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Rating History

Ju-on 2 (Ju-on: The Grudge 2)
7 years ago via Flixster

blooody hell, what a great film X) scary as hell, i still get freaky images in my head from it. probably my favourite horror film. no way am i watching this alone.

Little Miss Sunshine
9 years ago via Flixster

i was reluctant to see this movie. the keywords 'american' 'road trip' and 'beauty pagent' resonated badly and i had visions of how bad this could really have been. luckily enough a friend sat me down with a joint and made me watch it - only then did i start to understand.

little miss sunshine is actually a very good play on the various characters making up this dysfunctional family, laced with irony and black humor and although it features a few cringe moments i didn't feel like i wanted to curl up and die, which is a good thing.

watch this. it's probably not what you were expecting.

Eragon (2006)
9 years ago via Flixster

absolute pile of wank. i wish rich hollowood producers would stop trying to pass off their cash cow garbage as cinema. cinema is an art. eragon is a simple-minded load of crap designed to rake in yet another million by selling out the name of someone's book. how could john malkovich put his name to something like this?

A Scanner Darkly
9 years ago via Flixster

what is it about film adaptations of philip k dick novels? they seem impossible to stay awake through. bladerunner was the worst - for years it was on my set of movies i'd watch when i stayed home too "sick" to go into school, and i must've seen it over ten times but never caught the ending. more recently, when jok was living in weston, he and i rented some dvds including bladerunner, and made a special attempt to sit through it, which ended in failure, and we had to watch it again the next day when we were wide awake, and finally, after years of torment knowing it was an amazing film, i saw it all the way through.

a similar tale can be told of richard linklater's adaptation of a scanner darkly. i sat down to watch it maybe three times in 2007 but always fell asleep three quarters of the way through, and it was only recently, when i converted it into an mp4 format and stuck it on my ipod to watch on the train, that i finally was able to recognise the genius of this movie.

now to call a scanner darkly the film equivalent of a bottle of nytol may not be to give it the fairest representation in the eyes of you, my readership, but for me, and for everyone i saw it with on those occasions, this comparison is just. but that does not mean that you should not make the effort to watch it. actually the opposite; given that this film is both high maintenance and strangely soporific, my forceful recommendations should carry greater weight. a fittingly schizoid film, scanner bounces between hilariously funny and deadly serious, flowing on an undercurrent of drug-induced surrealism, existentialism and cutting social commentary. i also found it quite close to the bone, as on one level this is a movie about a bunch of stoners, charting their shenanigans, depressions and instabilities in a crazy, paranoid world.

the social commentary, for those who choose not to ignore it, is right on the money. the film has a lot to say about the chilling, ever-present cctv monitoring modern society, and it says this very eloquently just by showing us where we're headed. it paints a picture of a world supposedly seven years from now, where everything is captured on camera, and every phone is tapped. the police, in response to a drugs epidemic, are given special powers to snatch people off the street and monitor their every movement, completely oblivious to the fact that this state paranoia is what's driving the population to drugs in the first place. a scanner darkly also has a lot to say about the power of corporations, if you care to analyse it enough. it is telling that legendary american journalist and film-maker alex jones cameos in this movie.

as for the acting, you have to see it to understand. admittedly keanu reeves is pretty much the same as every other character he has ever played, but this is more than made up for by the performance of robert downey jr. who is amazing as a calculating, intelligent but completely deranged housemate who we assume is somewhere on the autistic spectrum. winona ryder also deserves a mention. her strung out, shaky character is highly convincing.

you shouldn't be put off by the fact that this is an animated film. the style may not be for everyone but in no way should scanner be underestimated because of it. this film is just as deep and just as complex as pretty much anything you care to name. definitely one of the best movies to have come out of the usa in recent years.