Jan. 20th, 2006 08:44 am
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Managed to fit in another film last night, and still get home in time to watch the first in the new series of House :o)

I was pleasantly surprised by this film as I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it all that much. The film is about a bunch of US Marines experiences from the First Gulf War, about how they were trained, and how they coped with the endless waiting around for something to happen. I don't usually like war films at all (I suspect you could all guess my standpoint on war as a problem solving exercise...) but this certainly held my attention, with a good script and another good performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. I personally found it quite depressing in some ways - it really highlighted to me what a bad idea war really is, but others around me didn't seem to suffer the same reaction! Anyway, good film. 8/10


Jan. 17th, 2006 08:31 am
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Well isn't this week just great? Yesterday morning I come into work to find my spare bike has been nicked. Great. But it's ok, it's insured....oh, unless you leave you're bike outside (even locked up in a private alley, behind and 8 foot gate), then it's not so that's that! I'm extremely cross, ok so it was an old bike, but I've cycled over 10,000 miles on that bike!!! I hadn't realised my insurance was quite so bad....oh well, so shopping around will be had to try and find some better cover. Meanwhile I only have my nice bike, which means I will be thinking twice about cycling to clubs and such as it's not insured if left out after 11pm. Bastards.

Went to see a film yesterday evening though...
The Truth
I have no idea what to say about this film. I can't decide whether I liked it or not. It's a story of a group therapy retreat, miles from civilisation that ends in murder. The idea was obviously to give the filmgoer a chance to make up their own mind about what happens, but actually I think all it achieved was a very confused narrative. I don't really know what happened, but someone died, there was some confusion and they all went home. There was some wonderfully satrical moments, and at times the script was brilliant, but more generally it was just confusing!! Not one I would see again...
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*sigh* That was one long week. Probably 'cos I worked 6 days, which is grim, and even more so I didn't finish the upgrade I was doing yesterday so will probably have to be in at about 7.30 am tomorrow to give me time to get it done before the rest of the staff arrive at work. I'm exhausted. Thanks for all the suggestions about sleeping though, I shall give some of them a go and see how I get on!!!

Missed B Movie on Friday, which is a shame 'cos I wanted to go, but with being shattered and working Saturday it just wasn't happening. Looks like everyone had fun though. Saturday was good, had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] magpie_queen at Mildred's Veggie restaurant in Soho and the food was stunning. I had cheescake!!!!! I haven't had cheescake since I went vegan, and it was sooooo good. Tofu, banana and coconut cheescake. Great. Then onto Kryptorium, good to see most of the usual crowd. Well done to [livejournal.com profile] chimera_s for a good set, sorry I didn't stay to chat but I wanted to get the train home and get some sleep...

Today then:
Breakfast on Pluto
This was stunning. It's exactly the quirky sort of film I love. The dialogue was brilliant, Cillian Murphy's performance was excellent, the whole thing flowed beautifully from start to finish. Stunning. I'd quite like to read the book now, maybe I'll put it on the Bibliogoth long list. 9/10.

The new Woody Allen film, and it was ok. It got very very silly in the middle, but the last 15 minutes were fantastic! I did feel a lot of the dialogue was a bit stilted, but I did like the usual cyniscism was great. I don't know, I did enjoy it in places, but some of it really dragged. Nice to see a film set in areas of London that I know very well though, lots of location shots in Kensington and Chelsea. 7/10

So there you go...roll on Monday....
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Slightly frustrating week all in all....getting back to work after Christmas is always annoying, and there's a pile of stuff to do with major decisions to be made in order to keep the company liquid for the duration of this year. Not nice decisions either. *sigh* Didn't finish my Debian install from Friday so I'll have to try and do that tomorrow, as well as a steering group meeting and a directors meeting. I'm knackered just thinking about it!!

Friday night was Dead & Buried at the Rocket. Was really good to see lots of familiar faces, but even with most of the regulars there it wasn't exactly full. Felt a bit like being back at ICU actually, with randomly fluctuating drink prices...I expect it'll get better as we all get used to it, but it was a bit odd. I did buy a fab new corset from [livejournal.com profile] djpsyche though, which I picked up just prior to D&B and it's great! On the downside though my favourite boots are officially dead. Oh well, guess I'll have to buy some more....

Didn't get up till late Saturday and then went off to the Mucky Pup in Islington for a friends birthday drinks which was really cool. It's a nice pub actually, and the food was amazing! They have this 'Hot Rock' thing whereby they serve you either veg or meat of your choice on an amazingly hot slab of granite. It's really cool (well, not literally) like having your own personal BBQ.

This morning saw my first film of 2006!
Brokeback Mountain
An interesting twist on the classic love story. Take two cowboys, send them up a mountain for the summer with nothing but 1000 sheep and they fall in love, then spend the next 20 years trying to deal with it whilst maintaining 'normal' lives publicly. I really enjoyed it - the love scenes were very rugged, and quite brutal in some ways, it was somehow as I'd expect it to be. The repercussions for these two men of loving each other and not being able to simply be together due to the anti-homosexual mood of the sixties and seventies was fascinating, but I did think it was given a bit of a superficial treatment in this film. Overall quite nicely done though. 8/10

This afternoon was bibliogoth - select crowd this month, but quite a good discussion I thought.

The week to come then looks as follows:
Monday - work, meeting, probably more work
Tuesday - work, see [livejournal.com profile] julysea and [livejournal.com profile] sadaprilsky after
Wednesday - work, Edward Scissorhands @ Sadlers Wells
Thursday - work, members meeting till late
Friday - work, possibly B Movie but I might need some sleep
Saturday - sleep, not work, Kryptorium (with [livejournal.com profile] chimera_s as this months guest DJ.
Sunday - sleep, cinema to catch up with some films - probably Matchpoint and Breakfast on Pluto
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A History of Violence
This was stunning. I loved it. It was unnervingly comedic in places you really didn't think it should be, and brutally honest about sex and violence. Brilliant. Go see it. 9/10

This was very enjoyable, if you like trashy sci-fi (which obviously I do!). Very average plot, but good script and characterisation made it very watchable. 7/10

Night Watch
Also very watchable. Fairly average plot really, and Russian diologue with subtitles, but enjoyable. 7/10

I really liked this! I thought this was quite an origianl plot, and the dialogue was really good. I love Keira Knightley. 8/10

Lord of War
The monologues were fantastic, and very very well delivered by Nic Cage. The rest of the dialogue and characterisation wasn't so stunning, but it was still a very enjoyable film. 8/10

The Corpse Bride
Fun :o) I really liked it, less songs than Nightmare which was a good thing, but some very very cute dead people and lots of humour. 9/10
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Last Days
This was an interesting film inspired by the last days of Kurt Cobain. There wasn't really any conceivable plot or characterisation, but it gave an insight into the world of someone ("Blake" - not Kurt Cobain really, the fact the actor was the spitting image was entirely coincidental ;o) ) deeply addicted to drugs, and basically incapable of living in the real world. It was interesting, but it was a little superficial. 6/10

Me, You and Everyone We Know
Another slightly arty film, but I really enjoyed this one. This tells the tale of fairly ordinary, if slightly mad, individuals struggling to live, love and generally make their mark on the world. It's quite a charming film, distinctly American I felt, but a nice watch if you have a few spare moments. 7/10

I enjoyed this much more than I thought I was going to. It was hilarious in places (I don't usually like Will Ferral much, but I can see why people do), but it wasn't a patch on the original. Isobel (Nicole Kidman) was a bit too much of a dumb blonde for my liking, and I wasn't particularly impressed by Michael Caine's performance, but it was very enjoyable overall. Good for a laugh if you're in the right mood. 7/10

Pride and Prejudice
I loved this. I love the book and it was nice to see it portrayed in the humorous spirit it was written. Donald Sutherland put in a particularly good performance as Mr Bennett, Keira Knightly was very good, and I thought Matthew MacFadyen was impressive as Mr Darcy. Lots of humour, romance and corsets. 8/10

This was a bit disappointing. I wasn't really expecting much, but I didn't feel this film really got where it was trying to go. It's ok, but it was bit slow in the middle. I felt it lacked depth which it could have managed quite easily and the plot was extremely predictable. 6/10
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Racism is always a difficult subject to tackle, and whilst Crash certainly has a good go I'm not sure I quite understood what it was trying to say. The film itself was quite good in terms of look, pace, acting etc, but the characters were all so stereotypically racist that I felt it was a bit too simplistic. The basic premise of the film seems to be the implication that we're all racist in some form, and then goes on to show all the bad things that can happen as a direct result of that. Very moralistic, but I don't really think it's that simple. It was a good film, I certainly think it's worth seeing, but I'm not sure it tackled the issues it was aiming at as sucessfully as it intended. 8/10

The Island
Another quite moral tale, this time an all action sci-fi flick in the style of Gattaca/Matrix/Minority Report type stuff. This film examines one of the possible culminations of genetic engineering, where people have exact copies of themselves made in oder to harvest organs or breed children if the need arises. Two of these 'products' escape and save the world. Hurrah! This was actually one of the better sci-fi films I've seen in a while, Ewan McGregor is very pretty, the script and pace kept it rolling along quite nicely and didn't give you enough time to worry about the moral implications of genetic engineering. Worth seeing 8/10


Aug. 22nd, 2005 06:35 pm
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Silver City
An interesting, but unremarkable film about American politics. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and can barely remember the details which gives some indication of how good it was! It wasn't a bad way to spend an afternoon, but it wasn't brilliant. 5/10

Take Nightrider and throw Top Gun at it and this is what you get! Not a bad film, although every steriotype in the book is present, which I found a little irritating. The special effects weren't bad though, and the film kept moving quite nicely so a reasonable Hollywood Sci-fi flick really. 6/10

Fantastic Four
This is probably the worst film I've seen in a while, the plot was soooo bad it had me in hysterics for most of the movie. So, they saved the lives of some firemen - how come everyone forgot it was them who put the firemen in danger in the first place!!!!!! The effects were ok, but I've seen a lot better recently, and the dialogue was terrible. Not much to recommend it really, although it was so bad it was quite funny! 4/10
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Bit late...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This is an amazing film, I really really enjoyed it. Johnny Depp is perfect as Willy Wonka - just the right amounts of sarcasm, wit and unease. His facial expressions were really good, just the slightest hint of a smirk at the demise of the children, for example, really made the film. It's s beautifully dark film, right in the style of the original book. The sets are sickeningly sweet looking, just ooozing chocolate....mmmmmm.....There wasn't a thing wrong with it. The kids were all the right amounts of abnoxious (except Charlie of course) and generally it was excellent. Long live Tim Burton! 9/10


Jul. 19th, 2005 08:48 am
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In My Father's Den
This New Zealand film tells the story of a young mans return to the town where he grew up on the occasion of his fathers funeral. He isn't expected, and as he left home very young under difficult circumstances he has a lot of past waiting for him to sort out. It's a fantastic film - the New Zealand scenery is the perfect backdrop for the story, and it really sums up the atmosphere of a small town. The soundtrack was very interesting, and there was silence in all the right places, so it really helped carry the film. There were good performances, Matthew MacFadyen in particular was impressive as the long lost brother, and good pace was kept up throughout. The film feels quite haunting, and in places very desolate. Good though. 8/10

Sky Blue
This is a Korean attempt to steal some of the sucess the Japanese have made out of animated films...and quite frankly it barely held my attention. It wasn't awful, I mean I didn't feel like leaving, but the story was one that's been told countless times before without any real imagination. The animation itself was quite interesting - all the backgrounds were state of the art CGI and some were quite stunning, but then the humans were all traditional 2D cartoon style animations which gave for an interesting effect overall. I didn't feel the characters had any depth to them though - it almost felt like this was an exercise in using the techniques rather than a film with a storyline. 4/10
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This film is an adaptation of the H G Wells book of the same name that it now occurs to me I've never read. Bit of an oversight, must get round to it soon. This version is set in the States with Tom Cruise as the semi-useless father of a standard dysfunctional family. The kids come to stay one weekend and the world is attacked by aliens who, it turns out, have been planning this for some time. Dakota Fanning is excellent, and once again acts much more experienced actors off the screen...in this case everyone. It's a fairly standard Spielburg affair really - lots of explosions, touching emotional moments and the obligatory happy ending. I enjoyed it, one for a brainless night at the cinema. 7/10


Jun. 20th, 2005 06:52 pm
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Batman Begins
This was a really good prequel to the original Batman films - it's basically the story of how Bruce Wayne becomes (or decides to become maybe) Batman. The feel is very dark and brooding with an absolutely fantastic script. I really enjoyed it, it was a little slow to get going I thought but once the pace picked up it was excellent. The effects, as you would expect are stunning and Christian Bale is very convincing as Bruce Wayne. Lian Neeson, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman also put in excellent performances and the overall package was stunning. 9/10
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Mr and Mrs Smith
Ok, so I wouldn't take any brain cells in to this film with you - you won't need them, but it was extreemly enjoyable none-the-less! Basic plot is that Mr and Mrs Smith are both assasins, except that they don't know that until they are both hired to kill each other. Will they manage to anihilate each other or save their marriage?? I thought both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie performed well, and a witty script kept the pace up througout the film. Not exactly believable, but if you want a bit of mindless escapism (with the added bonus of spending a couple of hours looking at Angelina Jolie) then this is the film for you! 7/10

Star Wars

Jun. 11th, 2005 04:36 pm
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Finally made it to see Star Wars on Thursday! I'm not going to bother with even the briefest of plot synopsis - you either know already or probably don't care...

I enjoyed it. The effects and cityscapes were stunning, some of the cgi was not very well finished in my opinion, and some of the dialogue was terrible, but generally it was pretty good. It's definately the best of the new films, but I don't think it rivals the originality of the original ones. Some of the acting was a little wooden, but I actually think that was more about the script than anything else. All in all, it wasn't a bad way to spend a Thursday night, but I've seen better films in my life. Probably 7/10.

Film :o)

Jun. 8th, 2005 12:50 pm
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Sin City
Wow. This is an amazing film. Go see it now. Yes, right now. I mean it!! But don't eat first...

This is an adaptation of some of Frank Miller's graphic novels, adapted mostly by him, with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The whole thing feels really dark and brooding, with clever use of film noir and splashes of colour not always in the places you'd expect. It is very gruesome though, there's something about being shot in black and white that makes the violence less real - I don't think I could have watched it in full colour, as it were there were a couple of scenes that turned my stomach. In terms of acting I think it has to be said that Mickey Rourke acted everyone else off the screen. I didn't find much fault with anyone else's perfomances mind you, I thought the whole thing flowed very well (and didn't give you time to think too much about the gruesome nature of some of the scene which was a good thing in some ways!) The script is fantastic, with some very dark humour amoungst the bloodbath. I really enjoyed it, probably the best thing I've seen so far this year, and since this is the 23rd film I've seen this year that's probably not bad going. 9.5/10.


May. 28th, 2005 12:11 pm
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After a long and complicated serious of things happening on Thursday I didn't go and see Star Wars as I'd planned...I then missed the start of the film I'd wanted to see and ended up seeing

Only Human
This is a spanish farce, the fun ensues after Rafi drops some frozen soup out of his fiancees (Leni's) mother's window seemingly killing someone below. It turns out the person below is Leni's father. Much silliness ensues. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to. The script was very well written with some very wry one-liners at highly appropriate moments and the pace kept up throughout. All the cast played their parts well, I thought Rafi (Guillermo Toledo) was particularly convincing, as the completely out of his depth finacee who keeps putting his foot in it. A good film all in, probably give it 8/10.
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The Jacket
Ok, I think watching this film is only fully enjoyable if you suspend all the thinking parts of your brain first. None the less, it is a very good film if you're in the right sort of mood. The plot revolves around Jack Sharkes who gets shot twice and ends up in an asylum for the criminally insane after being convincted of killing a police officer. Actually he didn't do it, but he is suffering from severe amnesia and can't remember what did happen. As part of his treatment he undergoes an unorthodox therapy that somehow allows him to travel forward in time and meet (fall in love) with a girl he helped when she was younger. Billed as a thriller, in my opinion it's just love story with a slight sci-fi element, but it was very well put together, good acting, ok script. There are some serious holes in the plot, but if you just want something to watch that's enjoyable and don't want to think too much then this is a good bet.


May. 10th, 2005 09:02 am
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The Interpreter
I really enjoyed this film. It stars Nicole Kidman (with a really very good African accent) as an interpreter working at the UN who overhears a threat against the life of a visiting African presdient. Trouble is, this is one of the nastiest men in the world and happens to be the bad man in who ruined her life in the country she was born in. Sean Penn plays the Sercret Service Agent in charge of investigating her case and protecting the African leader. So is she telling the truth then? Well, you'll have to go see it and I recommend that you do. I thought it was a very slick production with both Penn and Kidman putting good performances, they worked really well together on screen. Good pace, some nice special effects and a polished script keep the film moving along so you can't ask yourself lots of obvious questions (such as would they really do that???) whilst being taken along for the ride. Very enjoyable. Probably give it 7/10.

The Edukators
Ok, so you have to suspend some common sense when watching this film and accept that the characters are unbelieveably naive, but it's worth it. This German film tells the tale of 3 young anti-capitalist protestors who find a unique way of asserting their dissatisifaction with the affluent upper classes. However, one day it all goes wrong and they find themselves accidently kiddnapping one such man which takes them to places they didn't really expect. I loved this film. Whilst the script is very naive in places, the actors are all very convincing (and in one case, really quite gorgeous...always helps...) so you don't worry too much about their arguments. Some of the film is shot on hand-held cameras which gave a realism to the feel of the movie. Overall, really good. Go see it. 8/10
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Go see this film. It's fantastic. I don't care what anyone else says, I loved it! I can understand why there have been critiscms, but personally I thought the casting was perfect, (who else, but Stephen Fry could be the narrator for example..) and I really liked the whole feel of thing. I think it was the casting that really made it for me actually, there are some superb performances in there and they really carry off the film in the style of the original. The sets were pretty good too - they very much conjured up what you imagine when reading the books or listening to the radio series, and combined with the special effects the whole thing felt really good. Go see it. Now.
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Woody Allen's latest film was a very entertaining way to occupy a Monday night. I really enjoyed it. It's a slightly philosophical look at the differences between comedy and tradegy, and it bascially sets out to show that similar events look very different depending on your outlook on life. THe plot tells two separate stories with similar characters and events in both, but one sets out to be a tradegy and the other a comedy. The script is very whitty with some really funny one-liners, the characters seemed to really gel together well and the plot kept flowing perfectly. It wasn't as deep as maybe it could have been, but it was genuinely funny and well worth a look in my opinion.
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