Posts tagged 2012
Posts tagged 2012
Review: Project X
You may have read some reviews from some forty-something year olds, talking about how Project X’s protagonists don’t suffer any consequences for the havoc they have brought upon their neighbourhood. But who cares, right? They’re old.
As someone on the eve of the age that defines her as an adult, has attended more than a few parties in her lifetime and has seen some pretty embarrassing things go down at these parties, I can tell you those ancient relics are right.
Project X definitely doesn’t add anything new to the found footage genre, unless you count a fresh handful of discrimination to multiple groups (including people with dwarfism, females and even teenage boys). Unfortunately for the actors playing our protagonists, Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown), the characters lack a uniqueness that made Superbad’s actors what they are today. Only Dax (Dax Flame), the one actually filming the unfolding events offers anything relatively new to the audience, yet you barely see him in front of the camera.
The female side is particularly let down. Only one female character really gets a voice (Alexis, played by Alexis Knapp), and I was definitely left wishing she had gotten Martin Klebba’s character to return and do another performance of the antics he had done at the party, but this time to Thomas.
With a cast of basically unknowns, it wasn’t the acting that let this film down, it was the script. It lacked originality, and the few bits that did surprise really weren’t enough to turn this into the next Superbad.
If you’re looking for a laugh, then this - I do have to admit - has it. That being said, it really wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Martin Klebba and T-Rick’s (played by Rick Shapiro) performances, also that weird security kid.
So Project X gets a 2/5 from me, as well as my sympathies for the neighbour, who definitely was a character I felt more for than the protagonists (though I don’t condone doing what he did, even if it was because of a certain electrical device).
(I should also add that I hail from the land where real life weirdos like this guy come from, so that might add a little context as to why I think the film doesn’t offer much. Project X pays a nice little homage to the events of 2008 though. Skip to about 1.13 if you don’t want to watch all of the video)
(AND another thing: I really enjoyed the trailer. The colouring, the music, even the tension with Thomas’ trailer opening lines; whoever made it did a wonderful job. Just wish more of that came through in the film)
Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Before the opening credits of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy even appear, you might find yourself thinking that it’s slow. This is an indication: if you want to enjoy the movie, pay attention.
The cinematography captured the atmosphere of the film perfectly. The dreary English weather reflected the mood within the Secret Intelligence Service and the film was packed with some of Britain’s finest stars who all delivered wonderful performances. One character that came across as underexplored is Roy Bland (portrayed by Ciarán Hinds). The lack of talk about him, and lack of screen time indicate that he was not considered a vital character by the film’s director, Tomas Alfredson, which only narrows down the list of potential the potential mole for the viewers.
That being said, the film also seems like it’s trying to compensate for not being able to cover all of the material written by John le Carré which just overly complicates things.
Gary Oldman as George Smiley was great but the characters that I felt the most connection to were Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) and Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy). They ultimately came across as the most human of characters and were willing to do what was expected of them, not what could gain the most advantage from, even if it meant breaking some rules.
The word “gripping” has been thrown about to describe this film, but is not a word I would use to describe it. I will admit that there were slow bits; parts where you will get lost in your own thoughts and miss a vital piece of information. It’s almost as if people are ashamed to say that they didn’t quite understand a part because they believe it will reflect on their intelligence. The thing to remember is that even if they are fictional, many of the characters themselves didn’t understand what it was that they had done. Also, as someone who has not read the original novel, there is an air to the film that suggests the book has many details that are needed for a complete understanding of the story.
What I admire about this film is its attempts to explore human vices, and I believe it is a very realistic portrayal of this, no matter how unique the story line may be to the majority of us.
Wonderful cinematography, a subtle, elegant score and great performances from some of Britain’s most well-known stars, but the plot seemed to be missing its spark. So it’s a 4/5 for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy from me.
What did you think of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?
P.S. There was serious contemplation of a 3/5 but the atmosphere created by everything but the script was truly great. It’s just a shame that some more clarity wasn’t incorporated into the film. I just sat through it thinking I must have missed a whole load of clues. Some googling brought me up to speed on some of the finer details (particularly with that chess piece with just ‘Karla’ written on it. Apparently I missed every other reference to Karla, so watch out for mention of the name; it’s fairly important to being able to follow the story).
Highly Anticipated: The Hunger Games
The film adaption of the USA Today and New York Times Best Selling book The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is set released March next year. Posters featuring profile shots of some of the main players of the book, teaser and full length trailers (well, one) are already stirring up much excitement. The Vanity Fair photo shoot of the cast has been cleverly made interactive over on their website, giving details on the audition process, as well as key moments for the characters (be warned, if you were aiming to be surprised by either the novel or film, tread carefully when reading the information: spoilers!)
As well as many comparisons to other books and films (Battle Royale is one of the favourites for the trilogy to be compared to), and the idea that the trilogy will be the answer to the loss of the Harry Potter franchise and soon Twilight Saga,The Hunger Games is definitely a novel that can stand on its own feet, and hopefully the movie will be living up to this standard too. If you’re interested in reading the book series, don’t worry about the threat of the dreaded ‘love triangle’: the books protagonist, Katniss, does her best to stay completely oblivious to it, mainly because staying alive takes priority.
I’d say both girls and guys, of all ages (maybe keep the littluns away from it; dying is the main theme of the series) would enjoy the books. It might not be able to be compared with the technical skills of J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, but that doesn’t matter: Collins has managed to write a book that didn’t have a single slow moment in my eyes. Its action packed, with the occasional bit of romance in there for good measure, and Capitol approval.