Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Some Films!

I saw quite a few films while I was in America, and one since I've been back, and it dawns on me as I sit here that I have been extremely remiss in not saying something about them. So then, join me in this condensed review post!

A bit more scattershot than Borat I thought, but oddly with a more cohesive story that doesn't break the fourth wall (where was Borat's cameraman all the time that he was poor and penniless? How exactly did that work?). If anything many of Bruno's exploits are even more sensational than Borat's, and it's a wonder that people didn't realise what was happening before their eyes more often. Bruno's sexual escapades are crude, but quite clever in getting a laugh, and his attitudes and lack of intelligence do make for some fun moments. It doesn't quite reach the heights of Borat, and Bruno is not as likeable as Borat, but it is still quite funny in an oh-my-gosh-I-can't-look-what-is-he-doing-with-that-midget sort of way.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
A good effort, and possibly the best adaptation to date in the Harry Potter films, but once again falls short by removing important plot points that feel key to the overall book (if not the series). Visually the film has never been better, and finally Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe have caught up with Rupert Grint in the acting stakes, turning in performances that finally capture the young people that Hermione and Harry are growing into. The major death and betrayal lack the punch that they had in the book, but hopefully the two parts of Deathly Hallows that are to come will be a good (if probably not great) conclusion to the movie adaptations.

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
The occasional decent action sequence cannot make up for the plothole-ridden terror of the story. Special effects seem as if they haven't moved forward for years. Otherwise good actors give career-low performances and the only thing that saves it from being a one-star movie in my back are the sometimes incredible martial arts/sword-fighting scenes between Snake Eyes and the other ninja (see, I can't even be bothered to remember his name).

The Time Traveler's Wife
A good adaptation, brilliant performances, and beautiful music. The film lacks some of the power of the book, and as with Harry Potter there are changes or omissions which don't make sense to me (but of course, I've never adapted an acclaimed book into a feature film, so what do I know?), but I would say that this works even better than the adaptation of Harry Potter does. Every now and then there is a flash of brilliance in something that it manages to convey and in those moments you sit in wonder at what has been achieved: a genuine romantic fantasy.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I honestly quite disliked Bruno. You mentioned that it scattershot, and it really, really was. To me, it was just a series of disjointed "shock" scenes that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, or however long it was.

The latest HP is my favorite, though I should probably preface that by saying that I've not read any of the books. I really thought everyone gave quite good performances, especially Tom Felton (Draco); I would say that Emma Watson is still lagging behind her peers on set, however. As you say, it was clearly the most visually stunning of all the films to date.

G.I. Joe was nothing more than an entertaining action film for me. I went in with low expectations and I got exactly what I was anticipating, so I count that as a win in my book.