Movie Round-Up
Feb 2013 03

It has been a long break for contributing to the site due to Christmas and some side projects. All that aside I have still been watching a lot of movies!

Here is a quick round up of what I have been watching and my brief thoughts:

Dredd

I hadn’t really planned on watching this but found myself home alone and wanting to watch and Action Movie and had a quick scan on the ‘On Demand’ section on my Sky HD box and there is was.  ‘Dredd’ is the latest re-visioning of the 2012AD comics character Judge Dredd, the previous film was a slightly more light hearted affair staring Sylvester Stallone.  The 2012 version Stars Karl Urban as our lead and Olivia Thrilby as his new psychic partner.  It is a fast paced violent affair which it doesn’t apologies for and nor should it.  It is a very tightly put together action film which doesn’t hang around too long and ticks all the comic book fan boxes.  My only issue with it is the casting of Karl Urban who really isn’t that physically intimidating.

7/10

Jango Unchained

I always look forward to new Tarantino films, no one puts all the pieces together with as much style and liberal amounts of cool like he does.  Jango delivers everything you would expect from a QT movie, Violence, threat of violence, great dialogue and an amazing sound track. The familiarity with his product may be why I didn’t like it as much as I hoped I would. It is similar to my reaction to the iPhone 5 it looks like an iPhone and it does everything my old one did which I liked but where is the innovation?? One of my favourite QT films was Jackie Brown which was a step away from the norm and shooting someone else’s story.  I can’t help feeling he should start looking for a writing partner or another great book for his next project.  Jango is still leaps and bounds above a lot of the trash that gets released these days.

8/10

Argo

Ben Affleck just gets better and better in my opinion.  He has had a few miss steps as and actor but I think he has potential to one of the truly great American directors and reminds me a great deal of Clint Eastwood.  Argo is a masterpiece in story telling, the cast is strong but none of the actors over cook their parts allowing the story which is a great one to play out on screen.  I don’t want to spoil the film to much so I will keep this short, just go and see it.

9/10

Zero Dark Thirty

Dogged by controversy since its announcement Zero Dark Thirty (ZDT) is Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film and her second modern day war film.  The film follows one female CIA operatives crusade to locate and capture or kill Usama Bin Laden (UBL as he is referred to in the film).  The controversy stems from two main issues; 1. It hasn’t been long since the events took place, 2. The first third of the film features scenes of graphic torture and doesn’t apologies for it or really suggest that is was wrong. The torture as with most elements in a Kathryn Bigelow film is portrayed in as an authentic manner as possible, what I mean by this is it would have been out of place if the script had featured troops or the CIA questioning the techniques they were using.

These points out of the way I can start telling you what I thought of the film itself.  I thought Hurt Locker was an amazing piece of film making and it felt like one of the most realistic depictions of the conflict in the middle east.  My anticipation for Bigleow’s follow up was high, the buzz and the oscar tipping for ZDT has been phenomenal.
The cast is first class with faces you will recognise in nearly every role, some more recognisable for their work in television than cinema but still good actors.
All round this is a solid film but for me felt a little by the numbers and more of a dramatic reconstruction of events than a movie.  The by the numbers approach I’m sure is a nod at the sensitivity of the subject matter and the level of scrutiny it would receive on its release.

8/10

End of Watch

This is one of those films where the trailer doesn’t do a very good job at telling you what the film is about.  The trailer portrays the film as non-stop action film with the the two cops being chased through LA by Mexican drug cartels.  This is not what ‘End of Watch’ is really about, yes the end of the film does feature a chase but at really the film is about two cops and their friendship over the period of roughly a year.  Very violent in parts but it feels like one of the most genuine portrayals of life as LAPD since ‘Colors’.  I’m a big fan of the american TV series ‘Southland’ which is very similar to ‘End of Watch’ in that it is more about the relationships than the setting.   Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal have the some of the best on screen chemistry I have ever seen on film, truly great performances. This is the first film I have seen in a long time that left me wired and wide awake.
9/10

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