A very quiet week at #Towatchpile towers due to me having to take leave to Manchester and go drink with the some of the www.eatsleeplivefilm.com boys and Mr @Chinstroker. So I got next to no watching done but what I did managed to view is here for your reading pleasure.
The Runaways is the story of the band The Runaways (see what they did there), an all girl rock band formed in the mid-70’s. The band are best know for the song Cherry Bomb and being founded by Joan Jett. The film very much focuses on telling the story of Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and Joan Jett (Kirsten Stewart) and how the pair were the musical drive (Jett) and sex appeal (Currie) of the band, despite Currie being only sixteen at the time of the bands formation. The only other prominent character is Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) the famed eccentric producer. The film relies too heavily on trying to sexualise Fanning (herself only sixteen at the time of shooting) and at times it’s obvious that director Floria Sigismondi comes from a music video directing background as parts of the film become very disjointed and feel like they are a group of concept videos strung together. The film is also very pro Joan Jett and paints her very much as the girl who just wanted to prove she could cut it with the boys. While Currie was a tortured soul who couldn’t handle the fame and pressure even though Jett tried to help her at every turn. Oh did I mention that Joan Jett was an executive producer, strange that isn’t it. As with all biopics performances are key and Fanning is very good as Cherrie Currie, she manages to perfectly mix the naivity with a natural way of controlling her sexual persona. The same cannot be said for Stewart who is frankly embarrassing at points, this is a jumbled impression rather than an actual performance. This for me was the last chance Stewart had of proving she could at least be a competent actor and she failed. I know people think shes great because of the Twilight films but when will people admit this girl cant act for shit! The standout, as ever, is Michael Shannon who is majestic as the over the top, slightly mad, but brilliant Kim Fowley. This film is worth seeing for Shannon and for Fanning but be warned you have to put up with a lot of really bad acting from Kirsten Stewart.6/10
Inside Job – Charles H. Ferguson 2010
Inside Job is a documentary film narrated by Matt Damon and is about the recent global financial crisis, it was also the winner of best documentary at the 2011 Academy Awards. The film focuses mainly on how the major American investment banks were largely culpable for the global crisis which has caused most of the western world to tighten their belts. The documentary tells of how corruption in the banking system infiltrated the US political system, resulting in the people who were deciding rules and regulations for the major banks, in fact being employees of those major banks. There is not a lot I can say about this film without revealing some of the more interesting aspects, but what I will say is if you have any interest in economic affairs then its a must see. Oh and watching some of these bankers sqirm as they are being questioned is very satisfying. 9/10
Food, Inc. is another US documentary but this one looks at the American food system and how like the banking system it has fallen foul to corruption that again leads all the way up the political ladder. The film looks at how only a small number of companies have cornered the US food market and have managed to seize control of everything from what goes in the food, to how the food is grown. It’s a striking look at how these big companies do everything in their power to make food production more efficient, even if it means vastly reducing the quality of the food and at the expense of those who help get the food from field to plate. Again if this kind of thing interests you then you will get a lot out of it, at times it’s not for the faint hearted but its well worth a watch. 8/10
Anchorman – Adam McKay 2004
There is little I can say about this film other than it’s one of the greatest comedy films of all time! If you haven’t seen it then you must rectify that immediately. If you have seen it then watch it again because it really does get funnier every time you watch it. There is so much going on in this film it’s impossible to take it all in on just one or two viewings. 9/10
This is the second film to team up Robert De Niro, possibly the greatest actor of all time, and Edward Norton, possibly the greatest actor of his generation. The last film the pair worked on together was the heist movie The Score which everybody seemed to be underwhelmed by, but I thought was fantastic. Stone also underwhelmed audiences but with this one I have to agree . Stone is the story of Edward Norton’s Gerald Creeson aka: Stone. Stone is awaiting parole after serving 8 years of a 10 – 15 year sentence for arson, De Niro’s Jack is the one who gets to decide if he is eligible for early release. Stone enlists the help of his wife Lucetta, played by Milla Jovovich, to help “convince” Jack that Stone is ready to be released back into society. This film suffers from trying to have too many plot themes going on at once, if Curran would have settled on one and let this film use the acting talent at his disposal, then we would have gotten a much better film. Instead what we get is some great performances from all involved let down by a director and script that can’t decided how it wants to tell its own story. Die hard De Niro and Edward Norton fans should give this a watch but outside of that I wouldn’t bother. This film for me proves that both De Niro and Norton need to work with better directors if they want to get back to their best, and we all want De Niro and Norton at their best. We can only hope that Scorsese and De Niro have one more collaboration left in them and that they find room for Norton in there………ah, dreams. 6/10
Ok so that’s it for this week. I promise I’ll do better next week.
Anyway peace out suckers!