(I try to post reviews of all the films I watch over on letterboxd Here are the most recent reviews I’ve written)
The Inbetweeners – ★ ½
I’m not sure the makers of this movie meant to channel Waiting for Godot, but that’s exactly what it reminded me of in places. Someone said that the Beckett play was one in which nothing happens, twice. Well, The Inbetweeners 2 is a film where nothing happens for forty-five minutes, then someone gets hit in the face with a lump of shit, then nothing happens again for another forty-five minutes.
If it wasn’t for the ten-second awob-a-bob-bob scene, there’d be nothing redeeming about this film.
Chef – ★ ★
Chef felt like Jon Favreau trying desperately to recreate the light, breezy feeling of Swingers. Instead, we get a film that breaks down halfway under the weight of its own self indulgence and we’re left with a film where Favreau has Sophia Vergara as an ex-wife and Scarlett Johansson as a girlfriend and where it’s apparently okay for two middle-aged men to sing “Sexual Healing” to a child they’ve locked in a van.
Pride – ★ ★ ★ ★
So the story of Pride might be told in broadest possible strokes, right down to the evil, cackling neighbour that bordered on panto-villain ridiculous. But despite this, it’s still the most wonderful, joyful film I’ve seen all year.
(Update Wed, 8th October: As usual, my wife and I don’t agree)
Dark Skies – ★ ★
There’s hardly a single original thought in Dark Skies. Almost every scene has been lifted wholesale from other films. The usual suspects – a bit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a little of Signs, and even some of The Exorcist thrown in for good measure. This wouldn’t in itself be a bad thing except the film is just lifting them as if it’s ticking off a list of scenes it feels it needs to have. As a result, it tries to create an atmosphere of tension that climaxes about halfway through the film. Then, having painted itself into a corner, it then decides to lift from Poltergeist with J.K. Simmons in the Tangina role.
Dredd – ★ ★ ★ ★
Watching this film again, I was impressed that they managed to take an off-the-shelf action setup AND YET make it into a great Judge Dredd film AND YET keep it true to its comic-book roots AND YET make it seem gritty and realistic and big-budget AND YET keep it spikey and not round off the edges to try and capture a large audience.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: I really love this film.