Sunday, 9 September 2012

The week in brief (3 - 9 September)

My list of movies watched over the last seven days:

Lucas (1986): 6/10
Terror Train (1980): 5/10
Post Mortem (2010): 6/10
Kamikaze Girls (2004): 7/10
Arlington Road (1999): 7/10

I'm going to keep it short and sweet for this blog post - to be honest, I'm not sure I've got too much to say about this week's generally uninspiring selection of films.

Nothing really stood out as being outstandingly good, though a couple of films this week were fairly entertaining. Kamikaze Girls is the tale of two best friends from entirely different Japanese sub-cultures. Momoko is obsessed with Rococo era France, and spends her days waltzing around her town wearing elaborate, frilly dresses. and carrying a pink parasol, while Ichigo is a tough biker girl, kind hearted but short tempered. What could be have been a pretty standard coming of age story is raised up a notch or two by some highly inventive direction from Tetsuya Nakashima. He floods the screen with an explosion of colour, adds in some amusing animated sequences, and successfully brings to life a variety of dream sequences from the perspective of Momoko.

Arlington Road is a solidly watchable conspiracy thriller, starring Jeff Bridges as a college professor who becomes convinced that his new neighbour (played by Tim Robbins) is a potential terrorist. It takes a while to get going, but the movie draws successfully from a number of real life instances of domestic terrorism in the US during the '90s (such as the Oklahoma City bombings and the Ruby Ridge siege), and the film finishes with an unexpected (but satisfying) twist.

There were three candidates for worst film of the week, but in the end, Terror Train was the obvious choice. The title says it all really - it's about a murderer working his way through a group of dimwitted college students on board a steam train. Now, it certainly isn't the worst slasher movie I've ever seen - for one thing, in Ben Johnson and Jamie Lee Curtis, it has a couple of actors who are far better than the material they're given here - but it's definitely not a patch on the likes of Halloween, Black Christmas or even the original My Bloody Valentine. The director is never really able to create any real fear or suspense during any of the numerous killings, and the film is only notable for featuring a bizarre extended cameo from the magician David Copperfield. Only a better than average face off between the Final Girl and the killer raises this movie up to a relatively respectable mark of 5 out of 10.

It's not all doom and gloom, however. Looking at the line up of new cinematic releases for September, it looks like there will be plenty to keep me occupied for the next month

7 September: Lawless, Anna Karenina
14 September: ParaNorman, Premium Rush
21 September: Killing Them Softly
28 September: Looper

Following that, I'm eagerly anticipating the re-release of The Shining at the end of October, and there's still the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie (The Master) to look forward to. All potential candidates for my end of year top ten list.

Kirk's Quote of the Week

Boyz N The Hood (1991)

"Furious Styles:  Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children."

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