emmanuel Lubezki had a special rig built for the car to facilitate a lot of that fiendish movement - Dario Argento used a similar technique years ago on one of his car advertisments, I think - and on the closing credits, right after the major creative's cards were the First AD and Stunt team credits, rightfully celebrated for their staggering work here.
To be honest, it's nothing John Woo wasn't doing 15 years ago with Hard Boiled and Je-gyu Kang had no trouble with for his Korean war masterpiece Tae Guk Gi last year. Not to mention last year's similarly budgeted War Of The Worlds.
Lot's of techical sleight of hand - the birth scene especially - but I suspect there's less out-of-camera trickery than you might expect. CGI enhanced, sure, but not CGI created.
I'm also wishing to Cthulhu's mighty fist that the Jarvis Cocker's rather catchy end credits song "Running The World" gets nominated for an award in the coming season. Performing "It's Hard Out there For A Pimp" is one thing, but try getting Cocker's chorus of multiple "cnuts" on to national television !
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:22 pm
giles edwards wrote:I'm also wishing to Cthulhu's mighty fist that the Jarvis Cocker's rather catchy end credits song "Running The World" gets nominated for an award in the coming season. Performing "It's Hard Out there For A Pimp" is one thing, but try getting Cocker's chorus of multiple "cnuts" on to national television !
Just announced yesterday - the mighty Varese Sarabande are releasing a CD in December (when the film opens in the US) but it's based around the John Taverner music, plus Handel and Penderecki. Nothing on their site indicates any songs with rude words in them.
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:26 pm
Great song - Should be played when and if Brown becomes the new PM. Better than boyszone.