Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Movie Summaries - Batch 1


Just giving a quick summary of a few films I've seen this year because I can't be bothered to write full reviews for what are largely very uninspiring films. Here goes...

A Cock and Bull Story
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Naomie Harris
Grade: B+

Winterbottom's delightful 'film within a film' premise generates frequent laughs, owed in part to a dry and subtly brilliant script, typical of the new wave of British comedy. Backed up by a fine and hefty ensemble, Steve Coogan leads the line with an insecure audacity that's omni-present and (forgive me) omni-hilarious, while at 90 minutes the film remains a short, thorough, and enjoyably sweet experience.

Cry Wolf
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jon Bon Jovi
Grade: C-

Constantly playing up to teen slasher stereotypes, Cry Wolf would appear to satirise popular trends, occasionally veering into parody with its wacky and somewhat blatant exploration of genre convention. But whether this is intentional is another matter, the film ending with an almost obligatory atypical ending supposedly designed to defy and intrigue. The results are more subdued and underwhelming than anything else.

Directed by Allan Coulter
Starring: Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane
Grade: C+

This noir homage (of which there seems to be an ever increasing amount) manages to create a perfectly engaging narrative puzzle by switching between a powerhouse masculine demonstration by Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, and an above-par (allbeit overrated) Ben Affleck. Yet however mysterious the death of Superman's George Reeves may be, Hollywoodland's climax itself may instigate as many questions as its subject matter. Curiously thoughtful, but ultimately an odd, vague, and distant piece that says very little.

Directed by Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas
Grade: A-

This dark comedy is nothing other than a complete and utter joy, never growing tired or repetitive as it easily could have. Volver is a refreshing dose of melodrama that you can thankfully never take seriously, and is led by an unstoppable, revelatory Penelope Cruz in a fiery, vivacious tour-de-force that's become indicative of Almodovar's wacky thematic brutality.

More to come...

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