Friday, 18 November 2011

Film Roundup - October

So there was no ‘Film Roundup September – Part 2’ – I lied! Muhahahaha!

Well the lack of recent updates are to blame for this, but also the lack of films watched – but anyway I’ve combined those with last month to bring you… ‘Film Roundup October!' (Insert Fanfare here!)

It’s been a good month as almost all films watched have been exceptionally good and come recommended for you to watch.

First up we have Ironclad, the story of a group of rag-tag men holding off the siege of Rochester Castle from the vengeful King John.

Despite budget limitations, the film excellently portrays brutally gory medieval battle scenes, and boasts an excellent cast - most notably the insane ranting of Paul Giamatti as the King convinced of his divine right over the land (despite having just signed the Magna Carta) and Brian Cox as the grizzled leader Albany.

So if you like your historical epics realistically portrayed with lots of blood, mud and severed limbs, then Ironclad is for you. Oh, and there are lots of Vikings and Mackenzie Crook doing a Legolas too!

You would expect (being a high numbered sequel) that Scream 4 would surely suck some serious ass – but surprisingly in this case you would be wrong. Kevin Williamson is back on board as the script writer, and the deaths are back to good old fashioned no nonsense stabby stabby nastiness that the ghost-faced killer was originally known for.

Once again the film acknowledges its position in the series as well as its place in the modern horror film genre as well but keeps things fresh by boldy stating ‘all bets are off’ – meaning pretty much anything can happen. Anyone can be the killer and anyone can be killed.

This is brilliantly pastiched in the opening film within a film within a film that sets you on edge right from the get go. So despite not reaching the heights of the original Scream (released all the way back in 1996!) Scream 4 is an unexpected worthy entry to the series.

Next up we have Norwegian ‘found footage’ film TrollHunter, which despite the seemingly action packed trailer, takes a good while to actually get going with not much happening during the first half of the film. Many will be put off with the slow pace and having to deal with (God forbid!) subtitles as the story follows a trio of student film makers documenting the exploits of a man who claims to be a secret government sanctioned troll hunter.

If you can persevere through the slow first half then you will be rewarded with troll action in spades as the effective CGI, tense set pieces and deliberately open ending more than make up for it.

Apparently a Hollywood remake is in the works. No surprise there, then.

Trick ‘r Treat is a great Halloween movie because it is one of the only films out there that is actually about Halloween and not just a story that happens to occur on that day. That's one of the great things about it – the love of that holiday season is very evident and comes across very strongly throughout the movie.

Four different stories are presented, sharing characters and criss-crossing timelines (similar to Pulp Fiction) that keep the pace varied and naturally make you want to piece together the order of events.

Highlights include an effectively creepy Dylan Baker, a pre-True Blood Anna Paquin, a grizzled Brian Cox (again!) and the birth of a new horror icon – the pumpkin headed boy Sam. Or else it would have been if only studio politics hadn’t severely limited the films exposure upon its very limited release.

Still, this film is worth hunting down if you are looking for something to watch next Halloween.

Finally, we have Source Code – a mind-bending feature from Moon director Duncan Jones. Part Groundhog Day style whodunit and part exploration of quantum physics as well as the existential ponderings on ‘souls’, the nature of one’s consciousness and alternate realities – Source Code has a lot to take in on the first viewing.

Whilst the mystery involving a terrorist attack is wrapped up pretty neatly, the greater question of the fate of Colter Stevens (played effectively by Jake Gyllenhaal) and the ending will have viewers pondering all sorts of questions about what really happened and the science behind it.

But don't worry, you can also just enjoy the film for what it is on face value with great performances and thrilling action – Source Code comes highly recommended.

18 Nov 2011

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