This tiny Canadian thriller/comedy starring Jay Baruchel and Rose Byrne took five years to come out on DVD in the UK. I can see why. Essentially, it's a darker, less funny version of British grave-robbing flick Burke and Hare. With a dull soundtrack and camerawork, the film feels like it was made with my little sister's pocket money. Stay away from this film, both Baruchel and Byrne have done far better.
How can a film with this cast be so... painfully unfunny?! Seth Rogen's script is a 90-minute fixation on penises, after about half an hour it starts to become tedious, not to mention juvenile. Stiller and Vaughn need to up their game too because their shticks are becoming tiresome. I gave this a 5 though because the cool alien design and some of the CGI somewhat redeemed the lack of laughs.
Panic Button is a one-location low budget thriller along the lines of Exam and Phone Booth (although not as good). With a cast of soap actors and a measly budget of £300,000, I was pleasantly surprised. The film raises some interesting questions about internet security, data protection and how our personal information is used by companies such as FB/Twitter. Also, some of the scenes were filmed in my university which is pretty cool.
Featuring a much younger Kieran Culkin and stellar actors such as Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes and Jeff Goldblum, Igby Goes Down is a low-key comedy/drama along the lines of The Squid and the Whale, Rushmore and Thumbsucker. If I had to pick a favourite type of film, it would be the coming-of-age dramedy such as the above films. Igby isn't the best example of this sub-genre but it's still a good watch.
Killer Joe is a weird film, one that I could never confidently recommend to somebody. There are some fantastic scenes and the performances from Emile Hirsch, Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple are faultless. However, I did struggle to see an artistic reason behind the madness. The violence, nudity and sadism felt gratuitous. Entertaining? Yes. But sometimes for the wrong reasons. I'd approach Killer Joe with caution.
I never really understood the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence. However, after watching Silver Linings Playbook, I am now a fan of her acting and her errr... beauty! The chemistry between her and Bradley Cooper makes this film a must see. Their characters are so fragile and fucked up, but also endearing. Does this film deserve Oscar buzz? I'm not sure the script is meaty enough for that but I do highly recommend this film to everyone.
I'm kicking myself because I've owned the DVD for 5 years and never watched it! This film is tremendously under-rated. If anyone ever accuses Tarantino of being a one-trick pony, I'll make them watch Jackie Brown. In another director's hands, this film could've been boring but the soulful soundtrack, cracking dialogue and humour make for a captivating film. If it wasn't 20 minutes too long, this would be a masterpiece.
Speaking of masterpieces... if you liked Oldboy, make I Saw the Devil your next watch, you won't regret it. Very rarely do films shock and scare me, I Saw the Devil damn near gave me nightmares! The difference between this film and Killer Joe is that the violence and depravity feels justified. It's an intrinsic part of the story. This film is also beautifully shot. The director makes murder and death look graceful, it's really hard to describe. All I can say is, watch it!