It was originally supposed to be called Superman vs. Superman. But the makers of Kramer vs. Kramer put a stop to that. So they went for the title Superman III.
Richard Pryor plays a guy who in the opening scenes of the movie is jobless until he sees an ad for computer programming. A few minutes later he is a genius computer programmer who can write programs that position satellites in space and cut off oil all around the world.
Along the way Superman suffers a bit of a split personality crisis lurching from good all American hero to devil may care drunk layabout culminating in him being separated in two. In the red corner we have Clark Kent, in the black evil corner: bad Superman. The film climaxes with a supercomputer being built that can seek out people’s weaknesses while the computer itself has no weakness. It can’t be unplugged or shut down. It even turns humans into evil robots to do its bidding.
Overall it looks old and dated but it’s still an ok movie; nowhere near as good as the first one or second one but nowhere near as bad as Superman IV either. And that has to be a good thing.
‘Another head fuck from Aronofsky’ said the guy behind me in the cinema as the credits began to roll on this fine, twisted film. The action centres throughout on the brilliant Natalie Portman as she rollicks through the psychological pressures of trying to make it in the cruel world of ballet. The choreography of the opening scene sets the tone for the ensuing action and we are soon swept into the high reaches of an otherwise obscure art form. It is for me Aronofsky’s most accomplished film yet in almost every sense. It takes the subtleness of The Wrestler’s finest moments and couples them with the ferocity of Requiem for a Dream’s darker scenes.
Vincent Cassel is excellent as the overbearing ballet director and he pushes Portman to the edge both physically and mentally. It is in this drawing of mental duress and burgeoning insanity that makes Black Swan the lasting, brooding force that it is. A fine support cast includes the bubbly Mila Kunis and the pitiful Winona Ryder but it is Portman in the lead that truly shines. A class act and well worth the head fuck.
This documentary opens with the the rousing sound of Richard Hawley intoning that “tonight the streets are ours” then it cuts to a scene with the famous artist Banksy sitting on a seat with his voice distorted and in silhouette explaining that “this is the story of when someone tried to make a film about me”. What follows is the story of Thierry Guetta who has been hanging out with and filming street artists in the U.S (and beyond) as they go about their night work of transforming a blank wall into something else: their night and in some cases day-work. There is lots of good raw footage of street artists, in the dead of night on top of buildings on street corners caught in the act as it were. The first half of this documentary is concerned with Thierry Guetta and the ever expanding room full of tapes he has filmed of other street artists and his quest to meet Banksy.
The second half is concerned with Thierry meeting Banksy and filming some of his work all of which is audacious and daring. It is also concerned with Thierry actually making a documentary out of all of those tapes which Banksy eventually sees and describes as flicking through a box with 900 channels. Its not good, so Banksy decides to see if he can have a go at making a documentary out of the footage and tells Thierry (who has by now started making street art himself) to “go home, make some art, have a show and get some bottles of wine in”. Ultimately, this becomes a story about a guy who was making a film about an artist actually becoming an artist himself overnight. I have read some articles where it is claimed that this is all an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Banksy and his unseen band of merry men to show the art world for what it is, to make a statement. Whether it is a documentary or a mocumentary, it is compelling and Banksy (albeit with a digitally distorted voice) displays a hitherto unseen talent for one liners so dry you could break them in half by sneezing in their general direction and that deserves to be seen by a lot of people.
From the very outset, this films extreme use of language and violence thinly veils what is at heart a highly stylised modern day western. But while George Roy Hill developed his Butch and Sundance as two very likeable rogues on the run, Christopher McQuarrie on the other hand tries to push the limits of character likability and instills his Parker and Longbaugh (the real names of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) with a certain menace and nasty charm.
McQuarrie, the man responsible for the Oscar winning screenplay of The Usual Suspects confidently sits into the director’s chair this time for his debut, and to date only, feature. The action is developed around two low-life, violent, criminal drifters Parker (Phillippe stretching himself to be seen as a bad-ass) and Longbaugh (Del Toro following the less is more thoughts on dialogue) as they kidnap a young, heavily pregnant woman (Juliette Lewis) from a doctor’s office and demand a ransom of 1 million dollars for her release. What they don’t realise is that the man they attempt to extort the money from is himself a ruthless gangster who would prefer to use his own methods in order to secure the woman’s release.
It could be argued that, perhaps, McQuarrie tries to involve too many secondary characters and the pace suffers slightly between the action set pieces. However with an unflinching and very memorable opening sequence and a dry wit throughout, this film ages extremely well (certainly better than the Usual Suspects) and while it may not have been a box office success on its release it certainly deserves a second, closer viewing.
Sofia Coppola is back with her 4th feature film as writer and director. The story follows a hugely successful actor Johnny Marco (played by Stephen Dorff) as he mopes around the Chateau Marmont and gets to know his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) after not being in her life for a number of years.
The pace is extremely slow, with single shots extending for minutes at a time without a cut. While this may be used to convey the aimlessness or boredom of the lead character it does nothing but deaden the audience to a point where it is nearly impossible to care for anybody on screen. Possibly the worst of this would be the ice skating sequence. If you are still awake/watching/interested after that it will be some feat.
The extremely weak story manages to finally come to an expected ambiguous ending not unlike Coppola’s earlier and far superior ‘Lost in Translation’
A dull, slow-moving and pointless study of a character that nobody should care about in the first place.