Review of some Peter Weir films

The Last Wave 5/10

Another of Peter Weir’s films that doesnt hang together, it seems stagey and wooden, perfomances come over as people acting rather than characters, a few moody aboriginals acting reasonably well or mute enough not to detect their acting inabilitys ? But really Richard Chamberlain his wife / family and other assorted actors somehow manage to ruin the idea of this film with acting that seems of its era rather than timeless, having a certain 70’s made for Tv quality to it, not that the idea of the film is particularly well executed though out. It looks to me like a film that only just made into existence by some judicious and desperate editing to clothe the bones of something that was effectively anemic from the start. Im sure Peter Weir was happy to get this film finished, edited, released and behind him.

Fearless 6/10

I like jeff bridges, but im beginning to realise that hes one of these actors that just plays himself allot of the time, he just rolls out jeff bridges and most directors love it, in fearless as a character you can see the acting more than the character when jeff is doing his thing, the plot logic has holes in it nothing too major, the best scene in the film is the final one with airplane ripping apart which is pretty well envisioned. the reason why this film doesnt work for me is this, since the film is about him being fearless post an airplane crash he survives, perhaps it would have been more dramatic if he was the only survivor ? then he might really think he was chosen or special ?, but since half the people on the plane seemed to have made it out alive and hardly tarnished apart from being a bit sweaty and grubby in what from a crash perspective, looks non survivable for 95% of the people, and the other 5% should be half burn’t or seriously injured its all a bit wierd. And this opening scene sets the film up badly in my opinion, I initially thought that half the characters surving the plane crash where in fact responders to it as they were all too clean, it didnt look like half of them had been through a plane crash at all. There are in fact story of plane crashes in which their is a single survivor, so its not unrealistic to take the plot to that extreme. some of the plot stuff works most of it seems a bit awkward, the strawberrys are awkward, anaphylactic shock is not alterable by purely mental processes and the extreme change of mental state in relation to family and children might be realistic, but only in a very small number of crash survivors, and seems a bit heavily engineered into the plot when so may other people also survive the crash ?

The Way Back 8/10

With age comes experience and this film executes well on its promises, though the journey itself is so long, a journey of 4000 miles across all terrains, towards the end of the film they seem to be hopping across from one kind of terrrain to the next with some of the food and water finding seemingly skipped lightly over, its so epic a real journey that you realise toward the end, the film can barely do it justice, as the film accelerates to try and cover more ground rather artifically to get to the endpoint of the film, the characters are well played, Colin farrel restrains himself enough not to come of as some charicature of himself and is reasonably beleivable as the russian street criminal, and the idea he cant leave the russian border is kinda nicely done, the final montage which again accelerates the pace of the final traveller over the years of history to eventually reach “the wayback” to the house and the key and his wife, seems a to trivialise the emotional experience of those intervening years between exiting india and reaching poland again, but really this is such an epic story that, trying to capture said years on film is very difficult, but could have been done better, as evidenced by the aging montage in UP in which 40 years of existence is done in 3 minutes and the emotional height is raised sufficiently to account for that passage of time. So for me i guess a central issue in this film would be the way the material of the plot is rushed through toward the end, ie the pacing could be better, but overall this film is the best Peter Weir film i’ve see so far, and is basically a must see.

Review : Seven Samurai

An arthouse film worth its plaudits and commendations, watch it now > 8/10, i dont need to describe in detail whats this film is about, because is such a good film you wont be dissappointed by just ignoring this review and watching it, great japanese acting perfomances in this film, the characters are beleivable tangible, a film where you cant see the acting, the characters are so well embodied.

JUST go WATCH this film right NOW :)

Review “Goodbye Dragon Inn”

a film which clearly defines how arthouse films can often be poor films that are up their own arses, and only succeed because a parade pseudo intellectuals fall over themselves to stomach very poor films better than the next pseudo intellectual. dont watch this film unless someone has offered you eternal life to waste. or you can happily stair at bad rothkos for many hours each.

Negatives in this film :

Turgidity, does anything actually happen is this film, things almost happen but not really
The story is effectively non existent.
Lack of dialog of any sort ” maybe 3 lines said in the entire film
immensely drawn out shots of a clubfoot woman plodding about a rotting taiwanese cinema, which seems to be a hangout for queers ?
and worse its not even realistically observant / documentarial ? time spent pissing in urinals was longer than any three men would realistically urinate for, so obviously massive gay toilet scene with cottaging overtones here.
maybe the cinema was closing because ordinary people don’t go to cinemas that have effectively become gay clubs ?
nothing is made clear or explicit in any way, its a … “you work it out for yourself scenario”, with no meat in the sandwich to consume.
but as classically true with most bad arthouse films, there isnt any substance and that which might be found by the insane, is a deperate overactive projection of their own bored mentaility to try and find something interesting in said film.
there are lots of things hinted at, unrequited romance between the club foot ticket sales girl and the projectionist.
intimations of queers active within the cinema endlessly prowling and rubbing up against each other in tight passages, yet no actual apparent resolution.

This film was so dull, that even as a hetero sexual man I was willing it to come to fruition on its threat of a gay sex scene or something, anything just for something to be happening on screen other than water seeping through concrete.

positives :

nice cinematography although it would need a 1080p treatment for me to get properly absorbed by the rotting concrete scenery, lots of lovely rain throughout this film, I have a fetish for rain in films.
the effective meaning of the film, the cinema is haunted by people, its the the people that are the ghosts, theyre not dead but theyre still haunting the place …
that ordinary life is not hollywood, that romances are often flat limp, half started and die, and that real life, is often like being stuck in the squalid concrete lobby of existence waiting for life to end or to happen but really living in a kind of limbo.
and the end of the film/cinema itself, bieng really the outcome for the actors of this dull peice who must now no longer haunt the stage of its existence / life … endless metaphors here etc but anyway
regardless of the postives theyres something inexcusable here, which is noone could develop any empathy for the characters one way or another, they are just flats that have been placed in the scene to prevent the lingering agony of the slow locked of shots from appearing to be what they in fact are, which is empty, theyres nothing going on in this film, its a flat rothko, the film would effectively be better of being a fly on the wall documentary of a real taiwanese cinema than an actual film.

at some moments you almost wish you were watching the film on the cinema screen in the film rather than this film itself regardless of how kung fu toy like it appears, you can tell the director wanted to project a personal experience of chinese cinema going in some dilapidated industrial regional backwater, which sort of works the problem is their must be more action in such a populated country ? than this, it seems tortuously empty.

And no doubt some arty farty twit is going to say its all a very clever statement about artisitic suppression in taiwan ? or something, rather than a recognising the plain fact thats its quite a poor film.
way to much vain 40’s hollywoodesque lighting up of cigarettes in exchange for actual dialog, which really isn’t a fair exchange.