Skip to content

Plane Reviews

January 22, 2010

Hello and welcome to some very short reviews I’m writing about things I’ve seen in the last week. In the last few days I have been mostly in the sky or playing a game at Sony’s Santa Monica studios, but before leaving I watched Tim Burton’s latest couple of films for a DVD & Blu-ray Review feature, and then a bunch of stuff on the plane. I also saw half of All The Pretty Horses on HBO in my hotel room, but shan’t write about that becase a) I fell asleep half way through and b) it was proper horse wang, from what I saw.

The Corpse Bride
Signficantly less precious and Emily Strange than I had feared. Not really sure why I ever worry about Burton’s films – I’ve enjoyed basically everything he’s done, even Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (there’s a bit in Pee-Wee which is reference to The Bicycle Thieves and it’s TOTALLY AMAZING). So this was like Nightmare Before Christmas except with fewer songs and more romance and a maggot that looked liked Peter Lorre. It’s 3.5 out of 5.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
This and Corpse Bride are, I realised as I was writing the Burton feature this week, the only two of the director’s films I’d not seen at the cinema, since I was old enough to go see his films at the cinema. I’d just moved to Bath and all the music probably put me off. Which is stupid – the songs are, predictably, brilliant, and Depp-as-Todd’s hair is like a magical waxy ice cream. Very bloody, lots of foggy cobbled London streets, and even Sacha Baron Cohen wasn’t a complete inside-out pig of a songist. 4 out of 5.

The Informant!
Plane movie number one. I really like Steven Soderbergh rather a lot. I think. Maybe I just find his films interesting, or maybe even just fruitful to write about academically. Forgot that last sentence, it makes me sound like a moron. But the point is he’s someone I tend to think I like more than the actual watching of films bears out. Like, I don’t really get the fuss behind sex, lies. It’s smart and okay. But I think both Soderbergh and Spike Lee are right, Do The Right Thing should’ve won everything that year. Kafka is okay, King Of The Hill like a well-dressed yawn, The Underneath like a blue cardboard box, Schizopolis excellent but incomprehensible, Gray’s Anatomy pretty boring, Out Of Sight like a sexy tanned forearm (this is good, in the measure of things), The Limey like a fucking time travelling uncle who KICKS ASS (also good), Erin Brokovich fun and smart, Traffic a bit weighty but dramatic with five ‘D’s, Solaris like a purple balloon (not good), Ocean’s Eleven like one of those silver balloons with George Clooney’s face on (very good) and all the rest. Wow, he’s done loads. The Informant! wasn’t amazing. Nice touches – the voice-over that obsesses over trivialities rather than driving the narrative, Damon with just the right measure of irony to be funny and watchable – but it was stretched at nearly two hours, wasn’t as snappy as it needed to be and never really punctured it’s own facade to get to the emotion underneath. Clooney’s Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind was similar and better. 2.5 out of 5.

Zombieland
Plane movie number two. Kicked ass. Included a pretty lady, Bill Murray, and zombies. Very little to dislike. 3.5 out of 5.

Surrogates
Plane movie number three. I like Bruce Willis and I like things that rip off Phillip K Dick, so I was all set to really enjoy this daft ‘humans are confined to their apartments while controlling beautiful robot counterparts in the real world’ thriller. Aside from the Willis-bot’s alarming hair (the kind of blond Mr Whippy side-parting you think might suddenly open its eyes at any moment) the opening is full of nice touches – the robomen calling non-avatars ‘meatbags’ in a flesh-snobbery way, suggestions of emotional detachment, peeks at superhuman powers. Then it just kinda collapses like a bad cake or a heavily drugged giraffe. Everything unfolds very directly, and it ends. 2 out of 5.

Carriers
Plane movie number four. This is a low budget post-mega virus thriller with a car full of people (one of whom is Chris Pine being exactly .34 times as charming as Captain Kirk) trying to get to the beach or something. They meet Chrisopther Meloni and, freaked out by the fact his acting cock is twice as big as theirs and his daughter has the virus, they do drama for a bit before travelling together. Then they abandon him and the girl and I stopped watching because it was too manipulative and because thanks to his giant acting cock I liked Christopher Meloni loads more than any of the stupid younger stupider cast. I fast-forwarded to the end: Pine dies because he’s a knob, so does his missus, but his nerdy brother and his lady friend get to the beach. Presumably they starve shortly after. 1 out of 5.

State Of Play
Watched this on the way back before falling to sleep. I sleep terribly on planes and at one point during probably mild turbulance I woke up shouting “Oh Jesus no!” a bit like Edward Woodward at the end of The Wicker Man. Clearly, it was fine. State Of Play was good fun in a twisty, overly-compact kind of way. The ‘invesigative journalism good/murdering corporations bad’ stick was quite meat and they beat me with it hard, like I’m pretty gay for that kind of liberalism so all good. 3 out of 5 the end.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 11:15 pm

    Of the ones from that list I've watched, pretty much agree with every comment and score – hurrah for extended film-watching time (and comical cries of alarm on waking)!

  2. January 22, 2010 11:45 pm

    I like. More please. It's not as if you do too much writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: