kevan + 2stars   48

An Affair To Remember (1957)
Some oddly dated social rules, that all bets can be off in a relationship that hasn't gone as far as marriage. Fairly pedestrian stuff otherwise, the self-pitying-playboy versus unimpressed-schoolteacher not lasting very long.
filmlog  2stars  love  secrets  travel 
february 2008 by kevan
A Day at the Races (1937)
A few good routines, but there are even more unnecessary musical numbers than Night at the Opera, and most of the longer comedy routines are incoherently chaotic. Some quality fist-shaking and spluttering outrage.
filmlog  2stars  comedy  horses  medicine  sport  lies  money 
december 2007 by kevan
The Ipcress File (1965)
Decently underfunded and matter-of-fact sixties espionage, desk jobs in drab government offices against a mundanely historical London backdrop. But Caine's character is utterly charmless and unconvincing, and it's a dull ending for its genre.
filmlog  2stars  surveillance  politics  science  secrets  delusions 
october 2007 by kevan
Topkapi (1964)
An odd contrast to Rififi; this is in colour, in English, and with everybody except Peter Ustinov overacting terribly. Another elegant and near-silent heist scene, but it's blunted by needless exposition.
filmlog  2stars  crime  surveillance 
october 2007 by kevan
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Fast-paced coincidence-driven amnesiac-assassin action nonsense. Fun for running straight through a lot of tropes and cliches, and dropping them completely before they can get boring, as if they'd just forgotten about them.
filmlog  2stars  memory  terrorism  secrets  delusions 
october 2007 by kevan
Monkey Business (1952)
Demonstrating that one of the most dangerous aspects of self-experimentation is having a biased personal epiphany about social consequences, and abandoning all research on an apparently workable panacea.
filmlog  2stars  science  medicine  coincidences  apes 
september 2007 by kevan
Sim City (Nintendo DS)
The DS is a nice medium for the emergent background gardening of Sim City, but the game has been oversimplified into just zoning as much yellow as possible, and the useless advisers and zany cartoon lobbyists get in the way far too much.
gamelog  2stars  cities  simulation 
august 2007 by kevan
Sneakers (1992)
Arbitrary gadget-heist with an odd mix of realistic and ridiculous pitfalls.
filmlog  2stars  technology  computers  hacking  secrets  crime  via:brendan 
july 2007 by kevan
Shakespeare In Love (1999)
Only a few detectable Stoppard lines and a lot of clunkingly heavy references, even to someone who barely knows any Shakespeare, with no real sense that there was anything terribly subtle going on underneath.
filmlog  2stars  history  theatre  love 
june 2007 by kevan
Hackers (1996)
Watched as the second half of Holly and Brendan's steampunk-rewrite-readthrough. It's great when what you assume is just an abstract neon-cityscape metaphor of boring hack work is revealed to be actually running on their 28.8bps laptop screens.
filmlog  2stars  hacking  computers  crime  viruses 
june 2007 by kevan
Clue (1985)
Cheerfully nonsensical vagueness that only really works if you know the three endings are coming, and doesn't really work that well anyway. The isolated-house murder-mystery trope is always fun, though.
filmlog  2stars  mysteries  death  board  games  meta  crime  secrets  weapons 
april 2007 by kevan
Sunshine (2007)
Guess what the crew of the sunbound spacecraft Icarus decide to do. Reasonably sane sci-fi, with the sun as a good, ever-present menace, although a bit redundant with space being dangerous enough anyway. Too many cliches, though, and a dreadful third act.
filmlog  2stars  space  science  technology  light  fire 
april 2007 by kevan
Kororinpa (Wii)
Odd clash of relaxing physics and stressfully having to restart the level after making a tiny mistake, often because of the terrible camera system. And two-player mode is *appallingly* thin, just racing to finish the same level in split-screen.
gamelog  2stars  physics  puzzle 
april 2007 by kevan
Some Like It Hot (1959)
How to use ridiculous, unmaintainable lies to avoid gangsters and attract women.
filmlog  2stars  secrets  lies  love  money  music  crime 
march 2007 by kevan
To Catch A Thief (1955)
A Hitchcock, but not really having any of his style to it; Cary Grant being an irked ex-jewel-thief trying half-heartedly to clear his name from recent crimes, whilst wearing an alarming mahogany-varnish suntan.
filmlog  2stars  crime  secrets  france 
february 2007 by kevan
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Nintendo DS)
A simple, plodding show-item-to-person detective adventure game, brightened up by the ridiculous manga styling - presenting evidence during witness testimony in court, with a triumphant text-flash "objection!" explosion. Linear but time-killing.
gamelog  2stars  law  crime  puzzles  lies  death  mysteries 
february 2007 by kevan
The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
Men are evil and women are stupid, but children endure. Overrated, apart from a few stand-out scenes - there's a good and genuinely sinister, unstoppable villain in there somewhere, but the slapstick and weird editing undermines him almost completely.
filmlog  2stars  religion  children  death  crime  prison  money  secrets 
february 2007 by kevan
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Pillar-to-post detective work, the sliders for both "decade" and "mood" set at proportional values between Bogart and The Big Lebowski, although Gould has some nice touches of timelessness.
filmlog  2stars  mysteries  crime  money  lies  death  police 
january 2007 by kevan
The Singing Detective (2003)
Jumped a bit too quickly and unevenly between its stories, and Downey just came across as shoutily, shallowly annoyed rather than genuinely bitter. Made me want to have watched the whole of the original, but not to actually watch it.
filmlog  2stars  crime  mysteries  skin  death  love  medicine  delusions  writing  via:catriona 
january 2007 by kevan
Theatre Of Blood (1973)
Decreasingly gory Shakespeare set-piece jokes, spinning out an increasingly pointless plot, and Diana Rigg in some terrible wigs. Everyone should have their own derelict theatre staffed by meths drinkers.
filmlog  2stars  theatre  death  via:catriona 
december 2006 by kevan
Nothing Sacred (1937)
Weak screwball comedy that never really gets going, with an uncomfortable attempt at comedy domestic violence, and a generally weird and morbid attitude throughout, with a radium-poisoned girl being the toast of New York for being so "doomed".
filmlog  2stars  news  pestilence  secrets  lies  love  death 
december 2006 by kevan
Lemming (2006)
Suicide as romanticised and misunderstood exhaustion. One good simile, horribly over-diluted at two hours.
filmlog  2stars  death  depression  mammals  france  ghosts 
september 2006 by kevan
Night Watch (2005)
Running, jumping, eternal-struggle-of-good-versus-evil nonsense in the streets and tenements of Moscow. A good, Slavic edge to the mythology and attitudes, but it's a mess that falls arbitrarily apart towards the end, setting up for sequels.
filmlog  2stars  monsters  magic  apocalypse  russia 
august 2006 by kevan
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
A surprisingly thin attempt at a modern screwball comedy; the cynicism's far lazier and duller than equivalents from the forties, and the leads are boringly flat and unengaging. Barely recognisable as having anything to do with the Coen Brothers.
filmlog  2stars  love  law  money 
august 2006 by kevan
My Favorite Brunette (1947)
Another accidentally-public-domain film, from a job lot of fifty mostly unwatchable ones. Bob Hope in a thin detective parody, with a few good scenes. Surprisingly little fourth-wall breaking, except for the brilliantly absurd ending.
filmlog  2stars  mysteries  crime  police  photos  secrets  delusions  comedy 
august 2006 by kevan
The Deadly Bees (1966)
The MST3K'd version. Killer bee nonsense, with minor elements of mundane beekeeping law that sadly don't get carried through for a triumphant finale.
filmlog  2stars  bees  death  science 
july 2006 by kevan
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Nice opening sense of the homeless being timeless, amid alien 30s socialites, and William Powell is excellently unimpressed right through to the briskly absurd ending. The class issues fall away rather lazily, though.
filmlog  2stars  money  society 
july 2006 by kevan
Titus (1999)
A visceral, emotional plot gets past most of the dead grammar, the set and costume design is fun for its mess of wilful anachronism.
filmlog  2stars  death  politics  via:holly 
june 2006 by kevan
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Very tenuously like an Aliens-style sequel to American Werewolf, a group of soldiers wading into a fairly coherent werewolf environment. Painfully bland and flat dialogue, though, all non-joke jokes and clunky allusions.
filmlog  2stars  monsters 
june 2006 by kevan
Murder By Death (1976)
An elaborately pointless and talent-wasting parody of fictional detectives, and the isolated-mansion mystery story. I'd forgotten how enjoyable the genre itself could be, though.
filmlog  2stars  death  mysteries  meta 
may 2006 by kevan
Hukkle (2002)
A deadeningly slow meander through the ambient sounds and colours of rural Hungary, gazing at nature and machinery with equal fascination. A dialogue-free plot flows in the background, but it wasn't enough to keep me watching beyond forty minutes.
filmlog  2stars  sound  drinks 
may 2006 by kevan
Tuno Negro (2001)
A fairly nonsensical Spanish university-slasher - quite a fun motive, but patchily applied, and it's always hard to know how to interpret spurious made-up-Internet elements.
filmlog  2stars  education  death  crime  surveillance  web  via:holly 
april 2006 by kevan
Shanghai Knights (2003)
Some fun Chan scenes connected by tickbox cliche and enraging anachronism. I don't think I've ever felt *angrily* homesick before.
filmlog  2stars  london  lunacy  weapons  china 
april 2006 by kevan
Primer (2005)
Elegantly mundane ellipses of experimental time-travel, marred quite badly by confusing direction and mumbly dialogue and everyone looking the same.
filmlog  2stars  time  science  technology 
april 2006 by kevan
Mysterious Island (1961)
Arbitrary casual-survival nonsense in the face of four giant Harryhausen monsters.
filmlog  2stars  monsters  crustaceans  octopuses 
february 2006 by kevan
Bright Young Things (2003)
Eh, disappointing. Very nicely cut and polished for the most part, but Fry made some appallingly heavy-handed changes to the story, and put a dreadful ending after the book's one.
filmlog  2stars  society  drugs  money  love 
january 2006 by kevan
Carnival Of Souls (1962)
A woman escapes from drowning into a patchy dream world, pursued by fairly benign and cheerful zombies, and a far more unsettling lecherous neighbour.
filmlog  2stars  zombies  death  water 
january 2006 by kevan
Travaux (2005)
Parisian lawyer having her flat rebuilt by immigrant workers, at the mercy of an overenthusiastic architect and vague romantic-comedy cliche, all made a bit more bearable for being French.
filmlog  2stars  france  law  architecture  construction 
december 2005 by kevan
Nothing (2003)
Solipsism and the limits of improvement through subtraction. Some good directions, but it's a meandering and facetious waste of a good premise, for the most part.
filmlog  2stars  society  depression  prison 
november 2005 by kevan
Stewart Lee - Stand Up Comedian (2005)
Really, badly disappointing, was expecting this to be great; but the same style of delivery as ten years ago, and the Fist of Fun repeated-verbatim-phrase laboured-overlong-non-joke thing being horrible in standup form. And better in Rich's voice anyway.
filmlog  comedy  2stars 
october 2005 by kevan
Comme une Image (2004)
Complex networks of one-way attention, and the hidden motives of them, and how not to change them. Most characters end up being slightly too unlikeable as a result, though.
filmlog  2stars  france  love  books  children 
august 2005 by kevan
Before Sunset (2004)
A couple meeting again nine years after a brief thing, wandering around Paris and looking at where the future's left them. Mediocre one-voice American dialogue, for the most part, but nice lighting.
filmlog  2stars  france  love  memory 
july 2005 by kevan
Journey To Italy (1953)
A politely bickering marriage breaks down in Italy, overwhelmed by death and antiquity and clunky, stilted dialogue.
filmlog  2stars  italy  love  death 
july 2005 by kevan
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Watched with Jack, who found the skeletons a bit scary. Amusing enough ticklist of piratical cliches, with some nice bits of undeath-as-strategy, but eh.
filmlog  2stars  pirates  zombies 
july 2005 by kevan
The Terminal (2004)
An oddly, patronisingly bleak opening, then some reasonable survival-in-margins, and then nonsense. Seems almost pointless for anyone other than J G Ballard to fictionalise the stranded-at-airport story.
filmlog  2stars  travel  transport  prison 
july 2005 by kevan
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Wonderfully stylised homage, played just the right side of parody, but then stomped a bit too much by giant CGI robots. Most of the film does feel like watching someone else play a computer game, cut-scenes and all.
filmlog  2stars  future  transport  air  robots 
june 2005 by kevan
Gosford Park (2002)
A bit disappointing; was hoping for a fresher take on the country-house-murder genre, from Altman. Excellent cast, and the mess of subplots and mumbling builds quite well, but there's less meandering-camera improvisation than I expected.
filmlog  2stars  history  society  death 
april 2005 by kevan
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Some good angles on the fragility of memory and inevitability of relationships, and the visual details of the collapsing memories are wonderful, but it gets bogged down in self-indulgence at the expense of any interesting repercussions.
filmlog  2stars  brains  memory  love 
march 2005 by kevan

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