Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 Films of 2008

2008: The Year of Anarchy

Welcome to 10SecondReviews rundown of our top ten films of the year. These are our 10 second reviews:

10. Juno: 8/10

If slightly annoying & pretentious, Juno is still 1 of the smartest & sharpest films of the year. Great screenplay & pace with Page, Cera & Bateman all on form.

9. Gone Baby Gone: 8/10

Ben shines behind the camera while brother C
asey excels in front of it. A gripping character-driven abduction thriller

8. Son of Rambow: 8/10

An engaging heartwarming British film set in the 80s with a new star in Poulter. Occasionally clunky script is forgiven due to equal wit & poignancy.

7. Wall-E: 8/10

A great story that
combines a touching romance with a laugh at the human race and a subtle (but serious) warning to the world!

6. Eden Lake: 8/10

Not for everyone but a high point in British horror concerning real British fears. A relentless, brutal experience. Will you survive it?

5. In Bruges: 9/10

A hilarious tragedy with a simplistic but not simple story excellently executed. Farrell, Glessan & Fienes make a great trio.

4. Changeling: 9/10

Compelling heart-wrenching drama depicting a bleak, corrupt 20s LA. More proof that Eastwood is 1 of America's most vital filmmakers

3. No Country For Old Men: 9/10.

Violent, poetic & enthralling with a phenomenal cast. Bardem is 1 of cinema's most chilling characters as The Coen Brothers deliver their best yet fully deserving Oscar glory.

2. There Will Be Blood: 10/10

PT Anderson creates a vivid, raw & timeless piece of cinema with a sublime Day-Lewis. Tough but essential viewing

1. The Dark Knight: 10/10.

Nolan's crime epic is not just the best comic book movie ever made or the film of 2008, it's a visionary masterpiece.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Happening

Our Ten Second Review

Happening: 1/10. Shyamalan’s decent into the abyss hits all time low with this abysmal eco-horror. Embarrassing on all fronts. Worst film of 2008.

Our 90 Second Review

M. Night Shyamalan has somehow managed to trump the atrociousness of Lady in the Water with a horror so empty of ideas and lacking in any coherence it’s farcical.

Once hailed as possibly the next Hitchcock, finally it is being uncovered that Shyamalan has run out of ideas and maybe he didn’t have many to begin with.

Originally this was tilted The Green Effect, a bad film name I agree, but nowhere near as dreadful as The Happening, one of the worst film titles I can think of, especially when you consider nothing actually happens.

His latest horror offering is about people who inexplicably commit suicide across the East coast of America. Originally thought to be a terrorist virus attack, the true cause of the disaster unfolds as we have to suffer scenes of people trying to escape the ‘virus’ with even scenes of running away from the wind.

Mark Walberg’s performance is possibly the most baffling thing of all. An actor who has been on fine form with cracking performances in films such as The Departed (see clip) and Invincible (see clip) manages to deliver an embarrassing display where it appears he is living in a dream world for the whole film. Although maybe he needed to be in dreamland to get through the awful, shallow script that should never have made its way to a major Hollywood Production.

A film brimming with illogical science, crater-size plot holes, universally bad acting, zero tension and laughable chase scenes, this might just be a contender for the worst film ever made, let alone worst film of 2008. Oh and I have a theory of why everyone decides to kill themselves: They’d just been told they have to sit through The Happening again.

Shyamalan’s next venture is a live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated series and surely this change of direction from horror can only be a good thing.

Overall: 1/10. Proof that Shyamalan has fallen from grace since the days of Sixth Sense by delivering the most bewildering, nonsensical shockingly terrible film of the year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading

Our 10SecondReview

Burn After Reading:8/10. Hilarious, sharp and original.A brilliant snapshot of a mad world.Understated Simmons is a hero.Coen's on a roll.

Our 90SecondReview

This is a bloody good film! But it seemed to pass under the radar a bit. Was it just me or did hardly anyone see it?

It could be because it's a very unconventional film. If you're anything like me you'd have seen all the publicity and wondered what it was about. This is probably the problem. I love the film but I have no idea how to sell it! But that is it's joy: it's a glimpse into a mad story filled with stupid people who don't know what they're doing.

J.KSimmons (our man of the match) sums the whole thing up wonderfully when he says: 'report back to me when er...i dunno...when it makes sense.' Here's that brilliant scene.

Another possible reason for the films quiet entry and exit from the cinemas could be because the Coen's are knocking out films all over the gaff. They've only just finished the masterpiece that is No Country For Old Men (review to follow?) and frankly I don't know how they do it! So with all eyes still on that film, it could have contributed to Burns mute coming and going.

It's shot intelligently and interestingly but it's the cast that really make it. George Clooney is the sex, exercise and wooden-floor obsessed man living the life of riley. Some people have said that this film is further evidence of Clooney's lack of diversity. Their argument is that he can only play swaggering gods-gift to women characters but hey- if it works as well as this then who cares!?

Pitt is also great, especially !SPOILER! his cheeky grin just before he's shot in the face. It shouldn't be funny should it- someone getting a face full of led? But it's the Coen brothers and it IS.

Overall: 8/10. A sharp satirical snapshot of a secret service that we all hope and pray is fiction!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Our 10 Second review:

Prince Caspian: 4/10.The novel aside this is a poor sequel to a poor first film.Great CGI but laughable acting and a very, very dull score.

Our 90 Second Review

It's difficult to keep the film and the novel by C.S.Lewis seperate here. Although the novels undoubtedly a classic of its time: a feature film maketh not!

In interviews (with Empire I think) director Andrew Adamson made it clear from the start that the story is short and so certain themes would need to be expanded or even introduced from stratch.

This is the main problem with the film. Even without reading the novel, it feels drawn out. There are scenes which appear to bear no relevance to the plot line. Such as the scene with the White Witch who randomly crops up to tempt the children...again.

Scenes like this and the generally confused, stretched out feel to the plot make it a dull view. It's impossible to say how much time passes during the film with it's back and forth plot and crazy geographical meanderings. None of this is helped by a mind-numbingly boring and overemphasized score.

Not to mention dreadful acting from the lead Ben Barnes who's annoying accent and face ruin any chance of feeling the slightest-bit moved by his plight. And the love interest between him and Susan is another prime example of poly-filler cinema.

One thing that is impressive is the CGI- especially on Aslan which is a big improvement on the already impressive first film's. And the battle scene at the end isn't bad. That is until trees come in and finish it all off forcing the evil bastards back to a river which magically washes them all away...sound familiar!? I know, it's not Adamson etc's fault that C.S.Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien were best mates and wrote similar fantasies. It's just unfortunate.

Overall: all filler- no killer and like the novels- it's poor man's Lord Of The Rings. 4/10


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