All 6 entries tagged Review

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July 12, 2006

Uh oh! Who the hell okayed this pile'o'turds?

Pirates of the Carribbean 2
1 out of 5 stars

Wow, was that ever a bad film. If I write to Disney do you think I might get reallocated my 2:30 hours?

This was just a mess of a film which was a chore to watch. About 45 minutes too long this suffers from multiple plot lines that go nowhere, tedious dialogue, dull characters and tenuous solutions to certain story inconsistencies.

Depp's Keith Richards impression was fun in the first film but gets on your nerves here. Bloom is a wet slap on the arse and couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. Knightly is dull, the supporting characters dull and Bill Nighy, bless him, is lost behind a mass of CGI nonsense.

Bloom in particular is a massive waste of time. I remember seeing something about him claiming him to be the next great british actor – well, that's not going to be happening soon. At least with Depp you know he can act and be inventive and that this is just pissing about for him. For Bloom this is it – this is all he can do. The review on AskaNinja gets it right: 'Keira Knightly is a more manly version of Orlando Bloom'.

This is one of those films that, like Star Wars 1–3, make you think as you are watching –'ooh, that'll be a good bit in the computer game.' It's just a massive exercise in promoting a bunch of crappy merchandise – it's not a film, it's a 2:30 hour advert.

Just lazy–arsed film making of the worst sort.

April 03, 2006

Ghost World

5 out of 5 stars

Watched one of my favourite recent films again last night – Ghost World.

The film makes me feel crushed by the end. The sense of futility and isolation is pretty overwhelming.

I also appreciate the ambiguous ending – If I am in a positive frame of mind I can read the final scence as Enid escaping her mundane life and taking a ride to new opporunities. Unfortunately I guess the ending is closer to a metaphor for suicide – a negative escape rather than a positive one. Whilst everyone else has moved on and grown, Enid stays completely still – waiting for something to take her away rather than searching for her own route out.

I saw this first in my late twenties – if I'd seen it in my late teens I imagine it would have had a deeper effect. A great antidote to all the rites of passage teen movies you tend to see.

December 21, 2005

Sideways – better after 12 months bottle ageing

5 out of 5 stars

I watched Sideways again last night. Still a damn fine film, but a few observations.

Firstly, this is one of those films that just works better on the small screen – it makes it more initmate and seems to bring you closer to the characters.

Secondly, Miles is a lot more pathetic than I remember him being when I saw it for the first time. I found my sympathy for him draining as the film went on. Luckily it recovered at the end, but mostly I found myself wanting to give him a big kick in the cojones.

Thirdly – it's much funnier than I remember. We watched it over two nights and it just seemed to improve when you took time to savour it and reflect on the previous scenes.

We both wanted to go back and watch Ghost World again – one of the best films I have seen in the last 10 years and see if a similar film felt that much better on the small screen. It's on the amazon rental list…

September 28, 2005

Holiday reading part 3

4 out of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read this for a while and really enjoyed it. Whatever you think about cycling, this is a powerful tale about cancer, recovery and survivorship.

What was interesting was a few contextual elements.

1) A few weeks before I read this there were renewed allegations of failed drug tests involving Armstrong. I felt a bit awkward about reading the book if the allegations were proven – in the end the allegations were dropped (though still bubbling away I now understand).

2) Tyler Hamilton, a teammate of Armstrong, has been suspended for two years after failing a doping test. This has to make you wonder about point 1 above and reading some of the elements of the book a bit odd.

3) Armstrong split from his wife and is now linked with Sheryl Crow – this made all the bits about him getting married really wierd. This was a shame as the IVF treatment they go through was obviously traumatic and difficult.

Still, an excellent read and food for thought on how we might take health for granted.

Holiday reading part 2

3 out of 5 stars

I found this an interesting book to read for two key reasons.

1) The key premise of the book – that we all need to rebalance our lives to counter the pressures of an increasingly fast world – is compelling and attractive. Many of the principles seem plausible, reasonable and worth pursuing.

2) Much of the evidence supporting the arguements seems to be slightly superficial or cursory and one is constantly left with the thought "well, yes but isn't this all rather the realm of the leisurly and wealthy classes?"

The author throws around too many 'thousands of people are…' statements for my liking, undermining the philosophical prinicples underpinning the text. This is perhaps neceessary considering the authors basic purpose for the text and I probably need to do a bit more legwork myself (oh for the time…!).

I would also have to add that I read this mainly as an overview of a movement I already know a bit about, and have symapthies with, so point one should come with that caveat. What was nice to see was the assertion that the Slow movement is not about the abscence of moving fast or some luddite lunatic fringe – rather it's about balance between fast and slow.

Still, some important lessons for our too fast existence.

September 27, 2005

Holiday reads part1

2 out of 5 stars

So, I managed 4 books on hols.

First up Long Way Round.

I'd been looking forward to this one, but ended up a bit disappointed. Obviously done as part of the finance deal for the trip it all felt very worthy and grand, but was really pretty superficial and rather full of empty statements about how deep and meaningful the trip was.

I do like Boorman and McGregor, they both seem to be very interested in the world around them, down to earth and honest guys. It just felt that there was a huge story hidden in the book that you would only hear if you met them in the pub. This was all a bit contrived.

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