Viewed – 11 April 2014 Netflix
Telling the tale of Sam, a young but ambitious guy working at a hotel who decides he’s going to ask out the pretty assistant at a near by jewellers. Only problem is, whilst there the shop gets attacked by a duo of thieves, and soon a hostage situation takes place.
Set in London and with some stylish but unobtrusive photography, a soundtrack that mixes classical with jazz, and a keep you guessing plot, I was totally gripped throughout. Well acted and with surprising depth, this stars seasoned Brit actor Timothy Spall as the stuffy but quickly lovable jewellery store owner and Trainspotting’s Kevin McKidd as the main thief, who struggles with inner demons and an unfortunate stutter. Relative newcomer Craig Roberts however carries the movie superbly, sort of an unconventional hero and proves one to watch for sure … perfectly awkward and smart. The same can also be said for the delectable Imogen Poots, who’s beauty and charm shines (and boy can she tell a story…).
It has moments of violence but never goes too far, is sometimes darkly comical and makes you actually care about (almost) every character – even the lad who works at the deli down the street. That’s pretty rare.
An unexpected treat and highly recommended.
Verdict: 4 /5
Viewed – 24 June 2008 DVD
I have always been a big fan of Tim Burton. His dark, tongue-in-cheek brand of comic, goth-horror has always struck a cord with me, and his frequent collaborations with Johnny Depp are just the icing on the cake. Now we come to his latest effort, and one I was at first appealed by as it looked just as dark and sinister as Burton’s masterpiece Sleepy Hollow. Then I discovered it was a musical.
Musicals have a hit and miss relationship with me – I am very fond of the likes of Sound Of Music, Evita, Little Shop Of Horrors (!) and even Tim Burton’s own A Nightmare Before Christmas…but I also hate some that haven’t got the right vibe – such as Moulin Rouge which seemed 90% noise and 10% entertainment. Sadly, this film falls into the latter category, with no memorable numbers, no dancing, no staged choreography…just lots and lots of sung dialogue. You know when a musical has failed when you actually wish they would just ‘talk’ for a bit instead of singing. If there was one memorable song, then at least that would be something…but there isn’t. Maybe I have come into this all wrong though – it’s an Opera, not a musical. Perhaps. Thats not what its been hyped up as though.
I will give credit where its due though; Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are very good, and make a very interesting odd-couple, and the story is intriguing with some very macabre twists and turns…oh and as expected, Burton’s sumptuous eye for period set design and camera work are a treat for the eyes throughout. Really though, why make it a musical, when you have no decent songs in it? Disappointing.
Verdict: 2 /5