Rocknrolla: Superrrrrb. Guy Ritchie at his best since Snatch, which surprisingly was way back in 2000. Weaves a tale of property, money and gangsters in (where else but) London, and does a damned good job of it. While you might only recognise one or two of the faces in here, most of the cast do well to bring something different to the table. Dry humour prevades, and for once a foreshadowed sequel is not unwelcome. ★★★★
Chaos Theory: a romdramedy that takes the idea of “If a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil…” and attempts to apply it to a dramedy plot. While there’s a couple of laughs and a couple of moments of genuine drama, there’s a bit too much music montage, and these characters never really grabbed me in any memorable way, barring perhaps the clever little girl. Better than Definitely, Maybe if only because it’s marginally more plausible, in much the same way that saying aliens from Mars is more plausible than saying aliens from Jupiter, say. ★★☆
Fashion: A Bollywood film without a song-and-dance number? That stays on message throughout? With a tightly constructed storyline? And “risque” scenes that fit the plot? And (background) music I could actually feel in my gut? Wow. Priyanka Chopra is my new favourite crush. ★★★☆
Farenheit 9/11: Watched this right before the US election, partly because i thought it’d be the last chance to see it with Bush still nominally in charge (allowing righteous indignation), partly because W is coming soon. Michael Moore is a storyteller, not a pure documentarian – he’s got an agenda and a storyline, and he’ll cobble it together come hell or high water. Not as brilliant as Bowling for Columbine, to be taken with a pinch of salt now and again, but utterly believable and confident, albeit at times meandering. ★★★
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Indy series is probably one of the very, very few where the sequels don’t come off too badly, and I’d even go so far as to say The Last Crusade was a better film than Raiders of the Lost Ark. But then, obviously, Lucas and Spielberg got greedy… and thus we have this as a result. Mostly involving a non-sensical macguffin to drive the story through action scenes innumerable, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull feels tired. It’s Indy, but not quite as we know it – Indy never has to go from one clue to the next, never has to solve a puzzle that would confound the common man. It’s too easy.
Harrison Ford does his best to live up to the character he brought to life so many years ago, and Cate Blanchett does her best too to try to enliven a character so one-dimensional it’s easy to believe this is a George Lucas creation (can someone please keep him away from a set?). The action is fun, if implausible, but it never seems to come to life or make you sit on the edge of your seat. Disappointing for an Indy fan, but not a bad way to churn through a couple of hours. ★★★
Wall·E: If there’s one thing you have to give Pixar credit for, it’s that they’re always pushing the boundaries of CG animation – and this movie pushes that little bit further. And more so than any Pixar film before it, Wall·E has a message, and it’s targeted. It’s a superbly constructed and well-told message. However, I can see this message going over the heads of children, who are ostensibly the target audience, and that is to miss out on half the brilliance of this movie.
It also shies away from an ending which would be confronting, nihilistic even, but brilliant and poignant – that, however, is my own sense of artistic grandeur kicking in, and this is, after all, a Disney film, so my ending would probably not go down very well.
These two small nitpicks aside, this is a brilliant film. To me, it misses the mark as a kids’ film, but it’s an excellent film for older audiences. ★★★★☆