Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Some very good and some exceptionally bad, if not downright ugly.

Burn After Reading (***)

Burn After Reading, the Coen Brothers' new comedy, certainly has its moments, Malkovich in particular is fun, but the overfamiliar cast and disjointed narrative make it less than the sum of its good parts

Henry Poole Is Here (**)
worthy and competently executed indie film, but the message and symbolism is so soppy, overcooked and clawing that the entire premise is fatally undermined

Red (*****)
follows the form of a good western, a simple (yet never simplistic) film with a well told narrative and superb performances - and it's as good as almost anything I've seen this year; an old man (played by the redoubtable Brian Cox) whose dog, Red, is shot by some teenage youths looks for some kind of justice

Dance Of The Dead (*)
rubbish teen zombie comedy

Cobardes (****)
high quality drama from Spain about a boy getting bullied at school: sensitive and genuinely empathic treatment of various permutations of adult/child and child/child relationships in several touching yet unsentimental subplots that are never confusing

Step Brothers (*)

spectacularly unfunny

Good Time Max (*)
if the director of this indie rubbish had spent more time at film school studying the construction of say, Hitchcock's classics, and stopped worrying about how to design 'edgy' opening credits, then this just might be worth watching - as it is, it isn't (at all)

Up The Yangtze (****)
always absorbing documentary, the last few minutes of which are, as you see the waters rising, simply staggering

The Midnight Meat Train (*)
Clive Barker has now been added to my list headed by Stephen King, 'Horror Author Movie Adaptations To Avoid At All Costs': a truly atrocious film by Ryuhei Kitamura (and, sad to say, more evidence of how bad Japanese cinema has been now for well over a decade), most shocking here is that the laughable Vinnie Jones can't even act in a part without a single word of dialogue (not that Brooke Shields and the rest of the cast fare much better)


SenzuriChampion said...

Really, how does a busy and involved man such as yourself have time to sit through "Step Brothers"?

William Bennett said...

you're absolutely right, and I'd said from the beginning it was a terrible mistake...

Richard Molyneux said...

‘Midnight Meat Train’ was given a hearty 1/10 by everyone I know. I hope to redeem myself with a few decent movies I have seen recently (most not current)

Singapore Sling 8/10 (Pretty much appealed to me on every level)
Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh 7/10 (Recently re-discovered the Gaillo genre and the beautiful Edwige Fenech)
Let the Right One In 9/10 (this Swedish movie is just brilliant)
The Objective 5/10 (mediocre sci-fi Horror drama based in Afghanistan)
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired 7/10

Mark said...

Step brothers is far from perfect, yet that "Boats n' Hoes" video is a cinematic treasure. "Deadliest catch without the crabs." -Rimbaud would be envious.

And the 2 sleepwalking scenes were a metaphor for our culture's ambien addiction.

Mark said...

Did you notice in Midnight Meat Train that there was an article about that girl being missing in the morning paper like 3 hours after she got on the titular train?