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Synecdoche, New York (2 Discs)
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I bought this film after browsing the dvd shop looking for something new. It sounded really interesting after I read the back. A guy in New York creating a mini New York in a studio. I soon discovered I was to be cheated by the misleading blurb and quotes "comedy of the year" etc. It wasn't at all what the movie suggested and as for the comedy, I didn't laugh once.
The film was all over the place which confused me. I have a wide taste in movies and have seen many Philip Seymour Hoffman films and Charlie Kaufman films. I was expecting something unsual but this was beyond a good viewing. I have many dvds of the art farty type of film and some are 5 star but this for me was at the opposite end of the spectrum - baffling scenes followed each other in a very fragmented film. I have come to the conclusion that if a film is different, some people just suggest it is simply wonderful, five star and the average movie goer simply doesn't get it. This is bordering pretentiousness in my opinion. I am also aware that some people don't like films which are different and naturally give it the lowest score possible which is also unfair. However, in the case of Synecdoche, New York, I am racking my brains to pick out the positives. 1 star for the acting, but after that, I can't give anything for the directing as a mentioned before, the film was jumping from one scene to the next as we saw the characters age by five to ten years in the following scene. I'm sure some people will not like my comments but I know a good film when I see one and I strongly believe that this one wasn't worth the watch - 2 hours I'll never get back in my life and this goes straight into my top 10 worst movies I've seen. As for the DVD, the charity shop will be getting this film on Monday morning.
The Big White
2 New from
Firstly let me say, if you want to be entertained this film will certainly do that. The acting is really good and somehow films shot in the snow look great on the big screen.
I am a huge fan of Fargo and instantly The Big White has many similarities (clearly using the Coen Brother classic as a perfect template). However it didn't have the same impact and certain parts were too far fetched even for a black comedy.
Just like The Simple Plan, I enjoyed the Big White and will watch it again but if you loved Fargo, be prepared to get a poor man's version.
The Kite Runner
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Like the last reviewer, I felt let down by this film. The hype surrounding it was massive so I expected a classic. I am a lover of world movies but this film wasn't a patch of dozens I've seen before it. In my opinion, on many occasions when the American critics regard a world movie as brilliant or a classic, such as The Kite Runner, generally they tend to be 3 or 4 star films - made for the Western world to enjoy which generally results in the film being a little too commercial for my liking.
In parts, the film dragged its feet and I felt at times it was a little convenient in parts that certain things happened. There were touching moments, although at times (especially the ending, the emotional moments were a bit mushy). The acting, especially from the young actors was very good and believable. Overall, the film was ok but I won't be in a rush to watch it again.
Paris Je T'aime
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If you fancy something different and a film which isn't the conventional type, Paris Je T'aime could be one you select. It's a series of mini films (generally lasting 5 to 7 minutes each). You'll go through many emotions - laughing at some of the films, get a lump in your throat, smile, admire, feel romantic and fall in love with a few of the mini-films. Yes, not all the films are perfect but everyone has something to be admired - the direction, the lighting, the sound track, the script, the acting and of course, the glorious Paris backdrop.
It is a film you can delve into or watch straight through. The 'making of' is also worth a watch too in the bonus section.
22 New from
I was looking forward to this film as I enjoy Danny Boyle. I'd heard mixed reviews but decided to ignore them all and watch the movie for myself.
From the start to the finish, I couldn't get into it. Like most sci-fi's it was technical but the general gist was the universal was in trouble by the sun and the crew had to save the world. It certainly wasn't Hollywood which I liked about the film. It wasn't over the top and the special effects were well done, however, I felt little emotion for the characters and when I kept looking at the clock to see how much time was left then I knew this film was leaving me feeling empty.
I know some people will love this film and others will hate it - I will side more with the "not that impressed" brigade and say it was ok but nothing more than that.
I suppose my advice is, after you've read my review, don't botter reading any more reviews - simply watch the film for yourself and you decide. However, it might be best to rent it if you don't want to part with your cash until you know you might want to add it to your collection.
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I haven't been so let down watching a cartoon film like I did when I watched Chicken Little. Kids might enjoy it to a degree but I certainly didn't. Children are the best judges of kids' films but from an adult point of view and someone who owns all the Disney Classics, recent pixars and others such as Over The Hedge, I wasn't impressed.
Firstly the graphics were ok but not the same quality of Pixar. The storyline was generally silly (Chicken Licken meets War of the Worlds), and even the voices used for each character, especially Chicken Little didn't really match either (a small character like Chicken Little you'd expect to have a softer pitched voice). The soundtrack was weak too with too many cheesy songs.
The positives - there were comedy moments, the duration of the film was about right, and as mentioned before, no doubt some kids will enjoy the movie.
I suppose family cartoon films shouldn't be taken too seriously but I wrote this review as I wanted people to know that Chicken Little is incredibly overhyped and at times, boring. If you compare it to recent films of the same genre it's not in the same league.
After hearing mixed reviews in the media, but mainly average reports, I was expecting this film to fizzle out, a let down and a shadow of Tarantino's previous movies....however, I thoroughly enjoyed it - it was a film I could watch over and over again with friends or on my own. Previous Tarantino films are classics but in my opinion, most of them are ones you watch every so often - however other related Tarantino films like Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn are really enjoyable, fun films. Deaf Proof for me, fits in this category!
The soundtrack, the acting, (especially Kurt Russell), the stunts, the oneliners, the amusing script, are just five excellent reasons why you should watch this film!
Some films in life can be very much about personal taste and opinion - you either love or hate - causing much debate. I understand why people might not like this film, but to give it one or two star shows little respect for Tarantino, who is one of the best directors around. You might prefer his other work, but don't sulk and say it's crap - it clearly isn't - it's a well crafted film well worth the watch. I am looking forward to seeing it again!!!!
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Uzak is a tough film to review. I love my foreign films, a collector of world films from all over the globe but I had never seen a Turkish film until I watched Uzak. After reading the blurb, I thought I would give Nuri Bilge Ceylan's film a go.
It is a little slow paced (which I suppose gives the film more of a realistic feel) and the acting is excellent, especially as the two male actors are amateur actors. Even though the film was made on a cheap budget, director, Ceylan produces a masterpiece with focus on the cinematography (not surprising as the director was a photographer in his past). Watching the extras after the film, Uzak went up in my estimation with Ceylan speaking honestly in his interview, admitting the film was 40% about his life.
It is a film which is perfect for film studies as many questions can be discussed and written about, especially the relationship between the main character and his nephew from the country. It's not a film you can chill out to with a bottle of wine, it's a touch grey leaving you a little empty, and even though the dvd cover said there was humour in the film, it was very limited to one or two scenes. Uzak means Distant in Turkish and I'm afraid most people will feel distant from the film and not be rushing to watch it again. However, if you appreciate good cinema, realistic acting, top directing and a moving story, or just feel like watching something different, Uzak is a film for you. I am glad I bought it as it's a film worth having in my collection. I knew before watching the film that the younger male actor who played Yusuf (Emin Toprak) died in real life in a car accident not long after the film was made and I couldn't help feel for his character even more due to this.
To summarise, Uzak is well worth the watch (either on your own or with someone who appreciates world cinema) and the extras on the dvd are interesting too, especially the interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan who doesn't just director, he writes, stands behind the lense and edits his work, clearly taking his work very seriously and personal.
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What a film!!!
I didn't know what to expect but for a fiver, it was hardly a risk. I wasn't to be disappointed either. Zach Braff's acting, writing and directing was truly wonderful and his relationship with Natalie Portman was so believable too. I have a shelf now of these little art house classics (Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, The Station Agent, Trees Lounge, Everything Is Illuminated, Broken Flowers) and for me this is one of the best. The soundtrack fits the scenes so well and it's a feel good film for sure. Don't ponder whether to watch this film, just sit back and don't have an agenda - enjoy the 90 minutes drawn out in front of you. A must watch, and then tell others to do the same!!!
A History Of Violence
18 New from
I was dying to watch this film as I'd heard great things about it. I SKY+ it with the intention to buy if I enjoyed the film. Although there were some very good scenes, generally I didn't rate the acting and it was lacking something. At times it was gripping but generally I found it to be a mild thriller, not a juicy one you could sink your teeth into.
I found the ending scenes when Joey meets his brother as rather dull, padded out, over the top and too easy for our main character to destroy all around him with a few strikes.
Overall, watch this film if you want a decent enough viewing but don't expect to see the best thriller on earth.