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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

The Nice Guys (2016)


Directed by Shane Black and starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, the film focuses around two private eye type characters trying to locate a missing girl.  
The casting through the film seemed really well thought out with Crowe performing admirably in his role as enforcer seeking validation though Gosling as an occasionally simple private investigator was without an equal, and even though at times her character seemed to be there purely for plot development Angourie Rice managed to hold her own in scenes with very large while the acting was good, the script held some nuggets of brilliance, “You know who else was just following orders? Hitler.” Lines like that, along with some of the physical comedy of Gosling had our cinema erupting in laughter.
What was nice about the film was the lack of jump cuts, in the action scenes you could follow what was happening, a rare treat in action films nowadays which seem to think these help convey a sense of speed though in my expirence remove me from the film and leave me feeling annoyed at what is perceived as a lack of coreography. 
Having seen only the posters I was pleasantly surprised by the film and while at times the pacing was a bit off and the plot a little contrived it was enjoyable. I can’t see it going down as a seminal piece for the year but it was breath of fresh air after having seen so many superhero and ensemble movies over the last few months, with even more coming out later on.

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Categories: Films Tags: , , , , ,

The Runners (2013)

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

I run, not particularly long runs and not all year round, mostly in winter when riding the bike isn’t so tempting.  I tend to listen to audiobooks or podcasts when I run, just to break the monotony of it all, because moving forward and raising one leg then the other can be rather dull, though at least when done out doors the scenery moves unlike when practiced on a treadmill.  Running isn’t as romantic a sport as boxing seems to be at least for cinema, I can only really recall Run Fatboy Run (2007) ft Simon Pegg as a film where running is the central plot, that is fine though as it leaves it as relatively untouched area for short and independent films.

The Runners (2013) is a short film that interviews runners, while they run.  By asking the questions and getting the answers while the stars are in motion we are given rather candid answers to some nice open questions which give a small insight into the psyche of those who don the lycra and take to pounding the streets.  There isn’t a judgement made by the film makers to the answers which allows for the audience to make up their own mind and how they would answer the question.

The premise is demonstrated at the beginning of the film when they ask if they can film the runner and ask some questions, we then cut to various runners in different times of the year being asked various questions, though the actual question isn’t heard by the audience, the response from the runner allows that to be inferred.

The film is broken up with establishing shots of Victoria Park and of runners.  The minimalist design of the film is nice and clean which helps make a connection between the runner and you.  Without adding in information like the name of the runner, the date of the run there is nothing to distract you from the answers being given and prevent you from bonding with each person who is talked to.

For a film about ten minutes long I don’t know if there would be any reason to not recommend watching this, while you may not agree with all the answers, you are not asked to.  As the whole thing is available on YouTube to watch I’ll provide a link and allow you to watch it, it’s better than watching another “Fail Compilation Video 2k14”.

 

Hellraiser (1987)

HellrHellraiser-Posteraiser is the directorial debut for Clive Barker, it focuses on Frank who having found a bunch of BDSM alien/demons decides that being torn to literal pieces isn’t for him so he escapes and gets his ex-lover, who is now living with his brother, to kill people so that their blood will rejuvenate him.  This plan is ruined when the Kirsty (The brothers daughter) finds the cube that opens the gateway between worlds and alerts the Kinky-Pain-Alien-Demons that Frank has escaped and she can lead them to him if they’ll let her go.  The final third of the film is the resolution between Frank, the daughter and the aliens which ended up seeming a little cheesy at the end.

The scope of the film is quite limited, it is just Frank trying to escape his own personal hell and Kirsty trying to not end up in the same place.  Sure some people get killed but the film never veers into telling us that the world is danger or that if Frank isn’t sent back to his “Kinky-Kage” he will cause Earth to be invaded.  This contained plot is refreshing in a world where every film has such grand scope, by focusing on a small group of characters we get a chance see them develop.  Julia for example goes from reluctant helper to willing accomplice, which does earn her some comeuppance near the end of the film, its the kind of growth that is lost in a film with a cast of dozens.

Probably the most notable or memorable part is the special effects, the make-up on the Cenobites (the correct name for the Bondage-alien-things) is fantastic, their deathly pale skin contrasts strongly with the red of their gaping wounds, the make-up on Frank, who spends most of the film as a skinless man is similarly brilliant.  The whole asthetic of the delapidated house and bleak background scenery really does help strengthen the idea that the Cenobites and their pain/pleasure is an escape or release from the mundane and ordinary world.

Near the end of the film Kirsty discovers that the puzzle box can send the Cenobites back to their own world or at the very least away from this plane in what feels like an heavy handed way to have a happy ending, a door lintel falling on one of the antagonists further adds to this feeling which mars the end of the film.  Perhaps I’m overly cynical or just don’t like happy endings, but if Kirsty and her male friend had been taken I’d of been just as happy as if they stayed alive.  The film closing with a scene similar to the opening one however is much appreciated as it allows you to think that the cycle will continue, and seeing as they made several movies it’s safe to say that they did.

I’d suggest watching this if you’re filling in some horror genre blanks or want to see some neat make up effects but the script and acting didn’t stand out as amazing to me, though both served as good enough vehicles to advance the plot.  By not explaining much about the Cenobites or showing them to a great amount we aren’t bored of them by the time the movie ends, instead we are intrigued and want to know more about them, something that modern films could do a little more.