Thursday, August 20, 2009

Films I've seen of late

Bullitt (1968)
A somewhat dated thriller, the best part of it is Steve McQueen. He simply oozes cool out of every pore, but that's not enough to help a story which feels haphazard and unconvincing. There are some really dull moments, and the ending fails to satisfy. I feel bad about criticizing a so-called classic, but simply can't give it a high score. (5/10)

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth are great together in this unassuming little film. Can't understand why everyone has West Country / Posh English accents when the film is set in Holland, and the sexual tension between the two leads seems to be lacking somewhat. Apart from that, it is a watchable and interesting piece. (7/10)

Terminator Salvation (2009)
This risky sequel delivers on all levels, with enough of a balance between brain and brawn. Christian Bale conveys a huge commitment to playing the eponymous John Connor, Anton Yelchin shines as a youthful Kyle Reese and Sam Worthington gives weight to the mysterious Marcus Wright. Salvation gives a great nod to all three previous Terminator films - acknowledging its pedigree while standing up as a worthy film in its own right. The only disappointment was the ending which opted for hammy acting and bad science in an attempt to hastily conclude proceedings before the two hours was up. (8/10)

Australia (2008)
Beginning with Baz Luhrman's trademark wackiness, Australia quickly settles into a less radical stride, and surprises on a number of levels. It's less of an 'epic film' and more of a love / battle against the odds story with an epic backdrop. It's not just an Australian tourism advert. Lastly, only a tiny portion of Australia actually features in the film (Darwin, and a bit of the outback). Jackman and Kidman are strong leads, with an equally strong supporting cast (mostly Aussies, of course) striving against the odds to beat the bad guys and avoid getting bombed by the Japs. Great fun! (8/10)

Top Gun (1986)
An 80s classic, I was dumbfounded to view this again with my 21st century glasses and realise that this was about as satisfying as another 80s icon - the Microwave Meal for One. The acting is hammy as heck, the dialogue embarrassing and there's that elephant in the room again - Bad Science. Not a good combination for one of the highest-grossing films of its decade. Oh well, some things just don't mature as well as others. (3/10)

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