Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Attack the Block (2011)

Director: Joe Cornish
Writer:    Joe Cornish
Cast:      John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost, Alex Ismail
'Attack the Block' is the directorial debut of writer Joe Cornish in which a teen gang in south London defend their block from an alien invasion. Its a genre film bordering on the the style of B films of old. Its an action comedy but the amount of comedy you would expect is not met. Initially I was put off by the cringe worthy script but the film improves as it goes on. The action sequences are done very well with great soundtrack to back it up.

It would have been interesting the reaction the film would have got if it was released after the London riots.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Tree of Life (2011)

Director: Terrence Malick
Writer:    Terrence Malick
Cast:      Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken
Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winning 'The Tree of Life' is a meditative film chronicling the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with stunning visuals of the origin of the Universe and inception of life on earth. It should be watched in HD and is the most stunning piece of visuals I have seen (Yes it surpasses 2001: A Space Odyssey). The narrative is a bit complex but after the first hour its pretty straightforward.

Its  not for everyone and unsurprisingly it didn't do well in box office. Who cares as long as Malick finds money for his next venture. He is being more prolific these days with two films in the pipeline. The second one is called 'Voyage of Time' and Brad Pitt and Emma Thompson doing the narration. Its an examination of the birth and death of the universe and will be using the footage they shot for 'The Tree of Life'.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

J. Edgar (2011)

Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer:    Dustin Lance Black
Cast:      Leonardo Dicaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts
J.Edgar is a biopic of the former FBI director J.Edgar Hoover, who was feared and admired, reviled and revered. Behind closed doors he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, career and life. Film is set for release by January 2012.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gattaca (1997)

Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer:    Andrew Niccol
Cast:      Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman
Ethan Hawke plays the role of a genetically inferior man (naturally conceived with love) who assumes the role of a superior in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel. Things get a little more complicated when a murder occurs just a week before his voyage.

Its a good old school sci-fi film and shows a world which is driven by eugenics. It didn't do well in the box office.

Rating: 3.5/5

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers:  Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess (Novel)
Cast:      Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
In future Britian, a charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed for a murder. He volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problems...but not all goes to plan.

Some elements of Nature vs. Nurture debate is handled in film and its essentially a satire on liberal and non-liberal attitudes to dealing with crime. The conservative government borders on being a totalitarian regime which thinks criminals can be treated by what essentially is a torture technique which takes away the moral choice away from the subject. They want to free up space in jails and save money, leaving prisons free for locking up political prisoners.

McDowell is excellent in the title role and as always the sets are colors are stunning as in a Kubrick film. It was banned in England following some criminal incidents that was thought to be inspired from the film. Kubrick requested Warner brothers to take the film off from cinema and such was Kubrick's power over them that they relented. It was re released years later.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Director: Edgar Wright
Writers:  Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright, Bryan Lee O'Malley
Cast:      Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin,Jason Scwartzman
Scott Pilgrim (Cera) must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. The film is very funny and visually stunning with its video game looks and witty script. Its didn't do well when it got released but has been a hit on the DVD Blu Ray market.