Rob Watches Movies

Reviews of every film I watch. The Good, The Bad and The Mothman Prophecies.

Tag: 2011 (page 1 of 2)

War Horse – 8.5/10

‘There are big days and there are small days, which will it be?’

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12 Days of Christmas Films Day 6: Arthur Christmas

‘Arthur! Christmas is not a time for emotion…’

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Short Film Sunday: Cockroach

Title: Cockroach

Directors: Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley

Released: 2011

Length: 27 minutes

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Martha Marcy May Marlene – 7.5/10.

 

 

5633_2A troubled young woman escapes from a cult. Spends lots of time looking into the middle distance.

When this film began and within minutes main character Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) was almost immediately psychologically and sexually abused I sighed and braced myself for yet another unnecessarily gruelling film showing nasty and ‘gritty’ violence towards women dressed up as art. I was pleasantly surprised by the end to find MMMM a well acted character study about paranoia, bullying and how some people use psychological manipulation to control the weak and unhappy. Elizabeth Olsen is a revelation here. Totally believable in what must have been a pretty tough role. She recently starred in Godzilla and is going to be a feature of the Marvel universe in the future too so keep an eye out. Hugh Dancy is just as creepy as he is in Hannibal although I’m not so sure he is meant to be and he kind of sticks out here. Eastbound and Downs John Hawkes is a world away from Kenny Powers redneck older brother. He is intimidating and dominant throughout as cult leader Patrick. This film would make a nice companion piece to fellow cult film Sound Of My Voice but most of all it is worth watching for Olsen’s haunting performance.

Untouchable – 7.5/10.

A poor man from the projects becomes carer to a wealthy quadriplegic. Both of their lives are changed as a result.

I’ve held off on watching Untouchable (despite it’s IMDB rating of 8.6, #38 in the top 250) because I was wary of how corny it sounded. I was expecting all sorts of heart warming, Oscar bait scenes but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Untouchable is more gritty than I was expecting and the chemistry between the two male leads is perfect. Omar Sy as the carer is the main attraction (he will be returning in the new Xmen film this year) and Fran├žois Cluzet is also very convincing as the man in the wheelchair. Untouchable is just a nice story, acted very well. A Sunday afternoon film if you will.

Hobo with a Shotgun – 5.5/10.

Pretty self explanatory title…

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A hobo (played by Rutger Hauer) walks the streets gunning down low lives and eventually starts a war with local gang leader Drake (sadly not the rapper) and his two terribly written and horribly acted sons.If you can imagine Steve Stiffler raping and murdering people then you would be pretty close to the where the sons are at.
Hobo with a Shotgun started life as a fake trailer for Grindhouse and it definitely ranks last behind Planet Terror, Death Proof and Machete in the list of films that Grindhouse has spawned. Whilst the other three were much more knowing in how ridiculous they were and felt more like a loving homage to 70s/80s B movies, Hobo With A Shotgun could sit alongside the more tasteless movies of that period.
At 1 hour 25 minutes it is short and sour and if you are looking for complete brainless, teenage boy attracting, meaningless cinema this is the film for you. If you want something that is actually good, just watch Sin City instead.

Sleep Tight – 7/10.

Luis Tosar scares the shit out of everyone…

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Cesar is a deeply troubled and unhappy apartment block concierge. The only thing that brings a smile to his face is the misery of others, particularly happy go lucky resident Clara. He begins a campaign of terror against Clara to try and ‘wipe that smile off her face’.
Sleep Tight is very similar to Hammer Horrors recent comeback film The Resident in plot but is executed much better in reality. This film is another example of how non English speaking horror films (Sleep Tight is Spanish) are currently beating out their English speaking counterparts.
Shout out to Luis Tosar who despite looking like a Spanish James Nesbitt plays Cesar perfectly to make him both charming and despicable at once, he even inspires sympathy at times.

Rubber – 6.5/10

Tiresome…

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A tire, apparently called Robert, wheels around the desert blowing peoples heads up for lolz, whilst some people watch him through binoculars and a madcap policeman does things like talk directly to the camera and ask other policemen to shoot him.
So Rubber is absolutely mental obviously but I found it quite enjoyable and mostly pretty compelling. It also made me laugh a few times, whether that was intentional on the part of the film makers is up to debate of course. I couldn’t really give Rubber more then 6.5 though because… well, it’s a film in which the main protagonist is literally a tire.
Pleasingly though the tire does have its own IMDB page:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5567312/?ref_=tt_ov_st

Grave Encounters – 8/10

A TV show crew are locked in an abandoned mental hospital over night to film an episode of their show.

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Tower Heist – 6/10

Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy decide to rob the resident of a penthouse suite in a tower block after he has lost the pension of the tower block workers. That just sounds terrible, which is why it has taken me so long to watch it…

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The truth is though, throw in Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck and a smart script and for the first hour this is a good flick with some laugh out loud moments. Once the heist gets under way though things go downhill fast but this is not as bad as you might think.
Obviously there is stereotypical fat black woman knocking about, this is an Eddie Murphy movie after all, but for all its flaws this is Stillers best for a while and Murphys best for years.
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