Monday, November 24, 2014

The Imitation Game

SF: There are a number of things I really appreciated about this film. Mainly its understated tone, despite having an endlessly fascinating topic and an open door to lots of drama the mood is very down played. Everything unfolds at a decent pace, the characters are developed well and while the tension is somewhat lacking the film is still very compelling. The fact it never really descends into a thriller or overly emotional film is really a testiment to the directors ability to make the subtle appealing. Benedict Cumberbatch is his usual brilliant self and Matthew Goode is great in the supporting role. Another bonus is that Miss Knightly didn't annoy me half as much as she normally does. While people will moan about the historical inaccuracies and I concede there are a number - mainly that Turing did not remain at Bletchley Park for the entire duration of the war I felt that alteration worked within the film. This film was one I really enjoyed and would suggest be one of the few worth seeing this year. 8.5/10


DonkeyB: I can't really see what all the fuss is about. Its only ok. The Russian spy subplot is as advertised (overblown and ridiculous) and while Cumberbatch's performance is good I didn't think it moved much beyond a high budget made for tv special frankly. 6/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


SF: I still don’t know if I liked this film. So far it feels like Nolan can do no wrong but then there are always bound to be hiccups and this I think is it. The film is far too long, while I enjoy character development the introduction and final 45 mins can all be condensed and have just as much impact. The other draw back is that the trailer gave away most of the plot highlights so I felt there were very little surprises left. The performances are fine enough but no one really stood out. The plot while being interesting seemed to have no pace and real drama. In fact most the film came across flat despite having a number of very intriguing scenes and elements to the story. On the hold the visuals might be worth a cinema trip but it wouldn’t be my first choice. 5/10

50Eggs: Here's my issue with this film. The poster says 'Experience it in IMAX' and in an interview, McConaughey said 'you need to watch this on the biggest screen you can find'. So you can forgive me for expecting this to be an eye-candy extravaganza, painting inspiring vistas of the cosmos and leaving me slack jawed. You can imagine my disappointment when the visuals turned out to be rather bland, and not even a patch on last years Gravity. That film, despite being set a lot closer to home, did a much better job in conveying the wonder of the universe and our place in it. Back to Interstellar the story and concept are good, and whilst I left the cinema in a bit of a mood, I will say that I have thought on the film a fair bit since and will definitely watch it again at some point. 7/10

DonkeyB: "Relatively inferior to Gravity" would be a good one line review for the poster. Its boring is the main problem, waaaaaaaay too long and stupider than it has any idea. Anne Hathaway's character would have spent 4 billion years inside an airlock if I was commander of the spaceship, but I did enjoy fat Matt Damon. I could come a cross as much harsher on this, its no Prometheus for example, much better than that, but it is much less than the sum of its parts and the ending is preposterous. 4/10

Overall: 5.3/10

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mr Turner

SF: Being a fan of Turner's work I was happily anticipating this film, the fact it was Mike Leigh directing was a bonus. Sadly I can't say I found this film at all enjoyable, it was at best mildly interesting. I found the music jarring, the tone depressing and the overall film a let down. While Timothy Spall gives another great performance and the film is very informative I didn't find it particularly emotive. While I can se the appeal to others this wasn't the type of film I like watching. There are some great scenes and I've no doubt that devote fans of both Turner and Leigh will lavish praise upon this. The best praise I can give is that the cinematography is wonderful. 5/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: I loved it, its not going to be popular with the comic book fans, but from the opening  scene the cinematography does a magnificent job of bringing Turner's world to life. Tim Spall gives one of the all time great grunting performances in the history of cinema, and its a longer history than you'd necessarily expect if you think about it. It is poignant and funny and while I have no idea whether it is an accurate portrayal of Turner's life, entirely believable, making him seem both human and yet not taking away the feeling of unknowable otherworldly genius that you get when looking at his paintings next to a Constable (for example). Special bonus points for the prominence given to 'Slave Ship (Slavers throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)', which is perhaps his greatest work, though less well known in this country as its one of the paintings that wasn't left to the nation because it was already in private hands when Turner died. 8/10

Overall: 6.5/10