Justin Moss

Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

Never under the influence of white spirits

(.. shall I rent a movie again)


Source: IMDB.com

With a score of 5.3/10 from IMDB and an inclination towards action and sci-fi, I thought this might fill my needs.  Oh, how wrong I was.

Vin Diesel never has never had a great screen presence, especially when he’s the star … and so, that reputation is further cemented by this role.  From Russia to New York by limo, train, submarine, skidoo and plane, this journey incorporates every possible inconceivability you can imagine – ridiculous stunts, implausible love scenes, inaudible dialogue, unsurvivable blasts (and wounds), immaculate conception, whiny anti-heroes and we-can-rebuild-him style resurrections.

Possibly the only reason worth enduring this poorly timed, attrociously acted and carelessly directed mess is Thierry Arbogast‘s cinematography (Fifth Element and The Professional/Leon) – though please don’t take that as a recomendation.  In fact, I am sure that the pitch for this movie to the studios relied heavily on Vin and Thierry’s inclusion – dizzy with stars on their eyes, and comfortable with the addition of some “really cool effects”, a budgeting decision to scrimp on the  screenplay cut the whole thing off at the knees (spoiler alert!).

Possibly the most disappointing utilisation of a part was that by Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) – in any fight scene with Michelle, she was wearing a heavy black duffle, making it very hard to discern any of the martial arts style movements.  To make matters worse, added to every fight scene was a unhealthy dose of wobble cam – though my suspicion is that these frenetics were necessary to cover up poor fight choreography and that Michelle was simply ‘caught in the crossfire’.

Small parts by Gérard Depardieu and Charlotte Rampling add very little to the experience – certainly nothing like the $$ they would have paid to enhance the cred of the film.

Avoid Babylon A.D. … 2 hours of your life is worth so much more than a movie in which Vin’s closing line is:

“Save the planet, one child at a time – aint that a bitch


End note: Rotten Tomatoes would have made a better barometer in this case (how ever did it score 5.3 on IMDB!?)


An Australian Drama by Matthew Saville

noise_movieContemplative, honest and direct – so subtle in places, you really have to work at it.   The kind of movie about which you don’t immediately make your mind up.

Plot (source): The community reels after an incident on a suburban train. A young cop, beset with doubt and afflicted with tinnitus, is pitched into the chaos that follows this tragic event. He struggles to clear the noises in his head while all around him deal with the after burn of the crime.

IMDB information | Infilm review


“Ne le dis à personne” (aka “Tell No One”)

The way a thriller should be.  Dynamic, and sometimes curiously flawed, characters.  Slick as any Hollywood thriller but as interweaved, broad in scope and rich as we’ve come to expect from brilliant French film industry.  Brutal, touching, mesmerizing and literally ‘on the edge of your seat’.

French cinema always reminds me just how much Hollywood scripts follow ultimately predictable formula (happy endings, hero triumphs, etc).  That’s not to say that this doesn’t have a happy ending, no is it to say that it doesn’t!

IMDB details

People that know me well, know my aversion to hype and and just how easy it is to build up my expectations.  It  was with much trepidation, therefore, that I decided to see “In Bruges” – you see, on the day that I read it scored a position on the IMDB Top 250 (a significant acollade), I also heard it described as “grizzly” and “dry”.  Well … bollocks to both ends of that particular spectrum!

This is the best thing that Colin Farrell has done for .., well, .. ever (for no other reason than the performance is delivered in his native accent). Brendan Gleeson also puts in a another brilliant performance – in fact, I never quite appreciated the attention this particular actor could give to a role until now.  Whilst there is an air of ‘Lock Stock’ and ‘Sexy Beast’ about Ralph Fiennes‘ character, this too is best thing he’s done since that trite English Patient.

Now, if you’ve heard people say this is a funny movie, smack ’em.  It’s not – it’s black, dry, gentle in it’s pace and stunning to look at.  In as much as Colin Farrell’s character is emotionally ‘retarded’, he does have the occasional side-splitting line though, for example:

“What are they doing over there? They’re filming something. They’re filming midgets!”

(I guess you have to imagine the ‘excited boy’ character he’s playing).  If you’re finding the main plot a bit drawn out, there’s a mischievous leprechaunic quality about Colin’s character (Ray) which punctuates the story nicely.

Almost surpassing the writers and actors’ performance, however, are those of the cinematographer (Eigil Bryld) and the composer (Carter Burwell) who’ve faithfully brought the “fairy tale” and rhythm of Bruge to screen.

80 BPM

Post Script: Upon accepting his award at the 66th Golden Globe Awards, Colin Farrell delivered, what I believe to be one of the most accurate descriptions of “In Bruges” (I mean, to call it a ‘Comedy’ is just so misleading, no?).  Here’s what he said:

“It’s seldom you get a script that’s as simultaneously profound,  and beautifully comic and wonderfully painful, filled with delightful remorse, and more than anything else, the sweetest sweetest redemptive qualities .. that was ‘In Bruges’ for me” …. [Colin Farrell, Jan 2009]


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