Saturday, 27 December 2014

Super Fast Reviews for People in a Hurry Part 1

I am back from a long hiatus studying, ready to review films again!!! However I'm still studying, so this is all I can cobble together at this point. A barrage of random reviews of films/TV series etc, I've seen in the week (Week ending 27/12/2014). I hope you enjoy!

Durarara (2010) Series 1
Ryohgo Narita

  Durarara is my first Anime series I've watched, and boy was it a ride. The Anime is about Mikado, a lonely teen, who moves school to Ikebukuro. There he meets his long-distance friend (Masaomi), a shy schoolgirl with big breasts (Anri) and a ton of crazy characters. One thing Durarara does really well, is the characters are each unique in their own eccentric and crazy way. Each viewer will have a different favourite character. The characters are very much the driving force of what happens, most of which is told through flashbacks. Lots of them. Some of the episodes have over 6 different flashbacks, meaning the story revolves around revelations in back-stories. Every character has a secret past.
  Music is good, although often repetitive. The animation is also good, despite the animators deciding not to animate crowds and extras. Sorry if I'm making it sound average. Its a captivating and enticing watch, which made me ignore many of the flaws. Its really great, and I kind of miss it now I've watched it.


I Killed My Mother (2009)
Xavier Dolan
Canada (French)

  The film is astounding to be directed by a first time director. This is my first Dolan film and I'm very impressed. Dolan stars as well, as a teenage homosexual, firing off against his mother. The acting is really what entices the audiences, and drives the film forward, with stellar performances from the whole cast. The performances are perfect, even if the characters they're portraying are irritating. The son has anger issues, that consistently shouts at his helpless mother.
  Dolan breaks the illusion of mothers-son relationships being all about love and care, and has created a film unlike any other in cinema. Even if the cinematography looks like a dodgy cross between Pedro Almadovar and Jean Luc-Godard, and the protagonist is an asshole, Dolan has created one of the most interesting and thought-provoking debuts in cinema.


Nekromantik (1988)
Jorg Buttgereit

  I finally obtained a copy of one of the most infamous and disturbing films ever made. Well that's what the reputation says. This film centres on a streetsweeper, who takes a corpse home after a cleaning job. After a 'lovely' sex scene, his wife then leaves the streetsweeper for the corpse, leaving him alone and mentally deranged.
  I rarely watch repulsive, stomach churning films, but I thought it would be great to watch with a few friends round the house. The film is so poorly made, they hated it immediately. The acting is also dire, but no-one sees these films for the performances. I found the nasty bits no more than off-putting. That is until the final scene, which had me in fits of laughter. The 'grande' finale is a highpoint of the "Nasty" genre, but doesn't make up for a mostly dismal film.


The Children (2008)
Tom Shankland
United Kingdom

  Now for a film far worse than Nekromantik. 'The Children' takes place in a "snowy"(obvious fake snow going on) country house near a forest. Its a family gathering for Christmas, but things go wrong when the children become evil and murderous.
  The synopsis is pretty decent, with much potential for exploring Oedipul themes and "What if?" scenarios. However everything about the film is so awfully dull, any chance of this is thrown out of the window and torched with a flamethrower. Firstly the acting is catastrophic. Secondly the dialogue is corny and written by a retarded 5 year old. Thirdly the development of the film is inconsistant with a snore inducing introduction, to pointless and random deaths. Fourthly, and most importantly, it is not scary whatsoever. Not even chilling. This is the sole purpose of a movie described as "horror", and if it doesn't do it, it fails completely.


Patema Inverted (2013)
Yusuhiro Yoshiura

  This is a beautiful Anime, that really exceeded my expectations. Age is a schoolboy living in a Utopian world on the surface. Patema is a same-age girl who lives underground. They both have different gravities (so up is down for Patema and down is up for Age). Together they rescue each other while falling in love.
  A year ago I saw a film called 'Upside Down', which looked great and had a perfect relationship between the two characters, but the story was the most flawed in existence. The inverted mechanic works perfectly in Patema Inverted. The relationship between Age and Patema is wonderful as well. The dystopian future setting, like that of City of Ember crossed with North Korea, looks phenomenal, with the outside containing wide open green fields and large open skies, and an underground city which is mysterious while being equally as beautiful. The flying mechanic is really great to see on-screen, and lots of fun to watch. Its what 'Upside Down' should have been.


The Castle of Sand (1974)
Yoshitaro Nomura

"The Castle of Sand" is a typical Police/Detective thriller, similar to Akira Kurosawa's 'High and Low'. The plot thickens, as revelations come to light, resulting in a phenomenal final act. Here, the film changes pace, to a sweeping, emotional, melodramatic, wordless Epic which left me stunned. I've been years trying to find this film, and its well worth the hunt.


Make Mine Music (1946)
Robert Cormack

  I appreciate the movies Disney have made during the war more than most people. 'Saludos Amigos' and 'The Three Caballeros' are unanimously disregarded, despite being some of Disney's best. Donald Duck is a painful screen presence (the Jar Jar Binks of Disney), degrading these films from a 85 to an 80. Make Mine Music doesn't have Donald Duck so it should therefore be flawless.
  Even though there are a couple of brilliant sketches, the film doesn't reach up to the mastery of its two predecessors. Maybe its the removal of the exotic ambiance, or some of the sketches are too long and drag. I'd still recommend watching it, for a couple of moments of excellence.