Monday, 25 June 2012

What I've been watching this June...

I'm one of those film-goers who puts a bit too much faith in the hands of film critics. If Empire says it's good, it's good, right? (as discussed in a previous post, we disagreed re. The Avengers). So when Empire gave The Five-Year Engagement a 4* review, a sign for an "excellent" film, I thought this rom-com was worth watching. 
Oh, Empire, our relationship is now on thin ice. Not to say that the film wasn't enjoyable - Emily Blunt and Jason Segel were a good match and Rhys Ifans and Mad Men's Alison Brie played their roles well also - but two hours for a rom-con is a tedious stretch. The film's plot was set up relatively quickly and successfully, but the couple's relocation to Michigan causing the not-so-soon-to-be groom to turn into a crazy hunter made up the majority of the film, losing the film's key premise; this section could have easily been cut in half and kept to the point. There were a few chuckles here and there but compared to last summer's hilarious wedding flick, Bridesmaids, this film is definitely the more low-key, understated ceremony.  

With a few more weeks to go until the big summer movies hit our screens, namely The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises, the cinema's line-up is rather stale at the moment. This film serves as an easy watch for those who don't fancy Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Hunter (who would fancy that?) or Prometheus (which I'm still quite intrigued about), but don't make the mistake of thinking that this film will be anything better than the average romantic comedy.

The Godfather Part I and II: that's right, from The Five-Year Engagement to The Godfather...

I'm ashamed to say that this week was the first time I had ever seen Part I and II of The Godfather trilogy, but I'm glad to say that they both lived up to my expectations. It can sometimes be a risky game attempting to watch two films that are hailed as some of the best of their time without either already deciding you're going to love it no matter what or overly critiquing it.

With both films almost reaching or surpassing the three hour mark, I didn't at all find them dragging and actually wanted Part II, which concludes around 200 minutes, to carry on for longer. Despite popular opinion, I'm inclined to say I favoured the second. I preferred Michael's journey through the Mafia than Vito's conclusion and the second part gave a wider view of their family lives; De Niro plays a big part in my decision there too.

I'll try to watch the final instalment this week with an open mind seeing as many often express their disappointment with it.

The Godfather Part I: 10/10
The Godfather Part II: 10/10

I probably shouldn't have watched GoodFellas and The Godfather in such close proximity because I couldn't help but keep comparing the two Mafia masterpieces. Having said that, I loved the music in GoodFellas and the humour gave it a lighter edge. Though not a cinema genius, there was something about Scorsese's camerawork and the frequent zooms that made the film extremely captivating and beautiful to look at. Unaware of the true story on which the film is based, the film gave me much appreciated plot turns and shocks. It definitely seemed like a film I could watch over and over again; something I'll look forward to.



Okay, where can I get my hands on this poncho?
A Fistful of Dollars

After watching and adoring The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, I had high hopes for the 1st part of the Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy. Though perhaps not as influential as the former, the film was shorter making the plot quicker and easier to follow. Eastwood's character was just as charming but the lack of another exciting character such as Angel Eyes or Tuco was evident. The cinematography and music, remembering the fact that this was released in '63, puts many modern films to shame.

It was particularly interesting watching this followed by Kill Bill: Vol. 1 as you can really see how Tarantino has been influenced by Sergio Leone. Seeing as Kill Bill only uses music sourced from other films, I wouldn't be surprised if he had taken some scores from this film or another in the Dollars Trilogy. I am now even more intrigued to see how Tarantino will take on the western genre with Django Unchained.


On the list for the next few weeks: The Godfather Part III, Taxi Driver, A Clockwork Orange, City of God, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Death Proof and For a Few Dollars More.

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