8-14 September 2008

September 15 2008 at 7:58 pm (The list)

Last week for me was quite a busy week in films, but not for the shame list which I only reduced by one:

 

Annie Hall (1977)

I’m quite new to Woody Allen’s oeuvre having only seen a shockingly meagre two of his films before, so it felt right to continue with his best loved film. Consistently funny and inventive, Annie Hall’s influence on popular culture is obvious and can be seen in the likes of When Harry Met Sally, High Fidelity, even Family Guy. Seamlessly mixing screwball comedy with a more intellectual brand of humour, Allen’s script is both witty and heartfelt. Although he claims that Alvy Singer is not an auto-biographical character, it cannot be denied that he is Allen through and through, and Diane Keaton’s Oscar-winning turn as the eponymous love interest is a worthy emotional heart to a sharp comedy.

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Shame list total: 1,210

 

Also watched last week:

 

Indecent Proposal (1993)

Frustratingly manipulative and often painfully slow, this moral dilemma movie is a hangover from the 1980s ‘greed is good’ sub-genre, complete with clichéd scenes of shagging on a bed of banknotes and indulgent slow-mo gambling shots. All of the characters are morally reprehensible to the point that you hope they all end up miserable which of course they don’t. Still, it does make you think about what’s important (love vs money) and that’s no bad thing.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

With the film’s release in UK cinemas delayed for six months due to the plot closely resembling the case of missing girl Madeleine McCann, Gone Baby Gone is shrouded in an uncomfortable sense of chilling familiarity. However, rather than a sombre family drama, it is a tense thriller with some great performances (especially the Oscar-nominated Amy Ryan as the child’s uncaring junkie mother) and an interesting moral dilemma in the finale, which some critics have had a few problems with. Occasionally the film troubles itself with sticking so rigidly to the thriller formula that it doesn’t do justice to the core themes and it certainly could have done with fewer twists. However, it is definitely worth watching for Ben Affleck’s direction which shows that he has much more promise and warmth behind the camera than he ever did in front of it.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Wild Hogs (2007)

Four middle aged bikers (John Travolta, Tim Allen, William H Macy and Martin Lawrence, who isn’t actually middle aged) decide to take a break from their humdrum suburban lives for a road trip across America. On the way they piss off the Del Fuegos, a hard ass biker gang led by a typically nasty Ray Liotta and save a pleasant town from their tyranny. With shades of the infinitely superior City Slickers, there’s little here to get excited about. A hit-and-miss joke count, a script that could have been written in crayon by a two-year-old and some shamefully pantomimic performances (especially from Travolta and Liotta, and Macy’s not exactly stretching himself as an adorable loser) add up to a tame comedy that means well but never really reaches its potential.

 

Rating: 2/5

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