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Thursday 7 June 2012

Recently Watched

Even though I watched the entire series of Revenge, finished the first series of New Girl (Oh Zooey, so delightfully kooky) and am almost through season 5 of Mad Men (only 13 episodes, why?!! I need more!!), I also managed to squeeze the above four films into my viewing.

1) War of the Dead. HTB told me this was a Nazi-zombie movie, so I was fairly excited. The words Nazi and zombie together seemed like the ideal combination...for a horror, obviously, not just for life in general cause that'd be awful. Anyway I was wrong. Aside from the fact that this is actually about Russian soldiers, captured and experimented on by Nazi doctors and turned into zombies, rather than Nazi zombies themselves, it's also brutal. Brutal in the sense of- it's a terrible movie, rather than it's so amazingly zombie-tasticly brutal. I stopped paying attention about 5 minutes in, HTB left to make a phone call, so neither of us actually knows what happened. But that's no great loss.

2) Prometheus. Not quite a prequel to Alien, Ridley Scott (Director of Alien, Blade Runner and this) said that while the events in this occur chronologically before Alien, and exist in the same universe, it's not directly linked to the Alien franchise. So basically, if you go expecting Alien you'll be disappointed. However, on its own merit, this is a really good scifi/horror. The acting is excellent (Michael Fassbender- amazing as always, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Noomi Rapace- all brilliant) and the 3d is really well executed- not just tacked onto the end like a lot of 3d movies. There's plenty of hide-behind-your-hands moments of terror (those Aliens are vicious) so if you're not a big fan of gore, this isn't one for you. Personally, I loved it! Yay for gore!

3) Snow White and the Huntsman. This had so much potential. A darker retelling of the well known fairytale where Snow White is a kick-ass warrior, winning her kingdom back from the evil but beautiful Queen...this unfortunately didn't translate that well on screen. Firstly cause Kristen Stewart is in it and I find her a tad irritating. She tried God love her, but her acting was still pretty poor. Charlize is amazing in this- stunningly beautiful and deliciously evil, completely over the top but in keeping with the part. Chris Hemsworth is the Huntsman, and doesn't do too bad a job apart from his attempt at a Scottish accent that veered dangerously between Bobby Sands, Crocodile Dundee and Groundskeeper Willie. There are some beautiful CGI generated scenes in this that make it very aesthetically pleasing and the 7 dwarves are highly entertaining. What lets this down though is that it doesn't really go anywhere- there's a vague nod to a potential love triangle that doesn't materialise, a battle scene that wasn't very exciting and an ending that felt completely out of the blue. Another thing that annoyed me is the blatant attempt at using feminism to sell the movie- a lot of the press surrounding this made a real effort to convince viewers that this is all about female empowerment and granted, two of the strongest characters in it are female but it just felt incredibly forced to me- like the Spice Girls shoving Girl Power down our throats using precarious trainer/platforms and skimpy union jack dresses. Basically, I just felt it didn't work- I don't think Kristen Stewart can pack enough of a punch literally or figuratively speaking to be a female role model and the evil Queen, although super strong and powerful, fails in this regard too as her main obsession is with avoiding the ageing process and remaining beautiful at all costs, rather than wanting to be powerful just for the sake of it. Cause you know, remaining attractive is every woman's lifelong obsesson. Gah.

4) Shame. Another amazing performance from Fassbender (or Ridebender as I like to affectionately refer to him as), playing a sex addict complete with a dysfunctional relationship with his sister (also an excellent performance from Carey Mulligan, who demonstrates her beautiful singing voice too). This was quite difficult viewing, I have to say. It really explores the levels of degradation that someone with a severe addiction will go to to get their fix. Having said that, it's beautifully shot and as I said, the acting is superb. This is one of those ones I think everyone should see. Shame (pun intended) on the Oscars committee who failed to nominate this film and those involved, I say. If raw and gritty emotional drama isn't your style then best avoid this one. If, however, Fassbender in the complete nip is your style (and God knows, it should be) then this is for you! Yay!

Happy viewing!

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