My Letterboxd Diary has pointed out that I’ve watched a film daily for 8
consecutive days so I’m hoping to keep this streak going. Over the last week I saw three 2012 films in Taken 2, Killing Them Softly and Lawless which I reviewed.
I caught up on more classics in RoboCop, Raging Bull, Dog Day Afternoon, The Royal Tenenbaums and Die Hard: With a Vengeance. Finally, with Paranormal Activity 4 coming out this week, I watched Paranormal Activity 2, leaving me just the third one to catch up on before the new release.
Taken 2 (2012) – Taken is in my Top 10 films of all time (8th), so the sequel always had lofty standards to live up to. I had heard a lot of negativity going into it, which probably lowered my expectations, but I actually didn’t mind it. Corny, a bit cliche, predictable, often silly and unrealistic. However it was very entertaining, Liam Neeson was awesome as usual and I quite enjoyed it. A guilty pleasure. B-
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) – After loving Wes Anderson‘s work in Moonrise Kingdom this year and The Fantastic Mr Fox a few years back, I decided to check out what many have called his best film. As always, the shots and characters are charming, with a star-studded cast of Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson all bringing something to the table. It almost deserved a better ranking then I gave it, however I did find the story a bit thin. The humour was solid but not that laugh-out-loud. B
Lawless (2012) <<< Click here for my review. While a bit too slow overall, I enjoyed it enough. B-
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) - The third installment of Die Hard is arguably the best, as I found it hard to split this one and the first. The action is great, it’s funny and it has a solid plot that while pushes the boundaries of believabliity, it was still way more realistic then the second. A
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) - The first half of this movie is fantastic as we see Al Pacino hold up a bank. I thought it dragged on in the second half, to the point that I was getting bored. I would still recommend it be seen, at least for it’s tense and interesting first half. B-
Killing Them Softly (2012) - Very similarily to the above film, the first half of this Crime/Thriller is well worth seeing, with the latter half becoming a bit slow and uninteresting. However, the final scene is well worth the wait, with a strong closing message that Brad Pitt pulls off well. Very politically based, there are plenty of messages to be taken from the film. Ray Liotta and Scoot McNairy are also great, but it’s the work of Aussie Ben Mendelsohn who gives a performance that I would say is the best of the movie. I would love if he got some recognition for his role and watching his character slowly deteriorate was a highlight. B
Raging Bull (1980) – There is no denying the acting in this Boxing film is sublime, with Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci extremely convincing. I thought it was a bit long, but did like the mix up of black and white with colour shots. I’m not sure if I think it’s worth watching, as it evoked little emotion out of me in the end. B-
RoboCop (1987) – I’ve slotted this in at #12 on my all time List, I absolutely loved RoboCop. It was clever, cool, fascinating, exciting, dark and violent, with a great revenge story. I can’t begin to explain why I liked it so much, I think the characters were fantastic but most importantly; the plot flowed well and had interesting and relevant subplots intertwined. A much younger Kurtwood Smith was a great villain, mainly known to me as Red from That 70′s Show. Highly recommended. A
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) - I’m not big on horror, but I find the Paranormal Activity series to be chilling, mainly due to how real it feels with the camera footage and realistic family. This was just as good as the first, and I’m eager to watch the third this week before catching the newest edition. I’m a fan! B+
I will be catching and reviewing Argo on Thursday which I’m quite excited about! What’s your fave film from the list above?