Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quick Movie Reviews: Vol 23

I know I’ve still got Fast and Furious to review, but a man can only write so much about car movies before he needs a break. To that end I’m going to take a look at four films that I don’t have too much to talk about. Don’t for a minute think this means it’s a boring film, but I can say what I want to say in one paragraph rather then five. So with that in mind, on to the films.

Angel-A (2005)

A down on his luck scam artist called Andre (Jamel Debbouze) contemplates committing suicide, but then by chance bumps into Angela (Rie Rasmussen) who offers him a chance to change his life around. For a film directed by Luc Besson I was shocked at how low key the movie is. Slow, thoughtful and a lot more emotional than I would have given it credit for, this was a fantastic character study of a damaged man looking for a second chance. Also having the movie shot in black and white adds to the nature of the film, black and white, good and evil, happy and sad. I’m pretty damn impressed with this movie and highly recommend it.

Sleeping Beauty (2011)

It’s a story of desire, unspoken, restrained, hidden. Lucy (Emily Browning) plays a university student who starts working at a unique gentleman’s club. Emily Browning is brilliant, and plays Lucy as an outsider to human society. She never seems to make a connection with people, and in fact her only friend seems to be a man who’s dying. The gentleman’s club is also a unique world, where it’s not necessarily sexual desire that’s catered to. In fact some of the gentlemen are just lonely old men and want to make a human connection before they die. Julia Leigh’s movie is fascinating, but I’m not sure exactly what the point is. It could be a movie just looking into this weird world, but I do think there is an underlying message to the film, but it’s hidden in the slower pacing and alieness of the characters.

Oranges and Sunshine (2010)

This film tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham who uncovered the scandal of "home children", a scheme of forcibly relocating children from the UK to Australia. If reading this brief summation of the story intrigues you then you should watch this movie, but don’t expect a film that tries anything different. The movie is packed with good actors, with Hugo Weaving, Emily Watson and David Wenham being the main trio. There isn’t too much to say about this film, it’s competent, the story is tragic, and the acting is good. So speaketh the great oz, now on to the next movie.

The Beaver (2011)

Ah, the movie that Mel Gibson killed. If Mr Gibson was sane I could have seen this movie getting a lot more exposure than it did, however thanks to the nut bag there is a lot of baggage associated with it. It’s a shame, because this movie is actually pretty decent and deserves more people taking a look at it. Still there are some flaws in the movie that will turn people off. I guess the biggest problem is the tone of the movie, it shifts way too much and moves from happy to disturbing a little bit too quickly. The movie also seems a little aimless with no idea what it’s trying to achieve. Jodie Foster is a good director but there just seems to be a lack of focus. This movie does feature a fantastic performance by Anton Yelchin as Porter Black (Gibson’s son), and it obvious that he will be a name we see more of as time progresses. As for Mel Gibson, he’s pretty good, you remember why he was considered a good actor, it’s a shame he’s not a good person and has turned people away from his work.

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