Thursday, 1 September 2011

Square Eyes

When I was little my mum used to tell me that if I watched too much TV I'd get square eyes. Now that I'm an adult I think my eyes must just have adapted what with all the cinema outings, TV watching and, let's not forget, the vast amounts of computer gazing I do every day...

Fruits of the cinema outings, careful there are spoilers.

Captain America
From gorgeous 40's fashion, costumes and set to the very 'buff' Chris Evans - what's not to like about this film? It's THE comic book hero fighting a rather terrifying looking Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, there's battles and humour, it's patriotic but not in an overbearing way, solid performances from the varied cast (I was sad to see Stanley Tucci's part cut short though) and, very excitingly, it starts to link to together the pieces in The Avengers puzzle. If you haven't seen it shame on you, I think you've missed it on the big screen.

Super 8
If Captain America was patriotic then Super 8 is most definitely nostalgic - the push bikes, the floral shirts and those haircuts all point towards a by gone era (v.much reminiscent of E.T). It's the summer and  a group a boys are making a film about zombies, and then there's an alien loose in their town, there's adventure and, as always, there's a girl (reminiscent of The Goonies?). I mention E.T and The Goonies because that's what it's been compared to. The difference between them however is that the other two know their message, their purpose and stick to it, Super 8, however, does not. So there's a monster and it's been mistreated and want's to get home. Humans are the bad guys. The alien starts taking people (as well as metal objects). Where? To it's lair. What's he doing with them? Eating them. Alien is the bad guy. But he's not killing all of them. Alien is the good guy...? Towards the end he chases our young protagonist, the girl and his friends into a dead end, and, instead of eating or killing them it has a change of heart (aww) and then just decides to leave, cue townsfolk gathering in the street to see the alien depart in a spaceship made out of the town's metal in some sort of weird E.T-esque departure. Only this time there 'aint no rainbow. Don't get me wrong, I really liked this film - the cinematography, the script were great - except from the last 20 minutes which were utterly disappointing. It felt as though the makers of this film had all become caught up in it and then forgot they had to end it. Error.

Hobo with a Shotgun
The second of the Rodriguez & Tarantino grindhouse trailers to be made into a feature length. It's exactly what you'd imagine it to be: Rutger Hauer as a hobo delivering bloody justice to a bunch of bastards. Brutal and unnecessarily gorey but funny and to the point, I think it only lasts about an hour and a half. I have to admit though, and there's no room comparison other than it was also a grindhouse trailer, I preferred Machete perhaps because of Danny Trejo and it had more of a ridiculous storyline, if that's even possible.

30 Minutes or Less
Ever since watching the trailer for this, which was basically a short scene from the film, I knew I must see the whole thing. I was not disappointed. Jesse Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery guy (hence the title) who is kidnapped by two douche bags who, after strapping a bomb to him, tell him he's got so many hours to find them enough money so that one of the douches can pay a hit man to kill his dad. Sounds crazy? It is and very funny too. In not so funny news, this is apparently based on a true story. The laughs are mostly orchestrated, not by Jesse Eisenberg but by his best friend who comes along for the ride, Aziz Ansari, an American actor/stand-up comedian. I actually laughed out loud watching this one - go see!

Cowboys and Aliens
Two very different genres thrown into the mix. I must confess that when I first heard about it I thought it was going to be a spoof because how could this be done seriously? The answer is: it can, with some humour of course, mostly thanks to Sam Rockwell's one liners and Harrison Ford being a crotchety old man (for, sadly, that is what he is now). The film revolves around Daniel Craig's character who wakes up remembering nothing and also sporting a strange contraption around his wrist. The aliens attack a town, stealing some of the residents. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and the remaining men set off to track the aliens down, tagging along with them is Olivia Wilde (she's a little different from the rest of the womenfolk). Once finding the alien's craft, cowboys and indians unite to rescue their kin/kill the murderous aliens. In this film, unlike Super 8, the aliens are most definitely bad (it transpires that they move from planet to planet wiping out the indigenous people). The plot is simple, it's action packed and pretty fun. I particularly like the idea of aliens invading earth in an era that isn't relatively present, that gets done a lot. Exploring different centuries in which the aliens invade can only be a good thing, I'm holding out for some sort of Henry VIII vs UFO production.

The Skin I Live In
I've been quite lucky of late. The previous two films were viewed courtesy of Empire magazine's Big Screen, and more recently I won tickets to see the new Pedro Almodovar film thanks to Little White Lies. The Skin I Live In is brilliant - it's shock and horror, not in the sense of blood and gore, but in a way that makes you think and keep thinking after you leave the cinema (in kind of the same way I felt, although not to the extent, about Dogtooth). It's chilling, gradually building up and up as the plot unfolds, the flash back is perfectly placed. I didn't know the ending when I watched it and I think it's best that you don't either so I won't give much away. Awesome performances from all involved, I most definitely recommend.

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