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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cuddly Cthulhu)
Just got back from seeing this, and...

I really loved it... )

See this film if:
  • You long for the glory days of sumptuous, Victorian-set Hammer Horrors
  • You like creepy and spooky and every so often getting a shock that will jump you out of your seat
  • You want to spend a long time staring into DanRad'sbig blue eyes
  • You want to see a film with a lead female character who has agency and drives the story
Don't see this film if:
  • You want ACTION ALL THE TIME and hate atmosphere-building
  • You don't like scary films; or indeed if you hate the Surly Native style of horror film - where things would be a lot easier for the hero if only people would talk to him
  • You fancied Annie from Life on Mars, because Liz White is not a doe-eyed beauty in this.
  • You insist on a non-technical Bechdel pass


I give it, 9/10 and definitely think it's better than the TV version. But I would caution that the 12A rating is definitely on the liberal side of movie ratings, because I would have crapped myself had I seen that at 12.

((X-posted personal journal and [community profile] brit_horror))
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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
The yet-again-ressurected Hammer Films actually seem to be getting somewhere this time. Not only do they have The Woman In Black on general release very soon (when the trailer came up before SH: A Game of Shadows [personal profile] magister and [personal profile] innerbrat and I all did happy squeals in unison when the gret big Hammer logo appeared; we're all fans of the original and the trailer looked very good indeed) but their restoration team are pulling out some proper gems.

We got the BluRay of the restored Quatermass and the Pit just before Christmas, and it is a stunningly beautiful print. I am now literally salivating at the thought of Plague of the Zombies, which is one of my utter, utter favourites; and the fact that they have found some cut footage to restore to the 1958 Terence Fisher Dracula is just awesome.

If you want to follow the restoration team's blog it is at http://blog.hammerfilms.com/ (or syndicated to DW at [syndicated profile] hammer_films_blog_feed)



X-posted personal blog, [community profile] brit_horror, [community profile] fantastic_films
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
I had three problems with the film:
  1. There weren't enough girls in it, and those there were... Well, they were only there to orbit the boys, to help them because boys are the ones who matter. I am weary of this trait in pretty much all forms of fiction - it's probably why I'm so addicted to Bones at the moment.

  2. Christopher Lee should never twinkle. It was unnerving how good he was at it.

  3. Gustav's resemblance to officer Crabtree from 'Allo 'Allo detracted from both the pathos and the menace of his character.
Aside from those minor issues*, though, I really enjoyed it. There was some beautiful and innovative camerawork, and the lighting was exquisite, and the performances from the three leads (the two kids and Ben Kingsley) were excellent. And I cried. Lots.

You should see this film if:
  • You like early cinema, because there are some beautifully integrated bits of old films, and a ton of visual and scripted references too

  • You're a steampunk person, because the set and effects will make you cream yourself, especially if you see it in 3D

  • You want to discover that not all child actors are awful and annoying.

  • You appreciate a beautifully crafted bit of cinematic act, even if it's not flawless

  • You can cope with all the flaws I mention above
You should NOT see this film if:
  • You need your films to pass the Bechdel test.

  • You need to have ACTION every five seconds, and can't cope with long, lingering, langourous artistry.

  • You don't want to see Jude Law die screaming in a fire - you don't get much warning that it's going to happen, so I'm warning you now.



In other news, I am feeling AWFUL tonight. This week has not been the easiest. So I am curled up in bed with a hot water bottle and faint sounds of Holly playing on her computer coming through the door. All brandy gratefully recieved.



* lack of female characters being a minor problem on a per-film basis, which adds up to a major and endemic one if you consider te totality of film, obviously.
miss_s_b: (Default)
Because who wouldn't want to be caught between Lucius Malfoy and Batwoman? For srs! Watch this vid:



This makes me want to 1, listen to more p!nk 2, make a p!nk icon and 3, get my Sixie costume made and go to a con.



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miss_s_b: (Sci-fi: Star Trek hug)
... was really rather good.

Spoiler cut for politeness, rather than any sort of coherence )

Yeah. I really liked it. And yes, I cried. Quite a lot. HP was my first big internet fandom. I might not be active in it any more, but it literally changed my life; so it was a big thing seeing the final film. And it was worth seeing on the big screen. I think the only one that comes close to it of the seven previous ones is PoA; but I don't think it would mean as much without having seen the others. And now, for the first time, I have the urge to read the final book, which I have never actually bothered to do.
miss_s_b: (Mood: You're all Crazy)
Well, if you can call it a review, because mostly I just want to spew out superlatives. That was astoundingly good.

I'll get the negatives out of the way first: there was an amount of genderfail, but given the setting that was entirely realistic (and there was an awesome little old lady). The effects weren't mindblowing either, but that was never what this film was about. It's all about the growth and character development of the people in it and the story is only really there to drive that development.

The plot is pretty simple, but it's rich enough to hang some beautiful character studies off. spoilers! )

All in all, this is an excellent slice of British cinema, and it's a crying shame that it's going to be one of the Film Council's last hurrahs because the Film Council has been abolished...

9/10

Thor 3D

Friday, April 29th, 2011 10:42 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Judge Death)
So whenever [personal profile] matgb and I go in a comic shop, I have to explain to them that 1, it'll probably be me who buys something, so they'd better not do the TalkingToTheBloke thing, and 2, he's a Marvel and I'm a DC. It's a product of chance - I got into DC via Judge Dredd and the Judgement on Gotham Crossover; Mat got into Marvel from reading Transformers comics as a kid. But I'll happily go see Marvel movies. I liked Spiderman. I liked Iron Man. I even liked Fantastic Four.

Thor, though?

Thor was something else.

The bits I didn't like first: as usual, the 3D wasn't worth it for most of the movie. The end credits are the most impressive bit of 3D, and I'm not just saying that flippantly, they were gorgeous, but... Would have been nice to have that gorgeousness throughout the film. Loki... Loki should not be angst-ridden. Yes, he and Thor should fight, but he should be a prankster, not a tortured soul. And the usual gripe about too many boys and not enough girls applies; although this film does pass the Bechdel test with two girls talking to each other about particle physics, so it's nowhere near as bad in this regard as most of Hollywood's output. And... that's it. Those are the only holes I can find to pick.

The script was fun, but hung together pretty well - the humour didn't detract from the story and the story didn't detract from the humour. There was The Arthur C Clarke Quote. There was proper character progression, and characters who were characters and not just ciphers. Yes, in a SUPERHERO MOVIE, there were proper characters. The actors were brilliant, in particular Idris Elba, who should get heaped with awards, Kat Dennings, who Mat and I both fancied as Jane's geeky friend, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Jaimie Alexander as Sif and Rene Russo as Frigga, who was... well, I didn't realise it was her, that's how good SHE was. And the beefcake male lead was appropriately beefcakey, and the Danish mentor-of-Jane guy kept reminding me of Jon Voight.

The costumes were AMAZING, as were the make-up and character effects. The ice giants were very well done. The cinematography was GORGEOUS. Brannagh has done a really good job of the direction, and it was the right film for him to direct, I think, and I hope like hell he does more Marvel movies; in fact, I go so far as to say he's the anti-Sam Raimi. Sam Raimi's Spiderman I was excited about having seen Evil Deads (obviously) and Darkman and such, and I didn't think that Spiderman had a Sam Raimi stamp on it at all (suspect there was some hand-tying, there, but...) whereas this? I was expecting pretty generic for some reason, but Brannagh's fingerprints were all over it.

So, all in all, on the whole Oh yeah, he's a Marvel and I'm a DC thing?

Might be starting to waver.

I mean, it's still not Batman, but...



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miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (Blogging: DreamSheep: Matrix)
Over the last two nights we've watched these two films, plus all the special features on the dvds. I think it's safe to say I've reached a conclusion about their relative merits.

Tron Legacy has better special effects, cooler motorbikes, better acting, arguably better gender representation (although arguably worse too in some respects - both feature women whose sole purpose is to service male characters, but at least in the sequel one of them gets to 1, kick some ass, and 2, teach the male lead something), and cost a metric fuckton more money. But Tron is a far more interesting film to watch.

Because of the way Tron was filmed, it really looks like the characters are filled with light. Tron legacy's suits are beautiful, but they look like suits. In the original the programs drink 'power' in liquid form, in the sequel they eat food like humans. In Tron, the geography is intentionally smooth and cgi-looking. In the sequel there are rugged rocks for ragged rascals to run round.

Tron Legacy doesn't capture the feeling of otherworldliness you get in the original because the designers have got so excited by how real you can make things look in cgi now that they forgot the world they are designing is not the real world. The system is a closed server that nobody has accessed since 1989; it's had no real world references to go by, and it's evolved. Ok, I can buy that. But what sort of paucity of imagination does it take to decide that an entirely closed off digital world would evolve to be so much like the real one? Why are planes that can spring into being from nothing restricted by the laws of physics? Why do the recognisers suddenly have engines that give off exhaust fumes? Why, in the name of cthulhu, WHY does it RAIN?

I have couple of problems with the script for Tron Legacy, and a few with the casting (Sam should TOTALLY have been a girl; would have changed the entire dynamic of the film), but the thing that totally ruined it for me was that they just made it look too damn real. For me, Tron Legacy symbolises all that is wrong with hollywood: you take a brilliant original idea, script a sequel by committee, take out all the bits that were unusual in case they scare anyone away, put in some hackneyed father/son bollocks that everyone has seen a thousand times before so that you can claim you have a plot, and then spend a fortune on effects and actors to try and entice people in.

To tell a story, first you have to have a story to tell. And Tron Legacy doesn't; at least, not one we haven't heard a dozen iterations of already. And, post-Matrix, realistic virtual worlds are pretty old hat. What Tron Legacy should have been is a glorious trip into unknown and unknowable worlds; what it was, despite some great acting and some really pretty if redundant effects, was both dull and frustrating.

The original, however, is a genuinely original and visually arresting film, plus it has david warner at his scenery-chewing best in it, and if you haven't seen it already, you should.

(composed on my phone - the same one sam flynn has in Tron Legacy, incidentally - so please be forgiving of missing capitals and typos and stuff)
miss_s_b: (Default)
I let Holly stay up a bit late tonight. We watched Mars Attacks! because it was on and she really loved it, which I am glad about because it is one of my favourite films.

She is convinced that all the Martians are female, which puts an interesting spin on the gender politics of the film, and she kept referring to the purple-cloaked martian leader as the Martian Princess. She loved the scene with Jack Nicholson's speech to the Princess, and big brave Byron. And she wants to watch it again LOL.

Good job I have the DVD somewhere...



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miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
Pete Postlethwaite is one of those British actors who you'll know the face of, even if you don't know his name. He's been in lots of very good films: Amistad, The Usual Suspects, In the Name of the Father. He passed away today after battling with cancer for a long while.

The reason he means a lot to me, personally, though, is his performance in the film Brassed Off. Brassed Off was initially marketed as a RomCom. And, to be fair to the marketers, it probably starts out that way. But it's so much more than that. If you've ever wanted to know how it felt to be a Yorkshire person in the late eighties/early nineties, if you've ever wondered why I struggled so hard with voting for the coalition we're now in, and why my fear and hatred of a Tory government is as blood and bone deep as it is, you should watch this film. But take some tissues. Sure, it starts of with dry Yorkshire wit and giggling over the RomComness between Ewan McGregor and Tara Fitzgerald... But it gets less and less funny as it goes on. It's the raw wounds of a county and a community laid bare for all to see, and Postlethwaite is the centre and heart of the film.

Postlethwaite got more and more politically active as he got older. An environmentalist and a humanitarian, he used to turn up at film premieres on his pushbike. I admire his principles, and his commitment. But most of all, I admire his Danny in Brassed Off.

Rest in peace, Pete.





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miss_s_b: (Mood: Progtastic!)
This afternoon [personal profile] magister and I went to see Tron Legacy in 3D.

I really rather liked it.

somewhat disjointed spoilers HO! )

Basically, it was very flawed, but it was fun.

You should see this film if:
  • You go ooooooooo at gorgeous design, because there is lots of it, even down to the glasses drinks are served in
  • You like Jeff Bridges
  • You think all geeks turn into hippies when they get old, because this affirms that view
  • You're amused by really bad anti-aging CGI
  • You want to see a really clunky metaphor about how Microsoft are bad and open source is good
You should NOT see this film if
  • You can see the Fed Ex arrow when it comes to female characters and this bothers you
  • you're expecting any kind of originality
  • you're expecting David Warner
  • You prefer depth of story over ooooo shiny
I reckon it's about 6/10



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miss_s_b: (Mood: Egotistical)
We ([personal profile] magister and I) are watching the film of Goldeneye, having been playing the Wii game all week. So far impressed at how much they have got the detail of the sets right in the game, still loving Boris like crazy, and wishing that they hadn't inserted Daniel Craig Bond into the game, because Brosnan is awesome. Not quite as awesome as Judi Dench M, but nearly.

The difference between the two men is that Brosnan is clearly dangerous and not afraid to do nasty things, with a big glossy coat of smooth over the top. Whereas Craig is just a brute. Brosnan has layers; Craig has a big slab. I don't care what anyone says, Brosnan is just better.

Perhaps it's that there's something in his body language that reminds me of Paddy...

Having said all that, playing multiplayer as Scaramanga and kicking Mat's arse as Xenia Onatopp was a lot of fun. Although he's had a lot more practise than me the last couple of days, so the rematch could be interesting...



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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Judge Death)
We watched this last night, having had it sat on the side for a week or so. I rented it because lots of people told me it was excellent, but then left it sat there, telling myself I needed to be in the right mood to watch a foriegn language film, that I could only watch it when able to concentrate, etc... Foriegn language films have a bigger mountain to climb with me than Anglophone ones.

somewhat spoilery review below the cut )

I'd fully recommend giving this film a viewing, if you can stomach the unflinching style of the gory bits. I'd give it 8/10. You can watch the trailer here.



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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Judge Death)
Century Falls confirmed me in my opinion of Russel T Davies. He has some bloody good ideas, but doesn't half string them together badly. It was nice to have a not-standardly-pretty female lead, and lots of female secondary characters. It passed the Bechdel Test with flying colours. But the dialogue was awful.

The Short films were something of a mixed bag. The Image was total bobbins, but vaguely interesting because it had David Bowie in it. The Cicerones was very atmospheric and felt very League of Gentlemen, but ultimately lacked a payoff. The Island had amazing sound design, but no story, and finished with a remake of the scene from the end of Red Dwarf: Better than Life, so all I could think was Our faces have been smeared with jam and we're about to be eaten alive by killer ants!!! which made me giggle rather than feel the fear. Killer Display clearly wanted to have Peter Cushing in it as the shopkeeper, and was OK. Salvage was a mash-up of Aliens, Event Horizon and lots of other space horror films, and involved much of the same team as Killer Display. Again, it was OK. I suspect that Joey Wong, in particular, is a name we're going to be seeing more of in future.

What to say, then, about the only remaining short film Arbeit Fur Alle (Full Employment)? Oh, it was amazing. It is certainly the best short film I have seen at one of these festivals since The Telltale Heart animation. I could pick holes: the solitary female character is a screamer who needs rescuing, for example. But I really don't want to because it was so utterly, magnificently awesome. I ain't going to spoil it for you, which means I am not going to post the trailer I found on YouTube because it's spoilerific, but if you get the change to see the whole thing, you really should. It's fabulous.

Next up for me was Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General. I've seen it before, obvs, being a huge Vinny P fan, but never on the big screen. It's not a standard Vincent Price film. Aside from the Wilfrid Bramble's cameo (Witchfinder are you? Oooo that's nice), not one frame of it is played for laughs. It's a harrowing proper horror film. Price's performance is the antithesis of, say, Theatre of Blood - he dials it right down, and does actual proper acting. He plays an unrelenting cold-eyed murdering sociopathis rapist, and it's very unsettling. If you're a genre fan and you get the chance to see this on the big screen you totally should.

We ended the day with Psycho. Again, this is a film I am very familiar with but had never seen on the big screen. Before the film itself we were treated to an original trailer, in which Alfred Hitchcock gave us a tour of the set and was totally playing it for laughs. And then the film itself... The print was absolutely beautiful; a crisp, clean digital print. I'm not going to go into the story because everybody knows it, but seeing it in a cinema as it was meant to be was an immense experience. Hitchcock is an absolute master at drawing you in and messing with your head, and this is one of his best films. Anthony Perkins is brilliant as Norman, but there's not really a dud performance in it. The music is jarring and effective. The camerawork and lighting are stellar... It fully derserves it's reputation as a classic of the genre.

Let's see, then, what today brings...



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About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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