31 August 2015

The Five-Year Engagement, 2012 - ★★½

A really great cast let down by a disappointing film. I didn't actually know it was a Judd Apatow production but this became quickly apparent as the film drags on into self indulgence far too often. In this article it states that Apatow's films "always start with a strong script, no one is too precious about changes if they can lead to a better end result" the problem seems to be that nobody is realising that the changes aren't making things better. I watched This Is 40 last week and Five Years isn't as bad is suffers from many of the same problems. Everything starts off well with a good idea, interesting characters, good performances and funny moments but they all get lost along the way.

ps Is the poster a spoiler?

August 31, 2015 at 02:20PM

24 August 2015

This Is 40, 2012 - ★★½

Judd Apatow really needs to make friends with some editors. Like many of his films This Is 40 is way too long but it's also badly put together. Related scenes often seem to contradict each other but most of the film feels like a collection of unrelated moments. It's a shame because whilst it would be hard to describe the characters as likable, they are relatable and often quite funny. Instead we're presented with what feels like a compilation of outtakes from a better TV show like Modern Family.

August 24, 2015 at 06:35PM

20 August 2015

Mistress America, 2015 - ★★★½

My opinion on Baumbach (and Gerwig) seems to jump all over the place, often within the same film. I had hoped this might be the film that tied everything together in a more satisfying way but sadly it isn't. It feels like the films we've seen before: jumping between charming and irritating, amusing rather than funny, a forced plot forcing characters down unnecessary paths when we'd happily watch them just talking to each other.

But I did like it.

August 20, 2015 at 08:45PM

Man with a Movie Camera, 1929 - ★★★★

So the most interesting piece of filmmaking I've seen for quite some time is a 86 year old experimentation in the cinematic communication. That experimental nature means it's something which is easier to admire or study than enjoy but it's still a fascinating piece of work. This version was a soundtrack by Alloy Orchestra which added so much, especially to the invigorating finale which was just crying out for a round of applause.

August 20, 2015 at 08:31PM

16 August 2015

Wet Hot American Summer, 2001 - ★★★★

Ridiculously brilliant.

August 16, 2015 at 01:00PM

12 August 2015

ParaNorman, 2012 - ★★★½

It's interesting to glance at other Letterboxd reviews and see many people saying how much better this film is on repeated views. Even as I was watching there was feeling that the entire thing was a lot more impressive than it initially seemed. At the start it didn't have my full attention and came across as a stylish looking film with a fairly standard story and not on the same level as Coraline or Frankenweenie. However as it progresses it seems to find it's place and I now look forward to seeing it again, perhaps one Halloween.

August 12, 2015 at 01:38PM

07 August 2015

Lava, 2015

Watched on Friday July 24, 2015.

August 07, 2015 at 02:02PM

04 August 2015

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989 - ★★★★

For a long time The Last Crusade was my favourite Indiana Jones adventure. This was mostly because I was 12 when it came out, not that I remember seeing it in the cinema. I do remember @boysmithers telling me all about it in the cloakrooms one breaktime. I also have fond memories of the 8-bit computer game and a tie-in book (which may have been the story or a making of - possibly both).

When I last saw the trilogy Last Crusade was a big relief after the disappointment of Temple Of Doom, this time around I skipped the middle film and perhaps that was part of the reason why it didn't feel as great. It's still good but never feels magically like the first film did. I've read a few things lately about the making of Jaws and Raiders that left me with the impression that Spielberg was a director who did go too far and needed to be reined in and that's something that didn't happen here. There are (far too) many ridiculous moments that just make no sense and in the past I'd happily overlook but on this viewing the just chipped away at the enjoyment. I was reminded of all the nit-picking reviews of Jurassic World, a film I really enjoyed and had no problem overlooking the flaws. Sometimes I feel you just need to be in the right mood to experience and enjoy a film and when that isn't happen it's too easy to be critical.

August 04, 2015 at 10:45PM

03 August 2015

The Railway Children, 1970 - ★★★

I didn't expect to say this but The Railway Children is one of the weirdest films I've seen recently. I know it's loved by many and I have vague recollections of watching and enjoying it as a child but watching it today it's apparent how all over the place the film really is. Perhaps something is taken away by knowing how old Agutter and Thomsett were and the much repeated tale of them sneaking off to a night club during filming.

The story is just a collection of moments that jump around in an almost haphazard way. Things happen without reason and that beloved ending makes next to sense. A piece of the time it was filmed and also written, it's hard to imagine today's children appreciating it but there didn't seem to be any complaints from the largely family based audience.

It's still charming in a quaint way but for me it was an odd experience this time around.

August 03, 2015 at 09:41PM