Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Delayed Movies of May

It's the 5th of June already and I haven't posted my list of movies that I watched in May.  The reason for my tardiness is that I had a horrible bout of Gastroenteritis and then fortunately that went away just in the nick of time for a weekend of camping out in the miserable English weather for my stag-do!  It is the Queen's Jubilee here which means I have two extra days of recovery.  God Save the Queen!

Normally I split my monthly post into two seperate lists of the worst films and the best films of the month.  But due to starting season 4 of Dexter, I only got through fourteen films in May.  Without further ado, here is my ranking:

14. Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes (Jude Gerard Prest, 2011)

Found footage style fake documentary about a possessed girl in 70s Germany.  Documentary crew and medical team spend 16 days with priests investigating what is behind the young girl’s ‘fits’.

Fuck all to like about this film.  Unoriginal, ugly, boring and not even remotely scary.  Tries to steal every great moment from The Exorcist and fails to make a single one work:  Girl pisses on floor.  Spider walks down stairs.  Forces priest into sexual act.  Makes bed shake.  All captured by the cameras of the crew present at the exorcism.  None of it works.  Absolutely dreadful.  Appalling accents, acting and staging.  One of the worst films I’ve ever seen.  I can’t even write proper sentences about it.

13. Kicking and Screaming (Jesse Dylan, 2005)

The one where Will Ferrell coaches a kids' soccer team.  Loved it anytime Ferrell is let off the leash, especially on coffee.  Much better than Ferrell’s basketball movie Semi-Pro and probably equal with Blades of Glory, but no competition with Talladega Nights.

12. American Reunion (Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, 2012)

While it’s great to see the guys again, the brief cameos from the rest of the crowd and most of all, Jim’s Dad and Stifler’s Mum getting high together, the script is lazy and misogynistic and just not that funny.

11. Flash Point (Wilson Yip, 2007)

This is totally worth while watching for the final fight scene.  The rest is pretty formulaic and unmemorable.  Just standard cop action thriller stuff.  But when the guns get emptied and the hero and villain have only their hands and feet to fight with, this is exceptional stuff!

10. Faster (George Tillman Jr., 2011)

This had pretty close to fascinating characters for an action flick.  However there is a bit of a lack of decent action considering the title and the set up.  Fails to get the pulse racing but spends plenty of time introducing a bunch of quite weird and definitely interesting characters.

9. The Ref (Ted Demme, 1994)

Denis Leary is a bit subdued here but it’s unsurprising considering the cast of characters he is surrounded by.  Criminal on the run takes dysfunctional family hostage and chaos ensues.  Pretty forgettable unfortunately since I'd been kind of waiting to see this ever since it first came out in '94.

8. Fright Night (Craig Gillespie, 2011)

Fun take on vampires with very likeable turns from Colin Farell, David Tenant and Anton Yelchin.  It’s not scary, just mildly entertaining. 

7. Avengers Assemble (Joss Whedon, 2012)

Marvel’s Avengers team up to take out Loki and his army before they enslave the Earth.

The iconic characters get dressed up for a spectacular but hardly pulse pounding action climax.  Ruffalo steals the show as the latest incarnation of Bruce Banner.  It’s all a bit silly and slow to start and lacking in any sense of tension as we all know all these characters will survive and how the film will end.  Oh except one character that I personally couldn’t care less about.

6. Following (Christopher Nolan, 1999)

Christopher Nolan’s feature debut about a man who likes to follow people and becomes embroiled with a thief.

It is a pleasure to see lots of Nolan’s trademarks in their embryonic phase;  a mysterious thief called Cobb, a non-linear, confusing but rewarding narrative puzzle and a Batman symbol on a character’s door.  On the other hand, it did have a bit of dodgy acting though.

5. TrollHunter (Andre Ovredal, 2011)

Documentary team find out there is much more than just bears that need hunting in Norway.

Finally a found footage movie that’s not shit!  The camera operators aren’t completely hopeless so the cinematography is actually quite nice in places.  Great end and a unique original story well told with some cool special effects and use of night vision.  The titular troll hunter is an interesting anti-hero with a bit of depth to the character.  It’s more comedy than horror but unfortunately it’s not remotely scary and it’s not that funny.

4. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, 1997)

 This 70s set family drama revolves around sex, desire, sadness and shame.  A fantastic ensemble get some interesting if not overly memorable characters to dig into but it all takes a little turn for the melodramatic come the end.  Still, it’s very well acted and has some brilliantly awkward moments.

3. Crazy Heart (Scott Cooper, 2009)

This tale of a country and western singer living life at the bottom of a bottle is worth catching for a heartbreaking and brilliant performance from Jeff Bridges alone.  Maggie Gyllenhaal also excels as the love interest in a simple, straight forward but perfectly acted piece of character-driven cinema.

2. Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog, 2012)

Documentary on death row that explores the crime, the victims’ families and the killers themselves.  I loved Herzog’s voice, accent and deeply odd questioning of his subjects.  Despite Herzog proclaiming at the start that he is anti-death penalty, this is not at all preachy and completely leaves the viewer able to make up their own mind.

Didn’t love how it occasionally feels as though Herzog is deliberately and clearly pushing his subjects to provoke emotional responses.

1. This Film is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick, 2006)

This documentary on film censorship in America investigates the strange secrecy that surrounds the MPAA.  It explores the violence vs sex debate and whether the MPAA is actually homophobic and out-of-touch with public views.  It might go a little far in the investigative side of things, bordering on invasion of privacy but nevertheless it is an important and thoughtful documentary that made me very grateful to live in England where the BBFC are at least very open about their policy and decisions. 

What did you love/hate this month?  What do you think of any of these films?  Thanks for stopping by!