Blue Valentine

May 24, 2011

Now here’s a film to polarise opinion. First off, despite the title this is NOT a lovey dovey film. It tells the tale of a couple who are imploding. This implosion is made all the more poignant through the device of flashbacks which show how they came to be together in the first place. It could not be described as an easy watch but it is thought provoking. The subtle playing of the leads is very much warts and all. The characters have flaws that many of us will be familiar with and neither is wholly likable or free of blame in the breakup; indeed in that respect it maybe a little to realistic. I found that I became a detached observer of the action; the characters did not invite me to empathise or take sides, instead the ordinariness of the situation is what made the story, to me, so powerful. Here, laid bare before us, is a situation that thousands go through; there are no platitudes or answers, just an everyman story, simply told.

So, having seen a lot of positive reviews of this film, and having really enjoyed Guy Martin in his TV series, this morning the bullet was bitten and I headed off to the Odeon to watch “Closer to the Edge” in glorious 3D. So, the film is absolutely great. If you aren’t impressed by the exploits of riders who return year after year to an event which claims lives on a regular basis then you can’t fail to be moved by the quiet dignity of Bridget Dobbs, wife of Paul Dobbs, one of the two riders to die in last years event.

I’m not sure that there was any need for the film to be shot in 3D, it doesn’t really add anything to the piece, and there are other imperfections in the production (especially the first section of on board camera footage which doesn’t look far enough down the road to be effective) but through it all shines the eccentric Mr Guy Martin. Guy has 8 podium finishes at the TT without achieving a win, a win that, despite protestations to the contrary, he is desperate to achieve. The main focus of the documentary is on his attempt to obtain this first win. This is not a straight forward matter of better bike, more training, more practice though – Guy is a maverick in the true sense of the word and often seems to be hell bent on sabotaging his own chances. Despite this (or maybe even because of it) I, for one, was almost as desperate as him for the win to come. If you want to know how the story ends then you need to go and watch the film yourself.

Rant

If you decide to do this however, you may want to consider whether the Odeon is the best place to do your watching. At just shy of £11.oo a ticket, not including 3D glasses, this is not a cheap day out. When asked why this was so damn expensive we were informed that ‘it’s ‘cos it’s 3D and this is peak time’. Bearing in mind that this was the 11.00am showing on a Sunday and there were only 8 people in the screen I have to question the ‘peak time’ and as for charging extra for 3D, well that’s fine if there is an alternative but in this case there isn’t, it’s 3D or nothing. If you want to know why your audiences are falling cinema owners, there’s your answer.

Rant over
: Film

The King’s Speech

May 21, 2011

Finally got around to watching The King’s Speech this week. As always with such a critically acclaimed film there is always the worry that the experience won’t match up to the hype. In this case my fears were totally needless. This is one Oscar (x4) winning film which not only deserves its accolades but could join that tiny list of films which deserve the epithet, ‘classic’. From Firth, Bonham Carter and Rush as the leads to the supporting roles of such stalwarts as Spall, Jacobi and Gambon there isn’t a bad performance to be seen. Indeed my only quibble with the whole thing is the casting of Ramona Marquez as Princess Margaret. This is not to detract in any way from her performance, which was confident and self-assured, but rather that she is forever, in my mind at least, Karen from OUTNUMBERED clip. Despite this very minor flaw I have no hesitation in heartily recommending the film.

: Film

Welcome…

May 21, 2011

…to my blog. Herein you will find my views on films, t.v., books, technology, music and just about anything else which I have an opinion on. Something to think about.