Golgot's Reviews

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Thanks for the review, Golgot. While I want to see it, I have to say that I'm disappointed that the 3D doesn't add anything. I don't think I have to say that I'm not a 3D fan, but I could see the point of it here, so it's a shame that, even when it has a purpose, it still doesn't really work.



I think you might have taken this movie a little too seriously and it really isn't worth the attention you've given it in this review, but I couldn't agree more that this is a throw-away movie.



there's a frog in my snake oil


Frank

This is an allegory for outsider musicians everywhere, rather than a depiction of Ronson's real experiences with casio whimsy and driven eccentrics. Embracing a wide field of influences, from Daniel Johnson to Captain Beefheart (who famously got his band to 'live' an album for 8 months), it does a great job of representing damaged individuals as they find a form of wholeness through music. In style it's almost reminiscent of a Wes Anderson flick, wrapping up tragedy and disfunction in a worn yet colourful carpet of slapstick and gorgeous attention to detail. It delves deeper into loss in some ways, but still manages to keep its filmic levity seeming somehow suitable.

Some great performances, including from a nigh-faceless Fassbender, are augmented by musical moments with real sustained presence and build. They're believable as a group of individuals that can turn spur of the moment expressions into textured music. The 'Ronson' thread of talentless-success running through it is possibly the weakest aspect, but the film wins out in terms of culmination and vibe.

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Under the Skin

I possibly had this film ruined for me by being repeatedly told the twist is amazing. It isn't.

Is it worth joining an alien Scarlett as she cruises the streets in a white van for hapless horny men during the lo-fi early stages? Certainly. Cinematically you'll be rewarded with some periodically lush set-pieces, as she lures her targets to a peculiar realm, and later explores some planetary wilds. You can certainly sense that they've chosen some of the locations and effects with love.

Where it falls down is that it feels like a short at best in terms of story. The space the greater length provides just gives you more time to realise this, rather than affording you room to reflect. There's nothing really to feed on. It's a slender tale which would be at home in a slightly-raunchy episode of Tales of the Unexpected.

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Thread: resurrected! Great reviews.

I still haven't decided if I'll see Under the Skin. Sounds like it has some big fans, but then, I've noticed all trippy/weird films tend to have at least a handful of big fans.



there's a frog in my snake oil
Cheers

I'd say going into it with low-expectations would be the way I heard all this talk of it being ethereal and trippy, but to be honest it's a pretty standard sci-fi staple in many ways, which wears it's lo-fi aspects on its sleeve in the prolonged guerrilla filming in the opening sections. There's one core motif which is very nicely done and somewhat ambiguous, and which contrasts nicely with the opening. It's never fully resolved (because the film goes off down a fairly generic route after that), but not in an annoying way. I'd say the skill on display in the stronger sections makes it worth a look, but just don't expect any great epiphanies



A system of cells interlinked
I watched both Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Under the Skin relatively recently. The documentary was extremely interesting, and well worth the watch. Highly recommended.

Under the Skin....I figured I would chime in, as I am the resident Trippy Movie(TM) guy to some extent! I liked it a while lot, but the issues Golgot mentions are certainly there. The film is already relatively short, but I think they might have been able to knock another 15 minutes off the final run time. I hadn't heard anything about the film when I saw it, so nothing was spoiled for me, but I would have trouble calling the final reveal a twist, per se. A twist tends to set you up in such a way that you think something is one way, but it turns out to be another entirely. In Under the Skin, the viewer just doesn't know what is going on, and isn;t given much to go on until the final scene of the film, when things snap into focus. That said, the ending is still murky at best. Oh OK, so she was a _______ the whole time. The reveal has crossed my mind as one of several ways things could have shaken out, and one of the ideas that crossed my mind happened to be correct. Right away, I was reminded of Sayles Brother from Another Planet, because her character sort of wanders around in the same way, saying very little, and just sort of observing in between dates.

So anyway, my mind was sort of already going that direction, and I just enjoyed the hyper real the flick was put together. it was ALMOST an amazing film, but as Gol mentioned, it falls short in some ways.

Fair warning, it is kind of depressing in a few different ways - not a fun film.

Good reviews, Gol!
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"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



Captives


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Tim Roth and Julia Ormond are people on either side of a divide. Ormand has lost her marriage, and launches into a new life, taking up work in a prison. Roth has lost his freedom, and is trapped amongst the crazed inmates of that same stark dominion. Both actors provide the perfect faces for the prison mentality, because as Roth says, what you spend your time doing inside is "reading each-other". Ormond is frightened, hurt and yet searching. Roth is fearful, contained and yet asserting.

As a tentative and then passionate relationship evolves, Ormond's fears
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revolve around more than the price of their meeting, and Roth's controlled nature belies what sent him reeling. They are caught in a fraught piece of life forcing through the cracks. An involving dance of compliance and retraction follows, as they size each-other up, and judge how much they're normal lives will put up with this.

There are gangsters and empathies, dangers and vagueries, and all of it makes for some claustrophobic exposure amongst the prison's sterility.

I recommend this piece of long-drawn forlorness, and love-shoot exploringness.

A good, stark, rich, short piece of "life".

(sorry for the rhyming - but alcohol's been rife tonight )

Nice to see Captives represented.



there's a frog in my snake oil
The Lobster



This film really shouldn't work. Its sci-fi world is held aloft by three conceits that are threadbare, and worse, not even meaningfully intertwined. They feel in many ways like a dice-roll of 'what would happen if' scenarios that have been thrown together. (If they form a coherent statement about the present, or the near future, it's so obscure that I sure can't knit it together).

However, what does work is that they stick with those three conceits and really go for them. They ground them, sink them into the locations, and keep their expression true. Despite the first mystery norm trapping the actors in a limited prism, they lend it an intensity that builds throughout. Events get dark, they get surreal, and even when the final peacock spread lacks a substantial reveal, I was still happily chasing across the landscape with these protagonists. Because against all the odds, what emerges is a love story that feels surprisingly real...

(+)



there's a frog in my snake oil
*Punishes self with a copy of Sight and Sound*



I agree with your take, and in particular the rating you settled on. It's a much more exciting film in the first half, when it's full of insane possibilities and could go almost anywhere. I wasn't really disappointed with how it unfolded, so much as I think it left a few things on the table. And I was impressed it managed not to feel like it was going out of its way to be quirky, in the same way we got a handful of Being John Malkovich tone knock-offs in the years after its release. This felt a lot more genuine...perhaps because of my complaints, actually.

But yeah. Weird. And not weird like random or funny or goofy. Like, genuinely weird.



there's a frog in my snake oil
Yeah, it's a strikingly odd film. There's humour in there, but it's swept up in surreal touches and conceits, and so never breaks with the tone.

Thinking about it again now, it almost feels like some kind of art house challenge that's been successfully met: Pull three hastily brainstormed tropes from a hat and try and make the best film you can from them, without straying beyond their remit. If that's what happened they knocked it out of the park



Enjoying these reviews strtfghtr Never even heard of Killing Spree, but that looks like something Id enjoy.