Most fans were up in arms about the third film, as Peter Jackson was far from faithful to the book. The only thing that irritated me was that there wasn't more Smaug. He just shows up for ten minutes and dies. How about the big battle with Sauron? He's defeated as well in the first half hour. So yeah, the rest of it is armies meeting and armies fighting.
Treat this seriously and you will be annoyed, however treat it as a comedy and you'll have alot more fun. My expectations were so low, I was laughing at everything! Bears strapped to Eagles, Legolas jumping like he's in a Mario game and of course the never-ending 1vs1 fight scenes. However, it was the corny dialogue which had me laughing the most. Its better than Desolation of Smaug, but worse than An Unexpected Journey.
Making a Splash (1984)
From one Peter to another, this is a short film programmed for Channel 4, where Greenaway assesses humans relationship with water, through hyperactive editing and Nyman music. I had previously listened to Water Dances, and its probably my favourite Nyman piece of music, although I had no idea Greenaway used it in a film. The ending result is magnificent. 25 minutes of cinematic bliss. I say all this but only Nyman/Greenaway fans will like it.
Behind the phenomenal jazz soundtrack, lies a mediocre, unfunny film. This was my first time watching, and I was surprised how bland, drawn-out and empty the film is. It's not straight up "here's the jokes... Laugh" comedy (like Blazing Saddles etc). The comedy comes from the situations, the characters and the dialogue. It puts on a funny atmosphere which makes you prone to laughter, but it never worked. Of course I can't deny the songs, including James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, are leagues better than the film itself. I can't understand the hype and acclaim behind this one.
The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
I'm not a horror aficionado, but I really enjoyed this 1960s horror film. Vincent Price is brilliant as the cowardly husband, a rare role for the king of horror. The film changes the Edgar Allan Poe story quite a lot, there is a pit, there is a pendulum, and it is terrifying. This is decades before the shock horror which is popular now, and doesn't age as much as I would have thought. I would have loved it to be longer, as the 80 minutes does't cover some necessary parts of the story.
The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
Syndromes and a Century (2006)
La Poison (1951)
Russian Ark (2002)
I finally got round to seeing the infamous Russian Ark. Yes, the film famous for the ultimate gimmick, that is the entire film is shot in one constant take. No breaks. No nothing. As impressive as that is, I thought it would get tiresome. Turns out the whole film is magnificent from start to finish. It's like a window through history, an adventure through time or a journey to a place that is nearly forgotten. Russia has such a colossal history, so its nice to see a film do it justice. More than a film it is an experience, one that I couldn't recommend more. Although, I would like to see the blooper real.