Oscars Review: Silver Linings Playbook

I’m sorry.  I do not like this film.  I do not understand the recognition this film is receiving.

I love David O Russell.  The Fighter is high up on my list of films I have recently loved.  But this is not.  I really, really like Jennifer Lawrence.  I think she’s a great young actress. 

I can understand the intention of Silver Linings Playbook.  It’s about two mentally turbulent people finding solace in one another and, ultimately love.  I get it.  I totally understand the premise.  It’s just a horribly simplistic rendering of this.

Firstly, the ‘wooo look at me I’m a little bit crazy’ acting is overplayed, clichéd and therefore lacking in any realism.  The ‘woo look at the crazies interacting’ stuff is simplistic, overly quirky and tiresome. 

I hate this film.

I hate how, once the ‘woo look at the crazies’ stuff is established and the story takes hold, the characterisation and background takes a backseat to the plot.  Have you noticed how suddenly the crazy stuff somewhat resolves itself so the story can progress?  It’s convenient, isn’t it?

I quite liked the end when I had forgotten about all the crazy stuff and they started dancing and it became a run of the mill romcom. 

Overall, the twenty minutes of this film that I quite liked did not make up for the eye-rolling awfulness of the rest of it. 

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival: Natan

image

A frequent frustration of mine in relation to festival screenings is the single-showing nature of the thing.  A compelling film often demands a second viewing; a very good film provokes a need to impart a recommendation to others - you have to see this film.  And Paul Duane and David Cairns have, in Natan, made a film that is both of these things.  A great documentary should fulfil two basic requirements.  It should impart new or newly interpreted information and it should bestow upon its audience a need to retell the story within. 

Do you know Bernard Natan?  I’d wager that, no, most definitely you do not.  Do you know Pathé?  Almost certainly you do.  And yet, arguably, the latter would no longer exist without the former.  So how, then, is it possible you do not know Bernard Natan?

Review: The Dark Knight Rises [no spoilers]

As with any franchise film, especially the greatly anticipated conclusion to a trilogy, it is surely almost impossible to fulfil the expectations of every person invested in the series.  The Nolans, though, are masters of complex storytelling and so hopes were high regardless of some mixed reviews from the professional film press.

And The Dark Knight Rises is undoubtedly an entertaining and enjoyable film, albeit an infuriating and frustrating one.  The issue, specifically, is a number of seemingly easily fixed missed opportunities that prevent the film from being a truly satisfying experience.

Review: Prometheus

My movie-bummer radar tends to go off when faced with enormous, borderline-desperate marketing campaigns.  So Prometheus, with its omnipresent TV spots, previews and pre-book NOW! pleas, has had me buzzing for weeks now.  Maybe even months, I’m not sure.  It certainly feels like we’ve been told to anticipate this enormous summer blockbuster for a really long time. 

And so, along I went, like some obedient droid of the modern world.  And I’m glad I did because Prometheus is absolutely hilarious.  In fact, when the big climax came, I was pretty much laughing constantly at the utter ludicrousness of it all.

Moonrise Kingdom

I had thought I’d be pretty safe heading to see Moonrise Kingdom at lunchtime on a Saturday in a multiplex.  The snooty film snob in me considered that at that time of day the cinema would be either empty or would be sparsely populated with, like me, Wes Anderson fans.  

Well, there was me. And, I’m assuming from the Jason Schwartzman look of the guy, a fellow Wes Anderson fan.  And three screeching, cackling, loud-in-a-look-at-how-cool-I-am teenage girls.  They talked and screeched loudly through the first fifteen minutes of the film before admitting defeat and leaving.  Which is good because I may have murdered them all which would be entirely not in keeping with this lovely, gentle story of love, loneliness and alienation.

New York City is gloriously ablaze…
zucherman:

upper west side
Zachary Johnson

New York City is gloriously ablaze…

zucherman:

upper west side

Zachary Johnson

stueganblog:

Newgate Street, London

Looks like some phone call that poor guy is taking.

stueganblog:

Newgate Street, London

Looks like some phone call that poor guy is taking.

Woah - On this evidence, this album’s gonna be a sizzler…
michaeltrent:

Hey kids, happy to announce the first single ‘Birmingham’ from the new Shovel & Rope record ‘O’ Be Joyful’ is ripe for the plucking at itunes.  clickit 

Woah - On this evidence, this album’s gonna be a sizzler…

michaeltrent:

Hey kids, happy to announce the first single ‘Birmingham’ from the new Shovel & Rope record ‘O’ Be Joyful’ is ripe for the plucking at itunes.  clickit 

I love how the monster melts into the floor.
dasinnerereich:
Andrzej Żuławski preparing the monster for “Possession” (1981)

I love how the monster melts into the floor.

dasinnerereich:

Andrzej Żuławski preparing the monster for “Possession” (1981)

This is a film made last weekend as part of the Sci Fi London 48 Hour Challenge by my friend Andy Edwards.  It might be considered slightly NSFW.

It is shot in my favourite place in London, the Northwood Hall apartment building, originally built as an art deco style hotel in the 1930s.  I tried to rent there many times during my years living in London but never found the right place.  It has incredible views of London and the interior is as wonderful and creepy as it gets - the perfect film location.