Monday, 13 September 2010

Movies Seen: The Outer World of Shahrukh Khan, City of Ember, Afro Samurai, Long Weekend, Observe and Report, My Bloody Valentine

So what do you do when you have a long weekend and you're stuck at home because you couldn't go on that Ganpatipule trip because you fractured your arm and it's in a cast and you can't go travelling anywhere? You catch up on your movie collection. 

The Outer World of Shahrukh Khan

A documentary where a crew follows Shahrukh Khan and gang on their 2004 Temptations tour across the U.K, U.S and Canada. I did find it honest and open, looking at what happens backstage, the rush, hard work, costume changes, interaction between the stars and crew, security, what they do with their free time, and interviews with the troupe and audience.

There are flaws though. The producers have chosen a more free flowing approach as opposed to a structured one, patching together multiple haphazard backstage scenes from the various venues visited, the only structure being the linear order of the venues themselves. After a while however, all backstage activity looks the same, no matter where the troupe is, meaning you tend to feel as dislocated as the troupe. Some sort of story or build up over the length of time spent on the tour would have been more riveting, as that would give us viewers some kind of context with which to follow the scenes. 

City of Ember 

A 2008 post-apocalyptic film directed by Gil Kenan. Some narrative flaws, but excellent art direction, and superior production values.

Right from the start, the futuristic, sci-fi, fairy-tale element of the story, with background narration and music, totally grips you. Moving on, you're taken in with the city itself and the characters within. Caricatures, some of them, but planned caricatures, and all the while that great music. The lighting is amazing, and you can't help but watch the film through to the end. And this probable the most cheerful family-friendly post-apocalyptic film I've seen.

The movie reminds me of Logan's Run and The Island, in that it also consists of a closed community whose individuals aren't allowed to leave, believing the world outside non-existent. 

Afro Samurai 

More of a T.V mini-series than a movie. Released in 2007, with 5 parts totalling just over 100 minutes of some of the best anime I've seen. What's unique about it is the mix of African-American and Japanese samurai culture along with some mutant and sci-fi elements thrown in for good measure. Yes, a bit slow at parts, but worth the watch, with more attitude than a lot of recent anime. 

Long Weekend 

A 2008 horror movie directed by Jamie Blanks. A couple with relationship problems go camping on a deserted beach and end up fighting nature-fueled insanity. 

The film starts well, with panning shots of the Australian wilderness. It then moves to a slowish but steady pace. Not everyone's cup of tea, given the questions it raises.

A 2009 dark comedy about a mentally unstable mall cop. Graphic, and almost certainly a waste of your time.

My Bloody Valentine

Yet another slasher film. Made in 2009. Average, if you like that sort of thing. If not, don't waste your time.

Have you watched any of these films? Leave a comment.


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