Thursday, February 26, 2015

Massive movie report

I've been snowed in on and off for over a week now.  I watch a lot of movies that way.  Here's my report on five I've seen recently.

An Australian woman wants to make an effective propaganda film opposing the coal seam gas mining in her local neighborhood so she decides to get tips on how to make a really effective one from the masters of propaganda films, the North Koreans.  She writes her script, assembles her cast, and then she flies off to the DPRK to get assistance from some of the late Kim Jong Il's favorite film makers and actors.  It's all very cute, endearing, and somewhat serious.  In the end she achieves her goal and along the way she makes lots of new friends.  I highly recommend this one, it's on Netflix.

Very disturbing film about a buttoned down put upon shy man who toils away at a horrible job until one day he runs into his doppelganger.  Things go downhill for him from there.

The IT Crowd alum Richard Ayoade adapted and directed this film and he used a lot of the cast from his first film Submarine and from his days on the aforementioned Brit-com.  It's a spectacularly good film and I'm a huge fan of anything he directs.
 I loved this film when I first saw it at the age of 8 or 9, but on recent viewing again at age 52, it doesn't hold up well at all.  The story is full of holes, the songs detract from most of the story, and why the fuck does no one notice that Dick Van Dyke is the only character with an American accent?

Visually, it's very pretty and so is the bewitching Sally Ann Howes but on the whole, it just doesn't work at all.
Speaking of not working, this loud joyless, humorless, pointless reboot of Robocop just plain stinks.  I barely made it through it.  I'm guessing all involved needed a paycheck.

This is a really terrific little claustrophobic thriller from New Zealand. A young woman gets caught trying to ripoff an ATM to feed her drug habit but instead of sending her to treatment yet again, they send her to her mother's home where she's going to be under house arrest for 8 months.  Pretty quickly into her home incarceration weird things start to happen and she and her paranormal obsessed parole officer try to sort everything out.  There's plenty of twists and turns and a many a shocking surprise thrown in to keep you on your toes and the whole thing is laced with a good bit of subtle humor.  I loved it all, especially the last 40 minutes.  I super highly recommend this one.

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