Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

!!!!!!!! (PS - now what?)

Well, it's been a hellava long wait guys. Spurred on by a pal who commented "Why haven't you actually watched your boxed set yet?!", I stopped being miss will-watch-anything and successfully ushered in Reservoir Dogs as the evening's movie.


It took some rather unsubtle hinting at my sister to get her out of the room for an hour and a half, and some even more unsubtle hinting to persuade my parents but anyway…The one condition was that I’d done my homework, so I bent the truth, said yes and then scooted down to my room and did two pieces in approximately as many minutes. And it was not without a little nervousness (after all, I’d probably have to lie blind to all my friends if I disliked it…) I sat down. I really need not have worried in the slightest…

There are two different ways I could use the phrase "worse than Rififi". The first: "Hannah is a billion times worse than Rififi.", a very likely occurrence. The second: "I've just spent an hour watching a film about the aftermath of a diamond heist; oh it's as bad as Rififi!" in terms of nerve-wrenching suspense. If you understand me. And this gets jolly close to the latter catagory.

All the characters are great, totally great. I'd like to make individual comments, but I'm having problems with anything more than "really great". I certainly couldn’t pick a favourite from the central four. Mr Blonde is just so chilled, you've got to have respect for his total lack of panic - and while the ear thing was nasty, at least it looks like he was enjoying it. Mr Pink gets all the good lines - the tipping scene is so funny, as is him complaining about his colour. And also, of the set he's probably the most like me - I wanted to cheer when I saw him crawl out from under the ramp. Mr Blue's tash is cool (what else is there to say?). Mr White was sweet, in the same way that Bruce Willis' character in The Sixth Sense is sweet. Both of them give the feeling things were safe when they were on screen - like nothing drastically awful was going to happen as long as they were there. He really should not have left Messrs Orange and Blonde on their own with Marv…

And then Mr Orange who is also very sweet, despite having the worst pair of sunglasses. He deserves a special mention for being so un-like himself. I've a history of getting uncomfortable seeing actors from great things in other things. After The Godfather, for example, seeing Robert Duvall in a western was actually quite hard. It seems to be totally random, but after R+GaD I was slightly worried I may have the same problem with this. Needn't have worried, really (on the subject, I was overjoyed watching the special features to see how overjoyed Tim was that QT had seen R+GaD. After all, I’m always happy to see people who love it as much as me…)

I also love the way they actually talk like real people. The opening scene at breakfast could easily have been me and my six chums over lunch. Only we don't swear so much...and Lauren would kill me if I ever so much as mentioned Madonna...

And now a bit of spoilervision:

A bit more for Mr O. and Mr W., both of which you need to feel a bit sorry for. Mr O was beyond fantastic - and it seems horribly unfair that he's the one to be badly injured. Not only because he's really a "good guy", but also he's shot by a woman and a woman that misses fairly badly (as Mr White points out comfortingly(?!), a stomach wound takes hours to die from...) You kinda expect the wound to be a little more noble than that. And he's got the mean knowledge that rescue is as far away as Jo arriving. He has the worst, worst luck.

He’s an interesting character too, because he is a goodie. But then, as the criminals are our heroes, teeeechnically he’s the bad guy. And then on the other hand, he rescues Marv (temporarily, at least. And out of the two, I'd much rather be shot by Eddie than burnt to death) which is a good thing to do. Lets put it this way - I'd be hard pressed to choose a fave, but I was certainly rooting for Mr O to aim well as opposed to Mr B succeeding in toasting the poor guy. Then Eddie comes back and extols Mr B as the best and most loyal guy in the universe - he's a sadist, but not a traitor like Freddie is, which is worse/better/just as bad(?). And the contradictions go on and on. Marv's a little bit of a hero really - he doesn't say anything, even though he knew Mr O was a cop and it would have been a good way to try and squirm off the hook. I love that scene between them - "We're just going to lie here and bleed".
I really don't envy him one bit. Besides the obvious reason. I mean, two people (Larry and Marv) actually give their lives for him, waste of time that it is. That's got to hurt. "A man's got to have rocks in his head the size of Gibraltar to work undercover" - damn right!

And Mr White? I said, I got the feeling nothing truly terrible would happen when he was around - especially as he seemed to be the only one at all concerned that Mr Orange was making a bit of a mess of the floor. He says he'll take care of him, and you really think he's going to. And the end is a total killer, because they've developed this bond and he sticks his neck out against a pair of very old and good friends in his defence. As I've said so, so many times before, betrayal's a subject which gets me every time. As much as I like Mr O, I think Mr W is entirely justified in putting a third bullet in him because the knowledge must hurt...

There is a lot of sick irony running through the film. Mr Blonde is widely regarded as a psycho, but we don't actually get to see him kill anyone even though we know he took out a bunch of civilians. If I recall correctly, the only civilian we see get killed is shot by undercover cop Mr Orange, which is just twisted and mean. In fact, he just has the worst luck...similarly, Mr Pink the professional, is the only guy whose name we the audience don't learn. I'm sure that was deliberate.
The problem is, they're all so indecisive. They have to get Mr Orange medical attention, they've got to work out who's the rat and they frequently consider (with good reason) getting out of there, in case the location's been compromised. Which it has. They just never get around to any of it. Useless!

End spoilers.

The whole film was one long best scene, but the notable moment is during Mr Orange's story about the drugs in the toilet. The standing in front of that beautiful wall of graffiti, pacing in his room and then finally coming to the event...he's chatting away and suddenly, we're flashing back to the event within the flashback, and he's so in the moment he's standing in the loo but still talking about it. The camera circles him and the stationary cops, and he’s chatting away. It just produced a “wow” moment, even though it’s just a cut to a guy in a lav.

I liked the direction, it was really sedate but quite beautiful - lots of unbroken shots which really gave the actors a chance to show their stuff. The bits in the warehouse almost reminded me of a play - lots of talking on one location. We could call it "Waiting for Jo", and instead of Vladamir and Estragon considering killing themselves, they ponder killing each other and when Pozzo arrives, he beats Lucky up to pass the time. There were hardly any close ups - this sometimes made the dialogue hard to understand, but it did look very pretty.
The story is virtually flawless. I say virtually, because while it's pretty great it can't stand up to two days of uninterupted scrutiny (that's how long it took me to write this up, by the by) - in fact, I'm not sure anything can. Totally flawless then. It never felt forced. The flashbacks dissipated the tension somewhat, and it gave the whole thing a very unstudied, incidental feel. Frequently with flash back/forwards films, you get gripped on one plot and have to sit through the rest - thankfully, this was not one of them.
In Film Studies we're doing the difference between story (what happens) and plot (how it unfolds on screen). Just needed to add that, because it would not have been half so effective presented in chronological order.

As for the violence? Ok, this is not one for people with weak stomachs, but I didn't mind it. In fact, coming from the cuddly world of PG-13 when a bullet wound equates to an easily brushed off paper cut if it's a hero, or an instant life drain if it's a henchman, it was very refreshing. You'd be forgiven for thinking it didn't hurt. Although I continue to disagree that cutting away is more effective than holding the camera still (having said that, I watched all the deleted scenes apart from the alternate versions of Mr Blonde's big scene...) Interesting fact you may not have known - the type of fake blood they used was very sticky, and it set very hard - to the extent that some of the actors had to be peeled off the floor and hosed down after a days filming before they could move properly.

All in all, this must be the weirdest feel-good film ever. Yes, you heard me, feel-good film. I dunno, it could be the cheery soundtrack, or the light hearted dialogue - I don't think I stopped grinning throughout. Awfully good fun. To be fair, it was cinematic join-the-dots most of the way. All the major events I knew of several months in advance, but actually it didn't matter. It was almost like coming back to an old friend, like smiling before the joke in a comedy you've alreadt seen. My mum managed to remain awake all the way through - an occurrence I can only remember one other time this year.

Anyway, I’m weighing up how soon the laws of decency allow me to rewatch it. I've already devoured the special features - the most exciting thing is that Mr Blonde’s car is actually a yellow Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Should I be proud that a fictional psychopath happens to drive my dream car? I’ve loved that make for years, ever since I saw one in a colouring book. When I was 12, I bought a small 5 inch replica which sits on the shelf near my bed. And yellow is the only colour for a car...If I had enough cash and, er, a driving licence I’d want one of them more than anything else, though I’d also settle for the thing Mary Kate and Ashley drive in Sweet Sixteen, or a hippy bus like the one in Cars.
I'm gonna say this once - it sucks big time wanting to talk about something and not having anyone to talk with. It also sucks knowing you can only ever see something the first time once. And it sucks knowing that the only way to recapture the feeling is to make somebody else see it, when you're surrounded by people who'd attack you at the suggestion - and who you're totally unsure if they'd like anyway. Still, I've celebrated by reading all the things in various movie magazines and books I've (almost) managed to resist looking at all these months. And now it's just a wait until it hits me properly that I now no longer have anything to look forward to or complain about...
(PS - if you've seen it, check out this short. I particularly love the director's credit at the start. It's a mini triumph of great editing. OK, so who cares where the plot got plagarised from - it's still an entertaining little watch)

I also saw Man in the Iron Mask the night before. I borrowed it off a friend, and she refused to return my copy of Rosencrantz until I gave it back. Needless to say I went home that very evening and watched it straight away. It was ok, though I had some difficulty getting really involved. The costumes were very pretty, and Jeremy Irons had all the best lines. Or possibly it’s his delivery. “Sometimes there are more important things in life than a great pair of tits” sticks in my mind as especially funny. It’s a mess of accents, but it doesn’t really matter. What does is the cheesy moments – especially the end. I never managed to finish the book, but it almost felt like a death was a sacrifice demanded by Orson Welles (head in the pantheon of the Gods of Film, savvy?) to let them end the movie. It felt so cheap. Still…today she returned my baby, early in the morning. My pals asked me if anything was wrong, I must have been acting somewhat erratically (To start with, I was early, and my hair was neat…). I managed fifteen minutes before coming out with the news, and predictably nobody wanted to discuss it with me, hence the rant above.

(PS – my parties are the event of the year. OK, it’s an exaggeration, but they’re certainly a lot of fun. We still do party games, and always dress up. This year we’re gonna do film costumes, of course, though I’m tossing up who to come as. The most likely candidate is Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. I’ve got a cricket bat, and most of my friends have seen it.
On the other hand, I do have my excellent Frank costume lying around from last Halloween:

I had such fun making that mask, I'll post the instructions around Halloween. The downside is that my friends have already seen that costume.

I’m also considering Rosencrantz. Because I think his costume the most wonderful thing in the world, and I’ve got a combination of clothes almost exactly like his – I subconsciously bought a jacket which is similar, though not perfect. I only realised when I accidentally went out “in costume” and looked down. Plus, now I can make the biplane I’d have me props all done. But something else I’ve been mulling over for a while, and now I can actually in fairness do, is Mr Orange. I know – awful awfully bad taste, but it would be very easy. And pretty funny too…)

I just found this soundtrack site – it’s great! It’s a mp3 blog for soundtracks, without the guilt of downloading things and then wondering whether it’s really all that bad to keep them. Mostly, it’s the type of stuff I don’t like, but there’s the odd good one, and John Williams fans will have a field day.

Final word: is it OK to list films you haven’t actually seen as favourites on your account? I’m not asking this for myself, I’ve got a friend who’s put two I know she hasn’t seen. I’m just curious as to if this is acceptable?


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