Showing posts with label Helen Mirren. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Helen Mirren. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Monsters University

Seeing Monsters University puts me in the strange situation of seeing a sequel (or prequel in this case) before the original movie. Like a lot of people I’m a huge Pixar fan but 2001’s Monsters. Inc is one of two Pixar features which I haven’t got around to seeing yet. The central characters Mike and Sully are so well known though that I didn’t think my ignorance of the first movie would hamper my enjoyment of this one. Thankfully it didn’t. Pixar managed to hamper it all by themselves.

Monsters University takes us back to our central character’s college days where they first meet on the campus of the University of the movie’s title. The ambitious and book smart Mike (Billy Crystal) initially doesn’t get along with the confident and naturally scary Sully (John Goodman) and their falling out leads to their expulsion from Scare 101. The pair discovers that their only way back onto the course is to enter and win the University’s Scare Games. To do this they must join a fraternity but the only one that will accept them is a group of no-hopers. Will they be able to shape themselves and their team into first class scarers or will their dream of turning professional be lost?

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Hitchcock is a behind the scenes telling of the making of Psycho (1960) and the relationship between its Director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife and long time collaborator Alma Reville (Helen Mirren). The plot encompasses Hitchcock’s search for a follow up to the hugely successful North by Northwest and then the difficult production of Psycho, ending at its Premier. Although Psycho and its production provide the backdrop, the plot is really about love, jealousy and aging. Hitch and Alma had been married for almost thirty-five years by 1960 and one of the avenues the film explores is the fractious relationship which they share. Hitch’s obsessions with his leading ladies, here Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) is something which Alma has put up with for decades but when the writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston) takes an interest in Alma, Hitch’s jealousy effects their relationship and his work.

Hitchcock isn’t a bad film and it’s always nice to see behind the scenes of a Hollywood production but even if it had been great there would still be one problem and that is that it isn’t Psycho. All the way through I thought to myself that I wish I was watching Psycho and the underwhelming central performance and flabby plot just made me think back to what is in my opinion one of the greatest films in history.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Brighton Rock

2010’s Brighton Rock is a massive disappointment. Despite nice period detail and a great cast it is unbelievably boring.

Sam Riley plays Pinky, a member of a Brighton gang who after killing a rival gang member, befriends Angela Riseborough’s Rose in order to keep an eye on her as she has witnessed the gangs behaviour before the murder. She falls head over heels in love with Pinky and the film charts their relationship and Pinky’s subsequent role within the gang.

1960s Brighton looks wonderful here and the clothes, hair and makeup all look genuine. It is a very nice film to look at. Angela Riseborough is the pick of the cast, outshining the likes of Helen Mirren and John Hurt. She is wonderful as a shy and impressionable young waitress who falls for the sociopathic Pinky. Riley’s Pinky is deeply unlikeable and without any redeeming features. He is played well by Riley. Andy Serkis plays rival gang leader Colleoni and is also wonderful. The acting as a whole is marvellous but the film is just so boring. I couldn’t engage with the film and didn’t care what happened to any of the characters.

The transportation of the film to the 1960s to coincide with the Mods and Rockers clashes seemed pointless. There was no reason for it to have been set in that time and would have worked just as well if it had been set in the 1940s like the original. The film didn’t make any use of its time change. Sam Riley is also too old to have played the character in my view. Riseborough looks and acts like a girl in her late teens or early twenties but Riley looks about thirty. He is too old to be an up and coming gangster.