In Which I Review Four Films and an Exhibition

August 3, 2009

That sounds rather grand doesn’t it, but this weekend I went to a museum where I found a pleasant surprise and then watched four DVDs over the weekend.

So first here’s four very quick and sloppy film reviews

Bolt: The script is very derivative: a little bit from Toy Story, a little bit from the Aristocats, a little bit of the Truman Show.  Having said all of that it’s rather sweet with a few excellent jokes and makes for a solid 80 mins of entertainment.  As a side note I’ve noticed how even the most blandly designed cartoon seems to have gorgeous end credits – how does that happen?

The Young Victoria: Beautifully filmed and well acted, this film does have one major problem.  The story is pretty much about those great British (and dare I say German) attributes of stoicism, patience and “biding-your-time”.  All very admirable but these attributes are dull to watch because it takes an age for anything to actually happen.  For example, near the start of the film Victoria’s father threatens to thump her and she doesn’t get her revenge until about an hour later.  A quiet, dignified, understated revenge.  Admirable but hardly dramatic.  She should’ve got a shootah and blown ‘is fuckin’ ‘ead off.  Anyway if you like costume dramas and want a change from Jane bloody Austen then you could do much worse than watch this.

Anvil: Meet heavy metal’s least successful marriage!  These guys are lovable.  They look like Statler and Waldorf with long black hair and they know they won’t have that hair for very much longer and then the game will be up.  And see how many Spinal Tap references you can spot.

Quantum of Solace:
I don’t think Daniel Craig’s Bond can be left for five minutes in a room with another man without repeatedly thumping his face into a wall until unconcious and then stealing his wallet.  Beneath all the kung-fu and parkhour trimmings, the structure here is classic Bond: A slimy, wealthy bad guy with seemingly unlimited resources has a crazy, nefarious plan.  Bond and baddie have stand off resulting in baddie’s various attempts on Bond’s life killing almost everyone except Bond.  In the end the matter is resolved in some enormous structure (a warehouse, a warship, a space station, a volcano or in this case, weirdly enough, a hotel) where the baddie is finally dispatched in the most horrible way possible (with bonus points for irony).  So far, so predictable, except QoS has some nice little twists on the formula made possible by Bond’s new found volatility.  The time whizzes by and it’s pretty good fun.  It’s not as good as Casino Royale but that’s hardly a crime.

An Exhibition

If you’ve ever lived in a block of flats then you’ll know how fascinating it is to pop into a neighbouring flat and see what they’ve done with the same space.  The photographer Mark Cowper knows this feeling better than most as he’s photgraphed all 42 flats in his block; all from the same angle.  It’s fascinating to see the pictures and the descriptions of who lives there.

See a preview here.

The exhibition is at the Geffrye Museum which is a fantastic space, and free entry to boot.  Don’t miss it.

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