Alice La Trobe's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Zero Dark Thirty

Near perfectly crafted. This clever film is just as powerful in what it says as what it doesn't say. It shows us what happened and let's the audience decide whether we approve or not. Harrowing, tense and subtly emotional.

The Tree of Life

A challenging watch. It can quite easily be viewed as pretentious but I think this view isn't really justified. This is a film dealing with several huge and ambitious topics in a way rarely if ever done before. It's experimental, which I thought was brilliant, we are too often carried away by the commercial side of film rather than appreciating that it can too be an art form. It's far from perfect, but the more I reflect on the film the more it causes me to think, and the more I like it, and that's what art should do.

Cleopatra
Cleopatra(1963)
½

Full of holes, and really... well um... fairly... on the long side... but you can't help but love that kind of terrible yet brilliant acting style from most of the cast. Elizabeth Taylor however is completely flawless. The film is beautiful to look at, and an essential watch. I think it's criticised more than it deserves - it just proves most people, even film critics who claim to be film lovers, do not have that great an attention span.

Melancholia
Melancholia(2011)

The flow of the film itself is very odd and perhaps flawed, but this in itself (at the risk of sounding pompous) does reflect what the film is dealing with, which is essentially depression. Anyone with no understanding of the illness will likely find the film totally unwatchable. It's key lies in how depressed people cope calmly with extreme situations, in this case a planet colliding with Earth. The characters often act very inexplicably, and the pace is strange, but this film is definitely worth a watch even if just for it's weirdly beautiful vibe. EDIT: I originally watched this film back in March 2012 and rated it 7/10, but I have just rewatched it 9 months later. Honestly, now armed with a deeper understanding, this film is difficult to fault. I found the pacing completely engrossing the second time as opposed to crawling the first time. It isn't perfect, but this really is a masterpiece on so many levels.

Contempt
Contempt(1964)
½

Visually stunning with interesting ideas, but ultimately it falls short due to a lack of connection to the characters or true understanding of them. The last half star was awarded down to a handful of interesting shots and some of the ideas behind the film.

Labor Pains
Labor Pains(2009)

Can't believe they even bothered finishing pre-production of this film.

Brave
Brave(2012)

The plot evolves into something you really are not expecting, but it's still another great family film. Yay.

The Magdalene Sisters
½

It is predictably relentlessly unfair, but of course you wanted out of the hell-hole as bad as they did, and so you have to watch to the end.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape
½

The film was much more straightforward than I was expecting it to be, but it was still fascinating to watch. The main delight being the acting on display here which was really outstanding, particularly James Spader and Andie MacDowell, whose characters were incredibly believable, complex and interesting without desperately trying to be. The other joy being the script, the conversations felt unusually natural. Overall it is a very original, sexy, and slightly suspenseful drama which I would definitely recommend around.

Tyrannosaur
Tyrannosaur(2011)

Very brutal but incredibly gripping. A film that points out that violence and anger can be found even in the most unexpected places, and that ultimately the world is rarely fair.

Breaking the Waves
½

Definitely not what I was expecting. The strong U-turn in the energy of the film is very unsettling since it uses the obvious "destroy something beautiful" plot to evoke emotion in the audience, and so yes it is predictably tragic. A struggle to get through, and I doubt I could face it again, but I don't think I'll ever forget this. I think the entire film is worth it solely for the ending, which I had been expecting to fizzle out, and just as it had actually done so, the last few scenes arrive with something melancholy yet very special.

Y Tu Mama Tambien
½

The film feels a bit like the Mexican, sexualised version of Amélie in style. It is brilliantly made, but ultimately too aimless for me to be able to rate it any higher. It is, however a must see for anyone into unusual, sexy films.

Battle Royale

The acting is cringey for the majority of the film, but the sheer strength of the plot means that most of the flaws can be forgiven. This really is a very original, landmark piece of Asian cinema.

Zoolander
Zoolander(2001)

Although greatly flawed, this one really makes you laugh out lout.

A Streetcar Named Desire

The multiple overlapping plots and the complex characters easily make this an essential for old film lovers.

Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish(1983)

There are some beautiful shots and a few really clever moments, but the pace never builds and there isn't really anything to get your teeth into.

Kes
Kes(1969)
½

The constant shouting feels like a series flashbacks through your school days. However, it is the stark contrast between the scenes with and without Kes that makes this film so resonant.

Dancer in the Dark

Having struggled to watch a Von Trier to the end in the past, I expected a similar experience with this film. For some reason this one clicked and I was absorbed from start to finish. Yes, it is very depressing, and because of this during the course of the film I cried almost continually with a handful of especially bad breakdowns. I believe if a film can have that severe an effect on you, how can it be bad? Also, anyone who dislikes the distinctive sound of Björk's voice probably should not attempt this film. Lastly, yes it sets out to be sad, and so perhaps this is why some call it pretentious and contrived, but I totally disagree. Although you could guess roughly what was going to happen, the manner in which it happened was very surprising. And so in my opinion this is an example of a brilliant reworking of old ideas strung together to form something totally fresh and original, rather than desperately trying to come up with something new for the sake of originality. An acquired taste for sure, but this is going straight onto my favourite films list and staying there.

Being John Malkovich

Impressively original in every sense. This quirky film just did whatever took it's fancy, making watching it truly captivating.