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Blog // Thoughts
March 12, 2007

5 Brief Film Reviews

Here‚Äôs some brief reviews of recently viewed films, Marie Antoinette After writing three different reviews of this film I still can‚Äôt summarise my thoughts about this one. Partly a work of genius and partly an infuriating display of juvenility – the film never quite matches its beauty and visual richness with character depth or historical […]

Here’s some brief reviews of recently viewed films,

Marie Antoinette
After writing three different reviews of this film I still can’t summarise my thoughts about this one. Partly a work of genius and partly an infuriating display of juvenility Рthe film never quite matches its beauty and visual richness with character depth or historical understanding. Kirsten Dunst might have been born to play this role, but Sofia Coppola doesn’t display the skills required to give us the queen behind (or inside) the fashion. Watch out for the converse sneakers beside the period-perfect Manolo Blanhik designed shoes; very postmodern Рyawn.

300
Apparently it is based on graphic novel, despite looking like a video-game. The historic Spartan battle only really exists here as a pretext for this attempt to rewrite the vocabulary of onscreen carnage. Doesn’t really have a plot, more a series of pauses in the combat Рnot unlike toilet and pizza stops in an all-night computer game fragfest. 300’s highest achievement is the most captivating blood splattering effect ever captured on film. This is gore-porn and its most obvious and adolescent.

The Queen
Whilst I agree with Mark Kermode’s assertion that this film has more of a tele-visual, rather than cinematic look to it, I’m not sure it makes much difference in the end (especially when viewed in a smaller cinema). This is an assured, measured and thoughtful character-study that never stoops to the level of melodrama, despite narrating one of the most operatic moments in recent history. Compelling, not just for the events it depicts and the insight into the royal “lifestyle,” but also for an opportunity at the twilight of Blair’s “New Labour” to look back on the optimism, spin and context of Cool Britannia.

Night at the Museum
I was seriously under-prepared for how risible and dire this film would be. Goes to show that even with a strong cast, good cinematography and a fantastic score, a movie can still be utterly craptacular without some sort of story and in the case of this genre, some laughs. Not even mildly funny, entertaining or even interesting.

Letters from Iwo Jima
Not what I was expecting, which is good because I expected something very didactic and patronising. Nicely paced, boldly devoid of colour and satisfying. Pays tribute to the Kurosawa school of direction without becoming a homage. A serious contender for myall-time top ten list war/combat films.

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