Is this a documentary? I honestly struggled to take the film seriously because there are such glaringly obvious blunders throughout that are difficult to look past. The details simply do not hang together, possibly due to poor editing, but either way it does not feel unscripted. What killed the film for me, aside from the fact it was pitched as an Alfred Hitchcock style thriller and turned out to be a handful of nothing, it was the trio making the film. They are irritating beyond belief, so I can’t engage in their story because I simply don’t care about them.
David O. Russell directs this big screen biopic of boxer Micky Ward and the various conflicts within his family during his rise to fame. What really kept this film glued together is the central performances. Mark Wahlberg is fine in the main role but it’s the supporting performances from Melissa Leo, Amy Adams and Christian Bale that add depth to the film. I admit I’m not really interested in sports or boxing films but this is well directed and successfully managed to grasp my attention. It’s not Million Dollar Baby by any rate, but it’s a solid piece of film.
This sets the standard for all Star Wars films, right back where it all started, with a genuinely well made science fiction film that still looks incredible despite approaching its 40th birthday. It’s weird to think about, a simpler time in which George Lucas wrote screenplays that were actually half decent, and could direct a phenomenal piece of film. It holds iconic status for numerous reasons, most notably the ensemble of lovable characters. For me will always remain one of the best science fiction films ever made. Not the best in the saga, but easily a close second.
I want to hug J. J. Abrams. This is the second franchise he’s saved and improved. Ultimately there are fundamental flaws, including a lack of originality, cheesy throwbacks and elements that pissed me off, but that doesn’t remove the fact I thoroughly enjoyed it. The film respects its classic heritage and looks backwards in order to move forwards. George Lucas is completely out of the equation, so it’s like Abrams’ parents have left for the weekend and he’s throwing a kick-ass party. It has substance, humour, superbly directed action, a phenomenal cast, and most importantly a strong female lead!
Frank Capra presents not only one of the best Christmas films of all time, but one of the most perfect films ever made. A film that is held together by an outstanding leading performance from James Stewart, in one of the most engaging and uplifting stories you’ll ever see in cinema. Every time I watch this film it reduces me to tears of joy and makes me feel more festive than any other film ever will. It is and always will be one of my all time favourite films, because it will never fail to make me feel happy.
Robert Zemeckis returns to motion capture territory to deliver one of the most redundant adaptations of the Dickens classic, that makes you wish you were watching the far superior Muppet Christmas Carol. Jim Carrey is at the very height of overacting as we see him play numerous roles within the film, turning each character up to eleven and subsequently making them beyond annoying. Even the ambitious attempt at visual style is not commendable, as the whole film feels like a series of cut away scenes from an early 2000s Playstation 2 game. Loud and uninspired rubbish that simply is not funny.
It’s annoying to see so many talented people, such as Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacey and Kathy Bates being sucked into the Hollywood tradition of making god awful comedies around Christmas time. Having Vince Vaughn as the titular character is enough to ruin the film, but why push some genuinely talented people on to the sinking ship? (no Kathy Bates Titanic related pun intended) It’s over the top and over sentimental drivel that’s designed to give parents a break for an hour and a half while their kids finally sit still. It’s not a Christmas classic, it’s a waste of time.
I know a lot of people will assume I don’t like this film, and they’ll be expecting a rant from me, but I can honestly say this film doesn’t bother me. It’s a bit like a text message from someone you don’t particularly like: you see it, you acknowledge its existence, then you simply ignore it and go about the rest of your day. I admit it’s funny to an extent, but the funniest element has to be the fact the filmmakers saw no irony in casting Will Ferrell to play a man refusing to grow up.
Many people will try to convince you that this film is “cute” or “romantic” but I would argue that it’s actually rather frustrating. The UK has Kate Winslet, a national treasure, and in this film we see her sent to the US and replaced by Cameron Diaz, much like in a science fiction horror when a human is abducted and replaced by a soul harvesting alien clone. It’s more stress than I need over the Christmas period quite frankly. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance films, but I much prefer them when they’re well written and less self indulgent.
For many The Polar Express is a much loved Christmas classic that unites the family and makes everyone feel festive. However for film geeks this is a film that is generally not spoken of.
When you speak of Indiana Jones you forget number four, when you speak of Star Wars you forget the prequels, and when you speak of Robert Zemeckis you forget his strange experimenting with motion capture.
It’s one of those films that just kind of happened and some people liked it, but for the rest of us we move on with life and forget it happened.