Thursday, July 09, 2009


In The Loop (****)
unthinkable: a UK comedy that's funny - unrelenting searing humour thanks to the genial writing skills of Armando Ianucci; fantastic cast with stand-out performances from James Gandolfini and Peter Capaldi - on the downside, there's a pointless tacked-on subplot so that Steve Coogan can cadge a role, but it detracts little from In The Loop's overall excellence

The Haunting in Connecticut (*)
any supernatural film requires a higher qualitative threshold for one to willing suspend disbelief, and since there's so very little to commend in this B-movie retelling of a so-called 'true story', and the mediocre cast have so little to give of themselves, it quickly veers into the unwelcome realm of derivative nonsense

Look (*****)
that Look is entirely made up of enacted CCTV footage is a surprisingly effective gimmick; it's also a measure of how inured we are to this format that within 10 minutes or so you barely even notice; the film itself is a series of loosely connected interweaving subplots, many of whose scenes are occasionally miss rather than hit, yet the good bits are extraordinarily effective, and their ultimate effectiveness creep up on you unawares to the point of eventually becoming moving and shocking, and that is in part due to the unsettling and desensitising effect of our own distant voyeurism

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (**)
most heavy metal documentary reviews tend to have a reference along the lines of 'like a real Spinal Tap': personally, I see it the other way round: Spinal Tap represents the real heavy metal, the real model other metal bands aspire to, desirous as they are of living the perfect rock fantasy that belongs in the enduring teenage mind of the middle-aged male; Maiden's members come across as rather dull but decent enough guys, and do show incredible diligence towards their legions of worshipping
almost exclusively male fanatics from all around the world - but their music seems to me, even by metal's conformist standards, so unremittingly dreary and one-paced, and beyond that the most drama we get to see in this boring film of this tiresome world tour is a minor accident to Nicko McBrain relaxing on the fucking golf course

The Last House On The Left (2009) (*)
for ten minutes of decent character-building your hopes are raised, but gradually as the frequency of the vertiginously stupid directorial decisions accelerates, you sink despairingly into the realisation of its lacking even the basic entertainment value of Wes Craven's otherwise crap original

Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) (*****)
it's depressing how this medieval tale has degenerated via Wes Craven and the recent remake into a crude revenge narrative, one bereft of emotional impact - Bergman directs this beautiful, yet shocking, story and does it complete justice with his masterfully elegant and sophisticated touch

Surveillance (*)
it might be time to reappraise the career of David Lynch for this crime of offering his daughter the reins to direct another film - a blatant gesture of nepotism which heaps embarrassment on the family name with this spectacularly cack-handed attempt at a Twin Peaks

La Donna Nel Mondo (Women Of The World) (**)
mixed bag of footage from around the world, some (but not all) of which is eminently watchable; however, it is certainly not as cohesive a film as it might have been - one for the Jacopetti completists amongst us

1 comment:

Wrongly Wired said...

In the loop was the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. Thanks for the tip