Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Posted on 21:07 by Daniel Mumby
Friday, 25 July 2014
Posted on 18:56 by Daniel Mumby
Friday, 18 July 2014
Posted on 14:16 by Daniel Mumby
Thursday, 17 July 2014
Posted on 23:07 by Daniel Mumby
Directed by Ang Lee
Starring Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen
One of the traps with reviewing cinema outside of the Hollywood mainstream is assuming that difference equates to higher quality. We're so used to the American approach to storytelling and characterisation, with Hollywood-style films being made all over the world, that the second someone comes along with a slightly different approach, we assume that it must have some greater value. This over-valuing can lead to greater misconceptions about the cultures from which such films emanate, leading us to regard as paradigm-shifting art what said culture regards as derivative, third-rate trash.
Spirited Away, it was a watershed for bringing Chinese, Japanese and Korean films to greater attention in the West. While you might have cause for debating exactly how ground-breaking it is within its given genre of wuxia, it is still a great film with a well-told story which finds director Ang Lee at the peak of his powers.
Life of Pi, for which he eventually won the Oscar for Best Director. With the possible exception of Hulk, Lee has always managed to strike an enviable balance between visual poetry and detailed characterisation. While the narratives in his films aren't always the most complex or profound, he has a knack of continually pulling us back toward the underlying story, where many lesser directors would get lost in the pyrotechnics.
Warriors of Virtue, a tedious affair noted for its incoherent, blurry action scenes.
The Matrix trilogy and later lent his talents to Kill Bill.
A Place in the Sun, or to a lesser extent Gojira. But Crouching Tiger uses its restrictions more proactively, using our foreknowledge to justify its emotional arcs all the more. Lee repeatedly uses very tight close-ups to force us to read into the characters' faces, and Zhang Ziyi in particular is very adept at making even the slightest smile or tiniest flicker of her eyes seem deeply meaningful.
NEXT REVIEW: Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Posted on 22:12 by Daniel Mumby
Olly Moss last October. I can't recall exactly how or when I encounter Joshua Budich's work, but I've always been a fan of artists (whether amateur or professional) who can present culturally iconic material in a new light. Where Moss uses geometric shapes and Escher-style symmetry to create an image which epitomises the film, Budich takes the most recognisable character elements and gives them a fresh visual twist.
Blade Runner, Back to the Future and the Indiana Jones series. The composition of characters is similar, but with a more cartoony and striking colour palette than Struzan's airbrush work. Many of his character designs look like they have been achieved through rotoscoping, and his drawings from The Big Lebowski look uncannily like art from the Grand Theft Auto series.
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Posted on 00:45 by Daniel Mumby
Directed by Dean Parisot
Starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones
In my review of Taken, I spoke about two growing trends in mainstream filmmaking: "older protagonists as a reaction to a market saturated with youth, and weighty actors downsizing into trashy B-movies." The Expendables series and Liam Neeson's recent output find some of the most beloved actors of their period taking on roles that would have once been filled by people half their age and a quarter as talented.
Saving Grace and Calendar Girls. Both of these films are driven by older characters, who conform to some generic conventions but still feel like real people. While neither of these films are the most disciplined or structurally sound, they tell interesting stories which charm us and lead us to forgive or overlook their shortcomings.
his review that Bruce Willis "seems unmotivated to smile at all, much less offer a series of emotions that constitute a believable or compelling performance." While you may not agree with Gilcrist word for word, he does hit the nail on the head: none of the actors look like they're having fun. That wouldn't be a problem if the film were a sombre, depressing existential parable, but it is a problem when you're trying to make an upbeat action thriller with lots of jokes.
Twelve Monkeys or Looper, he holds himself much more precisely and seems far more natural in his movements. When he's doing something purely because he needs the money, he slumps his shoulders, narrows his eyes and is much less responsive to his fellow actors. While this is by no means his worst performance, let alone his worst film, it does give off vibes of him only doing the part because he has to be that.
Shadow of the Vampire), but there's a weariness to his performance here which doesn't gel with the character's dynamic dialogue. Helen Mirren doesn't get a greal deal to do, and her attempts at deadpan humour just come across as flat readings. The only main actor who commits and engages to the required level is Byung-hun Lee, and his character seems to have escaped from a far better, far more interesting film.
The Ipcress File. All the little twists involving people changing sides which could have been used to drive the film are instead presented like the action sequences - as distractions, and nothing more.
NEXT REVIEW: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Monday, 7 July 2014
Posted on 22:19 by Daniel Mumby
Friday, 4 July 2014
Posted on 14:28 by Daniel Mumby
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Posted on 23:35 by Daniel Mumby
- Friday August 1st at The Venue, Cullompton (tickets £7.50, bar available - call (01884) 33265)
- Saturday August 2nd at The Walronds, Cullompton (tickets £15 including a meal - call (01884) 35934)
- Saturday August 16th at Village Hall, Calverleigh (tickets £10 including a sausage supper - available from Twyford Photography)
Please go along and support this great company in what promises to be a splendid evening.
Monday, 30 June 2014
Posted on 22:29 by Daniel Mumby
NavMotion were very kind to provide me with the camera equipment and editing software free of charge. I'm very proud of the results and I hope that you will enjoy them.