Wednesday, October 8, 2014

September in Review

I know I'm late with this but here's my wrap up for the month of September. If you were a follower of my Twitter film reviews you'll know I'm always mixing it up variety of genres when it comes to my movie watching habits. These 1-2 sentence reviews are mine from the most poorly maintained social media site on the web, 'miso'. Hopefully I'll be on time this month but until then, happy reading! 

Fargo (1996) 
A darkly comedic thriller with a peculiar homely atmosphere that stands as one of the most definitive films by the Coen brothers. With a unique and unconventional plot mixed with witty dialogue from a series of odd characters, it's highly entertaining. [October 1st]

RoboCop (1987)
An experientially well made sci-fi action film that still impressed to this day. Filled with many clever moments social satire, much of which is still relevant. It's offers a rather grim look at the consequences of a city being run by a mega corporation. [September 1st]

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012)
Catering to fans young and old this mature animated feature realistically confronts our hero with his own mortality while still delivering what one would usually expect in regards to action and plot. Although voice acting is very hit and miss. [September 3rd]

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)
Taking a much darker turn and delivering a lot for it's short run time, it's a satisfying conclusion filled with social and political satire making it enjoyable on multiple levels. Animation is simple in style but very suitable. [September 3rd]

Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
An absurd comedy taking place its own universe that's full of rich, colour characters and the most witty of one liners. Visually it's an impressive work of art. Every shot framed perfectly, each appearing like a priceless painting. [September 4th]

Race with the Devil (1975) - Full Review!
What begins as a carefree road trip suddenly turns into a seemingly endless nightmare driven by fear and paranoia. The simple premise is effective with realistic reactions from the central characters as they discover that evil is never far behind. [September 6th]

3 Women (1977)
A hypnotic dream-like piece filled with striking symbolism that uses the setting of an underpopulated desert community as a metaphor for human isolation and the desperation for social acceptance. Well-crafted and ambiguous. [September 6th]

Hunger (2008)
A shockingly graphic and confronting drama that to great effect relies mainly on disturbing imagery and precise camera work to tell its harrowing story. The many lingering shots give the audience a very realistic perspective of events. [September 7th]

A History of Violence (2005)
An intelligent thriller depicting violence in a most realistic sense and it's effects on those affiliated. Making the point that one can never escape their past when acts of violence are involved. Worth watching for Viggo Mortensen's transformation alone. [September 9th]

Night Movies (2013)
A very subdued drama with a strong environmental theme. Opposing viewpoints are briefly expressed along with an anti-extremist message that's realistically shown through the lead character. The simplistic style of filming adds a natural quality. [September 10th]

Reign of Fire (2002)
A unique premise of medieval folklore woven into a post-apocalyptic setting that's highly entertaining with many exciting action sequences. Despite some clumsy dialogue it's a terrific popcorn flick with impressive CGI that holds up well today. [September 12th]

The Iceman (2012)
Inaccuracies to the story aside this is an intriguing biography about the disturbingly stark contrast between one man's personal and professional life. Although it feels rushed in places, it's well structured and performances are menacing. [September 15th]

We Were Soldiers (2002)
An annoyingly patronizing and generalised account of events that resorts to a number of cliché's associated with the genre. Performances are hit and miss however the many battle scenes are intense and extremely graphic. [September 16th]

Desperate Man Blues (2003)
A candid portrait of an individual who's passion and enthusiasm for what he does demands admiration. And the tireless efforts to preserve what other wise would have most likely been lost to ravages of time should be applauded. [September 18th]

Battleship (2012)
If you're just after a ton on mindless action this will aim to please in what I can see becoming a popular guilty pleasure flick. The many flaws aside it's a nice little throw back to the countless B grade alien invasion films of the 1950s. [September 21st]

The Station Agent (2003) 
A genuinely heart-warming story about acceptance and healing through human intimacy. The interactions between the central characters are realistic, each character representing a significant emotional theme. [September 22nd]

Once Were Warriors (1994)
A confronting urban drama that revolves around a Maori family bedeviled by violence, social restraints and rejection. It's gritty realistic nature will disturb viewers but will also inspire with it's use of an ancestral motif. [September 24th]

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)
A candid reflection on the making of a film that was plagued by numerous problems, causing enormous strain on its director Francis Ford Coppola. The troubled production in some ways almost became a reflection of the film’s dark story. [September 25th]

Apocalypse Now (1979)
A seemingly endless and hostile journey up river that acts a metaphor for the dark journey deep into a man's soul in what is a highly sensory and chaotic depiction of the Vietnam War. The stunning cinematography makes for a surreal viewing experience. [September 25th]

My Top Ten Picks!
1. The Station Agent (2003)
2. 3 Women (1977)
3. Hunger (2008)
4. Race with the Devil (1975)
5. Fargo (1996)
6. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
8. Night Moves (2013)
9. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012)
10. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)

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