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More Plane Reviews

March 13, 2011

Do you know how long it takes to get to Japan and back? Long enough to watch seven movies, transcribe an interview with the head of Sony Computer Entertainment Wordwide Studios and write a 1500-word news story on the reveal of Sony’s new handheld.

These are the seven films I saw.

Monsters

There’s a pleasing Wyndham-ish nonchalance to the presence of aliens in this lo-fi road trip romance. Except if it was a Wyndham story the world would be falling slowly into a checkmate apocalypse, but here the aliens are penned into an infected zone in South America, the kind of refugees and road blocks near-future pessimism which also fills Children Of Men and District 9. They’re also a barely-seen backdrop to the real drama, the relationship between rich flighty princess Samantha and cynical photographer Andrew, providing a spectacular and alienating lens through which a familiar boy-meets-girl narrative is pulled into fresh focus.

Can you have ‘fresh focus’? Is that a thing? Anyway, 3.5/5

The American

George Clooney is like a haircutted strip of moody iron in this pared-down thriller. Like the two-tone poster suggests, it has a flavour of ’70s cinema – the Hollywood star abroad, a paranoid edge, and beautiful, meticulous photography which reflects the painful attention to detail Clooney’s character brings to his work as a gunsmith and assassin. Not a great deal happens, and there’s a lot of staring at Clooney’s face. But the cobbled, teetering streets of the Italian village in which his fading operative hides are exquisite to look at, and, hey, it’s a good face.

3/5

Machete

I’m pretty sure Robert Rodriquez has lost his hold on the fine line between ‘trash’ and ‘rubbish’ . This is an elaborate celebration of trash, rigid with clichéd dialogue and abrupt cuts to bass-scored sex scenes, paying tribute to dead genre films which deserve to be dead. It’s fun in parts, but the joke doesn’t carry for the running time. Plus, I’m sure he could kick my tits in and make my face into a hat, but Danny Trejo looks wrinkly like a man who got in the bath at the beginning of time and just got out. No way he’s having all that sex.

2/5

Iron Man 2

I hated this film. Because it’s shit. The winning smugness of the first Iron Man becomes a big rampant, punchable FUCK OFF, with Downey Jr. striding about raising eyebrows and being look at me self-destructive. The biggest problem is that, while the original film concerned itself with Stark building the first Iron Man, this time every fucker is building one: Stark’s rival Justin Hammer, Mickey Rourke’s mad Russian drag-act villain, eventual War Machine James Rhodes and, confusingly, Stark himself. In the end Rourke builds an entire army of tin drones which do a fight with Iron Man and War Machine which is as near as you’ll get to a perfect expression of cinematic emptiness.

COCK/5

Never Let Me Go

I didn’t cry, but I am entirely in love with the infinitely understanding smile and calm of Carey Mulligan’s Kathy H. The alternate-history dystopia, a sort of nostalgic sci-fi, allows for beautiful colours and costumes (a buckle-shoed, green pleat England) and carries with it the warm, sad quality of childhood memories. Entirely appropriate, given  that these memories are bound up with realisations about the universe and our temporary place within it.

4/5

Salt

Endurably rubbish. Angelina Jolie looks like the world’s hardest mop and cat-stares her way through a plodding spy nonsense about Russian sleeper agents with Liev Schreiber’s massive head. Made me want to watch Telefon again,which I’ve still not done because I am a bad person.

1.5/5

The Prince Of Persia

Jake Gyllenhaal is a smart and very likeable star and for Prince Of Persia he’s made his arms very big. But there’s a lot of boring bollocks in the movie, which seems transfixed by its own sparkly sand SFX sequences and too keen to deviate with expensive-looking but muddily executed pile ups and action bits. I watched the last 25 minutes on fast-forward because we were coming in to land. Don’t feel like I missed anything crucial.

2/5

One Comment leave one →
  1. SolidChris permalink
    March 13, 2011 7:35 pm

    Iron Man 2 is a load of gash isn’t it.

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