120+ movies: In Time

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

In TimeIn Time (02/11/11)

In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage – a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.

The man who brought us this film, Andrew Niccol, also brought us Gattaca, Lord of War and The Truman Show. Ok, so he also brought us S1mo0ne, but I’m ignoring that. In Time has a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hit the heights of Gattaca, it’s more Gattaca-lite. But I’m ok with that.

From the beginning you’re told as a viewer to accept the circumstances the film is set in or not. Which I’m also ok with. I was happy to accept a future where people don’t age past 25.

But from the get go, it’s also driven home that time is a commodity. Over, and over and over again. It’s an interesting concept, but they weren’t subtle with it. You could say the film was a take on what’s going on in the world’s economics today – instead of money, you’ve got time.

Justin Timberlake did as well as he could in the lead. He lacks certain amounts of emotional gravitas for some scenes. But I can’t say that I dislike him turning to acting. Amanda Seyfried is great – I’d love to know her secret of how in the hell she managed to run in all those crazy heels she was wearing!

It’s an ok film. The pacing’s good, the characters are engaging. It won’t blow your mind like Gattaca or The Truman Show, but it’ll entertain you.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

120+ Movies: Cowboys and Aliens

120+ Movies of 2011

Cowboys & AliensCowboys & Aliens (18/08/11)

A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys and natives are all that stand in their way.

Had high hopes for this film. Great cast, nice concept. It has the makings to be a great summer blockbuster. For the most part it fulfils that. It’s full of action western and sci-fi. The cast is great in their roles. A great score from Harry Gregson-Williams. It’s a simple film that goes from beginning to end with an expected outcome, but gets there with some fun.

It’s not as jaw dropping as I’d have hoped though. I can’t put my finger on it, but it lacked a certain something. Helpful, huh!

The aliens did look nice and gross. Though in the final fight there were some alien kills which just made me laugh. Well, the notion of cowboys and indians facing off against a race with superior technology just doesn’t make any logical sense. Logic does not apply here.

A woman next to me was terrified throughout the whole film and sat watching behind her hands. She even apologised to me a couple of times when she jumped. She couldn’t stomach some of the marginally bloodier scenes or the scenes which the BBFC probably describe as ‘intense threat’. Which made me wonder why she came to see the film at times!

I preferred this to Captain America, so that’s my reasoning for giving it a 4/5. However, I’d say it’s a weaker 4/5. Damn me for not allowing myself to use half point!
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far:

100 movies: Indie and the big budget

100 movies of 2010

Couple of new films in the cinema seen. Start of a good December, cinema release wise for me.

MonstersMonsters (03/12/10)
First time writer and director, Gareth Edwards, does a damn good job with his first film. It’s a beautifully shot film with convincing CG at times and then at other times not so convincing. But at those times you’re not too fussed about being convinced that the CG isn’t perfect. Enough about the CG, what about the film? On the surface it’s a sci-fi film about an alien invasion and humanity fighting to stay alive. Well, in Mexico at least. Though the bigger part of this film is the story of the two leads, their journey to get back to America and seeing them slowly fall for each other. I think a lot of people have compared this to District 9, purely for the style it’s been shot in. It’s nothing like District 9. Other than, there are aliens. Highly recommend this film. I’m hoping, it’ll be one of the better films you’ll see this year.
Rating: 4/5

TRON: LegacyTRON: Legacy (07/12/10)
It’d been a good long while since I saw the first TRON film. Until Sky Movies thankfully put it on in the run up to the release of Legacy. Refreshed on what happened in TRON I was really looking forward to Legacy. The trailers looked stunning, but what really grabbed me about this film? Having a score done by Daft Punk. Daft Punk being heavily influenced by the original TRON movie to the go on to doing a score for a sequel. PERFECT! It really was just that. It’s one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen this year. The way the Grid’s look has been updated is fantastic. There are loads of little throwbacks to the first film. But you don’t need to have seen it to watch this film. It’s a pretty straightforward plot with maybe one mcguffin thrown in for good measure. The action is breath-taking. Some amazing things have been done. I’ve already talked about the soundtrack, but I will again – it was PERFECT. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. The actors were all solid. Though Jeff Bridges’ CG face was a tad rubbery at times. The more you saw it, the worse it got! Garrett Hedlund was a good Sam Flynn, though he came off as a little wooden at times. But he held together the film well enough.

If I have one gripe it’s got to be the 3D. You’re given a little heads up at the beginning of the film informing you that there will be some 2D scenes. Fine. But then when we’re given the 3D scenes, again for me, they add nothing to the film for me. I don’t enjoy a film more with added 3D. In fact I probably enjoy it less because I’m not feeling comfortable with glasses on my head! Yet another film where the 3D is not needed at all. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to find many screenings of this in 2D, if any. Thankfully the film was brilliant enough for me to just pass the useless 3D off and just enjoy the film. Going on my list of top cinema releases of the year.

Oh! Forgot to mention! Cillian Murphy cameo! I did a double take. Expected him to show up somewhere else. But he didn’t. He’s got about four lines, but he’s there!
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see the full list of movies seen this year:

100 movies: Checking in at 115

100 movies of 2010

I think I might just be able to hit my adjusted 120 target for the year. Which scares me a little. Why? I wanted to aim for more movies next year. I don’t think I could top 120 for next year!

UnstoppableUnstoppable (26/11/10)
Unstoppable has all the ingredients of an extremely enjoyable and fun to watch popcorn film. You’ve got Tony Scott directing, Denzel Washington playing the hero, Chris Pine playing a younger hero and the villain of the piece is an unstoppable train. Of course you need the two heroes of the piece to start on rocky ground and then through the events of the film, they grow to be friends. All of this works in Unstoppable’s favour. The movie does take a little while to get into, but once the action kicks in, it’s a fun ride. You do know how it’ll all end before you get there, but there’s enough banter between Chris and Denzel’s characters for you not to care. There are some fun action set pieces and the score by Harry Gregson-Williams is brilliant (With a throwback to his work he did on Man on Fire). A very good action film to lose a few hours to.
Rating: 4/5

The SoloistThe Soloist (28/11/10)
I wanted so much to enjoy this and really like this film. But I got slightly bored and frustrated. I honestly did wonder why Robert Downey Jr’s character cared so much for this homeless but brilliant musician. Of course you can do things out of the goodness of your heart, but I didn’t get any of that from him. Well, not in the beginning. Both him and Jamie Foxx did a good job with their performances; Jamie Foxx in particular. I just didn’t feel the ‘heart’ of this film at all. Everything seemed too superficial, as if it was just skimming the surface of what the real point of the film was. I’m probably missing something. Highlight of the film for me was LaFayette (Nelsan Ellis) turning up as a person who runs a homeless shelter.
Rating: 2/5

The Next Three DaysThe Next Three Days (30/11/10)
Remake of the French film Pour Elle which I saw earlier this year. Back then I had no idea they were remaking the film. When I did find out I knew I wanted to see it. Just to compare. It’s pretty much a straight remake, with little variance from the original. The scene where the wife is arrested is almost exactly the same and there are a few others which are dead on too. The remake is definitely more ‘American’. In the sense that there’s a bit more explanation of the whys and whats. There’s more action. There’s less style. The French version had a bit more realism in it. The Next Three Days is a good enough thriller, if exceptionally slow. It did not feel like a film that was just under two hours. There were far too many endings. Though the cast were all good. Russell Crowe did an ample job of playing the helpless father and Elizabeth Banks the locked up mother. If this sounds like your kind of film just watch Pour Elle instead. It’s much better.
Rating: 2/5