Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Movie Marathon

With my head full of cotton wool and my nose full of mucus, I've had the last couple of days to catch up on a bunch of movies. Reading's been too hard for this noggin, but I seem to have a little energy for writing just now, so what better time could there be to throw some movie thoughts down onto the blogosphere.

28 Days Later

Took me a long time to get round to seeing this. Aside from the poor film quality, this movie was a well realised update of the classic zombie flick. A little less cliched than Dawn Of The Dead, and a little less fun for it, but still the usual great look at how people survive in horrific situations.

28 Weeks Later

One of the reasons I'd put off seeing this for so long was that I wanted to see the prequel first and two movies at once only works well when I'm laid up on the couch stuffed full of tissues. For this moment, this is my favourite zombie movie of all time. Not that I've seen all of them, but it was mind-opening to see a movie take on what happens when society rebuilds itself after a holocaust, rather than just the descent into it. Great tensions throughout and a believable vision of how badly humans handle anything important.


Great to see a movie present a mostly balanced look at all sides of an international issue, but still a little too clear cut for my liking. And I wish Jake Gyllenhaal had a few more dimensions than just a blank worn out stare.

No Country For Old Men

Beautifully shot and acted, paced with a brilliant balance between the stillness of wide open spaces and the tension of action. Has one of my most favourite bad guys in the cinema of late. It also never tired me when it took the time to flesh out character details that weren't necessarily relevant to plot.

I Am Legend

I'm still yet to read the book, but this film delivered far more than I expected. Will Smith did a great job of holding the screen with no one but a dog and some mannequins to play off. It was also great to see a sci-fi/horror movie that didn't morph quickly into an action flick after the main ideas were presented. I took the extra time to watch the alternate ending and I think I prefer it. On the one hand, it's a little soppy, but it's also far less of a resolution, not bothering to tie up threads that didn't need it.

The Descent

This is right up there with Wolf Creek as some of the finest horror I've seen. Takes its time building the tension and claustrophobia but held me all the way. Great to see a group of women focusing on the task at hand rather than a group coupling off into likely love interests. And that's because the prologue did a great job of setting up that relationship tension, without having to waste time on it while we deal with the horrors that unfold. Strangely, these last two movies have similar looking monsters, but I much preferred how this movie only used CG when it had to.


I saw this earlier in the day, when I was feeling more lethargic, but it perked me right up from the get-go. Fuck me, I haven't had this much fun watching a film in ages. Some wildly implausible situations are completely forgiven by the tongue that's been super glued to the inside of the director's cheek. Killer soundtrack and hilarious action throughout, this is the film Shoot Em Up only wished it could have been. Loved the 80s videogame reference too!

Other stand-outs I've seen recently but not in the last few days have been Michael Clayton, Syriana, The Lookout, Last King Of Scotland, Fast Food Nation, Fur, and Fido. Haven't got the cojones to go into them right now, but they're all movies that have stuck to the inside of my skull and might never let go, for one reason or another.


Christa M. Miller said...

I'll be interested to see what you thought of Fido. Have you seen Black Sheep?

Daniel Hatadi said...

Fido was brilliant! Took a while to get going, but once I figured out who Fido was it made the rest of the movie even more of a blast.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Need to check out Black Sheep at some point, though.

Daryl said...

I saw No Country For Old Men in Lithuania - English speaking, Lithuanian subtitles.

Most of the audience were either talking, drinking and/or uninterested, which kinda spoiled it - but, still, I found the movie quite powerful - just as powerful as my girlfriend's kick to the seat in front of us, trying to get the attention of a talker - there was almost an international incident!!

Jamie Ford said...

If you have time, check out I Am Legend (the book). It's quite a bit different and amazing for a book written in the 50s. The short stories are fantastic as well.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Way ahead of you, Jamie. It's been on my TBR pile for far too long. It may be that I watched the movie because ON THE ROAD: THE ORIGINAL SCROLL was taking too damned long to get through.