Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Film Review: I’M A CYBORG, BUT THAT’S OK (2006)

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - poster Original Title: Ssaibogeujiman gwaenchanha

Director: Chan-wook Park
Writers: Chan-wook Park, Seo-Gyeong Jeong
Running time: 105 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
UK Release date: 4th April 2008

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 31st January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I had never heard of this South Korean film before and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I found it very charming with some great subtle use of CGI to illustrate the inner thoughts of the main characters. I know there are a few out there that fear the subtitle and for those I’m afraid your worst fears may be realised… It does have subtitles. For me, not usually a problem, but I did struggle to follow the plot at the beginning, it soon settled down though and easy reading from then on. I’ll give you my thoughts after this brief summary.

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - 6 Young woman, Cha Young-goon has been sent to a mental institution. Her grandmother had been sent into care sometime earlier and, it seems, this had tipped her over the edge. She keeps it a secret, but she believes she is a Cyborg and she has to rescue her grandmother. In order to do that though, she must relieve herself of all thoughtfulness, sympathy…etc. She is befriended by Park Il-sun, another patient who has a habit of stealing things. The staff becomes worried about Young-goon when she refuses to eat. They lock her away but Il-sun has fallen in love with her and may be able to help her. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be fitting cybernetic implants to me (again).

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - 3 I love the subtle use of CGI in this film, you can tell a lot of hard work and imagination has been applied to make it look so good. It’s a film full of interesting characters and great performances, but the two that stood out were Su-jeong Lim as Cha Young-goon and Rain as Park Il-sun. Both were really excellent, particularly Su-jeong Lim, her performance was quite stunning.

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - 2 This is a very engaging and charming film with lots of subtle plot twists that keep the audience guessing. It is essentially a love story, but one with a difference and one that (I hope) others will enjoy as much as I did. Great acting, great direction and great production, although it’s not altogether perfect; I’ve already mentioned the slightly confusing beginning; I still enjoyed it very much though. It’s another of a growing number of South Korean films I am discovering and long may it continue… Recommended.

My score: 7.7/10

IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 8,808 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0497137/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 90/100 (based on 10 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 80/100 (based on 11,824 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/im_a_cyborg_but_thats_ok/#

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - 5 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Park Il-sun: Psycho.
Cha Young-goon: I'm not a psy-cho. I'm a cy-borg.

Cha Young-goon: Mom, I think I'm a cyborg.
Young-goon's mother: ...What is that?
Cha Young-goon: I think it's kind of... like a robot?
Young-goon's mother: ...Have you missed your period? Because you're a 'sy-bor'?

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK - 1 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer:

Film Review: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - poster Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Charlie Kaufman (Story/Screenplay), Michel Gondry (Story) & Pierre Bismuth (Story)
Running time: 108 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 30th April 2004

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 31st January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is a film I saw several years ago and immediately fell in love with. I thought it would be interesting to give it another viewing just to see how well it’s stood up in the intervening years. Well I’m pleased to report, it does pretty well; if anything, I like it slightly more after this most recent viewing. I will tell you more after this brief summary.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2 We begin with a couple meeting on a train for the first time. They are Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski. Everything seems to be going very well and then the mood suddenly changes. Joel is in his car banging his head against the steering wheel; very upset, almost inconsolable. He eventually finds out that Clementine has undergone a procedure to erase him from her memory. Unable to live with that, he decides to do the same. It is through this process that we see their entire relationship from the end to the beginning. Will it be successful, or is Joel doomed to live with his grief? Well obviously I can’t tell you that or the Spoiler Police will be erasing my memory (some say they already have!).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 1 Beautifully made with some outstanding (& very subtle) CGI; I really love the way small things are erased as a scene progresses, or they go out of focus so you get the impression of memories being lost. The performances are all excellent too; especially Jim Carrey as Joel Barish (I really wish he would take more parts like this, he’s very good at it) and Kate Winslet who played Clementine Kruczynski perfectly; in fact she got an Oscar for it! Honourable mentions go to; Elijah Wood as Patrick, Mark Ruffalo as Stan, Kirsten Dunst as Mary and Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Mierzwiak.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 5 [Spoiler Alert]
There are several sub-plots that I have not included in the main summary that serve to show the imperfections in the process Joel and Clementine have undergone. This takes the film to a higher lever for me, it illustrates that no matter what, there may be a person you are supposed to be with. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it’s a concept that (I know) many cling to. But back to the film… It’s really well made with some excellent performances; very well written (another Oscar for that), one that’s quirky and quite bizarre in places, but also quite unique and one I have no problem in deeming ‘Highly Recommended’.

My score: 9.1/10

IMDb Score: 8.5/10 (based on 297,486 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 93/100 (based on 218 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 93/100 (based on 503,889 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind/#

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 3 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
Joel: [voice over] random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.

Joel: [narration as Clementine acknowledges him by raising her coffee mug] Why do I fall in love with every woman I see who shows me the least bit of attention?

Clementine: Hi!
Joel: Excuse me?
Clementine: I just said hi.
Joel: Oh! Hi, hello.
Clementine: I'm Clementine... No jokes about my name.
Joel: I don't know any jokes about your name.
Clementine: Huckleberry Hound.
Joel: I don't know what that is.
Clementine: Huckleberry Hound!
[singing]
Clementine: Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine.
Joel: I don't know what that means.
Clementine: Are you NUTS?
Joel: It's been suggested.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 4 [Mary reads to Dr. Mierzwiak out of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations"; the lines are from Alexander Pope's poem "Eloisa to Abelard"]
Mary: How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 6 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind/
Trailer:

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Film Review: IRONCLAD (2011)

Ironclad - poster Writer (Story)/Director: Jonathan English
Writers (Screenplay): Jonathan English, Erick Kastel & Stephen McDool (1st Screenplay)
Running time: 116 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Action/Adventure
UK Release date: 4th March 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 29th January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I remember hearing about this film before it came out and I have to admit I was intrigued. Of course it never showed at my local cinema and so I had the long wait until it appeared on TV, which, as you can probably guess, occurred recently. It’s an interesting film, based on fact, that is, at times, brutally violent but still kept me interested all the way through. I will give you my thoughts after this brief summary.

Ironclad - 1 It’s Thirteenth Century England and King John has been forced by the nobility to sign the Magna Carta. This is a document that limits the power of the king and gives rights to the common people. According to the filmmakers, what he did next was to get the pope to give him the right to get back his power. To this end he hires an army from Denmark and goes about the land taking his revenge on those who had opposed him. Enter Albany, a man who believes in the rebellion and who wants to see that John is stopped. He gathers a small band of men, one of which is a Knights Templar, Marshal. They ride to Rochester Castle where they make their stand against John’s army. Archbishop Langton has sent word to the French and Albany hopes they will arrive before the castle falls. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Historically Inaccurate Films Division) will have me hung, drawn and quartered at dawn.

Ironclad - 4 A film that didn’t have a big budget, but I believe they did a good job with what they had. There are some terrific fight scenes and an awful lot of gore (definitely not one for the squeamish). As far as performance go, well James Purefoy did a decent job as the moody, brooding Marshal, Brian Cox was great (as ever) as Albany and Paul Giamatti seemed to have a great time chewing the scenery as King John. Honourable mentions must go to; Kate Mara as Isabel, Derek Jacobi as Cornhill, Charles Dance as Archbishop Langton, Jason Flemyng as Becket and Jamie Foreman as Coteral.

Ironclad - 2 I liked this film a bit more than most, but there are things about it I wasn’t all that pleased with. The love story between Marshal and Isabel I found pointless and even so, it was dragged out far too long. Talking of length, the film is about 20 minutes too long IMO (and I saw a shorter version cut for TV). Other than that I thought it was a decent piece of work. Admittedly a little too gory in places for some, but it was entertaining enough and one I have no problem in recommending… Although I feel some will disagree.

My score: 6.9/10

IMDb Score: 6.2/10 (based on 11,518 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1233301/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 44/100 (based on 55 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 39/100 (based on 8,288 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ironclad/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Ironclad - 8 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Albany: [Calls down to King John] You are no more a king than the boil on my arse!
[Turns to his friend]
Albany: What a tedious little man.

Marshall: Have you ever killed a man, squire? It is not a noble thing. Not even when it is for God!

Albany: We claim this castle in the name of the rebellion!

Ironclad - 6 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ironclad.film?ref=ts
Trailer:

Film Review: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (2011)

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides - poster Director: Rob Marshall
Writers (Screenplay): Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
Running time: 132 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy
UK Release date: 18th May 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 29th January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

Having seen all the previous films in the series and despite being woefully disappointed by the third instalment, I decided to give this one a go anyway. The critics tell me it’s better than “At Worlds End” and I am prepared (on this occasion) to believe them. Fortunately (for them), they were indeed correct and while not as good as the first two, it is an improvement. I will give you more of my thoughts after this brief summary.

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides - 6 This time Jack Sparrow is on the trail of the Fountain of Youth. Teaming up with an old flame, Angelica, who turns out to be the daughter of the notorious pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself aboard Blackbeard’s ship and on route to the island where the Fountain can be found. Also on their trail there is Barbossa who, having lost his leg to Blackbeard is out for revenge. Throw in the might of the Spanish fleet and there’s more than enough competition for the prize. Certain items have to be collected before the Fountain can be used, not least of which is the tear of a mermaid and this proves very difficult to obtain. I don’t want to say too much, but needless to say a perilous journey is about to culminate in the mother of all showdowns! I had better not say any more of the Spoiler Police (Pirates Division) will have me clapped in irons and keel-hauled.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES Very well made with some excellent CGI and stunt work; these are the hallmarks of these films. Performance wise; Johnny Depp did his usual comic turn as Jack Sparrow, Penélope Cruz did a decent job as Angelica Teach, Geoffrey Rush was good (as ever) as Barbossa and Ian McShane I felt did a decent job as Blackbeard. Honourable mentions must also go to; Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Sam Claflin as Philip, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as Syrina, Stephen Graham as Scrum, Keith Richards as Captain Teague and Richard Griffiths as King George.

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides - 4 Although I did find it entertaining to a point, I did feel it got a little tedious and predictable towards the end. The trouble is, with three previous films, we have seen it all before and it does all get a little repetitive. I also felt it was way too long! I guess the films are still making large amounts of cash for the Disney machine and so they will continue to make them (sadly). I think, if you haven’t seen a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film before then I can recommend it to you; if you have, then be prepared for more of the same.

My score: 6.3/10

IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 111,001 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1298650/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 33/100 (based on 245 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 61/100 (based on 145,528 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/pirates_of_the_caribbean_on_stranger_tides/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides - 2 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[Standing on a cliff edge]
Jack Sparrow: You know that feeling you get when you're standing in a high place... sudden urge to jump?... I don't have it.

Blackbeard: [points the gun at Jack's head] I need those chalices.
Jack Sparrow: Shoot. Save me the bother of the fall.
Blackbeard: You will go and you will return. Or I will kill her.
[points the gun at Angelica]
Jack Sparrow: [surprised] You won't kill your own daughter.
Blackbeard: [hands the gun to the zombie quartermaster] Quartermaster, give me six more pistols, remove the shot from all but two and do not tell me which two.
[walks to where the six pistols are at]
Blackbeard: You get to choose, Mr.Sparrow.

Jack Sparrow: The fountain of youth, what does it require?
Angelica: A Mermaid, Jack.

Blackbeard: Bring the mermaid!
Philip: You're killing her.
Blackbeard: I'm a bad man.

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides - 1 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.disney.co.uk/pirates-of-the-caribbean/index.jsp
Trailer:

Film Review: 44 INCH CHEST (2009)

44 Inch Chest - poster Director: Malcolm Venville
Writers: Louis Mellis, David Scinto
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Drama/Crime
UK Release date: 15th January 2010

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 28th January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is one of those films I have wanted to see for some time now. From the writers of ‘Sexy Beast’ (a film I very much enjoyed) I was really looking forward to more of the same. I can see where they were going with it, but it didn’t quite have the same impact as their previous effort. I think the idea was solid enough, but what they did with it really didn’t quite work out (for me). I will tell you more after this brief summary.

44 Inch Chest - 3 When Colin Diamond’s wife, Liz, tells him she’s leaving him for another, he is devastated. He gets her to give him the name of the other man and he, and some friends, take him to a room for a talk. It is here where the majority of the action takes place. Even before the man is brought out of the cupboard they have him stashed in we have some quite explicit dialogue and flashbacks of what had transpired in the previous 24 hours. Colin’s ‘colleagues’, Meredith, Old Man Peanut, Archie and Mal have already softened ‘Loverboy’ up for him, but now it’s up to him to decide what’s to be done. Asking the others to leave the room, he talks through the various options open to him. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be looking into the disappearance of that waiter a few months back.

44 Inch Chest - 1 A very well made film with some very colourful characters and some great dialogue, but it does have the look and feel of a stage play. I guess this is because the majority of the action takes place in one room. One thing I cannot fault is the performances; everyone was superb! And so special mentions go to; Ray Winstone as Colin Diamond, Ian McShane as Meredith, John Hurt as Old Man Peanut, Tom Wilkinson as Archie and Stephen Dillane as Mal.

44 Inch Chest - 4 There is an awful lot of dialogue in this film and much of it contains extreme swearing, but much of it I found was quite philosophical. I think the trouble is, there’s far too much of it and, at times, it doesn’t help the story move along very smoothly. I found the ‘hallucination’ scenes very confusing and they got more bizarre the longer they went on! It ended up being quite a strange film in the end that left me kind of flat. I can’t really recommend it for that reason, but if anyone out there feels like giving it a look I’d be interested to hear what you made of it.

My score: 5.7/10

IMDb Score: 5.8/10 (based on 3,175 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0914837/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 40/100 (based on 77 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 36/100 (based on 13,005 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/44_inch_chest/#

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

44 Inch Chest - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Warning: Strong Language.
Archie: Are you hearing this? What you've done? What you're responsible for? Are you proud of yourself? Was it worth it? All this pain.
Mal: Fucked his wife. Fucked his fucking wife. You fucking wife-fucker, you. You fucked his fucking wife, you wife-fucking cunt. Another man's wife. Are you stupid, are you fucking thick, you cunt? Fuck another man's wife? You don't do that. It ends in this. This. This is where it ends. You listening, you hearing me? Shitter? Little shitter?
Archie: You should have got your own fucking wife to fuck!
Mal: You're in deep shit mate. You're in the worst possible place a man could find himself.

Colin Diamond: I want you dead. I think you owe me that. I do. Because that's what you've done to me. You've fucking killed me.

44 Inch Chest - 5 Colin Diamond: I bet she's never farted in front of you, has she? Has she? No- I thought not. I mean, that's not romantic, is it? You just want the perfume clouds, the romance, the magicalness of it all- the false crap. Well, I've got news for you, Sonny Jim- that's not love. Love's hard work, hard graft. Love can be murder. Love is watching what she wants to watch on the telly, taking her the papers and a cup of tea on a Sunday morning in bed and inquiring to how she might be feeling, "You all right, Liz?" whilst plumping up her pillows. And she might get irritated by that, but you gotta take it on the chin and broad shoulders, because she's the queen, and you're the bee- the Dad. And so what if you cook the dinner and you get no thanks for it? Don't do it if you expect thanks. That's not why you do it. And yes, you forgot the dripping tap for ten years, and then one day- for whatever reason, fuck knows why- you get off your fat ass and you find yourself under the sink with a spanner in your hand and you're smiling like fuck- because you know it's gonna please her. And if she don't notice it, she don't notice it- it don't matter. It's fixed. It's plumbed. It's the maintenance of a marriage, the nuts and bolts, the nitty gritty, the reality- that's life, that's love, it ain't easy- nobody ever said it was gonna be easy. It's fucking hard work. But, you know, love can be... lovely. One day, you'll be in the bathroom, having a shave in front of the mirror, all soap on your face, and you feel her approaching you. She's hung a pair of tights, hanging on the radiator. And as she leaves, she pats you on the bum and gives you a tiny smile- almost not a smile- but a smile nevertheless. And it will mean the world to you- the whole. incredible world- the fucking universe.

LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.44inchchestfilm.com/
Trailer:

Monday, 23 January 2012

Film Review: THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011) - REVISITED

The Adjustment Bureau - poster Writer (Screenplay)/Director: George Nolfi
Running time: 102 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 4th March 2011

Watched on Sky+ Monday 23rd January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is the second time I’ve seen this one; it didn’t really stick in the memory that well first time around so I thought I’d give it another look. What follows is an ‘adjusted’ version of my original review from last year.

The Adjustment Bureau - 6 Based on a short story called ‘The Adjustment Team’ by Philip K. Dick, the ideas behind this film intrigued me from the moment I first heard about it. Imagine a world where your fates are determined for you and if you stray from your prescribed path, an adjustment is made to put you back on it. The ‘people’ responsible for making the adjustments are, of course, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’. Now you know that, I can write a brief summary and I’ll tell you what I thought about the film afterwards.

Adjustment Bureau David Norris is a young ambitious politician; he is running for the Senate, representing New York, when his campaign is de-railed by a scandal from his past. Resigned to defeat, he retires to the men’s washroom to practice his speech. There he meets dancer Elise Sellas who he instantly falls in love with. She gives him the confidence to give a brilliant speech that galvanises the public enough to call for him to stand for election at a later date… but that’s in the future. He is so enamoured with Elise that, when he meets her again the very next day, he asks for her number, which she gives him. Now, the path that has been prescribed for David Norris does not include a relationship with Elise Sellas. In steps the Adjustment Bureau in the guise of a group of agents led by a character known as Richardson. They do all they can to keep the couple apart and even reveal themselves to David in an effort to make him see sense. Unfortunately for them, he is determined to be with her and eventually the case is sent up to the next level and Thompson takes charge. He gives David a choice, either continue on this path and ruin both of their lives, or take the path prescribed for him. It’s a tough decision, but David has an ally in Harry Mitchell, who has been following him for a long time. And it’s here I’ll have to leave my summary or the ‘Adjustment’ Police will be altering my prescribed future (again).

The Adjustment Bureau - 2 This is a very well made film with some great special effects, but it is the story that drives the action and not the other way around. It is very much a love story, but a love story with a rather cunning twist and one that I quite enjoyed (with a few reservations). All of the leading cast were excellent; Matt Damon as David Norris, Emily Blunt as Elise Sellas, John Slattery as Richardson, Michael Kelly as Charlie Traynor, Anthony Mackie as Harry Mitchell and Terence Stamp as Thompson.

The Adjustment Bureau - 4 I love the premise of this film but I felt the execution lacked energy; it’s not until the final scenes that the pace it picked up sufficiently to make the audience prick up their ears and take notice. Maybe it’s just me, but I never really felt there was enough chemistry between the two lovers to warrant the effort put in by the David Norris character. I also found it quite hard to identify with either of them. In the end though, it’s a perfectly watchable entertaining film, without being particularly mind-bending or spectacular. I’ve given it a very slightly higher score than last time because I felt that, on a second viewing, the plot made better sense. Over all: better than average and recommended.

My score: 7.3/10

IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 81,341 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1385826/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 72/100 (based on 240 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 67/100 (based on 88,725 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/adjustment_bureau/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Adjustment Bureau FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Elise Sellas: Were you just looking at my legs while I slept?
David Norris: I was helpless against the dress.
Elise Sellas: It's a skirt.
David Norris: It's a belt!

Harry Mitchell: [talks to David] You're going to look for her, aren't you? You won't find her. They'll make sure of it. Even if they weren't trying to stop you, there are nine million people in this city. You'll never find her. Forget about her. Move on with your life.

Richardson: Very few humans have seen what you've seen today. And we're determined to keep it that way. So, if you *ever* reveal our existence, we'll erase your brain. The intervention team will be sent, your emotions, your memories, your entire personality, will be expunged. Your friends and family will think you've gone crazy. You, well, you won't think anything...

The Adjustment Bureau - 3 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.theadjustmentbureau.com/index.php
Trailer:

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Film Review: TRUE GRIT (2010)

True Grit (2010) - poster Co-Writers (Screenplay)/Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer (Novel): Charles Portis
Running time: 106 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Adventure/Drama/Western
UK Release date: 11th February 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 22nd January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

Having seen, and loved, the original 1969 version of this story starring John Wayne I was intrigued to see the Coen Brothers’ take on it. As is usually the case with these things, it didn’t show at my local cinema and so I waited patiently for it to appear on TV. As you can probably guess, it put in an appearance this week and I’m very pleased to report its well worth a look. I will tell you why after this brief summary.

True Grit (2010) - 3 Fourteen year old Mattie Ross has been sent to claim the body of her dead father, shot by a man employed by him called Tom Chaney. Now Chaney had run for the ‘Indian Territory’ after the event which makes him the responsibility of the U.S. Marshall’s service. To this end, Mattie engages U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn to bring Chaney to justice. A Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf, is also interested in finding Chaney as he had shot a Senator while down there. Cogburn and LaBoeuf plan to find Chaney on their own and bring him to justice in Texas, but they hadn’t bargained for the tenacity of the young Mattie Ross. We follow them into the ‘Indian Territory’ in their pursuit of the fugitive who they believe to be running with one Lucky Ned Pepper. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Western’s Division) will be sending Cogburn after me (again).

True Grit (2010) - 6 Nicely shot, but with a much ‘starker’ feel to it than the original; it also lacks the majesty of the surroundings that the original had. Having said that, this doesn’t detract too much from the story which is very well written and performed. And on that subject, we have to give praise to Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn who, despite a rather mumbled performance, does really well! Also worthy of note were both Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Matt Damon as LaBoeuf who both put in great performances also. Honourable mentions must also go to Josh Brolin as Tom Chaney and Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper.

True Grit (2010) - 1 Much has been made of the dialogue and how it more closely matches the original novel. Well, yes it does, but then again the 1969 version wasn’t a million miles away from it either. There are, however, some interesting, and welcome, additions and alterations to the narrative that weren’t included in the original. I really liked these and they gave the film a little extra that I wasn’t expecting. Now I have to talk about the performance of Hailee Steinfeld; while quite different to Kim Darby’s 1969 performance, I found the character grew on me as it went on. I believe Kim Darby was quite a bit older when she made the film and I think is shows in her slightly more polished performance. That’s not to take anything away from Hailee Steinfeld, she’s a fine actress and I hope this performance brings her much success in the future. Over all, I like both films but the Coen’s version slightly has the edge (at the moment). Worth a watch… Hell yes!... Recommended.

My score: 8.2/10.

IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 106,408 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1403865/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 96/100 (based on 248 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 86/100 (based on 108,965 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/true-grit-2010/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

True Grit (2010) - 4 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
40-Year-Old Mattie: People do not give it credence that a young girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood. But it did happen. I was just 14 years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down and robbed him of his life and his horse and two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band. Chaney was a hired man and Papa had taken him up to Fort Smith to help lead back a string of Mustang ponies he'd bought. In town, Chaney had fallen to drink and cards and lost all his money. He got it into his head he was being cheated and went back to the boarding house for his Henry rifle. When Papa tried to intervene, Chaney shot him. Chaney fled. He could have walked his horse, for not a soul in that city could be bothered to give chase. No doubt Chaney fancied himself scot-free. But he was wrong. You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free, except the grace of God.

Mattie Ross: Who's the best marshal?
Sheriff: Hmm, I'd have to think on that. Bill Waters is the best tracker. He's part Comanche; it is a pure joy to watch him cut for sign. The meanest is Rooster Cogburn; a pitiless man, double tough. Fear don't enter into his thinking. I'd have to say the fairest is L.T. Quinn; he always brings in his prisoners alive. Now, he might let one slip by evry now and then, but...
Mattie Ross: Where would I find this Rooster?

True Grit (2010) - 2 Lucky Ned Pepper: What is your intention Rooster? You think one on four is a dogfall?
Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which will you have?
Lucky Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hand you son-of-a-bitch!

True Grit (2010) - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.truegritmovie.com/
Trailer:

Film Review: CATCH-22 (1970)

Catch-22 - poster Director: Mike Nichols
Writers: Joseph Heller (Novel), Buck Henry (Screenplay)
Running time: 122 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Comedy/War
USA Release date: 24th June 1970

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 21st January 2012.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

This is a film I saw many years ago… I didn’t really understand it then and so I thought I’d give it another look (having matured a bit in the meantime). I must say it’s very weird, anarchic at times and has a lot to say politically… it’s also quite compelling. Based on Joseph Heller’s famous novel which, I have to confess, I’ve never read so you’ll be getting my opinion of the film as a stand-alone piece. But enough of my prattling; let’s have a crack at a synopsis before I give you my thoughts.

Catch-22 - 6 Whilst flying missions in Italy during World War II, Capt. John Yossarian decides he wants out and tries to get himself certified insane… But there’s a catch… Catch-22 to be precise. I won’t tell you exactly how it works here; but needless to say, it’s a pretty cunning way of keeping the boys flying. We also meet all of his crew and the locals they associate with when not on duty. There are also those who are out for themselves; Col. Cathcart, Maj. Danby and 1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder to name but a few. All this is interspersed with flashbacks to Yossarian’s efforts to help a young airman who is injured on a mission. I really don’t want to say too much, it’s one of those you have to see for yourself to get a grasp of. Also, the Spoiler Police will be selling off all my stuff.

Catch-22 - 1 This is an interesting film that has a lot to say about many things; not least war and capitalism. I won’t go into the political questions it raises, but needless to say the point is put across quite forcibly. Decent performances all round, particularly from Alan Arkin as Capt. John Yossarian; he did a first rate job here! Honourable mentions go to; Martin Balsam as Col. Cathcart, Richard Benjamin as Maj. Danby, Art Garfunkel as Capt. Nately, Jack Gilford as Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka, Buck Henry as Lt. Col. Korn, Bob Newhart as Maj. Major Major, Anthony Perkins as Chaplain Capt. A.T. Tappman, Paula Prentiss as Nurse Duckett, Martin Sheen as 1st Lt. Dobbs and Jon Voight as 1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder. Finally a special mention for Orson Welles who played a brilliant cameo as Brig. Gen. Dreedle.

Catch-22 - 5 Although I found this film entertaining, I did find it did drag on a bit towards the end. About 20 minutes shorter and it would have been ideal (for me). It’s all very well shot, but I’m afraid it suffers from having the feel of some ‘Frat-house’ comedy which didn’t really endear it to me too much. That aside, I did find parts of it were quite compelling although I did struggle to have much empathy with any of the characters… even the lead. For its day though I thought it was quite groundbreaking and quite an eye-opener (in more ways than one). At the end of the day an interesting adaptation… I’ll have to read the book sometime.

My score: 6.9/10.

IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 10,995 votes at the time of going to press).
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0065528/

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 87/100 (based on 23 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 62/100 (based on 9,365 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/catch22/

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
http://facebook.com/andy.steel3

Catch-22 - 2 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Yossarian: Let me see if I've got this straight: in order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy any more and I have to keep flying.

Yossarian: Is Orr crazy?
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: Of course he is. He has to be crazy to keep flying after all his close calls he's had.
Yossarian: Why can't you ground him?
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: I can, but first he has to ask me.
Yossarian: That's all he's gotta do to be grounded?
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: That's all.
Yossarian: Then you can ground him?
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: No. Then I cannot ground him.
Yossarian: Aah!
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: There's a CATCH?
Yossarian: A catch?
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: Sure. Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat isn't really crazy, so I can't ground him.
Yossarian: Ok, let me see if I've got this straight. In order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying.
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: You got it, that's Catch-22.
Yossarian: Whoo... That's some catch, that Catch-22.
Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka: It's the best there is.

Catch-22 - 4 Capt. Nately: Don't you have any principles?
Old man in whorehouse: Of course not!
Capt. Nately: No morality?
Old man in whorehouse: I'm a very moral man, and Italy is a very moral country. That's why we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated.
Capt. Nately: You talk like a madman.
Old man in whorehouse: But I live like a sane one. I was a fascist when Mussolini was on top. Now that he has been deposed, I am anti-fascist. When the Germans were here, I was fanatically pro-German. Now I'm fanatically pro-American. You'll find no more loyal partisan in all of Italy than myself.
Capt. Nately: You're a shameful opportunist! What you don't understand is that it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Old man in whorehouse: You have it backwards. It's better to live on your feet than to die on your knees. I know.
Capt. Nately: How do you know?
Old man in whorehouse: Because I am 107-years-old. How old are you?
Capt. Nately: I'll be 20 in January.
Old man in whorehouse: If you live.

Catch-22 - 3 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Trailer (Not the official one):