Celebrating Great Films

Saturday, June 25, 2011

X-Men: First Class

#234 at time of writing.

This film inspires in me such mediocre praise as "entertaining, but...", "bit of a cash-in", and "well, the trailers were fun". Even the posters are lacklustre.

The Noughties was great for superhero movies, but with cheesy action-over-substance sequels like this competing against half-baked efforts like Green Lantern, perhaps they've had their day for now.

This is the story of how the X-Men first came together; it hijacks the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis as a backdrop. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this origins story more if I knew more of the X-Men universe, but as a stand-alone film it doesn't compare to the epic genius of the rebooted Batman films or Watchmen, nor to the charismatic wit of Iron Man or Kick-Ass.

Fun, but I predict this will have fallen off the Top 250 before you can say "when's the next X-Men sequel?"

According to IMDb trivia, the filmmakers hired an X-Men specialist to help the cast understand their roles. Coolest job title ever?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Seventh Seal

#112 at time of writing.

This film is pretty cool with its overblown metaphors, visually striking set-pieces, pseudo-medieval setting and funky-sounding Swedish. But I felt like it went over my head. I let the story wash over me, but never really got into it.

It's about a knight who is trying to escape the spread of the Black Death, while playing a game of chess with the Grim Reaper.

Director Ingmar Bergman was inspired by a 15th century church painting of a man playing chess with a skeletal Death, in Täby kyrka, north of Stockholm.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Penny for your thoughts...

I haven't posted for a while, mainly because my beautiful daughter was born at the beginning of April and has been keeping us rather occupied since. Yay! :)

My wife has been spending more time than usual on BBC iPlayer while on maternity leave. Recently, we've been watching Paul Merton's fascinating series on the history of Hollywood. Check it out.