Hey hey! The 2014 Canberra International Film Festival started last Thursday, and I’ve been spending most of my free time since then watching movies. I’ve seen seven of the twenty-two (potentially twenty-three) on my schedule so far, and honestly I’ve loved them all. Unlike last year’s aborted attempt, this year I’m determined to review all of them. In the interests of making that manageable, I’ve set a couple of guidelines for myself. I’ll be reviewing them in batches of four films, and limiting myself to five hundred words per film, give or take a hundred words each. I’ll try to avoid major spoilers, but as always with my reviews, there’s no guarantees, so consider this your fair warning. If you want to be really safe, just read the summary I put at the start of each section. I’ll even put the poster for the movie after each summary so you know where to stop reading, so you know, never say I don’t do anything for you.
Now as I always say, I’m no serious film critic. I tend to go pretty easy on films so long as I find something to enjoy in them, and I make no apologies for that. So far this year I haven’t rated any of the films lower than a 4, and I think last year I only rated one of them as a 1 or 2.
Now that the preamble is out-of-the-way, let’s get this show on the road. For Round 1, I’ll be talking about In Order of Disappearance, Why Don’t You Play In Hell, The Salvation and The Congress. Each title is linked to the page for the film on the CIFF website, if a trailer is available for it, you can find it there.
I’m going to make this one quick. The last couple of days have been a drain, but I wanted to at least get a quick review of these movies done. I’m going to do them both in the one post, and they’re going to be short reviews compared to the essays that I normally write. That way I can devote time to some other updates I’ve got in the works without feeling like I’ve got something else I have to do first.
Fair warning, same as whenever I review stuff, there could be some spoilers in here. I’ll try to avoid anything major.
Well, we’re long past due for the first batch of reviews for the films I saw at the Canberra International Film Festival. Unfortunately I’ve been ill again, and had some personal stuff going on that had essentially killed my motivation to work on anything that required more effort than sitting down on the couch and watching TV or reading a book. Well we’re past that now (not the being sick, I’ve once again got the flu and am also due for a minor medical procedure in a week or so… yay me!), so I’m back into writing. I’ve decided I’m going to do the reviews in order of viewing, so the first ones up are My Sweet Pepper Land, Ginger & Rosa, and Mirage Men. I’m aiming to get these smashed out of the way as quickly as I can, after which I may not post again until I get home from visiting the family at Christmas. All depends on how long it takes I suppose.
Just a reminder, when I do film reviews, I don’t tend to focus on the technical elements and quality of the cinematography (unless it’s a film that is being sold on those elements). I focus on how I felt about it, and the enjoyment I get out of it. I’m not a professional critic, and I’m giving an unabashedly biased review based entirely on my opinion.
So. I saw Pacific Rim yesterday, and felt the need to write something about it. Obviously I’m not a professional critic, so I guess this might be a little rough, but honestly some of the reviews I’ve been seeing from the professional critics have annoyed me. I don’t care if they don’t like the movie, that’s their right, but some of them are showing that they’ve clearly got no idea what the movie was trying to accomplish. Saying that it owes its existence to Michael Bay’s Transformers is a bloody joke, especially given the fact that the movie is clearly intended as a way to introduce a new generation to the concept of Kaiju and giant robot films. There were a number of other inaccuracies, but I can’t really be bothered with them now beyond pointing out that things like this are why I rarely bother with reviews by professional critics before seeing a movie. I normally find reviews by average viewers to be of much more use, since I’m more likely to be judging a movie on similar criteria to them.
Hence why I’ve decided to review this in the hopes that it helps some people decide whether or not to watch it. First though, let’s make something clear. This is a movie review, so this could quite conceivably be considered to be spoilerific. You have been warned, and you read on at your own risk. That said, I have done my absolute best to avoid things I would consider to be spoilers. Pretty much all of the plot info in here is stuff you’d get from watching the trailer. Now then, let’s get into it…