Wednesday, 30 December 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 106

270 - The Death Of Mr Lazerescu - 2 stars
The soundbites on the DVD hailed this as a "comic masterpiece" but I think that my funny bone must be broken.
I felt nothing other than sadness and depression after viewing this 2.5 hour long tale of one man's misery at the treatment he receives from the Romanian health service as he is shipped from hospital to hospital.
Filmed almost in a documentary style, it is a terrifying look at a health care system where the doctors and nurses don't care at all. Lazerescu symptoms are immediately dismissed by most doctors because he's been drinking, highlighting some prejudice and stereotyping.
The film is far too long but I guess this is part of its message about the waiting time that patients go through when at hospital.
Would hate to see a UK remake looking at the NHS, but if they are looking to make a real comedy then having one produced by Armando Iannuci or Chris Morris would be a welcome watch.

336 - Titanic - 3 stars (overall)
"This ship can't sink!" "She's made of iron sir, I assure you she can".
And so comes the turning point in this 3 hour epic that is half Romeo & Juliet, half Posidien Adventure. As such I will be reviewing the movie in two halves - the love story and sinking ship.
The Love Story - 2 stars
Rather insipid stuff that was created to give an emotional focus to the film to avoid it being a simple retread of A Night To Remember, with some terrible dialogue written by James Cameron (who seems more comfortable writing dialogue for machines than humans), and a manipulative score to tug at the heart strings. I wasn't really a fan of Leo until he started working with Marty but he has a great chemistry with 'England's Rose' Kate Winslet. As a bloke watching the film, things definitely picked up when she got naked. Was not expecting that in a 12 rated movie ;)
The Sinking Ship - 4 stars
The action still holds up well 12 years on. Before Avatar, Cameron knew how to balance practical and special effects. Similar to Apollo 13 where we know how the story will end, does create tension in who will survive.
Then it all ends with another Celine Dion song, but as much as I want to knock a point off for it, but I found myself kind of liking it, must be getting soft in my old age!

309 - The Terminator - 4 stars
A thriller as cool and efficient as the cybernetic assassin stalking Sarah Connor. Between the electronic music score by Brad Friedel and Arnold's unstoppable Terminator, this plays out like a Sci-Fi version of Halloween.
The first installment of the franchise has a much more gritty, grungier feel than the more expensive, polished sequels, part of the Tech Noir sci-fi style that was popular during the 80's with films like Blade Runner and revived by The Matrix.
My God, the 80's had some bad fashion, and bad dancing. The scene where the Terminator attacks Sarah in the club Tech Noir (where the style got its name from) is hilarious for some of the haircuts, outfits and dancing.
A breakout role for The Governator who proved particularly adept at playing a near silent, ruthless killing machine.
But T-101 in this movie is not as proficient as the model in T2. During the chase sequences, the targeting system is poor, with the Terminator being about as accurate as an Imperial Stormtrooper!
Having watched T2 last week, I was startled at the change in Linda Hamilton between the films, with only a hint of the steely eyed warrior that would emerge in the sequel present in the poodle permed Sarah Connor.

Days remaining - 259 Films remaining - 346

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