Saturday, 15 January 2011

Crazy Heart

2010, 15, Directed by Scott Cooper
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell

Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ “, sings aged country star Bad Blake in Scott Cooper’s warm must-see Crazy Heart. Welcome to Jeff Bridges’ The Wrestler, in which he does not portray – but embodies – the loveable screw-up of a protagonist who lives off past glories purely due to his inability to stop drinking and driving those closest to him away. Bridges, performing to what can be described as the most deserved Oscar-winning standard there has been for a while, is Bad Blake. And don’t you doubt it. Support in the form of a terrific Maggie Gyllenhaal as the reporter who endears herself to Blake, and a cool, ever-versatile, if a little random Colin Farrell adds to the venture. The T. Bone Burnett written classics layer an authentic feeling to the equation also. If Cooper and Bridges are fallin’, they must certainly be soaring.




2010, 12A, Directed by Gareth Edwards
Starring: Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy

With a title like Monsters, one would be forgiven for thinking this a Cloverfield-esque creature feature. One would be oh so wrong; this is a whole lot more. Gareth Edwards’ performance led two-hander, focused on photographer Andrew and tourist Samantha's journey back to America through a perilous Mexican 'Infected Zone', is a master-class in how to form a hybrid of a revered-genre and deem it accessible to the usual naysayers. The central performances of Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able not only convince but assist in the enthrallment of this contemporary world in ruin. Monsters succeeds in entertaining (there’s just the right amount of action to tide you over), charming (perhaps largely because of McNairy and Able’s real-life relationship) and reflecting (a mirror is held up to the state of the world we live in today). By the film’s climax, you will chide yourself for having previously denied yourself the experience. Simply beautiful.



Love and Other Drugs

2010, 15, Directed by Edward Zwick
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Oliver Platt, Josh Gad

Devoid of enough sugary schmaltz to make this a somewhat original rom-'com', Ed Zwick’s offering sees part-time drug rep, full-time ladies man Jamie encounter and fall for Parkinson’s sufferer Maggie. Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway further solidify their capability in tackling more challenging roles than most as the commitment-fearing ‘couple’ who find themselves powerlessly drawn to each other. The connecting cogs begin to dislodge as the film progresses, weaving genres (an awkward comedic element in the form of Jamie’s brother, played by Josh Gad, reoccurs) and an under-playing of a clever subplot trails before full potential is grasped. The film peaks when convention is avoided – so for the most part – but Zwick includes noticeable tropes in the third act. Despite its flaws, the remarkable central performances cause Love and Other Drugs to stand out from the rest. 




To whomever is reading this, hey,

I always get this far: I think to myself I should start a blog, I create the blog, write a few posts, and then... well, nothing. I begin to slack, and then I barely ever post until my post count has been the same for over two months. As you all know, we have just welcomed 2011 and like most people at the turn of a new year, I like to make resolutions. I don't really agree with changing anything about yourself, so I think to myself what could I do that would complement my life?

If you don't know me, my name is Jacob. I'm 19 years of age and I study Film. Film is something I am very passionate about and not only do I love watching them, I love writing about them. The way I see it is if you're gonna watch a load of films, why not attempt to share your opinions and in doing so hopefully spare somebody a painful experience or - crucially - spur somebody on to watch a film that they seriously need to see? Due to this, my new year's resolution was *Drum Roll Please*... to review every single film I watch in 2011.

In the interest of keeping this short and sweet, this here blog will become a compendium of every film I have the pleasure (or displeasure) of viewing. You won't find a review of a new blockbuster weeks before release, but if I venture to the cinema to see said blockbuster, you will find a review you can hopefully draw something from and ultimately enjoy. There will be reviews of films from different era's, different countries - I promise variation. Of course, feedback is encouraged. I'm basically doing this so I can acquire feedback, so if you agree, disagree or just fancy commenting, please do. As far as the reviews go, they will be around the 150-200 word mark so won't take up too much time, but every now and then - when there's a film I feel particularly warrants it - I will write a much larger amount (just wait until you see how much I had to say about Inception...),

So yeah, take care, stay cool and hopefully, happy reading. Here's to an epic 2011!