Quite a mainstream selection this month, but well it’s July so where better to escape the few measly weeks of Scottish sunshine than hiding in a dark movie theatre pretending to be somewhere else.
Embarrassingly I actually enjoyed this, I may as well admit that I have a tendency to see most of the big blockbusters although I don’t report them here and it’s basically a given that I’ll see the Superheroes ones. Well apart from pretty rough effects I really enjoyed this. If you’ve seen the trailer you can basically guess the entire film. Hancock has basically all of the power of Superman but lives the life of a drunk. His help is unwanted by the city as his temper and unpredictability make him a liability. It gets a bit ropey towards the end, but you always knew in a film starring Will Smith he’d make good eventually. The best bit though is when he’s bad he’s proper bad. I found it funny anyway 🙂
Just when you thought Miyazaki had a monopoly on touching enchanting children’s entertainment, Pixar trumps him by rolling it up with one of the most biting satires I’ve ever seen in a Hollywood picture. What seems to start out as a vague eco-fairy tale with a charming central character in the second half of the film starts taking digs at popular culture the likes of which I’ve not seen since Fight Club or Idiocracy. And Pixar have managed it all while working for Disney!
I went home thoroughly impressed and with perhaps even a slight dampness in the corner of my eye.
The Dark Knight
As interesting a production as a Hollywood studio could ever make and one that had me thinking more than I had any right to expect.
There are a few problems, firstly for a film that takes itself so seriously there are some bits that are just really silly, the batvoice has to be reined a little for a start. It’s comic origins work against it in a few segments as well, they do a spectacular job of making the film really feel like an exaggerated real world but still lose it from time to time. Also the critically adored performance of Heath Ledger is a little slight, sure it’s great but he has what seems like 10 minutes total screen time.
This is a far braver transformation than Batman Begins though and when I was 15 and addicted to the animated series this would be my dream film, even more so than Burton’s Returns sequel.
The thinking part came from the politics suggested. I am in no way coming round to the point of view it promotes but certainly it made me think more critically of my politics than any film I can think of (most films seem to support my positions than question them). A very strange prospect indeed.