Sunday, 20 May 2012

The week in brief (14 - 20 May)

Lots to report on in this post - I think this is the most films I've seen in a week since my Horror Week back in November last year. The (lengthy) list of films I've seen over the last seven days is as follows:

March of the Penguins (2005): 7/10
Final Destination 4 (The Final Destination) (2009) 7/10
Dark Shadows (2012): 6/10
Kung Fu Hustle (2004): 6/10
The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008): 6/10
Groundhog Day (1993): 10/10
Fight Club (1999): 9/10
Final Destination 5 (2011): 7/10
Neds (2010): 7/10
Sarah's Key (2010): 8/10
Hanna (2011): 9/10
The Fighter (2010): 8/10
Kaboom (2010): 2/10
Rabbit Hole (2010): 7/10
The Sting (1973): 8/10
Big (1988): 8/10
The Raid (2011): 9/10

My award for movie of the week has to go to Groundhog Day - it's funny, it's touching, it's sweet and it features an absolutely brilliant lead performance from Bill Murray. I must have seen the film about 6 or 7 times, but it's still fantastic. It even manages the astonishing feat of making Andie MacDowell seem likeable. Other films which I rewatched over the past 7 days and thoroughly enjoyed include Fight Club, Hanna (just as great as the last time I saw it), Big, The Sting and The Fighter.

Of the films I saw for the first time this week, one stood out in particular: Sarah's Key, a recent French film which takes a look back at the terrible fate that befell the Jewish residents of Paris during the Second World War. It's a heartbreakingly sad, but really well made film that really made me think about how I might have reacted to a Nazi occupation of my city, had I been alive back in the 1940s. (Edit: I wrote the above before I saw The Raid on Sunday evening. It's a brilliant Indonesian action/ martial arts flick, with some of the most astonishing fight scenes I've seen on film for a very long time. It's just come out in the UK and is definitely worth checking out.)

In other news, I seem to have developed some sort of Stockholm syndrome in relation to the Final Destination films. After absolutely slating the second one, and just about tolerating the third movie, I found myself having a whale of a time watching the fourth and fifth instalments in the series. I suppose the trick is to look past the sometimes terrible acting and the repetitive plotting, and just enjoy the films for the wildly over the top death scenes. It's kind of like watching the old BBC series 999, only without Michael Buerke popping up to offer a grave warning about engaging in the kind of dangerous activities which lead to accidents.

There was only one film which I really didn't like this week, but it was an absolute stinker. I'm generally quite generous with my marks out of ten, and rarely give a movie a mark below a 5, but in the instance of Gregg Araki's Kaboom, I'm quite happy to make an exception. It's an amateurish, sloppy mess, full of obnoxious, self regarding characters and a plot that makes no sense whatsoever. In my opinion, it's a massive step back for Araki as a follow up to the brilliant Mysterious Skin. In fact, I'm only awarding it 2 marks out of 10 because I like Juno Temple.

(By the way, in case you haven't seen it, I've put together another top ten list this week - this time on my favourite Stanley Kubrick movies).

Kirk's Quote of the Week:

Election (1999):

"Jim McAllister:  Larry, we're not electing the fucking Pope here. Just tell me who won."

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