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Tag Archives: movie review

Wow. I haven’t had one of these in a while. It used to happen a bit more frequently… the movie that comes out of left field to knock your socks off. Being John Malkovich was one, Fight Club was another, Amelie, and especially Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Here is another to add to the list: In Bruges. Repeat viewings will have to see if it really does join that list, but after 2 watches I have to say I love it.

Why it is has taken so long to arrive at our shores I really don’t know. I first saw it a month or so ago on DVD, as it came out in the US a few months ago. We only just have advance screenings now. Having seen it on the big screen now, it really is criminal we waited so long, but now it is here, life is good.

If you haven’t heard of it, it is not really a surprise. Being relatively low budget, and a UK production filmed in Belgium, it is never going to get big notice. But it getting wide release here so nobody has any excuse not to rush and see it. It has previous “it” boy Colin Farrell in it which gets it some publicity points, but don’t let that put you off… he is comedy gold in this film.

Concerning 2 hitmen lying low in Bruges, it is comedy, melancholy, and profanity all wrapped in one. I can’t really say too much more regarding plot… that would spoil the experience. The movie has such a low key charm and understated sense of humour, that I was a little worried seeing it with an audience they would not respond, But at my local multiplex the crowd lapped it up.

So I don’t want to say anymore. You will see comparisons to Lock Stock and Pulp Fiction bandied about, but those are lazy. This has a charm all of its own. If you get easily offended by quite profane language, or politically incorrect jokes about dwarves and the mentally challenged, just a word of warning… although those are the funniest parts of the movie. Two big Muttler thumbs up.

… muttler

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What a steamer Wanted is. I knew it would be over the top, but I wasn’t really prepared for how lame this movie actually was. While I don’t mind Angelina Jolie, I’m not obsessed by her, so this movie experience really had nothing going for it. It wanted to be all hip and cool and Fight Club, but it was just embarrassing. Avoid it.

… muttler

Well, since it is Zombie season, why not briefly mention Zombie Strippers? Why not you ask? Well, because it is terrible. Not good terrible. Just terrible terrible.

I know, you are saying what do you expect? The title is Zombie Strippers for crying out loud. Yes, it had everything… dodgy humour, gore, strippers… but it is just truly awful. I love a good cheeseball horror flick. The 80’s was a gold mine, and even lately I have gotten perverse enjoyment out of things like Plane Dead (ie Zombies on a Plane), but this was so shockingly awful, I can’t believe Robert Englund was in it. Not that he has any credibility. That’s my point.

Re-reading the above I realise I have probably just made it sound great. But it isn’t.

… muttler

I can’t add anything else to the hyperbole. Yes, it is that good. And yeah, it is too long, but when you completely redefine what a “comic book” movie can be, who cares?

… muttler

This review of Indiana Jones is superfluous. For one it has been out a week and anyone remotely interested has seen it. Secondly, nothing I can say or do would change any ones desire to see it (or not to see it as it were). So why write it? As a child of George Lucas (Indy and Star Wars) it just seems the right thing to do.

Now I am not going to just gush on about it. Similarly, I am not just going to bag it and say that my childhood has been violated. Here simply is the good and the bad (minus spoliers). A point of reference for you… Raiders is gold, Last Crusade is OK, Temple of Doom is underrated.

The Good:

  • It is most certainly an “Indiana Jones” movie
  • There are some genuine laughs (jocks v greasers is comedy gold)
  • The spirit of the original movies is retained (for the most part)

The Bad:

  • The central plot device sucks (not saying what, it gives too much away)
  • Some jokes are way too “jokey” (monkeys anyone?)
  • Too long (some scenes just go nowhere)
  • The end

That’s it in a nutshell, you can make up your own mind. I can’t elaborate too much without giving away spoilers. Again why did I write it? Well, I am watching Raiders as we speak and it is just so awesome, so I guess I felt compelled to vent a little. The scene where you see Indy run over the hill being chased by all the natives near the start is just one of the most awesome shots ever. Damn it, the whole movie is perfect.

… muttler

Michel Gondry Bias alert: I think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is probably the most perfect movie made in the last 10 years.

Michel Gondry Counter-Bias: The Science of Sleep wasn’t really very good (good ideas, but not a great movie)

With that out of the way let’s tackle Be Kind Rewind, his newy.

I am going to start by asking if many of the film critics out there have even seen it or do any semblance of research when reviewing a film. First things, I have read all kinds of things about Michel Gondry. Did you know he wrote and directed Adaptation? Neither did I because it is WRONG. Did you know he wrote the screenplay to Eternal Sunshine? No? Well that was WRONG too (well, he was co-creator of the story, but didn’t write the screenplay).

Next rant is aimed at the critics about their reviews of Be Kind Rewind. Most I have heard or read like to take to task the implausibility of a key part of the story… the fact that a magnetised Jack Black erases all the tapes in the local video store. The problem doesn’t seem to be that he could be magnetised in the first place, rather that there is a store that just has videotapes. I ask again… did these critics even watch the same movie? First of all this is dealt with in the movie and the fact we are in a DVD age is a core part of the movie. Secondly, did these critics never scour old thrift stores looking for that elusive video that they had heard about but never seen? I know I did my best to find that bootlegged copy of Clockwork Orange back in the day.

So, all that out of the way, what did I think? Well, part of the reason for that ranting is that I actually really loved this movie. The main conceits of the film may sound silly but are handled really well in Gondry’s hands. Everyone in the movie is great (I especially dug Mos Def and Melonie Diaz is ace) and yes, the home-made renditions of Ghostbusters, Rush Hour 2 etc are very cool. Most amazing is a one shot (well looks like one shot) whizz through the “sweeded” versions of 2001 and King Kong amongst others. This is complete Gondry magic.

What I most love in this movie though is the subtlety. The whole premise of 2 guys and a gal making their own versions of movies could be really pretentious and an excuse for “oh, look at us… how funny is this”. But it is a device used quite sparingly to chart the new found success of the video store. The whole movie is not Jack Black and co. mugging for the camera. The conclusion to the film is really quite sweet too and had me and my mate Temp lamenting some days gone by.

So there you go. I don’t understand some of the hate towards this film as a one-idea movie that runs out of laughs. It is not all about the laughs, there is a bit more substance in there. Or maybe that is just the old-school movie lover in me remembering that movies USED to be made by people who loved movies, and not some computer in an office in LA LA land.

… muttler