I've been trying to complete my Christopher Nolan collection for a while, so I was looking forward to watching this one more than some others I've reviewed. It follows Al Pacino as a cop lying low and investigating a murder in Alaska. He accidentally kills his partner while confronting the killer, and then engages in a cat and mouse (can't believe I've just wrote that) struggle with him to keep his head above water, and keep his sanity in the perpetual daylight. Pacino and Robin Williams act superbly (Williams, as ever, showing his underused skills as a straight actor), and the plot twists and turns to a satisfying climax. The beauty of Alaska steals the show as an almost alien landscape on which the thriller plays out. Nolan continues to prove my tentative hypothesis that he can't make a bad film. 8 out of 10.
My Left Foot
Another film I'd been wanting to watch for a while, Daniel Day Lewis plays the Irish writer and artist Christ Brown, and documents his struggles with cerebral palsy throughout the early to middle twentieth century. Day Lewis is a force of nature, and his application of "The Method" is well documented. Apparently on the set of "My Left Foot", he refused to leave his wheelchair and kept his body in a state of constant palsy, causing sores and rashes, plus annoying the hell out of everyone around him. Anyway, the film is equally brutal and uplifting, in the same vein as "Angela's Ashes", documenting the lives of the poor in Dublin, made worse by Brown's disability and alcohol addiction. Great sympathy is felt for the main cast, including Brown's mother, who never gives up on her son. Day Lewis plays Brown with a ferocity and is unlikable in parts, but uncompromisingly plays his role to perfection. 9 out of 10.
For the third time today, I'm going to say how much I was looking forward to this film. This time though, it was for different reasons, mainly that the film is the first full length feature (according to the ever reliable Wikipedia) from a zombie's perspective, and most importantly, that is was supposedly shot for a budget of 45 quid. I really wanted to enjoy it, and could excuse some shortcomings because, come on, a 90 minute film for £45 is nothing short of spectacular. We soon find out why though. It feels like a school project. It pains me to knock it in that way, but it does. I never felt threatened, I never felt for Colin (who didn't even feel like he was a zombie), the handheld camera work was shoddy, and I was just bored. I nearly switched it off. It's still a feat for the budget, and I'm not saying I could do better (I could), but to do so well at Cannes and pick up distribution and be a mega DVD profit cash cow, I expected more. It didn't meet even my lowest expectation, and I went in to it fully expecting to tack on points for effort. I couldn't even do that. 3 out of 10.
The Killer Inside Me
What a surprise! I really wanted to see this also. I won't say it again. This film follows Casey Affleck (the best Affleck) as a small town texan deputy sheriff who falls in love with a prostitute and trys to scam a wealthy building contractor and his son for family reasons I won't go into here so I don't spoil it for anyone. What sets the film apart is the mentally unbalanced lead (Lou), and his mysoginist antics. I've already said too much, and it isn't one for the faint hearted, and I can't really say it is in any way rewarding. It is interesting and well acted though, and if you are into dark thrillers, this is the one for you. 8 out of 10.
Wow, where to start. Well, it's a greek film, which is a first for me, and it has to be one of the most unusual things I've ever watched. A man and his wife keep their three adult children (2 daughters and a son) captive in a secluded country estate, having never come into contact with the outside world other than the girl who comes to sexually service the son. They are taught all kinds of freaky shit and have their own vocabulary. It really is odd, and punctuated with bursts or raw and uncompromising violence. It is so messed up, and I haven't a clue what it is trying to say, but I was equally horrified, mesmerised and dumbfounded by the tiny family microcosm. The parents are obviously monsters, but the childlike innocence of the siblings stops you feeling animosity towards them. They feel like a happy family, even though you know what is happening is hienously wrong. A very odd experience, and again, not one for the faint hearted. 9 out of 10.