Recent Viewing

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1

2 starIf you’re pregnant, firstly congratulations and secondly you should probably wait until after you’ve delivered to watch this.  I’m going to have to split this one into 3 sections.  The first hour was very, very slow, melodramatic and well, Twilighty.  It felt like there was a bit of padding going on to stretch out the material, they could easily have cut out 20minutes.   It wasn’t necessarily all that bad though.   The next 25 minutes were beyond terrible.  It was like they’d got a competition winner in from a local primary school to write and direct a portion.  I laughed out loud a couple of times at the dialogue and also when the wolves (which carry about as much threat as a gaggle of affable  butterflies) started talking in their human voices.  It was a bizarre scene.  Having said all that though, I actually thought the final 25 minutes were pretty good, and surprisingly shocking.  Any film with a ‘demon baby’ gets points from me and the fact that I found myself vaguely reminded of the final scenes in ‘Requiem For A Dream’ can only be a good thing.  Also, the best scene of the film is during the end credits.

Question, what has happened to the music in these films?  The soundtrack to ‘New Moon’ featured songs by great bands like Radiohead, Muse and Metric, whereas Breaking Dawn seems to rely almost entirely on generic piano tinkling.

Finally, i’ve heard a lot of criticism of the acting in these films, but I have to say with the exception of the wolfpack I don’t think they’re acted that badly at all.  Just one more to go and it’s all over.


The Town

3star
The Town’ follows a group of bank robbers in Charlestown, a neighbourhood in Boston with one of the highest rates of armed robbery in the country.  There are some similar themes to ‘Good Will Hunting’ here, as both films focus on a talented, intelligent central character trying (after a bit of pushing) to escape the culture they grew up in.  Like ‘Good Will Hunting’ It’s also about home; the affection for the city you grow up in, the trapped feeling when it becomes too small, the irrepressible need to move on and the bonds with the people you grew up with. Affleck excels in front of the camera and behind it.  I think he has a bright future ahead of him as a director.  Having said that, at times the romance slant does feel a little contrived and the cops and robbers storyline doesn’t exactly break any new ground. I seriously need to get my hands on ‘Gone Baby Gone’.

Sherlock

3starSince ‘Lock Stock…’ and ‘Snatch’ i haven’t much cared for any of Guy Ritchies films, but he was the perfect man to direct this.  Robert Downey Jr. has also proved himself to be very capable of playing characters with an arrogant and slightly irritating streak (Tony Stark, Iron-Man) and slides effortlessly into the role, as does Jude Law as Watson.  The action scenes are impressive, the plot is completely ridiculous and the dialogue is fast and witty.  Entertaining nonsense.


Winter’s Bone

3.5 starA gripping ,tense and sinister mystery/drama/thriller.  Jennifer Lawrence delivers a magnificent performance as Ree, a strong and resourceful teenage girl living in a small Ozark community.  She raises her younger siblings alone, and must hunt and reluctantly accept offerings from her neighbours to put food on the table.  When she is informed that her absent drug-dealing father has put up the family house as collateral for his bail, she has to track him down or risk losing their home.  A great central performance and one of the hardest scenes to watch i’ve seen in a long time.  Occasionally it meanders, but it’s generally tense and pretty taut.

Winter's Bone

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32 comments

  1. Also just watched The Town; liked it, but not as much. Thought it had some awesome potential for a bank-robber’s movie but ended up in mediocrity through Ben’s lifeless acting and a corny script. Made the mistake of putting on the Directors/Extended cut… never again!

  2. I loved Gone Baby Gone. Thought Affleck had a bright future back then. Sounds like he didn’t do as much work on this script as he should. I’d like to see The Town and compare notes.

    I’m not a fan of Twilight in the least. I had some friends who saw it and thought basically the same as you did. The acting has improved I understand in this one.

    Sherlock Holmes isn’t really Sherlock Holmes but a time machine, alternate universe caricature who by rights should be called Downey Holmes instead.

    Thanks for the rundown. Cheers…

    • Completely agree with your Sherlock comment. I’m not a fan of Twilight either, but I do think they get panned more than they should by a lot of people. I wouldn’t consider any of them to be anywhere near the worst films of the year.

      Looking forward to Gone Baby Gone. Thanks for reading

  3. Can I chime in on the need to see “Gone Baby Gone” That flick is awesome. LOVE it.

    Although I love the Town, too, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

    Meanwhile, I’ve never watched any Twilight, but have promised my readers that I’m going to watch the entire series in a single day and blog the event when the series comes out on blu. So hearing phrases like “The next 25minutes were beyond terrible” is mildly frightening. LOL. Although, I know what Im doing 😉

    Still havent seen “Winters Bone”. I want to though…

    • Yeah I saw that you were planning that…..very brave. I’ll be interested to read what you make of them. My favourite (relatively) is New Moon which I think is generally considered by most to be the worst one, it’s purely because of the soundtrack.

  4. Agree with on Twilight. As bad as the rest of the series was, this one just wasn’t horrible! The Town I consider underrated, I thought Ben did a fine job (mainly because he fits the role so well) and he has one heck of a future as a director. The rest of the films I pretty much agree with you on!

  5. Really loved The Town, but yes, get your hands on Gone Baby Gone – that film could quite possibly change your life! Ok, not quite. But, it’s an amazing little film that every film fan should see.

    Entertaining nonsense is a good way to describe Sherlock Holmes – it’s just a lot of fun. Great performances from all around – can’t wait for Game of Shadows 🙂

  6. I’m with you on the Twilight films. I only watched the first one and decided to wait until the series was finished to watch consecutively one weekend. ‘Winter’s Bone’ was a good film, not overly amazing, but worthwhile watch. I will have to add the others to my ‘maybe’ film list. It seems the consensus here is more towards watching “The Town.” I might bump this one up a couple notches on the list.

  7. Out of these, Winter’s Bone stands out as the best; it’s really the only one I enjoyed through and through, too, though I haven’t watched anything past the first Twilight movie. In part this is because I don’t want to subject myself to Twilight (though as a critic I must); it’s also because I plan to watch them all at home once they’re out on DVD. (And play a drinking game. Every time Edward smolders, take a shot. Every time Bella pines, take a shot. Note: Keep 9-1-1 on speed dial for this.)

    But Bone is just outstanding filmmaking, tight and precise with fantastic acting from a strong cast. Granik has a strong voice as a storyteller, a keen eye for composition, and an unflinching streak that renders the film quite potent. It made my top ten easily last year, though I actually felt that 2010 was a bit weak.

    I liked The Town, but felt it was a bit weak in some areas. Mostly I thought the script bogged it down, but Affleck’s direction definitely kept me invested in the story.

    Sherlock felt like Holmes for jocks. ‘Nuff said.

    • ‘Holmes for jocks’ is a great way of putting it!

      And that drinking game sounds like a great way of softening the blow of watching twilight. There are moments in Part 1 that are so ill-judged they’re laugh out loud funny, if you’re drinking to it they’ll be amazing.

      Winters Bone is just a proper, well put together film.

  8. opening statement for Twilight had me rolling!! haha great stuff.

    You know, i keep meaning to check out Winter’s Bone and you just reminded me to do so. thanks!

    nice row of reviews!

  9. Really enjoyed The Town. Thought it was awesome.

    Sherlock Holmes was equally awesome, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

    The use of the phrase “gaggle of affable butterflies” is the best descriptive structure I’ve seen in a review in aaaages. I am not keen on seeing Breaking Dawn, but will probably have to do so to complete my review series on the Twilight Saga.

    Good stuff Duncan!

  10. Loved Sherlock – most definitely entertaining nonsense, but so entertaining I don’t really care (also have a soft spot for Mark Strong when he plays the villain). As for Breaking Dawn, I am really really torn – I don’t want to see it because I really don’t like the franchise, but on the other hand I want to see it just to satisfy my curiosity.
    Finally following your blog!

  11. Yeah you need to get you hands on “Gone Baby, Gone”. The atmosphere are pretty similar to the town but less sappy. Not really romantic, actually. I’d say it’s definitely darker.

    As for Breaking Dawn… Well, I just can’t stop laughing when it comes to the wolfpack. Seriously, could it be more awkward?

    Nice reviews!

  12. I loved Winters bone and liked The Town quite a bit, reminded me of living near Boston. John Hawkes was amazing as Teardrop “is this going to be our time”

    I don’t get all the haters when it comes to Affleck behind the camera. I think so far he is progressing pretty quickly into a quality director.

    • Agreed, and I think with ‘Argo’ you could now say he has moved on from ‘progressing pretty quickly into a quality director’ and emerged as one of the foremost directors working today… he has become that quality director.

      Thanks for commenting, sorry for the leisurely reply…to put it mildly!

  13. Hey man. I just quickly came to tell you something concerning my site. Basically I completely messed up. I changed my site URL, for reasons explained in my latest post, but due to a mistake filmiac.wordpress.com doesn’t redirect to the new adress, which is this: http://terrorcin.wordpress.com If you could be so kind as to change the URL in your blogroll, that would be really cool. Thanks man.

  14. Pingback: Argo (2012, Ben Affleck) – Review | Filmdrivel


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