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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Black Sheep (2011)

Unfortunately this was the only image that I could find to do with the actual movie. There are many other unrelated photos as well as another film with the same name.

The movie was quite disappointing, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t anything like what I saw. This is my first Russian Movie, and it was nice to see that everyone was speaking Russian but the movie had subtitles (thankfully not dubbed) but the subtitles at the beginning were driving me potty as the text would appear at the top of the screen, then quickly down to the bottom, then bottom then top, bottom, top, top. Really inconsistent and driving me mad as reading is annoying enough when trying to watch a film to have to search for the text all the time.

The movie is about some Russian convicts who manage to escape a prison camp as the German war machine is marching into Russia. The convicts end up in a hamlet so small it’s not listed on any maps but becomes a focus point for a German secret mission squad, as well as the prison camp soldiers hunting them down. Eventually there are a series of showdowns between the Germans and Russians, Russians and convicts, convicts and Germans.

There were some funny bits but also some bizarre and cruel parts. But generally quite a disappointing film as there was a lot of potential in it. I won’t be watching it again, in fact I couldn’t sit still for 2 hours to just only watch that and ended up half doing something else.

40/100

 

 

The Last of UsI didn’t think i’d actually write a post about a playstation game but I really had to for this game!

My friend kept on about The Last of Us. It came out as I was studying so there was no way I was going to get around the time it came out. But I finally got around to get it as a treat for myself, and my opinions of the game seemed to rollercoaster a bit throughout playing.

The first few opening scenes are brilliant. Graphics are brilliant, the short gameplay at the beginning are really interesting. But gradually you start following people and keep following people, go up a ladder, walk down a street etc etc then cut scene walk 20 secs, cut scene, 20 secs something else then cut scene. Apparently there are over 3 hours of cut scenes in the game! It was stunning though! So yeah the following around got on my nerves as you didn’t get to do things the way you wanted to, and it looked more like a a game you watch than play. But towards the end of the game you have full control and it became MUCH better!

Basically it’s 20 years after an infection breaks out and turns people into violent zombies (original? *sigh*), but despite the unoriginal background story the main story is about the main two characters. The main one being a man called Joel and a girl called Ellie. Ellie was born after the infection spread and thus born in the aftermath of it so does not understand the social aspects to life before the infection.

Long story short, it’s a brilliant game, probably the best i’ve ever played on PS3; although that could be the Uncharted series (you get full control all the time in the game there!), but you quickly learn that they are made by the same developer Naughty Dog. Both games are fully immersive!!

I’m so glad I bought and played it! 🙂

98/100

Keeping up with the Germans
I saw this in the library randomly and thought i’d give it a read as a non-academic view into the relationship between England and Germany.
It took me maybe 3 weeks to finish the 240 pages of the book which is an incredibly long time for me but I did want to keep reading but it being non-fiction it didn’t have the allure of a story that you can’t put down.

Oltermann collects a series of English German encounters as well as draws on his personal experience of moving to England in his mid teens from Germany. I like the fact that he declared a pact with himself not to mention any unnecessary references to the first or second world wars but when he does mention them it is thoroughly interesting.

There are many funny parts throughout the book but it wasn’t thoroughly engaging a read. I doubt i’d recommend it to anyone but i’m glad I read it. Some of the meetings between people, and references to football really struck a cord with me and I can see to quite a large degree what he means when he mentions certain contrasts between English and Germans.

One thing he wrote that I think is totally wrong is a passage about Dinner for One and why it has never been aired on television before when it has been played countless times on New Years Eve (Das Sylvester). Oltermann suggests the class difference and a load of other pointless reasons, but when in fact it’s just not that funny in general not because of some underlying political or social context.

65/100

 

 

Taxi 1998I honestly hadn’t even heard of this film before I bought it. It’s been sitting on my shelf for about 8 months but I finally watched it! Having looked online, there is another film of the same name which came out 6 years later, although this is an American remake of this film (apparently this make was terrible) with Queen Latifah as the quirky taxi driver…. oh dear.

So anyway, this film is about a motorcycle gang delivery guy turn taxi racing driver. Wow it sounds terrible, and it’s natural to assume that but the movie was pretty good! The guy (Daniel) ends up helping the police for reasons I don’t really know despite hating the police. He goes on to help a useless inspector investigate the Mercedes car gang who are robbing banks in France.He becomes the inspectors driver as he keeps failing his driving test.

Anyway, long story short there are a few cool car chases and really funny one liners throughout the film.The only thing that was really bad was the horrendous cockney accent dubbing… the DVD I had didn’t allow me to turn it into French with English subtitles.

 What I can’t understand is that they made 3 more Taxi movies! Talk about dragging a story out… but I haven’t seen them so I guess I shouldn’t be too quick to judge that they suck,

68/100

Munich1
Highbrow movie for sure! There were some really good action sequences in the movie but there were many holes in the movie.
The movie is about the 1972 kidnapping of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. It’s based on a true story, although the movie is primarily based after the events were Mossad goes and kills 11 of the Black September organisation who carried out the hostage taking. This differs from real life in the fact that only 3 of the Black September group survived the hostage rescue attempt, but these were arrested then released later due to an attack on a Lufthansa flight by Black September demanding the members freedom. The movie assumes that all the Black September gang get away, and all 11 Israelis die (second part is true).

ANYWAY, the movie involves the former bodyguard of the prime minster who becomes a team leader of a group to assassinate the Black September team. He is joined by 4 others, a bomb disposal (creator) expert, Daniel Craig with a really dodgy accent and two others (see photo above of when they first meet).

They kill a load of people, nearly killing a child through a telephone bomb and in the end they all die apart from the main guy who questions why he went along with the whole thing in the first place.

Overall a good film, not a seminal one, not a true film, but a very good dramatisation of events that i’d consider watching again ; and for me that’s rare.

74/100

Seven SamuraiThis might possible be the oldest movie I have ever seen!

I’m not totally sure what I was expecting from this film, my dad had been going on about it for a long time but I never seemed to find time to watch it, or I seemed to always miss it out. But I got some time today to watch it and it was great!

I love learning about Samurai culture and am desperate to read Clavell’s novel “Shogun”. This was a somewhat different portrait of the Samurai than what I would expect. Stereotype is that they are very stern, very oppressive and tread on peasants purely because of the family they were born into, this movie changed that a little bit to show what the Samurai were really supposed to be like, or at least should be like.

The story is of a village that is constantly under attack from bandits who steal all their rice, rape their women and god knows what else (burned down their entire village once too apparently!). So in a desperate attempt to save themselves, they turn to hiring some Samurai (who they also hate, although slightly less) to fight off the bandits. Unfortunately most Samurai aren’t “free” and serve feudal warlords, so they have their work cut out to find ones that have served warlords who have lost and thus no job; as well as ones that are so desperate that will work for food.

Anyway, they get lucky and find a willing Samurai who is capable of convincing others to join and defend the village until the bandits have been defeated. Not to ruin the whole story should you watch it, it’s about 2 hours by the time all 7 samurai have been recruited (one isn’t even a samurai and one is just a boy).

The next hour of the film is preparing for the next attack (their crops are about to produce so they know they will be attacked), then the attacks come and the bandits keep doing the same stupid thing until all of them are dead. They fall one by one into a trap (all 40+ mounted soldiers) , it should be mentioned that some of the bandits are themselves Samurai… Anyway, this is the part of the movie that bugged me, that nobody would keep falling for the same trap, where the villagers would let 1-2 of the bandits into the village at a time when they charged, and kill them 1 at a time. Nobody would fall for that 37 times!

Anyway, the movie was great, a seminal film if you like. There were some fantastic cinematography in it; the battle in the rain was magnificent. But again, it was a very long movie 190mins! And that scenes were incredible dragged out at times, but maybe that’s just my view as a person used to explosions and sex scenes every 10 seconds from modern cinema.

90/100

Oh and I had Miso soup after eating this as a pure coincidence (oh and watching a tv program earlier about all the different amazing uses of Seaweed haha; it’s in your alcohol btw!)

 

The adventures of TinTinWhen this came out I really really really wanted to see it. But nobody would go with me! 

For those of you that don’t know, Tintin is a journalist that goes out of his way to get into the middle of any mysteries, always putting his life in danger as well as his little fluffy dog snowy. Originally Tintin was a series of comic books for children by cartoonist  Georges Remi (under a pseudonym Herge). Tintin started life in the early 1930’s and as such the adventures are based around that time, with byplanes and men in bowler hats. The books were great, and so were the cartoons that I used to watch growing up in the 1990’s.

This movie had been a long time coming, so when Steven Spielberg was announced as director (and Steven Moffat a screen writer) you’d expect nothing short of spectacular. The movie was put into 3D (aside from the 2D books and cartoons) but the characters were totally animated albeit with a large sense of realism. The problem when turning cartoons into a real person action movie is the violence becomes a lot more real too, a person getting shot by aliens in a children’s cartoon is a lot different to a CGI or real person does it, which is why Spidernan (2002) got a 12A certificate; anyway, Tintin gets around this quite well and has fightscenes without any gore or anything like that as you’d expect from a movie for children.

Although aimed at children I watched and quite enjoyed it. There were a few major holes in the movie but on the whole it worked quite well. I’m not sure they will make another movie though, I honestly can’t remember how well it did at the box office but it was not a “Finding Nemo” good movie.

The Adventures of Tintin could easily have been called The Secret of the Unicorn as the movie was based on the book with that name. Having watched the cartoon when I was very young I can’t remember how it compares, but having watched a 2D trailer on youtube a lot of the scenes are identical (can’t complain about that I guess, it is based on a book after all!).

I wouldn’t watch again but for some light hearted entertainment and a chance to reminisce about my childhood it was well worth the watch.

70/100