I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Mel Brooks, but I’ve enjoyed bits and pieces of his work. I felt much the same about this one. It’s a great concept, and it’s fun, but it’s simply not executed all that well. Brooks’ direction isn’t very good, and the script lacks a solid structure. I suppose it was his first film, though - he did improve. Gene Wilder was brilliant, but I found Zero Mostel irritating. Overall, it’s a mixed bag, but it’s worth watching.
This was a decent film. I certainly felt infuriated with the horrible, racist characters, but it’s far from the first film to do that. The cast is good, though I didn’t think any of them gave a truly outstanding performance. It’s all a bit formulaic in its storytelling, and it failed to leave much of an impact. It’s not bad, but I didn’t think it was anything too special.
This film is less famous for being good than for being one of the most expensive films ever made. It’s a wonder it was ever finished with all the production trouble it had. Anyway, the film itself is still pretty decent. The production design, costumes and the cinematography are all fantastic. And, of course, Elizabeth Taylor is absolutely beautiful and does a good job with the somewhat limited role. Despite the title, the film is less about Cleopatra and more about the men who had to deal with her, it seems. It’s not the portrayal of her I would’ve hoped for. I suppose the biggest problem is that it’s so damn long. If you’re going to have a 4-hour film, it better be real fucking enthralling. I had to watch it in two sittings, and while I did okay for the first half, I was bored and restless in the second. It falls flat for all its ambition, but at the very least, it’s an interesting relic of cinema history.
I think this is my favourite Jim Jarmusch film. It’s just so… Cool. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are fabulous together - they have great chemistry and they’re very sexy. You wouldn’t think there’s almost 20 years between them. The film itself is gorgeous, too - the cinematography is exquisite. It’s very slow, and there’s not much plot to speak of, but I wasn’t ever bored. It even gets quite comedic in the middle of the movie, particularly with the introduction of Mia Wasikowska’s character. The messages and themes within the film are probably a little heavy-handed, but I enjoyed it a lot. At the very least, it should be praised for being different.
They’re not totally original, but the ideas and themes behind this film are pretty interesting. However, I don’t think they all came together perfectly. It reminded me a lot of Melancholia (2011) - both of which deal with a personal struggle within the wider context of a universal significance. I just didn’t find the main character’s story all that compelling, though. I’ve seen the same kind of thing before, and yeah, I didn’t really care about her. The ending, while cool, I saw coming miles away. It’s an interesting and ambitious effort, but it’s limited and ultimately somewhat mediocre.
It’s hard not to think that the screenwriters came up with the title for this film, and worked backwards from there. Yeah, it’s not very good. In a movie like this, having likable characters is absolutely critical, and with the possible exception of Craig Robinson’s character, it fails to achieve this. Overall, it’s pretty boring and I didn’t laugh once. It’s not awful, but it is a waste of time. And time travel, for that matter. It’s definitely weird that Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2014) is coming.
I’ve always meant to see this film, and I guess the latest remake, Godzilla (2014), reminded me recently. It was more or less what I expected. The special effects are pretty dated, of course, but I still thought the miniatures and everything during the destruction scenes were pretty cool. The scenes between them however were kinda boring. The anti-nuclear message is obvious, yeah, but not negatively so, I thought. It’s an important film, especially in terms of Japanese influence on the cinematic world, but I didn’t enjoy it all that much, personally.
I’m a big fan of Taika Waititi’s previous films, Eagle vs Shark (2007) and Boy (2010), as well as Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords, so this was a lot of fun for me. Waititi and Clement were probably the best parts about the film, too. I love their deadpan style of humour. Overall, the movie’s not absolutely hilarious, but it’s pretty funny, and enjoyable throughout. The characters are likable, the sets and costumes are fun, and yeah, I liked it a lot. I’d like to see more New Zealand films like this. I’m not sure if it’s getting much of a release internationally, but if you get the chance, I say it’s worth watching.