Posts Tagged ‘film’

According to Greta: A review

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 | Distractions

Even the knowledge that this was a Hilary Duff film was insufficient to set my expectations low enough.

This supposed exploration of the mind of a troubled young girl is dull, predictable and uninsightful. I did not even make it to the end. It’s only one redeeming feature is that some bits of it are so embarrassing that it may be an incredibly clever parody that only the writer was in on.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru

Sunday, August 28th, 2016 | Distractions

tony-robbins-i-am-not-your-guru

Joe Berlinger is a film maker known for his documentary series Paradise Lost. He also made Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, a film that I really enjoyed, once I understood just how the studio had butchered it after it left Berlinger’s hands. His latest film is a documentary about motivational speaker Tony Robbins’s Date With Destiny events.

It is interesting to see inside the event. But that is where the interest stops. A review in Variety earlier this year pretty much hits the nail on the heat. It is a completely uncritical look at the whole show, with no interesting journalistic merit to be found.

For example, there is no mention that I noticed of the price tag. It is around $5,000 for the basic package and goes up from there. There is plenty of footage of Robbins transforming people’s lives though, at least for the few minutes they were on camera. Still, I am sure Penn & Teller are completely wrong about these type of events being complete bullshit that never sticks. Especially at that price.

Far from Robbins graciously granting access to a documentary crew for the first time, it seems to be that he simply allowed them to make an infomercial for him.

To be fair to Berlinger, he doesn’t pretend that it is anything other than that. He decided to make the film after being invited to a Date With Destiny event and said in an interview that this was more of a “concert film”.

If you want to watch it, it’s on Netflix.

The Big Short (film)

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 | Distractions

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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine is a 2011 book by Michael Lewis. It is one of his best, perhaps second only to Flash Boys. I reviewed it in 2014. I recently watched the film adaptation. Coupled with The Blind Side makes me look like I am on kind of Michael Lewis-film binge, which I only noticed afterward.

It is a reasonably good retelling of how it happened in the book. Not that you can do it justice in a two hour film, but it is a good summary. Occasionally one of the characters would break the forth wall and introduce celebrities offering sarcastic explanations of how the banks fucked us.

Speaking of fucking, the one thing that draw my attention was the phone call between Mark Baum and Greg Lippmann. I’m sure in the book Lippmann actually told Baum how he was going to fuck him, rather than the watered-down reconciliation in the film.

The film even had a moral point at the end, discussing how basically nothing has changed and we are just repeating the same old patterns. And that is why I am moving to Iceland in two weeks…

The Blind Side (film)

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 | Distractions

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The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game is a 2007 book by Michael Lewis. I reviewed it in 2014 and in another post discussed my thoughts about the story.

In 2009, it was made into a film, which, after a recommendation from someone, I finally got round to watching. It shares quite a bit in common with the book, while at the same time concentrating exclusively on the relationship between Michael and Leigh Anne.

That is the whole thing. It is not, to Elina’s relief, a film about American football. Nor is it, to my disappointment, a film about economic theory. It is a drama revolving around those two characters, with almost everything else cut out.

I thought having read the book helped me out on a number of occasions during the film. A lot of things made sense to me because I had read the details in the book. You would miss them if you had not, but maybe you just wouldn’t notice.

The Revenant

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 | Distractions

The-Revenant

The Revenant is a film based on the Michael Punke’s novel of the same title. That in itself is based on the true story of someone called Hugh Glass in 1823, though exactly how much historical truth there actually is in it I am not sure. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio.

I was not aware of this when I watched the film. I did so off a recommendation, so I didn’t really know what it was about. I had seen the trailer during the screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens but it is hardly enlightening.

The problem is that this leaves you without really knowing what is going on. There isn’t much in the way of a plot to follow. Some people get killed, some guy is injured, he doesn’t die, he somehow makes it home to take revenge on someone else. It’s not very clear.

Nor is the dialogue. The actors attempt to use authentic accents which makes it almost intelligible to Elina.

Some of it seems simply unbelievable. I can accept that you can survive being attacked by a grizzly bear. Elina questions whether you would have all your limbs in tact though. The survival after this is where it breaks down for me though. If he was too ill to stop his son being murdered, how did he then recover enough to find food? How did his leg heal so quickly? How do you spend so much time in a river running through snow-covered mountains, with no change of clothes, and not die of hypothermia?

All of that said, I did actually quite enjoy the movie.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | Distractions

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32 years. They have had 32 years to work out what comes after Return of the Jedi. What did they come up with? A third Death Star. The greatest minds of Disney came together to brainstorm, and came up with absolutely nothing.

When Return of the Jedi ended there was a feeling of hope in the galaxy. The Empire had been defeated. Happy times were ahead. However, it turns out that it just pops up again. This time it seems even more serious. I guess this is how people feel every time the Conservatives are turfed out of Number 10.

Han Solo’s re-appearance felt a bit like the return of Red Dwarf as old characters were shamelessly wheeled out to remind us of the good old days. No Carrie Fisher is an gold bikini though. I seem to be the only person disappointed about that.

Elina says she enjoyed the film. She is effectively a new fan: I did make her watch episode IV but she fell asleep (we were watching it in bed). So perhaps it will inspire a new generation of fans. I think NewsThump accurately captured the atmosphere:

George Lucas blasts new Star Wars film for being ‘enjoyable’ and ‘popular’

We went to Everyman Cinema, which was a rubbish. The milkshakes were small and watery and the food was complete shit. The hot dogs were £8, for which you would expect a really nice hot dog, but you don’t get one. The cinema has gone down hill in my opinion.

3D Cinema

Saturday, June 8th, 2013 | Thoughts

Watching Star Trek Into Darkness was my first experience of 3D cinema.

On the whole, I’m not totally sold on the idea. Comfort-wise, it was fine. It was uncomfortable at first, but that was probably because I was expecting it to be and once I settled into the movie, it was fine.

I found the 3D pretty tacky though. It reminded me of pop up books where there are just certain things that pop up – one character would be further forward than another but everything else still felt rather 2D. I also didn’t like the way they would constantly only have one character in focus at a time.

A few of the effects worked quite well though, I think I probably ducked a few times when things came flying out the screen. It was good, but I can’t say I was amazed.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Friday, June 7th, 2013 | Reviews

Obviously the new Star Trek films completely ruin everything with their inaccurate depiction of events (you know, when they really happened in the original films). But that being said, I did rather enjoy the new movie.

I imagine there will be spoilers before the end of this article.

I had no problems accepting Benedict Cumberbatch. I struggle with Doctor Whos in other things, but for some reason he isn’t set in my mind as Sherlock. Or maybe I was so distracted thinking about how he looks almost identical to Keanu Reeves playing Neo in The Matrix. That was annoying.

I was also very close to jumping up and screaming “KHAN!!!!!!!!!!” at the appropriate point.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the British girl, who seemed more like she had been added to bring another pair of tits than a deep and meaningful character and it was a bit shallow at times – Admiral Marcus was a bit too much of a stereotypical evil villain.

Ultimately though, any film with a tribble in is going to warm your heart.

Movie Goer’s Guide to Life & Death

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Humanism

On Tuesday we had our second Movie Goer’s Guide to Life & Death at A-Soc. It was basically a load of clips from American Beauty and while I found some of the analysis dubious I certainly enjoyed seeing the clips again very much enjoyable. Smile – you’re at Mr Smiley’s!

Movie Goer's Guide Nicola doing karaoke John

X-Men: The Last Stand film review

Saturday, February 17th, 2007 | Reviews

The plot: A cure is found for mutants but it doesn’t go down well. Magneto begins to raise an army while Xavier tries to prevent all out war.

The good: Captain Picard and Gandalf in the first minute of the movie – what more could you ask for? Some shockers too.

The bad: There isn’t really anything wrong with this movie. But then it’s not the most amazing movie ever either.

Conclusion: It’s a fun movie, if you like X-Men then you will certainly enjoy this. As comic book franchise movies go, this is a very good one.

Rating

Reviewed by Greg. I gave this movie a 6.5 out of 10.