Sunday, January 27, 2013

Film Review: Because I said so

Execrable. What was Diane Keaton doing in this? Surely she can't need the money that much. Not acting, that's for sure. Lousy plot, hopeless dialogue, rubbish directing. I know it's a romcom, but even so...

Film Review: Lincoln

Enjoyable film, not very nuanced history. Mainly looked great, in a grey and sepia sort of way. Mrs Lincoln (BTW Sally Field does look a lot like the pictures of her) was from Kentucky - someone with local knowledge tell me whether that was a good Kentucky accent?

The Southern representatives who came to negotiate peace terms were appropriately vile - wouldn't have been out of place in 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'.

No suggestions as to any of the debates about whether Lincoln really wanted to free the slaves or preserve the union; nor any understanding as to some of the contradictory dimensions and racism within the Abolitionist movement.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Film Review: 'Exit through the gift shop'

Just watched this (recorded from Channel 4). Thought it was a really interesting film, though not entirely sure what it was about. Started out as a documentary about a guy shooting footage of street artists, and ended up as a film about the same guy deciding that he was a street artist - and selling his stuff for impressive prices. It seemed to me that he was no more an artist than he was a documentary maker, but what do I know? Or anyone?

Interesting footage of art collectors drooling over street art - there aren't many kinds of rebellion that can't be co-opted, are there?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Film review: Les Miserables

Just got home from seeing this. Bemused by the fact that everyone in the cinema seemed to think it was wonderful - a ripple of applause at the end, people all around me saying it was the best film they'd ever seen...

I thought it was mainly drivel. Occasionally enjoyable drivel, mind, with some great art design and scenery, some nice actors to look at, but still drivel. It's a film of the West End musical, not a film of the book, and if you liked that you'll probably like this.

It's basically a melodrama with three themes - love conquers all, God redeems and forgives everyone (except the baddie inspector, who has to kill himself when confronted by an act of charity without strings), and revolution is ennobling but not anything to do with politics. The revolution/barricade scenes are the most stirring and have the best music, but they are completely vacuous. The revolutionaries are wealthy students who want the people to rise up in their support, but they don't. It's pretty funny that when the central character, Jean Valjean, dies at the end he goes not to Heaven but to Revolutionary Heaven, with a super big barricade and all the characters who died in the film singing and waving red flags and tricolours.

And like the West End musical, there's not one good song in it. Half an hour later and I have forgotten them all.