Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Review Roundup!!

I've conceded to the fact that I won't be able to write full reviews of these films. So here's a quick-fire roundup of what I've seen lately...

No Country For Old Men
I've been aching to see this film for ages, and it did not disappoint. Everything about it sublime: the direction, the writing, the performances (Javier Bardem's will go down in history), the sound mixing, the adrenaline pumping hell I could go on for ages. It's excellent. Please go see it.
Rating: * * * * * (5 Stars)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
10 minutes in to this a friend leaned over and said: "I didn't know this was a musical!". She ended up really enjoying it though, which is more then I can say for myself. The problems I have with Sweeney are inherent to the actual source material itself. The production is fantastic, the performances good and the direction excellent. However, it suffers from a few songs that miss the mark and characters (the daughter and her lover in particular) that are just plain boring to watch.
Rating: * * * (3 Stars)

Charlie Wilson's War
Like Sweeney Todd, this has most of the parts to make a brilliant film, but somewhat falls short. The story of a US Congressman who instigates the biggest covert war in the history of the CIA is interesting and has a strong message that is not forced but hinted at. It's a pity that this story is just not compelling enough, and leaves you with the feeling that they cut out 30 minutes of plot development. It is funny in places and has Philip Seymore Hoffman stealing every scene he's in, but it just isn't enough to save it.
Rating: * * * (3 Stars)

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
This is a massive attempt at taking the piss out of Walk The Line and Ray, and they almost pull it off. In a movie like this you just need to know one thing: is it funny? Answer: Yes, but not always. Some jokes are delivered with a knowing wink that takes you out of the story and reminds you that you are just watching a group of people who are effectively pointing and laughing at other films. Others of its ilk, like Anchorman and Blades Of Glory, aren't so aware of themselves and are the better for it. That said, it is mostly funny and is just about worth the admission. Watch out for a cracking joke about The Temptations.
Rating: * * * (3 Stars)

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