Film: Django Unchained – “I don’t know what positive means”

As with most aspects of modern pop culture Quentin Tarantino can be rather divisive; some people are very enthusiastic about this work, others are less so.

Personally I liked the overdose of pop cultural irrelevance mixed with artfully stylised violence of ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘True Romance’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’. Even ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ had a disposable watchability about it

django unchained

However I find that I’m increasingly indifferent to his later output, with ‘Django Unchained’ being a good example of why; almost of the characters outside of the two leads lack depth or any sense of real dimension, the dialogue feels like it was written purely to be performed – it doesn’t tell you much of value and it’s hard to imagine natural conversation flowing in the way that Tarantino seems to think it does.

Some people have hailed ‘Django Unchained’ as being a powerful piece of cinema that showcases the brutality of slavery – I was pretty happy in the knowledge that slavery was bad before I watched the film so maybe I wasn’t the target audience.

Watching the film did permit me to see Tarantino’s usual mix of unpleasant scenes, emotional set pieces (generally from underwritten female roles) and lots of dead people. The ridiculous overuse of squibs in the final act was noteworthy and probably meant to be humorous, however it got to the point of feeling overblown and silly.

However it was a lot better than ‘Death Proof’

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Film: Alice In Wonderland (2010) – “You’ve lost your muchness”

‘Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ was a book that I grew up with and that I do still like – despite the numerous things that can be inferred into it with a more adult mind and less trusting times.

What is most curious about the film is the focus on the Hatter, this might be because Johnny Depp has star power, however it does mean poor Alice seems most overshadowed at times in her own story.

The way that Johnny opted to play Hatter, or maybe the way the script directed him to play it, is actually very creepy – even by the high standards set by villains in children’s films for example Judge Doom in ‘Who Framed Rodger Rabbit’.

judge doom

(Photo from Disney wiki )

The split personality and intense anger in this Hatter does make him seem worrying plausible as someone who could be brought up on domestic abuse charges . I am also unsure how a PG rated film gets to have a moat filled with dead people’s heads, yet it does

The visual are pretty, the plot passable and the difference in eyebrow thickness between the ladies is very distracting

On a happier note Stephen Fry makes a wonderful voice for the Cheshire Cat and Alan Rickman makes for a happily vague Absolem,

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Film: ‘G.I. Joe Retaliation – Right now they are a riot with a zipcode”

It’s perhaps a warning sign when The Rock Dwayne Johnson appears to be the best actor in a film, however as I have no fond childhood memories of the G.I. Joe cartoons or toys there is nothing for this film to ruin for me.

Which I am thankful for as it has a poor plot even for a large budget action film – basically the Presidential twist from the end of the first film is still in place, Storm Shadow is a bad ninja – except until he decides not to be and dropping over-sized nails from space is a superweapon.

It’s not a very exciting superweapon, at least Bond films have proper bad guys with silly planet-threatening weapons

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Film: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Tuesday are films and today a bit of a confession; I used to watch art house and subtitled films, I think that I used to like them however I really don’t seem to get on with them now

I watched all 120 minutes of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ was bored and irritated that no one would kill Jen Yu despite it making perfect sense to do so at the earliest opportunity.  The only thing that kept me watching was the memory of a really cool fight scene, a fight scene that turned out to be in a totally different film entirely.

house of flying daggers

(Still from ‘The House of Flying Daggers’)

Although it must be said that ‘The House of Flying Daggers’ also sucks apart from that one scene.

My younger self would be horrified that the other day I did enjoy watching ‘Bad Boys 2’ because it was so bad that it was funny, overlong but funny.

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Film: Debug – Science fiction on a low budget

‘Deug’ is a lame space film which feels like a very budget homage to ‘Event Horizon’ Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from Game Of Thrones) is an insane computer programme who kills the stupid teenagers who land on his spaceship.

It is a very dull and predictable film with no redeeming features.

Debug

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Film: ‘St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold’ – “Others have greatness thrust upon them, like Monica Lewinsky.”

The first of the new St Trinian’s films was mildly amusing – it isn’t good but it aims for easy lowbrow laughs and largely succeeds.

The second was on Film4 and I rashly felt it might be worth taping. It was awful, pointless, dry and cringe-inducing.

It was also remarkably sexist for a film that painted the bad guys as being members of an anti-women secret society.

I can only hope that the planned 3rd film in this St Trinian’s reboot was reconsidered after this festering pile of sexist trash.

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