Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quick Film Reviews (July)

There were a couple of films I have seen recently that I couldn't muster up the energy to write about. Here are my slightly-longer-than-140-character reviews.

The Player (5/5) - A masterpiece. A dark, cynical look at show business, masterfully directed by Robert Altman. The infamous opening sequence is truly a marvel, and Tim Robbins has never been better as a slick studio executive whose life becomes tumultuous when he accidentally kills a disgruntled screenwriter. Also features a seemingly endless stream of recognisable cameos. 

Valhalla Rising (3/5) - Set in 1000A.D, this surreal and haunting nightmare of a film from Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn (Bronson and the upcoming Drive), suffers from an all-too-strong first half, before becoming steadily more tedious and laborious. But, the astounding images of this film have remained seared in my brain. With almost no dialogue it's left to the mesmerising colour-drained and hyper-stylized visuals to tell this mysterious tale. You feel like the characters have been dropped into another world. A Godless world, if you like. A world you would never want to find yourself. 


  1. I loved The Player, in fact it's the only Altman film I've enjoyed.
    However I wasn't impressed by Valhalla Rising, it did have some interesting scenes but on the whole I just found it tedious and pointless.

  2. The Player is among one of my favorite films by Robert Altman though my all-time favorite Altman film is McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

    I have not seen Vahalla Rising nor anything by Refn. Any idea where to start?

  3. @ Jack L - Apart from Gosford Park, it's the only Altman film I have seen. I really want to see M*A*S*H, McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Nashville now too. I agree about Valhalla Rising. There was a lot that i liked but this was mostly a pointless and indulgent affair.

    @ Steven - I really want to see McCabe and Mrs. Miller. As for Refn, I guess start with the 'Pusher' Trilogy. I haven't seen them, but I have heard they are excellent. He made a couple of films in between, which I don't know much about. Then check out Bronson, with Tom Hardy, then I guess, this one!