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A mis-understood classic.
I didn't see this when it came out. I wish i had. It's as near to a perfect film for me as i've ever seen.
Jason Statham has carved out an interesting career as a Hollywood hard man of late, but this is his finest performance and it's not his usual style at all. His face works hard in this and he shows he's not just about action.
The story is sublime.. it's not easy to follow, but i like that. The whole world they create for the film is really deep and interesting...not necessarily realistic, but it's a film, not real life.
Bejamin Andre blew me away...a stunningly subtle performance which could so easily have been ruined by an over-blown performance.
There's a lot of British cast in this film as American hoodlums... which is a little distracting when you know, but they all do a good job and America audiences probably never notice.
It's rarely mentioned how good the production looks. The lighting and set design is fantastic. I've not seen a film that looked this good for a long time... The golf scene on the roof..awesome.
Do yourself a favour and watch this film... it can take a couple of viewings to get it, but it's worth it.
London Boulevard (2010)
A good watch, but not as good as it could have been...
I was looking forward to this. A London based gangster film with a great cast. The trailer looked fantastic...a great mix of cool, dark and a few funny lines too.
About halfway through watching the film, i realised how good the guy that cut the trailer was. This isn't a bad film at all, but it's not the film that the trailer advertises.
Colin Farrell is pretty good apart from the dodgy cockney accent.. it's just not quite right and he seems too 'sorted' to have ever been just 'one of the boys' before we went to prison.
Ray Winstone is one of the UK's best actors...and he's all about the face and the eyes...just looking at his eyes between his lines usually says more than his actual dialogue does. In this film they chose to put thick NHS glasses on him... very cool i'm sure, but they hide his eyes and cover up a big part of his performance. I felt like he was wasted in this role.
Anna Friel? Awesome...but not enough of her in the plot...didn't make much sense. And as for the bent copper? What was the point of that character?? I assume they cut some of his scenes because i can't believe that part was scripted like that...
Keira Knightley? Surprisingly great...totally believable performance and looked great.
David Thewlis? A stunning performance as usual...David gives this film the much needed boost in likable character it needed.
As for the plot... it's a bit shaky. But, we could have let that go if it had moved a bit quicker. I thought it moved very slowly and by the halfway stage i was wondering when it was going to get moving.
The end came as a shock.. and i can see why they did it, but it's too similar to 'Layer Cake' and a few other films... it's the 'credible' ending that is trying too hard not to be a Hollywood ending. It just ends up leaving you cold. I really wasn't bothered one way or the other by that stage. The kid in that scene is another character that just doesn't seem believable to me...and i know London estates like that very well.
To sum up... it's entertaining.. i'd watch it again... but it's not in the same league as the classic British gangster movies.
Shoot the DJ (2010)
A funny combination of fact and fiction. A great story told on a budget.
I was given the DVD of this film by a friend who knew the film-makers. I wasn't really expecting to like it as i'm not really into dance music and i haven't been clubbing in years. I was surprised to find the story had much more to offer than the music related side which the blurb on the DVD suggests. It's not going to win any Oscars, but the story is really good. It held my interest to the end and my wife and i found ourselves laughing aloud a few times. The cast was quite diverse. The two main characters were playing themselves (i think)and they did a reasonable job. How much different they are in real life i don't know, but they seemed very similar in the out-takes. There's a few familiar faces that crop up. Tony Hadley doesn't appear until quite late in the film, but when he does, his presence is felt. I never thought he'd pull it off, but he does a great job as a menacing club manager type character. Kim Wilde make a very brief appearance as herself and someone else plays her back when she was starting her career too. If there's one thing that lets this film down, it's the quality of the picture. It was obviously where the money was saved and that's understandable. I've seen quite a few micro budget films and they all struggle to look as good as Hollywood blockbusters. However, the 4 strong directing team obviously have some talent as the shot composition and editing was well up to standard. One more point. The sound on these low low budget films is usually woeful, with unclear dialogue and cheaply produced music. Shoot The DJ has this area covered very professionally. According to the story, at least 3 of the team that made it work in the music industry as producers, so that would seem to make sense. Over all, i'd say this was an interesting look at the other side of the music industry with a very heavy leaning on the gangster/drug dealing type scenario. I wont give the end away as it is worth waiting for. I look forward to seeing what they do next.
Four Eyed Monsters (2005)
Inspiring, but a bit boring too...
Anyone who gets of their backside and makes a film should be applauded. The couple that made this obviously put their heart and soul into it. However, it's not always effort that breeds greatness. This film starts really well - the opening scenes suck you in and you want to know more - but after that it becomes banal quite quickly. 20 somethings worrying about their life, direction and relationships is a often used plot point.. but here it 'is' the plot. The film has the usual micro-budget tell tale signs. Some dodgy camera work, some 'not quite on the money' acting and some quality issues. But, overall, it works in the context of a slice of life in the myspace/facebook revolution.
I'd put money on Crumley and co making something big at some point in the future, but this is a public airing of their education really.
Well worth a watch, but don't expect a film with this kind of budget to compete with Hollywood.