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201 : A Film Odyssey

This all started after I read Empire magazine back in March 2006.

Inside was a definitive list of the 201 best films of all time, as voted for by the magazine and it's readers. Included in the list were all kinds of films I would never normally watch. So as a keen film watcher, I thought to myself it might be a good idea to try and watch all the films in order and record my thoughts, and at the end of it, see how close the list was to my 201 best films.

This project will be much better if you could comment on these films and my reviews, so please, please, please get involved, just click on the comments text at the bottom of each review.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

199 ... The Killer

199 ... The Killer

Here's another film I would not have watched if not for this project (so it's having the desired effect), and also one I had not heard of from Hong Kong,
directed by John Woo.

The film is in Chinese, with English subtitles and
is about an assassin who undertakes hits for the mob and is subsequently pursued by a police detective. During a hit, the assassin meets a woman, who loses her sight in the gun fight.
He decides to take care of the woman from then on, with the law and the mob tracking him down.

To say this film is violent is an understatement ... Some of the action sequences are good, but the editing is a bit choppy and reminded me of old Kung-fu movies.

And without giving the plot away, what was "Runt" and "Shrimphead" all about !!?

AFO (A Film Odyssey) rating 6.5
TJ (T J Hooker) rating 6.5
CK (Captain Kirt) rating ??

Links .... IMDB Wikipedia LoveHKFilm

Please add your comments ....


Saturday, July 15, 2006

200 ... The Descent

200 ...
The Descent

A total change to Eraserhead, and a lot more mainstream.

The basic story is 6 women meet up for a caving holiday, enter an uncharted cave and are trapped underground by a rock fall. They search the caves for a way out, but gradually realize they are not alone down there.

I like this film, there's a really good opening scene, with a great jump moment. A good claustrophobic atmosphere in the caves, with great shock moments, a quality "hooking" scene, and a good ending that needed a repeat viewing with the directors commentary on to double check if I had it right.

The "miners" are well visioned and original, other pluses include great DTS soundtrack and photography.

The only downside to the film for me (others may like it !?), was an excess of lady swearing ... Ladies don't swear like this when left alone, surely !!! Totally f*:~#^g over the top !

AFO (A Film Odyssey) rating
TJ (T J Hooker) rating 7.5
CK (Captain Kirt) rating 9.5

Links .... IMDB Wikipedia Official site

Please add your comments ....


Saturday, July 08, 2006

201 ... Eraserhead


Here it is, the first film in my odyssey.

A film I would probably have never seen, if I had not undertaken this project. I'd heard differing views on Eraserhead before I watched it, ranging from "rubbish" to "good" to "better watched whilst under the influence of mind altering drugs" !

It is definitely different. After watching Hollywood style films, the lack of a definite plot, grainy black and white picture, few spoken words and a weird soundtrack, made this film hardwork.

The film starts with a weird 6 minute scene including the main character Henry, staring into space and screaming, a shadowy character sat in a window pulling leavers and a giant sperm falling into a puddle !

The general gist from then on is Henry, living alone in a run down industrial area.
He visits his girlfriend and her parents for tea. The evening is weird, and includes a litter of puppies suckling their mother, long silences, the girlfriend having a seizure, the meal itself is little "man-made" chickens ! The father smiles insanely, and the mother has a total character transformation (from quiet, to shouting, to suckling Henry's neck). Henry finds out at this point his girlfriend is pregnant.

Next thing is the girlfriend at Henry's apartment with the baby - the baby looks like a cross between E.T. and Kermit the frog, but with no arms or legs. The baby cries, the girlfriend walks out, leaving Henry with baby, the baby gets sick, then (as you do) Henry sees a disfigured dancing girl and falling sperm inside the radiator ! Henry's attractive neighbor seduces him, then later comes home with another man, the baby cries, Henry loses it and kills the baby. He then appears to fall into insanity and the arms of the girl in the radiator ?

A WEIRD film, bizzare, a metaphor, full of other metaphors. There are some memorable images and I can see parts of the story saying something, but this is a tough film to watch and very different to the norm. Not enough to really hold my attention throughout or for a repeat viewing.

AFO (A Film Odyssey) rating 5
TJ (T J Hooker) rating 0
CK (Captain Kirt) rating n/a

Links .... IMDB Wikipedia The City of Absurdity

Please add your comments ....