While blowing off the dust of this here blog, i’ve decided to collate some of my Tweet reviews of films released last year, for my benefit, if no-one else’s:
UK 2011 releases
ATTACK THE BLOCK (C-) Blockploitation? Too shy of laughs or scares to satisfy on either count, though a ragged charm lurks in the shadows
ATTENBERG (B-/C+) Not so much Son of Dogtooth as its morbid, mischievous niece. Troubling and amusing in equal measure, if undercooked.
THE AWAKENING (C+) Fastidiously tape-measured Gothic goings-on; ornate, but stuck in too high a gear too early on, cramping emotional breathing space.
THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 (B-) Searing slice of History From Below necessarily lacks breadth but powerful time capsule footage jolts
BRIDESMAIDS (C+) Overlong, meandering & visually flat, though comedy hits as much as it misses & Wiig delivers an affecting sense of pathos.
CONTAGION (C+) No little skill in the flow of ensemble narrative, but focus on the intimate feels somehow cold & depletes meta-urgency
COWBOYS & ALIENS (C-) Admirably straight-faced in the face of po-mo smuggery, but ought to put a ‘Wanted’ poster up for conspicuously absent laughs. Ensemble cast as wasted as that title.
THE FUTURE (A?/B?/D?) July’s world (bravely/cloyingly, to taste) entirely composed of affectation, with BIG THINGS to say to very few people
THE DEEP BLUE SEA (B-) Faithful to the stillness & tumult of the Rattigan, if encumbered by its limitations. Weisz its tempestuous heartbeat.
THE GUARD (B-) Visual wit, zinger-laden dialogue & a delightful Gleeson amply cover minor shortcomings. If only Hot Fuzz had been 92mins…
THE HOUSEMAID (2010, C-) Stylish, steamy psycho-soap, tho visual sumptuousness a distraction & satire effete. Last reel surrealism v odd
HORRIBLE BOSSES (D+) Well, I laughed a handful of times (mostly Farrell), and it’s not *that* misogynistic. Is that enough these days? Bosses ought to have been more horrible.
HUGO (C-) Like its stony-faced automaton, it’s striking, but clunky & in need of a heart. Less a love letter to cinema than a glossy brochure for the World Cinema Foundation.
MARGARET (B+) No wonder we had to wait so long! Capricious tonal short-shifting scene-to-scene makes this surely a editing job worthy of Sisyphus
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (D+) Idea for a sequel: set in 2091, struggling director travels back to 2011, comes across Allen, Bruni & Wilson, finds no inspiration.
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (B-) Solid, well paced unpretentious B-movie-ish fluff, though simian cast excel better than a rather lost looking Franco & Pinto
SEEKING JUSTICE (D-) Formulaic, forgettable Nic Cage hokum, not so much phoned in as rung thru to a bland, generic answerphone message
THE SKIN I LIVE IN (C-) Customary Almodóvarian flourishes, but weighed down by overstuffed, cumbersome narrative which undermines the chills
SNOWTOWN (A-) Doesn’t so much get under the skin than perform an all-over body excoriation. Horrifying, clincally precise & utterly draining.
SUPER 8 (C+) I Love The 1970s over-cramming aside it’s perfectly serviceable, though it’s a shame Abrams didn’t set his aim higher than fairly straight Spielberg Xeroxing
X MEN: FIRST CLASS (C+) Second-class origins tale cf Abrams’ Star Trek; too much X-Club Juniors, at expense of intriguing Fassy/McAvoy axis