Archive for Fillums

There’s something strange..

..in the neighbourhood…

Yay!  There’s a fillum coming out this summer.  And it’s only blinking Ghostbusters.  A reboot of the best fillum ever.

I reckon that trailer’s pretty good.

It’s been great reading responses online.  Reddit is the best place to read just how awful this trailer is and how not one frame of it shows any promise at all.

“And it’s not because we’re sexist”

Oh really?

It’s really tiring to see this nonsense.  Every time a new thing comes out the immediate response seems to be “it’s crap” or “meh”.  The response to this is no different but does seem tinged with – “but women aren’t funny.”

Well I’m really looking forward to it and will be in the line probably in the first week or two (I have kids so can’t necessarily get there on opening night ok!)

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Star Wars 7

A small bunch of us went to see the new Star Wars the other week.  I’d noticed that the Imax in Nottingham was showing it so we’d booked to travel there and see it.  Never seen an Imax fillum before hence the trip.   A big fillum on a huge screen, hurrah!

Walking into the place the screen was REALLY disappointing.  I expected some immense screen rather than a tad bigger than normal cinema screen.  Since then I’ve looked into it a bit and the Nottingham Imax screen is only half the size of the one in Manchester.  The image it showed was very good but considering the extra expense and the travel (and parking cost) I doubt I’ll bother again – an opinion shared by my fellow fillumgoers.

Anyway Star Wars 7.

Well it’s very bright and zippy.  And it annoyed racists and the anti-female idiots on the internet so that was good.  Why you ask?  Well the 2 main stars are, shock, a woman and a black man.  There actually are people complaining about this.  Unbelievable.

Yes it was a rehash of episode 4 with a dash of episode 6 but to its credit there was absolutely nothing of episodes 1, 2 or 3 in there.

There are great big silly plot points and times when better stuff should have been made of the characters and plot and the old characters; and the new baddie was rubbish; and the tacked on ending was NOT needed – leave it to episode 8.  So rather like the reboot of Star Trek then (same director).

But I bloody loved it.  Rey is a potentially ace character as long as she doesn’t end up being an invincible vessel of the force.  Finn has a potentially great backstory (which was mainly ignored this time round but hopefully will produce something nice).  As long as they don’t insist on shoving them together in a ludicrous love story then all is good with those two.  And the bangs and whistles were very very bangy and whistley.  Even found myself holding my breath at one point.  It was great big and bouncy fun.

Grand.

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Recent fillums

We actually had another night out!  I know!

We had the gift of free babysitter so headed off to the pics to see Boyhood.

Was very good indeed.  The thing wot everyone knows about it is that the fillum was shot over 13 years starting when the main actor was 5 or 6 years old.  It then follows his family through the years and sees just what’s up..

It’s very good.  I think I’ve already said that tho.

Shall we say his “mom” is not a good picker of men.  I don’t think that’s too much of a spoiler.  Pretty much all the actors are really good although the boy is more interesting when very young than he is as an emo teenager.  It’s a shame to leave him just when he’s got to the irritating teenager stage.

I do wonder if they’re just going to keep going and in another 12 years we’ll see him at 30.

 

N has found another fillum to love.  I recorded a few over Christmas which we’ve yet to show her (ET amongst them – she’s never seen it!).  So we watched “Bridge to Terabithia“.  Another lovely lovely fillum.

It’s ostensibly about a boy and a girl (both around 10 or 11 I’d guess – she’s the absolute spit of her from off of Leon at that age too) who are the local weird kids in the middle of rural America.  She’s the new one at school and the sign of her weirdness is that she doesn’t have a telly at home; his thing is that his family are poor.  Anyways they bond a bit and invent a whole new world in the local woods (as the song has it – oh sorry wrong fillum) which they call Terabithia.  For the first hour it’s a slow burning and very chaste love story.  They’re a bit too young for the whole romance thing but they become the best of friends – it reminded me of the first few minutes of “Up”.   It’s a beautiful story.

And then the shocking thing happens.  And it was a shock.

And doesn’t the thing change?  From a wonderful celebration of friendship, imagination and possible first love to a depiction of sorrow and loss in nary a moment.  And the actors handled it superbly.  I can’t believe this is not as well known as some other rubbisher fillums.  Highly recommended but do bring some tissues to sob in to.

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Kings of Summer

Another fillum.  I know!

This was a real little gem.  The Kings of Summer is about 2 teen lads who are getting to that stage of being very annoyed with their parents.  One stumbles upon a place they can build a house in the woods and live on their own.  So they do.  And that’s it.  At least until a girl comes on the scene and messes things up for them!  Like they do.

And it’s bloody lovely.  It’s warm and funny, witty and beautifully observant about the realities of young adulthood.  Haven’t seen such a warm and lovely fillum for a while.  Possibly “Marvellous” comes close but that’s more a biopic than this.

Highly recommended for the script, the actors, and the general vibe.  Lovely.

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Compliance

We watched a fillum.  It’s been a while.

The one we picked was “Compliance“.  It’s based on a real event and, as the opening text says, “nothing has been exaggerated.”

Further text informs you of the Milgram experiments, in the 60’s I think, wherein punters were allowed to electrocute people if the “subject” got a question wrong.  Now it was actually the punter being tested, not the electrocutee.  It was all about seeing how far normal people would go if someone else was there saying that the rap would fall on them rather than the punter.  Apparently loads of psychologists were asked before this what they thought would happen.  Turns out the psychologists were more optimistic about human nature.  In the end the vast majority of people will, maybe not happily, give lethal electric shocks to an unseen other simply because a man in a white coat says they should.

So this story.

Back in the 90s there was a spate of calls to fast food places, more than 70 of them, where the caller stated that they were a police officer and one of the staff there has just stolen something.  And “We’re on our way but could you just take her [always a her] off the desk and keep her in the office?”

Then once there he’d ask the staff to speed things up for the police and ask them to search the person.  And nothing would be found.  Mainly because it was all made up.  So he’d ask them to do a strip search.

Some places rumbled it then.  Warnings had been sent around after a few of these events but not everybody had heard the warnings.  So the fillum follows probably the most “successful” (in the perp’s mind) one of these calls.  It went way beyond strip searching.

Oh it’s horrible what some people will do.  It’s quite hard to believe that people will forego their critical faculties when stressed and ordered to do stuff.

It’s a difficult watch.  I was constantly thinking “Oh come on now.  Who’d do that?” then later I looked it up and there’s a news show documentary of the whole event complete with in store video of it happening.

And what a horrible outcome for all involved.  Obviously the young girl accused of theft was worst off.  But the manager involved was clearly taken advantage of.  She didn’t stand up to the trial given her but there was clearly no way she’d have been party to this in the “real world” as there’d be no reason for her to be.  She also ended up losing her fiance (in the real world he ended up in prison for 5 years).  And he wouldn’t probably have been involved in anything remotely like this if the call hadn’t taken place.

Completely creepy.

Eventually some bloke was caught and the calls all stopped.  And he got off.  Amazing.

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Departures

It’s been a while since we sat down and watched a proper fillum.  We’ve cancelled our LoveFilm account (cue lots of calls from them desperate to get us back) as we never had the time to sit and watch.  Anyway R’s folks gave us a fillum they insisted we watch.  It’s a Japanese one called “Departures“.  It is currently sitting on an IMDb score of 8.1/10 which is pretty high.  Hmm.

It’s a tale of a man who plays a cello professionally but soon after he gets a job in an orchestra the company folds and he’s left unemployed.  There’s a bit about him having bought a cello for too much money (18million yen – or a touch over £100k) and not really being talented enough to deserve it.  But this is a minor issue as he just sells the thing again, in the very next scene, it’s hardly a surprise that an instrument worth that much would probably retain its value.  So no jeopardy there then.

We see him discuss things with his wife.  She’s young and attractive and has an unspecified job but there are clearly communication issues between them.  The wife’s character is very poorly developed – she’s just insipid and wet.  There is a point later in the fillum where she grows a back bone but it’s over the most ludicrous issue.  Namely:

They move away from Tokyo to the place he grew up in with his mum.  She’s died and left him the house/bar she ran.  He has no job.  Rather than start the bar up again he looks for a job and sees an ad in the paper for someone to work in “Departures” – hmm?  Travel agency?  Maybe.  Anyway he goes to the interview and gets immediately hired by the grumpy old guy.  Turns out “Departures” was a misprint and it really should have been “with the departed”.  Anyway the job is dealing with the dead, doing a parting cleansing and farewell ceremony.  Think your basic beautiful Japanese ritual, only for dead people.

The ceremonies shown were actually the best bit, they were very movingly done.  It seemed a very good way to say “bye”.

Anyway the problems.  Firstly the wife – oh my word – so insipid.  The backbone she grew was when she found out her husband worked with the dead.  She wanted nothing to do with him from that point (or did she?); a friend of his also suggested darkly that he should think again.

I feel I might be missing out on some cultural taboo here.  Do the Japanese really have an aversion not only to the dead but also to anyone who happens to work with them?  Really?  I felt this was all too unbelievable.

Then his relationship with his wife was so strained and uncommunicative.

And then the acting, oh no.  The nearest thing I can relate it to would be Japanese cartoons where the faces gurn mightily and there are squeaks galore when something is horrible.  Very poor.  Apparently the main bloke won the Japanese equivalent of the Oscar for best actor.  Hmm again.  Mind you he could do the quiet moving stuff ok.  The wife was either a poor actress or, more likely, just had nothing to work with.  The only stand out for me was the grumpy old bloke who hired him but his character wasn’t that interesting either.

More misses than hits for me.

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Bare aliens!

Saw “Attack the Block” innit.  It was well …..  erm I can’t do the youth speak nonsense that these tedious neets witter on with all through the thing.

I love my Adam and Joe whenever they’re on radio or telly and this fillum was written and directed by Joe so I was looking forward to it.  I listen to Radio 5’s fillum reviews with Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo and heard reviews and discussion about the thing when it came out.  As far as I remember it was very much “not as funny or scary as it should be”.

I don’t recall much at all in the way of comedy from it if I’m honest.  Not much laughter from me.  I did enjoy the fillum but only as a bit of popcorn fodder.

There were some startlingly obvious scene setting points.  At one stage a kid wants to do some parkour style move where he jumps from a bridge to a stairwell but it’s too far and the other kids laugh at him so he doesn’t try. DING! He’ll manage that jump at some later point in the fillum then possibly whilst running away from the aliens. DING! Correct one point to me.

The main kid will realise through the peril he’s brought to himself and his block that he has to grow up a bit and take reponsibility for the effects of his actions.  DING! Second point to me.

This second point was rammed home unrelentingly towards the end of the thing.  First the girls in the fillum more or less tell him this.  Then you’ve got the nurse who they mugged at the beginning more or less telling him this.  And finally you’ve got scenes of him wrestling with it himself.  All a bit linear and obvious really.

SPOILER ALERT (But remember that spoilers ENHANCE your pleasure of a story)

He may well save the planet at the end but he’s a horrible character.  Drug running, mugging, violent piece of dirt.  There may be a fillum out there that tells the story of why these kids turn out like this but this wasn’t it.  One scene had one kid complaining that the cops just nick them “for nothing”.  Oh “nothing” seems to include having the proceeds of muggings on them, knife carrying, drug carrying, carrying fireworks as offensive weapons etc etc…  Not sure I want to root for such a lowlife.

And the sheer lack of ambition of these kids was very disheartening.  R’s worked with neets and she said that the fillum depicted them very well, so point to Joe there.  Makes me quite depressed thinking how we can dig these folk out of the holes they, to a large extent, dig for themselves.  Talk about screwing yourself up.  Ah but then it’s everyone else’s fault innit?

Sigh.

Nice aliens though.

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Spoiler!

Interesting! Just sent this to the Kermode and Mayo fillum review show on 5Live since they’re always discussing what to do about potential spoilers in their reviews.

http://psy2.ucsd.edu/~nchristenfeld/Publications_files/Spoilers.pdf

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Of Monks and Monkeys

We watched “Of Gods and Men” the other night.  Well what a lovelily made fillum.  It’s a slow paced one though so if Transformers is your sort of thing then I wouldn’t bother.

It’s a case in what happens when the outside world intrudes into a cloistered life.  We have a bunch of monks (I think that’s the correct collective noun) living in Algeria doing their helping the community stuff and living in complete harmony with the locals.  The difference in religions mean little to either party and they all mingle happily.  At one point the monks are invited to someone’s son’s party (sort of a religious coming of age thing) and are welcomed warmly and they, in turn, are happy to be there.  In other words the monks are locals just like anyone else.

But then the civil war kicks off and foreigners are being killed and girls without veils are stabbed on buses etc.  All very unpleasant.

The monks themselves are a mixed bunch and very well drawn characters.  Some are old and fatalistic but happy with whatever happens, the youngest monk is terrified more than any.  The trials of the group form the second half of the fillum.  Tis lovely.

A wonderfully warm and poignant study of faith, brotherhood, neighbourliness and duty.  I shan’t divulge the ending though.

Yesterday we went to a monkey place.  We were expecting a bunch of different monkeys but instead there were lots of 1 particular type.  In fact they were from North Africa, indeed the same place as the fillum was set.  Barbary Macaques they were.

J wasn’t too impressed but everyone else was.  Nice place.

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Late fillum

I watched District 9 for the first time last night.  It’s a fillum that was much talked about at the time of its release but I managed to miss.

So what to say about it?

I rather liked it.  Mainly in a “that was well done” way rather than a visceral “that moved me” way tho.

Your main actor (Sharlto Copley) was excellent.  His portayal of a bloke that we all know (if you’ve worked in an office) doing his job was very good as was his descent into the meat of the plot.

The story was nothing desperately new, nor were the morals: “humans are the nasty ones”, “aliens may not be all they seem”, “money trumps everything”, “alien weapons are waaaaay cooool” and of course “Nigerians are evil money-grubbing bullies and psychopaths” (err maybe not that last there).  But I thought it handled them well.

Until.

Oh until.

The last section.  It moved the fillum from quite a thoughtful one into a Transformers movie of all things.  I guess it was only to be expected; after all what’s a sci-fi fillum without exploding heads and fizzy weapons?  I reckon they had to sell the thing to distributors and without the fizz-bang of the ending it wouldn’t have been bought.

Stil there’s ample scope for a sequel (I’d guess that was in the deal as well) to address these short-comings. As we know sequels often improve upon the original…

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