2 Dec 2014


Having enjoyed Kelly's 'One Sentence Movie Reviews' (the latest of which can be found here) Mr T and I thought we'd join in the fun and post our LoveFilm.com reviews beginning with Novembers DVDs.

THE BOOK THIEF ... A cinematic achievement I think. Invariably I find film representations of a book do not carry the book well so was not optimistic on viewing this one, having found the book unremarkable and tedious. Given the medium of sound and image in which to interpret I found that it had become even more tedious than I had imagined possible and therefore is a big thumbs down. - NJT

More enamoured of the book than my other half, I never the less thought this a vapid adaptation, the laughable accents not far short of those of the tv comedy Allo, Allo - a clip of which can be found here for those of you not familiar with the series. - TT

FRANK... A biopic on the phenomenon that was Frank Sidebottom. AKA Chris Sievey this film fantastically and surrealistically recounts the tales of Jon Ronsons memoir on working with Frank. Not one for casual viewing, not at all if you have no concept of Frank and his artistry as the film is equally surreal in it's presentation. If you have a thing for quirky English ephemera examining the English eccentric then there may be lots for you in this film. Otherwise, don't say you haven't been warned and don't come back to me with questions, I won't be able to answer them, try Youtube. - NJT

Not my kind of thing at all, I didn't even attempt to watch it. - TT

tick symbol : A 3d people was holding a Wrong SymbolPRIMATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (formerly Marco Macacao) ... I would have stuck with the original title that at least has alliteration going for it. 
So this is what tripping is like... Ah made in Denmark..... - NJT 

Summed up in one word .. bizarre. Normally a big fan of animated films (we both are) I'm truly struggling to work out just which audience this would appeal to. TT. 

tick symbol : 3d render illustration of a white 3d human holding a green tick symbolASHES ... Intense movie that defies simple classification. James (Jim Sturgess) arrives at a care home in search of a long lost father and meets Frank (Ray Winstone). Not prepared for a man stricken with Alzheimers or the existence led by Frank and others in the home, a chance opportunity leads him to bust Frank out of the home and the pair go on the run together. Ray Winstone on unfamiliar territory perhaps, plays the tragedy of human frailty as memories come and go amidst the confusion of temporality, which is hard enough. Desperately tragic and ridiculously comic by turns, Franks highly dramatic in flashbacks and an acute thriller in his hallucination, steadily unfolds the pieces of his past for himself and for the viewer. Pacy, beautifully scened and edited, could do without quite so much incidental music taking centre-stage, but very well worth a watch. NJT

Not normally a big fan of Ray Winstone who generally plays, well, Ray Winstone. His portrayal of Frank came as quite a revelation in the wonderful little gem of a film. TT  

THE RAILWAY MAN ... Based on the true story of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) Labour camp prisoner on The Burma Railway and restitution for his tortured mind. The brutal and barbaric destruction of body, mind and hope is recounted to his wife (Nicole Kidman) by a fellow veteran (Stellan Skarsgard). Does she stand by him through the opportunity for vengeance, forgiveness or justice for the army of ghosts? More engaging than I had anticipated, not being a fan of Kidmans, but she does a good turn here. Mr Firth returns a solid and very British performance as the older Lomax and Jeremy Irvine gives a notable performance as the younger man. sometime the hating has to stop and that is usually when we are faced with becoming that which we despise. NJT

Not in the mood for the brutal and barbaric destruction of body, mind and hope I'm afraid I didn't watch enough of this one to pass comment. TT 

GOTHIC ... Gabriel Byrne is the delightful, dark and debonair Lord Byron, hosting his muse Claire and the Shelleys at La Villa Diodati on the stormy shores of Lake Geneva. Ken Russels lively and surreal depiction of the night time activities of the romantic idealists and hedonists who give themselves over to the terrors of the mind. The night in which Mary Shelley conceived of her novel Frankenstein as Byron conspires to encourage his literary circle to greater heights of creation. Wonderfully shot movie with all of the nasty little tensions and surprises that Ken Russell enjoys in lavish scenery and shots that mix up the real, the surreal and the imaginary throughout. Love this little film, pleasure to watch it again as her Ladyship had not previously seen it. NJT

Wonderfully atmospheric and eerie - both Timothy Spall as Polidori and Myriam Cyr as Claire were particularly memorable - but perhaps just a tad too surreal for my tastes. TT

THE MONUMENTS MEN ... Delicately gentle film of war as a team of art experts go to work in Occupied Europe in the last months of the second world war. All individuals with their personal quirks and passions but with a joint passion for the preservation of the greatest achievements in paint, sculpture and porcelain. With precious little help from the soldiery intent on finishing the war they pursue what little information they can glean from locals and by uncovering members of the German army who have gone to ground. It then becomes a race against time as Herr Hitler has left instructions that should he die or the war be lost that all should be destroyed. Clooney, Goodman, Murray, Damon, with Ms. Blanchett and holding up the British stiff upper lip Hugh Bonneville. Not a great film but an interesting tale of real life told well. NJT

Not a film that gripped me from the beginning but by the end I was just as engaged as Mr T by this rather thought provoking offering. TT


Gina R said...

Oh my! Sounds like some of those were umm....less than stellar. I too find that the movie doesn't usually do justice to the book fully but if one starts with a title they weren't happy with, the outcome can usually be predicted to match on the film. Thanks for the share! ^_^

Kelly said...

What a fun post this is! (..and thanks for the link)

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy The Book Thief as much as I did. I really did think it did justice to the book.

The only other on your list that I've seen is Monuments Men. While I enjoyed it, I didn't consider it to be anything special - much like Mr. T summed it up.

I may have to look into Gothic and The Railway Man a little more closely.

I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from the two of you and hope we can see this as a regular feature.

Nas said...

Thanks for sharing your views! I loved this post.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

What a fun post! I think I have only heard of one of these movies- The Book Thief. I read the book, but haven't seen the movie. Interesting to hear your thoughts and Mr. T's too! I learned about a lot of movies today. :)

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks to you and Mr. T. for sharing your honest thoughts. I haven't heard of all of these movies. It seems you both enjoyed Ashes the most.

Brian Joseph said...

These are neat little reviews. Thank you for sharing.

Though I have not seen it in a while Gothic is a favorite film of mine. The visuals were indeed striking in that movie.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Love the reviews. I want to read The Book Thief and see how it compares to the film as you have done. I also want to see the Monuments Men. See if I have a different take than you did.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I haven't watched any of the films you mention in your excellent post, but rhen I have to say, that by the time I get in, sort dinner and do a few chores, I generally spend the remaining hour or so of the evening, catching up on email and posting on the blog, rather than watching television.

There must have been a series of Liam Neeson films on this week, as Mr.G wtached his third one last night! I did catch most of 'Unknown' on Monday evening and thoroughly enjoyed that and Mr.G has since watched 'The A Team' and 'Taken'.

Thanks for sharing your great finds, I can see I shall end up with a 'To Be Watched' list soon!


Claudine G. said...

I'm interested in watching Ashes and The Railway Man. Not usually a fan of Kidman either, but I've been surprised by how good she can act in some of her lesser-known films.