Iain Clark (iainjclark) wrote in 52filmchallenge,
Iain Clark

Films 1 to 4

Having seen four whole films in January, I've decided to take the bold step of listing them here as if I stand even a remote chance of seeing 52 films this year.

1. I Am Legend
Episodic, anticlimactic and almost entirely unlike my recollection of the novel. Also a surprisingly good film: far darker and less linear than expected with a good performance from Will Smith as a lone survivor losing his grip. Shame about the CGI people. Apparently they're considering a sequel, which is slightly boggling. Suggested names: "I Am Another Legend", "We Are Legend", "I Are Legend Cat".

2. Charlie Wilson's War
A likeable political black comedy with good performances, witty Sorkin dialogue, and a serious point. The leap from elegant farce to brutal warfare is awkward, especially when we're required to cheer along with the death of Soviet soldiers, but the film just about tapdances through the middle and emerges unscathed. The downbeat ending adds some balance.

3. No Country for Old Men
A stunningly intense tale of crime and retribution told from various viewpoints, mostly criminal, which unravels with the randomness and anticlimax of real life. The sheer power of mood and theme carry the film. So many modern scripts resort to cliched dialogue that it's a pleasure to find monologues lasting for minutes at a time: quiet, deliberate and gripping. There's a lot in here about violence and fear of violence, choices and fear of choices.

4. Sweeney Todd
Every inch a traditional musical, just a really macabre one. Incredibly gory in places, very stylised (unmistakeably Tim Burton), and very enjoyable. Several people in the cinema muttered that it was crap on the way out, but from watching the trailer there's a good chance they didn't even realise it was a musical.


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