Saturday, 9 June 2012


Dir: Shane Carruth
Starring: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan

Narry B discovered time travel many years ago, but these fools in Primer have only just discovered it!

They've done us the courtesy of filming their time-travelling exploits on low-budget film, and we're glad that they did. Primer is an engrossing film that requires you use your mind. Narry's mind ain't what it used to be, and didn't quite follow what was going on, but he is sure that the story is 'knowable'.

It's pretty amazing that Primer was made with a budget of 7000 dollars - that's about 6000 pounds, or 123,000 Ethiopian Birr. For a factor of enjoyment to money, Primer comes out TRUMPS!

Rating: Top Work!

Chronicle (Borman Review)

Dir: Josh Trank
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jorden

Narry B was inspired to watch this film after reading Dodge Review.

The found footgae element of this film works well, as Dodge pointed out. What he didn't point out was how much the film trails off for the last half.

It starts as a fun and realistic tale of super-powered teens. But during the trashy America high school party scene, something changes direction... it becomes about kid who can't make fun of himself and eventually loses all his friends. It's very petty.

It also owes a serious debt to Akira - everything from the plot, to the intervention of armed forces, to the mind-bending powers, and even the closing scenes of the protagonist totally losing it... all of this is lifted from Akira.

Having said that, it is a fun and short film. And the flying scenes are incredible.

Word up for the final scene itself - the worst bit of CGI  I've seen in many years. "Hey mom! I'm (infrontofapostcard) in Tibet!"

Rating: Top Work!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Chronicle (Dodge E. Camembert Review)

Dir: Josh Trank Starring: Dane DeHaan, Michael B.Jordan, Michael Kelly, Alex Russell

Ever since Blair Witch, it seems every aspiring film maker and and his dodgy tripod has tried to mask poor technique and insufficient budget with a shaky home-recorded style. 

It’s enough to make Dodge bring up the previous night’s cheese board. Which, during 2008‘s Cloverfield, is precisely what happened. Semi-digested Brie de Meaux all over the couple sat in front. Now that was a horror from above those poor saplings weren’t expecting to see.

Chronicle is another found footage film, but it’s actually rather good. Said footage is here assembled from numerous sources - hand-held camera, smartphone, police footage, camcorder suspended in the air by immense telekinetic powers.

Ah yes, the premise. It’s about three American teens who stumble across mind (and world) bending powers. It’s a kind of ‘what would really happen if you had super powers?’ sort of film. I mean, if you had the power to control people’s minds like that bad dude from The Avengers, would you tell that sprout-headed archer feller to attack a bunch of demi-gods, or would you convince Scarlett Johansson to marry you?

Anyway, Chronicle succeeds through its three likable leads, as well as the finest learning-to-fly sequence ever. The editing is a little heavy-handed at times, which means it’s that rare film where I’m actually looking forward to seeing the director’s cut. But overall, it’s the best found footage/superhero/buddy movie Dodge has seen for quite some time.

Rating: Genius

Round Midnight

Dir: Bertran Tavernier
Starring: Dexter Gordon, Francois Cluzet

Many years ago, Narry B was a jazz man back in Ny'orleans. He blew those pipes like the pied piper of Hamlin. "Hot jazz!", he would cry out in the streets.

If the quality of a film can be measured by whether it achieves what it sets out to do, then Round Midnight is flawless. A lengthy, rambling story of an old jazz legend (played to perfection by real-life Jazz ledge, Dexter Gordon) who rediscovers himself in Paris thanks to bright young thing, Francois Cluzet.

Round Midnight is the spirit of jazz incarnate. Whisky is imbibed in Blue Note Paris while Dex and the band knock out some tasty rhythms before the after-party gets going.

Turn up the volume, crack open the 12 year old Laphroig, and let the atmosphere swoon you off to jazzy Paris!

Rating: Genius!

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D (Smaltz Review)

Dir: George Lucas
Starring: Iam Leeson, You and Macgregory, Natalia Portmaninovski

Guess who’s back? Back again. Smaltzy's back. Back in cahoots with Narry B once again, looking at what the world of cinema has to offer. Have you missed me, baby?

We’ll start with an oldie. Or at least it’s an oldie where I come from.

Being unbiased as I am…

This is a slightly odd opening chapter that seems to lack any real purpose.  This isn’t helped by the fact that several of the principal cast members are also seemingly unsure about their purpose, Liam Neeson and Ian McDiarmid aside. The pacing does dip quite often and the dialogue is sometimes very, very poor.

“We know all this, Smaltz!” says you. So, on to the new…

I’m yet to be sold on cinema’s second attempt at 3d but I thought if anything is going to do it, it’ll be
Star Wars. It didn’t.

It's not that bad., but we still haven’t got Back to the Future II’s Jaws XIV technology, and until we do, I think 3D will always be disappointing. To its credit it made the pod race very immersive and is probably the first time 3D has improved a scene, in Smaltz opinion.

So, to conclude, it’s a very enjoyable introduction to Star Wars story before it really kicks off. Liam Neeson, like the force itself, binds the whole thing together very well. The spectacle fizzes every time a lightsaber is ignited and the villains are very memorable...

Everyone’s biased.

Rating: Good!