Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May Mini Reviews: X-Men: Days of Future Past, My Sweet Pepper Land and Sunshine on Leith.

X-Men: Days of Future Past - The latest installment in the conquering comic book franchise was entertaining enough while I watched it, but fell well short of blowing me away and has had absolutely no impact on my life whatsoever. Having said that, this is the the most interesting Wolverine-centric film yet made. I enjoyed Jackman in the role and was happy that it was the ill-equipped Wolverine who was sent back on this mission. From the rest of cast (mostly wasted) McAvoy continues to do wonders with Xavier. Effective use of history to tie into the ongoing struggle between Xavier and Eric, but I'm not so sure about the addition of 3D to the Super-8 footage? The visual effects were impressive, and it is disappointing that few sequences lived up to the exciting opening action scene. Quicksilver's take down of the Pentagon security and Eric's utilization of an entire sports stadium are the two examples I can recall. For a film with so much exposition it is curiously absent when it was needed, to explain what the hell goes on at the end. ★★

My Sweet Pepper Land A unique film. This Kurdish 'Western' takes advantage of a stunning location and manages to fuse a surprising sense of humour with a blood-drenched struggle for a lawless village. The story focuses on an idle lawman who takes a role as a Commander of a small village in Kurdistan, on the Turkey/Iran border. There he meets a young, beautiful and single schoolteacher whose passion for her position has come at the cost of marriage, which makes her a target of ridicule and disrespect by the male villagers. Both find themselves threatened by a drug-smuggling crime syndicate who seek to reclaim power of the morally corrupt region from the headstrong Commander and a band of gun-toting female renegades who are laying low in the surrounding hills. I was a little unsure what it was trying to say for while. There are no common people in this film, but a comment on gender politics becomes the most clear directive, along with the Western trope of the loner outsider who finds himself at odds with the established, but morally corrupt, hierarchy. Strong music choices and the textured landscape does not go to waste. ★★★1/2

Sunshine on Leith - A fully-fledged Proclaimers-influenced musical film, and it is a bloody good time. Director Dexter Fletcher, whose co-star in Lock, Stock and Two Smokin Barrels Jason Flemying appears in the film, makes a conscious effort to build the story around the lyrics of the songs and ensure that the musical numbers aid the development of the characters and are not just the genre-serving. If it wasn't already clear after Paul Wright's outstanding debut, For Those in Peril, George Mackay can carry a film. The guy is a serious talent. For the most part it is an absolute delight, but the dramatic turns are a back-to-reality punch to the guts. It looks at relationships, both long and short term, and how they are influenced by the decisions we make, and the opportunities that life throws at us. For two guys who have returned from war, the effects of their trauma rears its head unexpectedly, and for a couple who have been together for 25 years, a loose secret can cause everything built to come crumbling down. ★★★★

1 comment:

  1. Nice and a simple review on future past, i love the series of x-men...