Wednesday, 27 April 2011

That was the week that was (18 - 24 April)

Well, here we go - part 2 of my weekly movie diaries. A little later than last week, as I was working on that Coen brothers list over the weekend.

Fascinating nuggets o' fun for the week: I didn't catch any films this weekend, as I've been away for Easter. I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to catch Scream 4 in the cinema as I had to work late on Wednesday, but thankfully was able to escape a little earlier on Thursday and had the chance to see it. Anyhoo, here's my round up of all the week's movies.

The Sure Thing (1985)

I was surprised by how good this film was - I rented out expected some kind of '80s sex romp hijinks along the lines of Porkies or American Pie, but instead I got a slight, but highly entertaining love story. I suppose the confusion was easy enough to understand; the title of the film might be a little more classy than something like 'Meatballs', but it's still a rather obvious double entendre, and the cover displays a saucy picture of a scantily clad bathing beauty. Still, I've always liked John Cusack (particularly in Say Anything) and my faith in him was definitely rewarded. Cusack plays a desperate freshman at an East Coast college, who is lured out to California with the promise of meeting a girl who he's informed is a 'sure thing'. In order to get there, he has to hitch a number of lifts with fellow student Daphne Zuniga, who is as uptight and neat as Cusack is uninhibited and slobby. Will these two opposites attract? Although the way the story is going to pan out is pretty obvious from the start, the way we get to that destination is a journey well worth sharing. It's also very funny, with some really great scenes - particularly one where Cusack saves Zuniga from being molested by a lonely driver with some of his patented fast talking craziness. Overall, well worth seeking out.

Rating: 8/10

Scream 4 (2011)

I'd be waiting to see this movie for almost a year, ever since it was first announced that there would definitely be a third sequel to Scream in the pipeline. I was a huge fan of the first movie when it came out in 1996, enjoyed the second movie a year or so later and then endured the horrors of third movie in 2001. It was probably a good thing to wait so long to make Scream 4 - I'd pretty much obliterated all memory of Scream 3 by the time I took my seat in the cinema, and was hoping the new sequel would be a return to form for Craven, Williamson & co. In a way, the film does return to the themes of the first movie, as Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown of Woodsboro, only to face a similar pattern of murderers by killer(s) wearing the traditional Ghostface costume. Despite going a little far with the self referential meta humour, I was generally enjoying the film until the killer(s) were revealed. At which point the whole thing just fell apart - really, they could have just put the names of all the characters in one hat, a list of obvious cliched motives in another, and picked out a handful of paper, and it would have made as much sense as the actual ending of the movie. Actually, perhaps that was how they decided who was under the mask this time... Not as good as the first two, and just a hair or two better than the disastrous Scream 3.

Rating: 5/10

Head-On (Gegen die Wand) (2004)

A German movie, which tells the story of a pair of second generation Turks living in Hamburg, both of whom feel conflicted in trying to reconcile their strict upbringings against the freedoms of modern day Germany. Cahit is a down at the heel, fortysomething former punk, who winds up in a mental institution after attempting suicide by deliberately driving into a wall at breakneck speed (which provides a literal translation of the original German title of the movie). While inside the asylum, he meets Sibel, who has also attempted to kill herself rather than live under the roof of her ultra orthodox father and brother. Sibel suggests that Cahit enters into a sham marriage with her - she will cook, clean and pay her way as long as Cahit doesn't mind her going out and picking up men whenever she feels so inclined. However, as the pair begin to feel a mutual attraction to one another, the situation becomes considerably more complicated (to give too much away here would ruin the surprises of the plot). I rented this one out having really enjoyed another of the director's movies, The Edge of Heaven - and while I don't think Head-On quite matches up to that film, it definitely wasn't a wasted couple of hours.

Rating: 7/10

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