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#10 - Mirror Mirror

I was curious about this one, because I really am on a fairytale kick at the moment. I'm not a Julia Roberts fan, personally, but was willing to give it a go, because hello! Fairytales!

On the whole, I liked it a lot. It was a very meta film, and I loved the fact it poked fun at itself. There were some lines that made me laugh out loud, and the look of the thing was absolutely gorgeous.

All the same, it was also clunky. The writing didn't seem quite settled on a particular tone. If it had gone for all out satire, I think it would have been a work of genius, but there were moments where it seemed to want to be taken seriously. Plus, there were some random moments, when you just find yourself going "... wait, what? Why was that moment relevant?"

It was still a lot of fun, and I did see it twice, once with family, once with friends, and enjoyed it both times. I don't think I'll be getting it on DVD, but it certainly wasn't a waste of a couple of hours.


#11 - Beauty and the Beast 3D

This doesn't get a spoiler cut. It is literally the original film, tweaked only here and there, and made absolutely breath-taking in 3D. Yes, they added some new layers in to add depth in scenes (which only annoyed me in the crowd-scenes when people stepped into frame), but on the whole, it was the best use of 3D I've seen in an animated film. In a film that was drawn over 20 years ago. It looked stunning. Highly recommend it. And the illustrations throughout the end credits were just gorgeous.

#12 - Avengers Assemble

I'm a geek. I'm a happy geek. But I am not a comic book geek. My limited knowledge of these characters came from the fact I quite liked the Iron Man film, and that I used to watch The Incredible Hulk TV series when I was a kid. I hadn't seen Captain America or Thor, so I was quite literally going in blind to this particular universe.

I was impressed. Very, very impressed. Not just by the cast, who pretty much tear the screen apart with so many layers of chemistry and relationships and dynamics. But also by the fact they took one of the most boring superhero tropes in the world - bad guy come and bring bad army but heroes save day yay - and make it not only interesting, but edge-of-your-seat glee inducing in the battle sequences.

I love the little moments of character development which show so much about people: Bruce's amusement with Tony poking him, Thor looking at his hammer as if he's unsure if he's truly worthy to pick it up again, Natasha's expression when Hawkeye asks what Loki did to her. They were such subtle, tiny moments, not even a line being said, and yet, they said EVERYTHING. That is what a good director does - takes those moments and makes them matter.

I love Joss Whedon's writing on the whole. When he's at his best, he is mind-blowingly good, and some of the stuff he got into this film was brilliant. Every bit of dialogue was used to develop characters. There wasn't a moment that wasn't relevant.

Plus the acting! OH THE ACTING. The cast could not have blown me away more. There's not a character I didn't find interesting. And I lovelovelove a fantastically played conflicted villain, and that's what we had. The moment when he stabs Thor, his brother who keeps insisting that he belongs, even though Loki doesn't believe it himself? HE WAS FRICKING CRYING. WHAT VILLAIN DOES THAT?

But what really, really dazzled me was the final battle sequence. I studied film at university. I had to sit through film upon film and analyse them and the way they shots worked and everything. And in this film, there is one moment which will never, ever not be awesome: the moment Natasha gets on the sky-bike, there is an almost 30-second single-take shot, which not only follows her up, but then follows in EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE AVENGERS as the camera crosses their path in the smoothest flowing transition sequence I have ever seen caught in an action sequence.

The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure I was really seeing it, but second time, I was holding my breath and thinking "he did it. The git managed to do the most awesome non-cut take in history". I will see it again, I have no doubt, and I will have the DVD. Especially single Hiddles has charmed me no end. Actually, no, all of them have. I will give money to see them all together again.


#13 - Dark Shadows

So, this is a Burton-Depp film based on a 1960s TV show. Okay. So it has Depp playing a vampire? Okay. Sounds good. Eva Green as a wicked witch? Fantastic. It also co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Lee Miller and a host of others? What's not to like?

Apparently, everything.

I hated this film. I absolutely loathed, detested and abhorred it. I have never considered walking out of a cinema before, but with this film, I was tempted to do so and would have done if it hadn't meant abandoning my poor flatmate to her fate.

I'm not a Tim Burton fan, but I can acknowledge that he can make good films. I just don't especially like his aesthetic or style. The style of this film wasn't the problem. It was just everything else.

The writing was lazy and sloppy. The characters were outright unpleasant and unsympathetic. The storyline made no sense whatsoever. The jokes weren't funny. The plot seemed to be getting completely lost and turned around every few scenes. There were so many random moments that made ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. There was no resolution. No character development. Nothing that made this film worthy ANYTHING.

By the end, I was looking at my watch and kind of hoping everyone in the film would die. Alas, the only person who did was Eva Green in her awful, awful wig.

Awful. Awful. Terrible. Horrible film. I hope never to hear of it again.
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October 2012

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