July has been a big month of cinema going in the Day/Highwater households, we’ve managed to rack up five movies which on our limited budgets is quite impressive. I am a film fan under any circumstances, I will happily watch at home, on my ipod when I am out and about, on a tiny screen with no leg room on board planes but for me nothing beats the cinema. When you actually take the time to pay to see a film on the big screen it is not just about watching the movie but about the whole experience – the smell of popcorn, the darkened room, the icy drink which is consumed before the film even starts…
And it is not just the added extras that you don’t get in your own home, the majority movies are made to be shown on the big screen, the experience is so much more immersive that way. I don’t have the best of attention spans, if I am watching a movie at home it is rare for me to sit there and give it my full focus. Even if I am really enjoying it there are distractions but when I am at the cinema I am fixated, the screen is my focus and the rest of the world may as well not exist.
On to the movies I have seen this month, it’s been a bit of a mixed bunch, two I have big love for, two I could have lived without seeing and one would have been so so except for my love of the cast. I’m not a terribly good critic because I am most of the time quite busy being massively impressed that people manage to make films and have them put up on the big screen. Even if I don’t like the film making it in the first place is a huge achievement so I try to be respectful
The English language remake of a french farce it has the charm and warmth for which they are known but it’s let down by a poor script. I adore Emily Blunt anyway and doubly so in this movie, I wish I owned all the clothes in her wardrobe, Bill Nighy is another favourite of mine and again I think he is brilliant in this film, he pulls of the characters peccadilloes perfectly. The third player in this farce is Rupert Grint who I feel proves here that of all the Harry Potter graduates he has the brightest future.
Nighy’s character, Victor Maynard is an assassin descended from a line of assassins and at the top of his game until he is hired to kill Rose (Blunt). A quirky, flighty, klepto she sends his life spinning off course but as is the way with these things it is when you deviate from your intended path that you really start to live. Well worth watching if you you are more interested in character dynamics than big thrills.
I am a fully paid up member of the splat pack appreciation society but I wasn’t very impressed by this offering. An ex con desperate to repay his ex-wife’s debt before she has to flee taking his child with her breaks into the home of his employer intending to steal a valuable diamond. unbeknownst to him the house has also been targeted by another and is filled with traps. My problem with the film is that it was plain lazy, whereas other movies from this generation of directors such as the Saw movies and Eli Roth’s Hostel I and II are clever and have a discernible point to them The Collector is riddled with holes. The traps are on occasion ingenious and there is blood aplenty but it just left me cold. Characterisation might not be the most important thing when making a horror movie but it helps if the audience feel something towards the characters so that they either root for there survival or secretly and somewhat guilty revel in their fate. The majority of people do not enjoy real violence but enjoying it in a film is another matter, it’s fake and you can therefore enjoy it and in a perverse way deal with your own fears through it. For me The Collector was a big let down, but then again how many box office movies have I made?
This is always going to be a bit of a marmite (English for you will love it or hate it) movie, if you are vehemently anti the Twilight Saga then of course you are not going to enjoy it because you will not be able to get passed the fact that this is part of the saga; and that’s a shame because yes, this is a Twilight movie but it is also superbly directed, well adapted and the best so far. David Slade has form when it comes to vamp movies, he directed 30 Days of Night, he also directed the superb and massively disturbing Hard Candy which was one of the first movies Ellen Page starred in and you can see how his somewhat darker vision has given this film an edge the previous two were lacking. The brilliance of this film is not all down to the direction though, the plot is strongest in this movie too, it makes far greater use of previously underutilised talents Jackson Rathbone and Nikki Reed showing us there back story and therefore interestingly letting us in on the inner turmoil of the undead. It is also at times a very funny movie, there are some laugh out loud moments and also some where you will cringe with embarrassment along with the characters, the joy of the parental sex talk… If you are a twilight fan or at least open to the fact that there might be more too it than screaming teenagers and over excited housewives drawling over Taylor Lautner (cougar town much!) then give this movie a go.
Part of my film thesis was about hyperbolic masculinity in 1980’s action movies so I have watched the original Predator and loved but I always viewed it as a bit tongue in check, lasers which look like someone has drawn on the screen in red pen and the heat cloaking powers of mud were brilliant at the time and in retrospect brilliant because they are so of the time but film techniques have moved on and Predators instead of just paying homage to it’s predecessor has for me consumed and reproduced it’s fatal flaws. I like sci-fi, I like action, I love the Adrien Brody gun show (what happened there? What happened to the beautiful skinny toned man of The Darjeeling Limited?) but I just didn’t get this movie. It didn’t have a beginning, much of a middle or an ending but the I guess we are pretty much guaranteed a sequel so why bother….
The fifth film of the month was Inception but that gets a whole blog unto itself.