2011 a look back – part three

With the year really in its stride now, my viewing habits once again danced between old favourites and new titles.  Hope you see something you might have otherwise passed by…

July – September

The summer movie season being in full swing, I spent July mostly trawling through the remainder of The Lord Of The Rings TrilogySucker Punch may have not made a great deal of sense, but with plenty of ‘cool’ and scantily clad women wielding swords and machine guns it was still a lot of fun.  Then Christian Bale impressed as a drug-addled ex-boxer training up younger brother Mark Wahlberg in the very absorbing The Fighter.   Brit-gangster drama Brighton Rock disappointed though with a unconvicing cut-throat lead and a bordering-on-pathetic female co-star.  The English seaside however, was captured nicely.  Thankfully the Coen Brother’s award winning True Grit made for a great western, if not necessary that deep a story, but child actor Halee Steinfeld was very good indeed.

August kicked off with gory grindhouse action-comedy Hobo With A Shotgun.  Rutger Hauer may be great but supporting cast and surrounding film was more gross-out bad taste than b-movie classic.  Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code was great, with the movie equal parts Hitchcock and Quantum Leap, and all round entertaining.  Costume caper Super may have had plenty of ideas, but felt a little deja-vu and even the excellent Ellen Page couldn’t save it.  A movie-light month ended brilliantly though with the clever and exhilarating Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Pre-teen killing machine Hanna appeared in September and surprised by how heart warming and less bad ass it ended up being.  Yet much of the month was dedicated to rediscovering the Star Wars saga, from the prequels right through to the older movies, in order – and it was brilliant.  Comedy Hall-Pass was one of the better comedies in recent memory, with genuine laughs and plenty of surprises.  And ending the month was Hole 3D, a great throwback to the likes of Gremlins and The Gate, scary, freaky and a great deal of fun.

So onto the final quarter.  Coming very soon indeed!

Sucker Punch

Viewed – 04 July 2011  Blu-ray

Extended Cut

To explain what this one is about is not going to be easy.  An orphaned young woman, nicknamed Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is sent to a mental asylum after her mother dies and her abusive step-father wants nothing to do with her.  There she falls into her own fantasy world, where she imagines the asylum to be some sort of high-class bordello, and befriends a group of girls (Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens) in the hope that they will help her escape.  Yet the fantasy does not stop there.  This young woman also imagines herself and her friends in a variety of action-packed other-worldly adventures whilst they attempt to collect items they will need to plan their escape.  Think Kill Bill meets Moulin Rouge meets One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest.

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Movie musings 2011

This is the time of year when many of my viewing habits are of movies I missed out on seeing the previous year.  You can expect reviews of some of the summer blockbusters and lesser known releases of 2010, amongst new cinema releases.  This is one reason why an end of year top ten usually comprises of movies older than that year.  Something that has been of much deliberation to me lately considering that originally I had placed 21 Grams as my movie of the year, then thought better of it considering its age.  Yet that means classic movies such as The Sound Of Music will never qualify.  But you must have rules or else such an end of year list will have no comparison to other people’s end of year lists.

Anyway I digress.  In the coming months there are many movies I am looking forward to seeing, be it at the cinema or more than likely on Blu-ray.  Of the movies that have got me most excited, Zack Snyder’s ballistic looking Sucker Punch is much-anticipated.  Scantily clad babes with guns & samurai swords in a fantasy action adventure?  Where do I sign?  Also David Fincher’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is one of those movie’s that just can’t fail – especially with Fincher at the helm.  Wes Craven returns with the unexpected but no less appreciated Scream 4, a franchise I recall loving to bits, and hell, aren’t we in need of a clever-ass slasher movie after all the countless remakes we’ve endured?  Consider my seat booked.  It also has to be said, the Harrison Ford / Daniel Craig vehicle Cowboys and Aliens looks heaps of fun, and with Iron Man director John Favreau at the helm, all the ingredients are in place.

Movies I’m less looking forward to but could be worth seeing none the less are Cars 2, which knowing Pixar will be entertaining and look the biz, and this time with a secret agent storyline, may well be more interesting than the fish out of water plot previously.  Having not seen the last Pirates movie, At Worlds End I wont be rushing to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides until I have got myself up to date – but the trailer does look like it will be great entertainment.  Also Kung Fu Panda 2 is fairly assured entertainment even if it’ll be on the back burner compared to a few of the other big hitters.  Oh and the idea of Transformers: Dark of the Moon fills me with dread after the mostly abysmal last movie, but then again the first Transformers in my opinion was superb, so it could go either way.

To conclude though, 2011 looks like being a great year for the movie industry with some great looking stuff coming our way.  Colour me excited!!

Sucker Punch trailer

If ever a movie was a boys own fantasy, then this is it – the new film from Zack Snyder, creator of the remake of Dawn Of The Dead, the adaptation of Watchmen and the gay testosterone fantasy that is 300.  Ok, I haven’t seen 300, but thats how it looks to me.