It's been a while since I've updated this as I've been mostly watching The Walking Dead and House of Cards for the past couple of months. Here are the movies I've seen recently though in brief:
The Benedict Cumberbatch film biopic of the life of British scientist Alan Turing, focusing primarily on the 2nd World War era and Turing's work with the Enigma Machine. The obvious comparison here is with The Theory of Everything as either film biographies the life of a legendary British scientist, were each released around the same time and each received considerable attention at the Oscar ceremonies. In short: The Imitation Game is the better film of the two for me. The strong cast here is all well and good (with the exception of the invariably shit Keira Knightley) but it's Cumberbatch's portrayal of the socially retarded closet homosexual genius which really makes the film shine throughout. This is a good film without ever being particularly outstanding, nor trying to be really, it simply tells Turing's ultimately tragic story and gets the job done well with a brilliant actor on board.
Children of Men
On the other hand, here is an outstanding film. I'd not seen Children of Men before after unfortunately missing it on release and just never getting around to it afterwards, but I'm very pleased to have finally put the time in. Ten years later it hasn't aged at all and if anything I'd say that the storyline is far more relevant and poignant today than it was even back then; it's a good time to watch Children of Men. A British post-apocalyptic vision of true originality is what you get with a great cast and script with notable performances from Clive Owen and Michael Caine. The action orientated set-pieces are truly stunning to behold and frequently depicted in long, continuous shots with multitudes of stunt-extras, heavy on gritty realism. If you haven't seen it then watch it now and if you have already then surely this is worth a second viewing. Truly one of the best British movies ever made.
I put this on for Minnie-Mae one afternoon and was also fairly eager to see what all the fuss was about myself. Not much to say on this one really. It's quite good. The songs are catchy (as you'll already know) and the characters and storyline are colorful and interesting enough. I don't quite see why little girls worldwide are so insanely obsessed with this particular movie over the host of similar offerings available as there's seemingly nothing original here, but still, it isn't bad, it held the baby's attention and she certainly enjoyed dressing up like a princess and dancing around when the songs came on.
A mostly odd film, just the right side of quirky with a dark and intense undercurrent to the cartoony depiction of the main cast of characters. Frank (Michael Fassbender) is the lead singer in a post-modern electro-rock band, joined by chance by a young British keyboard player who subsequently struggles to adapt to the insanity that unfolds as they hide away in secluded retreat and attempt to record their new album. Despite its comic appearance this is ultimately a sad story of artistic struggle, social acceptance and mental health. A stark contrast between the vibrant, colourful and yet nevertheless rather bleak relationships develops as the story draws on and takes us on tour with the band in America. You have too be in the mood for it, but it is an interesting watch.
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite for a new rom-com based upon the love/hate relationship between a widowed man with three daughters who meets a divorced woman with two sons on a disastrous blind date at Hooters one afternoon. The sevensome inadvertently go on holiday to Africa together where lion's share of the movie is set. All the outright silliness of a traditional Sandler movie is present here (something I'm not really keen on), but it works well despite that, with a sharp and witty script, great chemistry between the two leads and a funny cast of children to give this otherwise somewhat dated comedy a fresher 'Modern Family'-esque charm.
I don't know if this film was genuinely shite or actually rather good. It's basically an 80's slasher with Roswell aliens, five American teens harassed to death in an isolated log cabin. Fortunately it doesn't take itself seriously at all and makes no attempt to avoid the accepted clichés of the genre. The 2012 movie 'The Cabin in the Woods' is very similar and infinitely better, but if you have the patience for throwbacks like this then you might still enjoy Extraterrestrial as long as you also enjoy a few beers whilst watching. I'm really not a fan of the 'so bad it's good' genre, and this film really is bad, but there was
something here I liked nevertheless and... no, fornicate it, don't waste your time, just watch something better.
A story lifted from Jackass: Bad Grandpa with Bill Murray starring as Johnny Knoxville. You know what to expect. It's fairly easy viewing and the comedy ranges from okay to good. Bill Murray plays the role with his typical excellence though and thus his presence alone raises this film a worthwhile degree above average. You'll probably really like it, I know I did, but will you remember it for very long? Probably not.