Good fun and definitely rewatchable zombie comedy. I am still unsure whether I find this or Shaun of the dead a better zom-com (although I still would take Dr S Battles The Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies over both of them).
An absolutely blinding title sequence and a fair hit count of good laughs helped me to enjoy this film a lot at the cinema and at times, it does look gorgeous, but I found it hard to escape the feeling that Jesse Eisenberg was essentially playing Michael Cera. While he did a decent job of this it felt a bit strange given that I was already getting a feeling of overkill with Michael Cera playing Michael Cera in his films.
By now everyone should know about the cameo, but I have to admit – I found it a massive disappointment. It is so forced and the only laugh it gave me (which was probably the biggest laugh to be fair) was in the character’s eventual death. The film is the perfect length so that it doesn’t feel too long and it’s great to see that a director can show restraint and knows when to finish a film before it gets too stale.
Overall, this film is definitely in my top 3 comedy films of 2009 and I highly recommend it, although at times the gags can be hit and miss possibly due to the high gag count. It looks really good for a comedy film and shows some moments of ingenuity, but may be guilty of trying to many tricks to gain it’s own style.
Michael Haneke’s Palme D’Or 2009 winner also came very high in a large number of film critics films of the decade. The plot of the film involves a school teacher recalling memories of the year that he met his fiancee, where a number of strange occurrences take place in a German village during the twelve months between July 1913 and 1914..
As seems to be the case with Haneke’s films, White Ribbon can be described as both ‘violent’, but also ‘subtle’. I recently decided to rewatch Cache, another Haneke film starring my favourite foreign actor and actress, Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. On first watch I didn’t enjoy the film but I decided to rewatch because I realised I had missed a hell of a lot of the plot because a lot of things happen in the background, and unlike a Hollywood film, isn’t telegraphed. I expect White Ribbon to be similar to Cache in that respect and Haneke is definitely a director that commands attention.
I managed to catch this at the fantastic Hyde Park Picture House (my favourite UK cinema ever) late last year and while the movie is watchable, it is far from a great film. Paul Giamatti plays Paul Giamatti preparing for the Chekhov play “Uncle Vanya”. To deal with his growing anxiety regarding the role, he decides to follow up an advert in a newspaper to store his soul in a storage facility until the play is over. The plot is amazingly high concept, but it just doesn’t seem to work. It tries to be subtle, but then hammers home some comedy elements (as though the writer was questioning the audiences’ intelligence). Also, rare for a Paul Giamatti film, he is guilty of some horrific overacting.
In summary, despite a great concept, the film never lives up to its premise. Cold Souls tries to be intelligent, but doesn’t have the brains that it thinks it has.
Also out this week: A Serious Man – Survival of the Dead – Paranormal Entity
Matt Damon for Invictus
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer for The Insider
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
A few months ago, this would have been a serious race between two of the contenders. Really, up until anyone with a Twitter or blog saw The Lovely Bones, Stanley Tucci was the major frontrunner to take the prize. After seeing that performance, I would argue strongly for his inclusion, but for his role in Julie & Julia instead. Due to the poor reviews for Peter Jackson’s horrendous film, Tucci will have to give up his leading place in the category to Mr Waltz.
There have been a few times when Tom and I have wondered how easy it must be to make a film these days. Quite often we can have little brainstorming sessions wherein we create masterpiece after masterpiece so we decided to start sharing these little exchanges. Starting from today The Movie Overdose is proud to present a new series of articles that will give you a glimpse into the wonderful world of two of potentially the most awful film producers ever…
This week we present to you a bold re-imagining of Andrei Tarkovsky’s seminal science fiction masterpiece, Stalker.
Tom: still could have done with a bullet-time gun battle with aliens at the end
wonder if Paul W.S. Anderson has thought about remaking it
John: you live to torment me, don’t you tom?
Tom: Woody Harrelson as the Stalker (as that Russian guy reminded me of him)
John: i’ll give you that one
nic cage as the Scientist
Tom: now you’re on board!
John: not sure about Writer
Tom: he can die early on. The Zone can be filled with literal traps. maybe he steps on a disintegration bomb
it’ll be called Stalker: Get In The Zone
John: yes yes yes
like Cube but in a field
Tom: yeah. with a bit of Labyrinth
set it in the US. no one knows where Russia is these days
Tom: also the scientist is evil and he wishes to transform into a CGI monster
John: stalker’s wife Charlize Theron follows him into the Zone
also, the meat grinder is an actual meat grinder
everyone is telekinetic in the zone
Tom: it has to be guarded by some creatures too
John: bad shadow creatures like the stuff out of The Darkness
i’ve got it
the zone is the result of an experiment with alien technology GONE WRONG
the person now in control of the zone is an evil scientist
ladies and gentlemen
Tom: AND the Stalker was one of those aliens but got amnesia. that’s why he knows the terrain so well because HE WAS BORN THERE
John: he’s also dead
like a thetan
got to get some kind of Scientology slant in there somehow