2012 so far….

Bombay Beach (Alma Har’el, 2011, USA)

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


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