Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Motski's 2009 Film Review

Hiya folks, seeing as it's the end of the year and all, I thought I'd announce my FILMS OF THE YEAR 2009. It was actually quite hard to find 10 films that I'd feel worthy of the list (through a mixture of not going to see enough films and going to see crappy films when I did go) so the list has been left quite open to ridicule, but here goes (in no particular order)...

1. Star Trek
The most enjoyable film of the year. A great cast and a fast paced storyline blew the cobwebs away and created a tight, punchy blockbuster. The action sequences never failed to put me on the edge of my seat and always managed to dispel my disbelief, which rarely happens to me anymore. I didn't even mis the mighty Shatner too much.



2. Synedoche New York
Some will hate, but I loved it. Bewildering and captivating in equal measure, it's a very emotional film that you will either be dragged into and be affected by or you'll find it confusing and self-indulgent(I'd hope most people will be dragged in)



3. District 9
Up there with Star Trek in the blockbuster stakes. Great pacing and character development created a thrilling film that also greatly benefited from it's South African setting. It also had some of the most believable visual effects of the year despite a relatively small budget. I'm looking forward to seeing the films lead, Sharlto Copley, in the A-team next year.



4. The Wrestler
A real shame that Mickey Rourke didn't get and Oscar for this touching but unsentimental film. Darren Aronofsky also deserves plaudits for his least showy direction to date, which prefectly suited the story.



5. In the Loop
A fantastic ensemble cast banter hilariously, making the political system more worrying by the minute, but at least very funny.



6. Let the Right One In
Atmospheric, thoughtful and restrained but still with enough shock and gore to please hard-core horror fans. A vampire film for those who do and don't like them.



7. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ambitious animation full of quirks and imagination that I think will reward repeat viewers. I especially liked the use of "cussing" and "cuss" to replace all the expletives.



8. Zombieland
My guilty pleasure of the list. Great fun, an on form Woody Harrelson and a fantastic cameo...



9. Up
Should be on this list for the first ten minutes alone, but I thought it was great throughout, with spot-on comedic timing and real emotional pull.



10.Moon
A great performance by Sam Rockwell and clever use of a small budget makes this one of the best Sci-fi films of recent years. It also had a great poster.



Honourable mentions:
Broken Embraces, Gran Torino, Frost/Nixon, Drag Me to Hell, Coraline, Gamorrah, Where the Wild Things Are, Looking for Eric, Down Terrace, Milk

Films I didn't see/should have seen/meant to have seen that I heard were very good -
Hurt Locker, Bright Star, An Education, A Serious Man, Bronson, Fish Tank, Mesrine 1 and 2.

Slight Disappointments...

Inglorious Basterds - Really enjoyable, yet not the more focused return to form I'd hoped for. Less dodgy casting (Eli Roth does not convince as "The Bear Jew") and more self restraint would have made a tighter film, but then again that's probably not what QT intended.

Watchmen - Possibly the best adaptation you could do in the time allocated, but still missing far too much to feel satisfying. The disastrous casting of Matthew Goode ruins the murder mystery element of the storyline that could have helped the films narrative backbone(although to be fair to Goode, he could have been asked to play the role that way). Perfect Rorschach from Jackie Earle Haley.

Avatar - Visually stunning (although it doesn't quite live up to the photo realistic hype) and impeccably made, but the story was a bit too straight forward and predictable for my liking.

Public Enemies - I'm a big fan of Manhunter and Heat, so I had high hopes for Michael Mann's latest. It was an enjoyable look at John Dillinger's lifestyle, but unfortunately I found it a bit emotionally cold and it failed to fully engage me.

The Men Who Stare at Goats - Some very funny flashback sequences, but it failed to maintain the laugh count, while also not fully exploring the darker elements of the story.

Disappoinments

Transformers 2
Wolverine Origins
The Spirit.
Terminator Salvation

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Movember!

I took part in this years Movember (growing a moustache to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity) and this video documents my progress through November.

Motski Movember 2009 from Tom Matuszewski on Vimeo.


To donate to the cause please click here.

Chaos Labs Episode 4 (The final one, which features my arm)

Hi folks, this is the final episode of Chaos Labs, which includes the most animation and as a bonus my arm feeding a lert a crisp. Keep your eyes peeled for that exciting scene!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Chaos Laboratories Episodes 1-3

For your viewing ease, I have gathered the first three episodes of Chaos Labs and out them onto one easy to view page. Enjoy!

Episode 1


Episode 2


Episode 3

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Mmmm Lovely Mash

Empire's put together a list of their top 50 movie mash ups and I've posted some of my favourites below. (I haven't watched all of them yet, only the top 10, so I may post more..)


When Harry Stalked Sally



Scary Poppins



Watchmen Parod-E


If you want to check out the full list click here.

This is Not Photoshopped



It's from a film called The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster. No, I'm not joking.

wer-wer-windows 386!

You may have all seen the new Microsoft 7 Party promo, but things weren't always so wholesome at Bill Gates towers, they used to create edgy pop cultural referencing videos like this -

(This is quite long, but worth it. For the impatient skip to 2:40 for the best bit, but you'll be missing out)



Thanks to Verity for showing me terrifying video and thanks to Windows for making it.

I genuinely love this.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Russian Dolls Lose Weight with Milk Consumption

I wish that'd work for me. Ahh well, back to the rice cakes...

Anyway here's a bizarre and very funny video shown to me by uber "video-teller-abouter" Rosie Miles. It's highlights the problems you encounter being a Russian Doll...

video

Originally seen here http://dekku.nofatclips.com/2008/12/must-drink-more-milk-russian-dolls.html

Pentastic



Cheekily I'm posting something old off Geekologie in order to make it look like I've actually posted something in the last month (when in fact I haven't..shh).



Anyway, this looks to be the ultimate pen and I really would like one for my birthday/christmas, if anyone's struggling for ideas.

The Color Picker pen by Jinsu Park allows you to write in any colour using the pen's colour sensor. Hold the sensor up to a colour, then push the button and it mixes the right amounts of red, green and blue to make your chosen hue. Genius!

So genius it's actually still only a conceptual design...

Sunday, 12 July 2009

QUIZAGEDDON!

Just a reminder that the pub quiz that I run with Mr Jamie Marchant, the QUIZAGEDDON, returns tomorrow at the Druids Arms in Brighton. So if you can make it along at 8:30ish that'd be super.



Send me a message if you need more info.

If I was a Robot I'd apparenly Kill and Infiltrate

A quick bit of fun that can end up lasting for ages...


Mechanical Organism Trained for Scientific Killing and Infiltration


Get Your Cyborg Name

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Jason Bought a Hatchet

Fantastic video sent to me by Chloe Bell

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Ooh this looks good...

The latest from HBO. It's called Bored to Death and features Jason Schwartzman playing a private detective/writer/alcoholic/Jason Schwartzman , so should be entertaining if you're a Wes Anderson fan. Sam from Cheers also stars, so they'll hopefully be some awesome Ted Danson action to.

Comes out in the States this September, so dunno when we'll get a chance to see it, but have a look anyway below.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Living in the Future: Scary.

Saving the Earth from global warming using a giant massive SUN SHIELD!!! WHAT!?



I can't help but think that making reductions to our emissions here on Earth might be easier. Having said that, a massive shield would be super cool, but I'd want it to deflect asteroids and destroy invading alien fleets to.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Amazing Sara Carlson Hates the Past

Laurie found the best dancer in the world on Graham Linehan's blog. Compelling. Look out for the weird chicken flapping bit and frequent moon walking.



Look for Sara Carlson on youtube to find other 80's oddities, I recommend the disturbing One Night.

McBess



Great new video by McBess, that he also wrote and performed the music for. Clever fella.

Have a look at some more of his beautiful retro toon work here.

(720): o shit let me call u back theres a hamburger in my pocket



Rosie found this amazing website Texts From Last Night documenting loads of drunken texts. You can find out how to put a shirt on upside down (not inside out) and you can stay tonight but you'll have to bath with grandpa.

Look here.

The Beatles: Now Even Cooler

Have a look at this awesome promo by Pete Candeland for the new Beatles Rockband Game.
Exciting huh?



Cheers to Laurie for bringing this to my attention.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mutant Ninja Paper Genius



Cut and fold your own Krang and odd looking robot carrier thing. Yay!

Click here for the PDF to print out.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Hope it Works




Combining two things that are individually awesome (like barbequing banana whilst wrapped in bacon) often makes them even more awesome (or at the very least, no less awesome than when they were apart). So needless to say, Woody Allen combined with Larry David should = Divine Genius. Trailer looks good, cast looks good, so fingers crossed...



Does look like it could get a bit soppy towards the end, but I'm hoping Larry will screw that up just through pure negative thought and social ineptitude.

By the way, if you were confused, you wrap the banana in the bacon and then barbeque it (preferably with a spicy/fruity marinade), you don't barbeque the bacon after wrapping yourself in bacon.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Synecdoche, New York



Not a full review as such, just a reaction. The film is everything, and it's made me feel null. This is in spite of the fact that it should make we want to live my life fully, not wasting time over analysing and recording events (like I'm doing now). It both vilifies art and highlights it's importance and our need for it. I suppose my mistake was going to see it on my own...

However, if you just get on with your life and hate navel gazing, you will probably find this film tedious and frustrating.

Anyway everyone should see this film, but not many people will enjoy it. Well done Mr. Kaufman. 9/10

(Might have to do all reviews like this, I haven't written about Le the Right One In, Wolverine or Star Trek yet :-/)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Spider-Keyboard-Cat-Fail

Not as a big a fan of the keyboard cat as most, but this one has Spiderman and failing to, so I thought it worthwhile.

Beam me up JR

Dallas/Star Trek mashup. Mmm nostalgia.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Snatch Wars

Another credit to Jamie here for finding this. Brick Top and Vader merged seamlessly in a cross between Snatch and Star Wars.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Scrabulous

Awesome Scrabble adverts made by French animation studio Wizz. Very Nice. As you can see I've embedded all three cos I couldn't choose between them.





Italian Spiderman

Ahh, Italian Spiderman, where have you gone? Well apparently off to make a full film version, available to watch on the web from the 22nd May, woo! Until then, why not watch the trailer again, or if your new to the Italian Spiderman phenomenon, watch the trailer and then the 10 episodes currently available online.

Awww hehehe

For some reason this sends me into fits of giggles. Yes giggles. Looks at his little face!



I want a Loris! or a slow loris, whatever it's called, hadn't heard of one before today.
Good spot Rosie :-)

Monday, 4 May 2009

Graped in the Mouth

Jamie showed me this hilarious (used non-ironically) video the other day.

I don't think I can say anything to prepare you for the graping your about to get...

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Scary



I never thought I'd find Paulo DiCanio as terrifying as this, but the Umbro England shirt advert that has him cutting up a full English brekky while staring at you, really freaks me out.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Good Clean Illogical Fun

Have a go on this amazing (or amazingly creepy) trek yourself site and turn yourself into a Vulcan(or Kirk/Uhura/Eric Bana)!

The result of my attempt lies below. I've had trouble embedding it, so I've posted a jpg. still version (that looks crap) witha link to the much cooler moving speaking version below...



http://www.trekyourself.com/?mId=30020583.3

Educational Fun

Awesome website to help raise awareness of male cancer for the charity Everyman, by drawing penis' online. Have a go, but beware the ink runs out. I was half way through colouring in a penis drawing and it ran out, leaving my masterpiece unfinished. It also started to make me feel ill after a while. You'll know why when you see the thing in the top left hand corner...



WARNING (It's more than a bit rude to those easily offended, so if that's the close don't click the link. I won't be held responsible)

http://www.cockadoodle.co.uk/

Thanks to Rosie for finding this.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Henson's 11

Great mash-up of Oceans 11 and the Muppets...

David Wilson

This is a stunning new video created by my friend David Wilson for the song "We Got Time" by Moray McLaren. Very clever stuff.



Oh, and click here for a great behind the scenes look at how it was made.

"Gifted"

A great video by Three Legged Legs for "Gifted" which features Kanye West, Santigold, & Lykke Li. It's a song off an album made by N.A.S.A. (It actually is, it's not a joke)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Newswipe Should Not End



Watching this weeks Charlie Brooker's Newswipe, I again realised that the show is the most important and informative show the BBC is currently airing. It consistently rounds up the weeks most important news, cutting through the crap and giving us proper expert views. This show should be permanently on air, with a far more prominent slot then 10:30 on a Wednesday on BBC Four. Surely it could at find a home on BBC2, nearer 9?

Anyway I recommend you watch it next Wednesday or iPLayer it now.(Oh and it's repeated at 11:20 on a Sunday Night)

There's only two left, so soon I'll have to go back to believing what the evening news tells me...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

More Lonely Planet...

Hmm... is the joke wearing a bit thin? Not sure if anything's gonna beat Jizz in My Pants, but this is pretty good. I like it more than the boat one anyway.

LSD

A very odd animation set to the ramblings of someone who's on LSD. I could say more but it would only spoil the fun.



I still like that "United States of Whatever" song to. Is that bad? Too late anyway, I bought the CD years ago...

I'm the "T" in "I.T" Sucker!

Mr T knows his Virtualization. I've watched this corporate film(?) five times now and I still don't understand what he's talking about... or how he ended up agreeing to do it. Still, I suppose it's healthier than a Snickers bar.

Also we get to find out the kind of job Hey Arnold/Stewie will do when they grow up. Bonus.

Remember: "Intelligence in the network is for suckers"



"Tastes like chicken"

Bush's Doggy Christmas



Okay this is quite old, so I hope I'm not the only one who completely missed this. Personally, I'm still having trouble readjusting my world view to believe that this actually does exist and I'm not just going barmy.

Anyway here's a clip of a film about George Bush's dogs, Barney and Miss. Beazley, at Christmas, featuring the former US President himself along with a cameo from our very own former PM Blair.

If this idea has already grabbed you, you might as well go straight for the whole film by clicking here.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

New LSM Website

As most of you know, I work at a animation and new media company called LSM and we've recently launched our new website, which I designed along with my workmate Matt Keen. The website also has our new showreel. Please have a look and let me know what you think :-) (even the bad feedback...)

NEW LOOK LSM WEBSITE CLICK HERE

Batman on an Elephant

I've not had a great day, but at least this put a smile on my face.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Dancing with the Star Wars

Thanks to Jamie for sending me this. Personally I'm impressed by the mobility of the Chewbacca dancer, so they'd get my vote.

Mmm Bacon





Now everything can taste like bacon with Bacon Salt, the bacon flavour seasoning. It's even vegetarian :-) I can't wait to get mine.

http://www.baconsalt.com/

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Git Gob

Crazy animation by Phillips Eddolls

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Toy Fight (But Good)

Here's an amazing stop motion (although obviously embellished with computer goodness) fight between Bruce Lee and Iron Man. But all is not what it seems...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Wes "American Express" Anderson

In the never ending battle to be regarded as the best director with the surname "Anderson" working in Hollywood today, Wes Anderson always does pretty well.

Admittedly beating Paul W.S Anderson (Aliens vs Predator, Resident Evil, good when your drunk films like Death Race) isn't that hard, but Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) is a tough cookie.

So in honour of this never ending struggle, I'm posting this old American Express advert he did. Although this doesn't mean he beats Paul Thomas Anderson...

Rabbit on Camel War Action

If you stick out the early rolling text (or you skip along) you will be rewarded with Shit Cat One, a trailer for an animated series where Rabbits are at war with Camels. Not in a kiddie way though, in a full on war is violent and nasty way.



As much as I'm glad that someone made this war oddity, I still have to ask that all important question: why did they feel the need to make a Rabbit vs Camel war series with a name about rubbish cats?

Maybe I'll never know. Or maybe I should look it up on Google, but I'm to lazy to. Ah well, I kind of enjoy the mystery anyway.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Batman - The Documentary

Quite an old one, but still fun. This animated documentary flies in the face of conventional wisdom and explains to us why the Batman is actually pretty lame. If you're geek you'll find this very funny ( I reckon ), if not you probably won't get past the first 3 minutes, cos this is one looong parody...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Hmm.... is this good? Probably.

This a viral for the new Jared Hess film Gentlemen Broncos about a young writer having his great idea stolen by a washed out author.

The character in the viral is played by Flight of the Conchord's Jermaine Clement and is like a mix between Garth Marenghi and Sanchez in Darkplace. Well I think so anyway, but have a look yourself...



Good? Or possibly stealing the success that should have been Marenghi's..... hmm

Thursday, 19 March 2009

I'm ashamed of it but...

...I love advertising.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Weird Kid

Don't know if everyone already knows about this guy, but he's got the odd kind of genius that tends to come from a lack of self awareness.

His views on Rihanna...



and his review of Watchmen (again I'm being slack, I went to see it at the imax on the release date, but I felt a well thought out review needed a bit of time...)

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Benjamin Button (Formerly Motski's Oscar Watch Part 5)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Okay, I failed. I didn't make it too all the Oscar nominated films and I didn't review this one before the ceremony... (or any where near it) but then again it didn't end up winning any of the major awards it was up for so maybe it didn't hurt my review of the Oscars too much... and it's probably out on DVD soon anyway.
but enough of my excuses...

Benjamin Button is a charming, interesting and highly enjoyable film, but perhaps the premise promised more. The concept of a man growing from an old baby into a young man is handled brilliantly to begin with, especially through it's exceptional special effects that only infrequently fail to convince. His early years move along apace and Brad Pitt plays the part with the child-like innocence needed. As he grows older/younger the pace slows to explore his romance with Kate Blanchett's Rose and the quirks of his aging process take a back seat.

Blanchett
plays her role with gusto, but at times isn't the most likable character as Benjamin struggles to win her heart. When they inevitably do get together, the film hits perhaps it's least interesting point, with Button's age stabling out around this point. The anticipation of his de-aging will be handled in the final chapter of the film, also lessens the impact of this scene.

SPOILERS

This leads me on to my biggest disappointment. I assumed that as Button began life as an old baby, he'd end it as an adult baby. I was looking forward to seeing some kind of gross weird looking man child. Unfortunately he just turns back into a kid and then into a baby. Not as dramatic as I'd hoped, or as disturbing. The special effects team could have had a chance to fully round off the film with a bizarre creation and director David Fincher could have added a memorable dark moment that would have helped the film stand out from the usual romantic fair.

SPOILERS END


There are also a few cringe-worthy moments of sentimentalism involving a kingfisher which distract from rather than enhance the atmosphere. The subplot of the man hit by lightening however is very funny and offers regular bouts of laughter.

Overall Benjamin Button is a likable and good hearted film, but lacks the edge that I hoped David Fincher would lend the tale. 7/10

Friday, 27 February 2009

Democracy is Fun



Politics can put a smile on your face can't it?
Thanks to Mr. Laurie Rowan for that one.

Friday, 20 February 2009

I'm in STREET FIGHTER!



This is amazing. I make a great Sagat.

Have a go yourself at -
http://www.becomestreetfighter.com/

(btw I Photoshopped myself a tan so that my face would fit better. My tip of the day.)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

WHAT!? WHY!? WHEN!?



How did I not know this existed? Michael Jackson makes Eddie Murphy look a lot buffer than usual. Eddie Murphy makes Michael Jackson look more like a woman. Disturbing.

Friday, 13 February 2009

DAMN!

That Black Freighter is too wide, but I don't know how to solve the problem at the moment, my apologies for the mess.

BLACK FREIGHTER WOO!



Here's the first look (in fully animated form any way) at The Black Freighter, made to coincide with the Watchmen film. The Black Freighter is intertwined within the main narrative in the graphic novel, but was dropped from the film due to fears of making the picture too long and complicated. Thankfully it has been made as accompanying animation that may well be included in the DVD of Watchmen when it's released.

Looks like The Black Freighter section of the Watchmen project is on target anyway from what I can see here... let's hope the film works out too...

Sexually Abused Dogs



A slow burner, until you get to the dog rape. Yes, dog rape.

Cool Watchmen game... well Minutemen anyway...


An 8-bit introduction to the world of Watchmen.

http://www.minutemenarcade.com/uk/

Holy Keanu!



My friend Rosie hyper ventilated after finding the website of artist and illustrator Alejandra Vernon (http://www.avernon.com/), who seems to see Keanu Reeves as some kind of prophet. She even gives a good review to the Lake House :-/

(http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000HWXQGQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_link_next_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&pageNumber=2&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending).

So the only question left to ask is whether a holy Keanu should be called Jeanu or Je-Reeve...

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Motski's Oscar Watch Part 4

Hi folks, a little delayed as usual, but here my next review, this time it's...

Frost/Nixon


I must admit I was not expecting to enjoy Frost/Nixon. Something about an Oscar nominated film by Ron Howard seemed awfully safe and unexciting. However I have been proved wrong (as often happens).

Frost/Nixon is a riveting film built on powerful performances from the leads, Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. Both actors are exceptional in their roles, in fact when Michael Sheen first speaks, he nails Frost's nasal drawl so well it's hard to fight back a chuckle. The voice effected for Langella's Nixon could never claim to be so faithful, but it is his performance that is the main draw. While Frost's smarmy chat show host takes time to warm to, Nixon is immedietly engaging. Direct and funny, Langella does much to humanise the characature allowing us understand the mentality behind his decision making.

The film is sharp and trim, building to the finale interview with little excess. The faux documentary interviews that intersperse the narrative give gravitas to the situation and add an awareness of the interview's importance to the American public. These interviews also give extra time for the excellent supporting cast to shine ( a cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon and Toby Jones in the small but memorable role of Swifty Lazar).

Despite this I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the somewhat two-dimensional role offered Rebecca Hall. Little explanation is given of who her character was or what she did for a living, other than that she flies first class and is Frost's love interest. It seems a bit of a waste of a talented actress who impressed in The Prestige and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, especially in such a male centric story.

This is a minor quible however, as the film is an engrossing character study of the struggle between two men at very different stages of their career. 8.5/10

Coming soon... A review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Motski's Oscar Watch Part 3

Hi folks, I'm slowly catching up, this week...

Milk


One day I hope they make a film entitled "Milk" about the history of those "Got Milk?" ads that appear on the back of American comic books, but for now Gus Van Sant's new film will have to do and I have to admit it covers a much worthier topic.

Milk charts the story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the first openly gay man elected to U.S public office, and his SPOILER tragic death. Filmed in an intimate often semi-documentary style, Milk is involving and highly entertaining, managing to match
Harvey's personal relationships and humour with the further reaching implications of his election.

Although Penn is fantastic and wholly believable in the lead role, the whole cast is great, especially James Franco who gives a restrained emotional performance.

Despite this praise, I did feel that the film lost momentum towards the end, loosing pace just as we reach the critical moment. Josh Brolin's role as Dan White SPOILER Milk's killer, is also not given enough screen time, with his frustration not reaching the boiling point I expected before he took such extreme action.

In the end, Van Sant's film offers an entertaining and highly watchable look at an important part of the U.S.A's recent history.
8/10


Coming soon... A review Frost/Nixon and this week I'll be watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Motski's Oscar Watch Part 2

Hi folks, I've been a bit lame updating my Oscar Watch post, so I''ll endeavour to catch up in the following days.

The Wrestl
er


I'm going to state this right from the start, this is my favourite of the films I've seen so far this year. This compelling and touching film follows Mickey Rourke's weary wrestler (Randy "The Ram") trying to come to terms with retirement and old age. I don't want to write one of those reviews that details the plot in too much detail, so I won't, but I do want to highlight how tight the story is kept, with Darren Aronofsky's direction showing great economy and restraint. Toning down his usually highly stylised camera work and bereft of the type of relentless soundtrack featured in Requiem for a Dream, this is an earthier film, which I was extremely disappointed not to see at least nominated for Best Director.

The Academy has however recognised
Rourke and Marisa Tomei with nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Rourke's performance is nuanced and entirely believable, mirroring his own well documented struggles with fame, fortune and fall from grace. It's a role he was born to play and along with his role in Sin City, it's great to see him hitting his stride again after a long hiatus. It would be a great shame if this role did not earn him an Oscar triumph.

Tomei is also fantastic in her supporting role, coming close to matching Rourke's performance and I imagine that she will also be in the reckoning when the winners are announced.

Overall this is a cohesive beautifully balanced film that I highly recommend. It also ends at exactly the right point, which is not a pleasure to be found in many a film. 9/10


Coming soon... Reviews of Milk and Frost/Nixon and next week I'll be watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.



Thursday, 29 January 2009

Super Broker Shuffle

If they can rap, why can't I?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

On a lighter note: The Spirit...

Despite outlining my plans to spend the month watching Oscar nominated/worthy films, I'm also likely to watch the usual trashy popcorn flicks.

So the first film I actually saw this month was Frank Miller's solo directorial debut (after working with Robert Rodriguez on Sin City) The Spirit.

I'd like to say I went into the cinema with high hopes, but I'd heard rumbling that the film was a bit of a stinker... and on the whole it is. Plodding and clunky, The Spirit could do with some major editing and much much better dialogue. However it does have it's moments (the foot scene) and undoubtedly has the best looking cast of the year (Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and Paz Vega amongst others) so it's worth a DVD watch. I'd say the ideal viewing conditions would be on a night in with friends when you just wanna watch something fun and your not going to pay too much attention to dialogue (which is truly awful throughout) or plot. The sexy cast and ludicrous cartoon violence would be well matched with alcohol and frivolity, rather than serious concentrated viewing.

As a fan of Frank Miller's comic output, I hope this film is a blip and that he gets the chance to redeem himself, but in the end I can't give it more than a 5/10 (only half an hour into the film some of my friends wanted to leave, if that's any indication to it's quality.)


Motski's Oscar Watch Part 1

Hi folks, it's Oscar season again and I'm endevouring to catch all of the biggins before the big day, so I though I'd give you my lopsided views on what I've seen.

First up is...

Slumdog Millionaire
Which I felt was very good, but not excellent. Essentially your standard boy meets girl fairy tale, but with a vibrant Indian based twist. Dev Patel (off of Skins) was far better than I imagined in the lead role of Jamal (mostly nice and restrained) and the rest of the casting was spot on. Using the Who Want to be a Millionaire? show format to link the disparate elements of Jamal's past was clever and well integrated, but fequently less compelling than the flashbacks themselves. These flashbacks offer involving, exciting and often disturbing insights into life growing up in India's slums. Overall, it's an extremely well crafted piece of film making (the cinematography is uniformly stunning), but don't expect too many suprises...

It seems to have ended up as the Best Picture front runner, but I'd give it a 7.5/10
(If you've visited India however, you'll probably want to whack another 1.5 to that score. Friends I watched it with who've been to India absolutely loved it.)

Coming soon... The Wrestler, Milk and Frost/Nixon.
(I've actually already seen The Wrestler and Milk, but I thought breaking up the reviews would make for easier comprehension. Frost/Nixon's up next week...)
Probably the best duet ever. Except it would be probably be better if Jackson sang the whole thing.


Wilkins Coffee

Kermit was a bit of a dick before Miss Piggy made him get all loved up and schmalzy.