Mostly Watching- short film reviews from the last week

Films I’ve watched in the last week-

Kick Ass Based upon a comic by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. If Millar’s name is familiar it could be because he wrote the comic which became the Angelina Jolie starring Wanted. I’ve never been able to get into Millar’s creator owned comics, but what comes across as posturing and gimmickry on the page somehow morphs into over the top silliness in an action film.

Comics geek Dave Lizewski decides to make himself a superhero suit and go out and fight crime. He promptly gets the crap beaten out of him, but, after several months of treatment, can’t help but go out there and do it again. Along the way he crosses paths with Big Daddy and Hit Girl, far more violent and competent vigilantes, and gets on the wrong side of a crime lord. It can only end violently and messily.

The character of Hit Girl steals the show, swearing, kicking, punching , knifing and shooting her way through a large swathe of New York’s underworld under the tutelage of her father. Not quite a role model for young girls, but at least she can stand up for herself.

Shutter Island A well made, gorgeously shot film with some genuinely scary and creepy moments. However, the ending is only slightly better than “It was all a dream”, so it was disappointing overall.

Red Riding:1983 The conclusion of the Yorkshire set trilogy. The three films as a whole are excellent, dark stuff, though 1983 is the weakest of them. With another young girl abducted senior officers are split between admitting a link to the events in the first film and covering up the way they framed an innocent man for them. I would have preferred losing the sub-plot with the medium, less repetition and a more explicit explanation of just what happened in the Karachi Club. Obviously, you don’t watch 1983 by itself, it only works if you’ve seen the other two films first.

The Good, The Bad, The Weird A Korean Western (do we call them Easterns?) reinterpreting The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in its own quirky way. There’s pseudo Morricone whistling on the soundtrack and a take on the final three way gunfight. There are gunfights aplenty, and with the exception of one scene it’s all inventive slapstick. Highly recommended as a lightweight diversion.

Tora! Tora! Tora! In truth, I didn’t watch this all the way through this week. Something about the soundtrack didn’t agree with the dvd software on my pc, leading to distorted voices and a near constant buzzing. However, I can confidently say that this is the reason Michael Bay shouldn’t have made Pearl Harbor. This US/Japan co-production did the job far better and without resorting to cgi (though part of me would like to see the attack scene pulled from Pearl Harbour and mixed into Tora! Tora! Tora!’s footage for an extended battle).