A while back (but being beyond 40 I can no longer accurately trust my memory any more) I started a film club. It’s like a book club except with films. I don’t know why I am explaining this, it’s not that complicated. I send out an invite and we all pile round someone’s house clutching a DVD of their choice, some snacks and their poison of choice. Then we pick a film out of the hat (not literally as that would be a very big hat.)
There are only a couple of provisos: no porn (for obvious reasons and also because I imagine there would not be a great deal to discuss after watching Debbie Does Dallas), no horror (just because it is an acquired taste - even though there are some damn fine horror flicks out there – and it’s hard to discuss something you haven’t seen because you’ve been hiding behind the sofa) and no snuff films. I would prefer to place anything with Kevin James, Martin Lawrence or directed by Michael Bay into the snuff category – but that’s another discussion.
So, we have been open for business a few weeks now and some random (and not so random) films have been watched so here is a bit of a round up:
- Hard Kandy Almost like a stage play in it’s simplicity the film pulls your sympathies around like a rag doll until the very last frames. Beautifully shot and acted by two actors (Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson) the tension is ratcheted up every couple of minutes. At times this was a very uncomfortable film to watch and deals with some pretty challenging subjects but the staging, acting and hard boiled script keep everything under control Overall: belting movie, worth seeing…maybe only once though 8/10
- One Hour Photo Robin Williams is a strange one; for every decent movie he appears in he picks ten stinkers. Look him up on IMDB, his credits are like the late listings on ITV4. What is annoying about the man is that he possesses obvious comic timing and given a half funny script he’d have the audience wheezing with constrictive laughter…and on the other hand he can act, properly act. He must have a crappy agent…or a faulty crap-o-meter™ because he picks some really shitty scripts. Anyway, One Hour Photo is not one of them. Underplayed and well paced what starts as a curious look into the mind of a complete whack-job ends up as quite a nice taut thriller. Oh, Robin, why pick this and then make R.V? Or Bicentennial Man? What, are you drunk most of the time? Overall: Williams is brilliant and keeps you watching this slightly odd film 7/10
- Layer Cake Brit Pop, Cool Britannia and East-End gangsters – those were the days, weren’t they? Layer Cake was plucked out of the hat and most people had only seen it once ages ago…because, well there were so many films of that genre around at the same time that they all merged into one. It was quite nice watching it again and you could feel the energy of Matthew Vaughn‘s direction as you tried to decipher the overly complicated plot marvelling at the cast and thinking: where are they now? Well, Daniel Craig has done well for himself and Sienna Miller? Not quite so well. Watching it you felt it was very much the embodiment of Cool Britannia – style, attitude but very little in the way of substance. Overall: good script, lots of fun but one felt that Vaughn simply doesn’t have the intellect to make the clever film he wanted this to be 7/10
- Beginners On paper this film is a winner: directed by Mike Mills – that’s looking good already. Stars Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent - okay, now we’re cookin’. It’s about a guy and his dad – now in his seventies – comes out as gay. Well, just go for it – everything is there! But…it just ends up as a load of tosh. The dialogue is a bit hammy and there is zero – nil – chemistry between Laurant and McGregor. It’s like they’re brother and sister or something. It’s disjointed and has no real thrust to it…there is no verve to this movie…it’s just a bit dull. When you’re chatting between yourselves when the film is on…or someone goes to the toilet and says, ‘oh don’t worry, you don’t need to pause it..’ I think these are indicators of a bad film. This is going to end up in the bargain list on Amazon or late, late on Film4. Overall: just dull. Which is about as bad a review a film can get 2/10