Poppycock and Bunkum

May 13th, 2007

Dust yourself off.

Posted by sidebog7 in Interlude

So, I haven’t written anything for a while. There are reasons. Most of them revolve around work and not having time to really watch films. When I am busy I tend to only watch films I have seen before because I think it is unfair to not give my full attention to a film I haven’t seen before.
My packed schedule finally ended and I have been chilling out at home all day and I have got back into watching films with a vengeance. I watched four films which I will give little reviews here for no real reason. I might expand a couple later if I get some time.

My Patricia Velásquez ’season’ is over for the moment. I was waiting for a film to arrive and it didn’t. Then my time got sucked up and here we are. I will endeavour to watch more of her films and review them in the coming month but I also want to review other non-Patricia films as a break. Anyway, on to the mini-reviews.

First on the list, and first film I watched, is:

Night at the Museum [2006]

A fantastically entertaining little movie. I went into this not really expecting to like it. I don’t particularly like Ben Stiller’s style of comedy. It’s OK in small doses but for an entire film it becomes grating. Here, however, it is not a problem and the few outbreaks of his annoying sarky retorts are quite funny. The film revolves around a museum which comes to life at night. This in itself is a superb idea and leads to a series of imaginative encounters with dinosaurs, lions, Romans, Mayans and Robin Williams. Robin Williams is another comic who I tend not to like but here he is fantastic as Teddy Roosevelt.
The main stars of the movie (for me at least) are the trio of Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs. They made a great team and I wish they were in the movie more.
I was pretty much sucked into the film for the entire duration as all of the CGI seemed believable and worked. I would recommend this to most people looking for an entertaining family movie which is unlike anything I have seen before.

X-Men 3: The Last Stand [2006]

The first two X-Men movies were fantastic and I had high hopes for the third until I learned of Brett Ratner’s involvement. This is perhaps slightly unfair as his previous films are generally agreeable but I expect X-Men to be more than that. It is unfortunate then that this is just that. It is more predictable than the previous films and the lack of characterisation and focus on action seems to make the film less than great. Everyone is back reprising their previous roles and they all fit but seem to be going through the motions. The new members of the group include Kelsey Grammer as Beast who is pretty good in the role, the lack of characterisation meaning that he doesn’t seem to have any motivation. The other major addition is Juggernaut, played by Vinnie Jones. He is pretty bad and the part could have been made silent (one particular line springs to mind) and given to somebody who was bulkier than Jones.
Overall, I enjoyed it but I probably won’t watch it again (unless I have an X-Men day or something).

Gestapo’s Last Stand [1977]

Not a film for the faint of heart. This was a particularly nasty addition to the Nazisploitation genre. I read a review of this recently that compared it to Salo. Both are pretty nasty and both bring out the inherent corruption and sadism of the fascist/Nazi regime. I don’t know what Cesare Canevari’s motivation was but there seems to be no real desire to rage against the regime as in Salo and it appears to be straightforwardly nasty for nasty’s sake. By this benchmark it is a success and is not easy to watch. My turn-away moment came when a bowl of ‘unborn Jew’ was poured over an unconscious victim.

However this was not the worst film that I watched today. That acclaim went to:

The Wicker Man [2006]

Oh dear. What more can I say? The bees, not the bees. I went into this film not expecting much. That is exactly what I received from this film. Even if it was bad I was expecting it to be unintentionally funny but this didn’t start happening until about an hour in. Until then it was just dull. Rather that being unsettling in a scary way that the original attained it seemed to be weird with no actual menace until the end.

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