It’s been a disappointing year so far for film we’re afraid to say with very few standouts amongst a glut of formulaic, forgettable offerings. However we wouldn’t let that keep us from heading down the local fleapit so in case you’re wondering how the last six weeks has fared movie-wise then here’s a rundown of the film landscape we’ve found ourselves wading through…
- Crimson Peak– first up, a visually gorgeous offering for your delectations… I mean, this is Guillermo Del Toro we’re talking about after all. His gothic sensibilities and dark fascination with clockwork contraptions/human disillusionment actually fits perfectly with the Victorian period and Crimson Peak his latest Gothic Horror is undeniably a delight for the eyes. It’s well known that the director built the entire set to film in and it shows in the final haunted house that the characters find themselves trapped in. The cast too perform solidly, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska all watchable with the ever reliable Jessica Chastain as the standout performance in the bunch. That being said however the film does suffer from a simplistic plot, one seen a hundred times before and a denouement that runs flailing into cliché. Beautiful but predictable, the film is a fine way to while away a few hours but won’t linger long in the mind afterwards. So if that’s enough for you then by all means check it out while you can.
FUN FACT: Bendedict Cumberbatch was originally cast in Tom Hiddleston’s role but withdrew early on. Since they are friends Hiddleston then asked Cumberbatch for his consent to take the job before going ahead (which he gave happily!)
- The Lobster– possibly the complete opposite of Crimson Peak in terms of cinema this is a film that holds itself aloft on stilts made of originality and complete abject weirdness! Featuring an incredible lineup of big names cutting their fee to join the indie club, The Lobster is a film you’ll honestly never forget. Mixing up a small screen vibe with a movie attitude the film is a beautiful oddity-sarcastic and yearning at the same time. True, the second half loses some of the satirical brilliance of the first with its claustrophobic setting inside the Hotel (and please look out for the educational skits put on by the staff at regular intervals ) but nonetheless the consciously detached delivery of the actors throughout and the increasingly ludicrous rules of the society they fight against more than make up for this narrative flaw. Beautifully shot in and around Ireland with a cosmopolitan cast and crew, the film is a striking European innovation and definitely should have played longer than the week it got in most multiplexes.
FUN FACT: This is director Yorgos Lanthimos’ first English-language feature length film and Jesus, what a hell of a debut it is!
- Spectre: aka Bond finally contemplates a big life change. What can we really say about this film that hasn’t been said already? As compelling, slick and incendiary as you expect from the franchise, Sam Mendes’ Spectre offers up another solid action flick with more heart than you might expect from Fleming’s cold hearted killer. The checklist is full of ticks- beautiful women, machiavellian villains (take a bow Christopher Waltz because somehow you manage to be affable and sinister as hell- how do you do that, sir?!) and big bold explosions up the wazoo, this is one movie that unlike all the others embraces formula, uses it as a badge of honour. And comes close to winning as a result especially since it changes things up by adding an overarching arc from the previous three movies that breaks the standalone nature of the series. Some might argue that Bond’s wavering over prioritising a woman above his profession makes him seem weak. These are probably the same people who labelled Sam Smith’s theme-tune feeble and unfitting for a character who is the poster-child of masculinity. But after twenty three movies of watching him flit from job to job and woman to woman with nary a scar it’s actually nice to see age and emotion take its toll on the Unofficial English Hero. And to be honest, it’s always more interesting on screen to see someone falter before their fate rather than run headlong towards it. And when you think about it, conflict is the one thing that fuels all stories, right? Or so they say.
FUN FACT: When out in the Moroccan desert, the production had to make sure that everyone within a twenty mile radius knew to expect loud explosions, in fact the locations department drove out to speak to nomad tribes and village folk to warn them and make sure they were all right.
And finally in your November round up we have…
- Kill Your Friends- And we really wanted to like this film. Honestly. Were kind of psyched for it. Based on a satirical novel written by a man who live his life knee deep in the nineties Britpop scene, it had all the potential building blocks to make a great movie- first hand experience, a cold roving eye and a distinctly British ambience . But unfortunately, we were massively disappointed with the end result up flickering on the screen. A lot of comparisons have been made online with Mary Harron’s American Psycho. The problem with that analogy is that whereas Christian Bale’s sociopath Patrick Bateman was inhumane and eerily persuasive Nicholas Hoult’s impassive turn as Stelfox feels juvenile. Selfish and whiny rather than malevolent. And whereas Bateman’s social circle at least had a few characters that made you feel for their plight, Hoult is surrounded by a cast of characters as equally egotistical and unlikeable as he is. Which leaves you wondering why you should give a fig about what happens to them in the end? And even the dialogue which given the nineties excesses could have dug the movie out of this hole never felt more than laboured and lamentably unfunny. That’s a crime right there. So you see…There was no respite to be found unfortunately. The result of this? After an hour and forty minutes we came out of the screen wishing we could have that time back. No such luck I’m afraid.
FUN FACT: Nicholas Hoult’s middle name is Caradoc which in Welsh means affection or amiable! (Sorry we didn’t have any fun facts about the movie and couldn’t find any online either- which just about says it all)
Ok so there you have it, a look back at the latest movies playing up on your local silver screen. Feel free to let us know if you agree with our take on them or if you want to add your thoughts on a flick we haven’t included.
As always we want your views!