In need of a redesign since 2011.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Robot

The following movie reviews are not what you might call professional, because sometimes I don't pay attention.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy:
I really wanted to like this film. It's got Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch. What's not to like about that? It screams class and distinction, and I'm a cultured person who goes to the opera and everything, so I should like it, right?

Er, maybe.

It was very slow-paced, and the stiff upper lip mannerisms displayed by the main characters, while very in keeping with that time and world, serve to make the first half of the film drag severely. It's hard to engage emotionally when everyone on screen is doing their damnedest to act like feelings are for the little ladies. The saving grace of the first half was, in my opinion, a thoroughly enjoyable scene with Kathy Burke. I'd never seen her in a non-comedic role before, and was delighted and not a bit unnerved by her personable and slightly predatory character!

It did pick up towards the end, with Colin Firth getting to show off a bit more of his emotional range, but by the time the film finished I was left a bit unclear about what the whole endeavour had been for. My fault for going to the cinema while sleepy, I'm sure, but there it is.

Real Steel:
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film. Oh, I know, I expected it to be rubbish too! I've heard the jokes: it's the movie adaptation of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and so forth, but honestly I haven't grinned through so much of a film in a long, long time.

Charlie, played by Hugh Jackman, is believable and likeable while still being deeply flawed. His son, Max, played by the unbelievably talented Dakota Goyo, had me thinking "that kid is SO BOSS" throughout the entire thing. He was born in '99, can you believe that? Ugh what am I doing with my life. And, oh yes, Evangeline Lilly as Bailey. I've only seen Evie as Kate in Lost before now, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Bailey is much less annoying. I'm being unfair... she was amazing in this. Really.

There were moments - very very brief, unmentioned moments - that asked big questions. One shot of a robot facing itself in a mirror, motionless, sparked off so many questions that were never touched on, but the film is all the better for it. This is shameless fluff, and addressing machine sentience is a little out of its grasp. Well done them for not overreaching. Don't make the mistake of interpreting that as an insult: the thing about feel good movies is that they make people feel good! I left the cinema with my heart barfing regenbogen and pleading for a sequel. There will be one. I am delighted.

So what have we learned? That Anna is not cultured, and that Dakota Goyo has a bright future. Oh and regenbogen is German for rainbow.


  1. I really wanted to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Commissioner Gordon. Will likely just order it on DVD straight away. Seeing the cast for the first time had me drooling, and that's not the same kind of drooling that I'd be doing if I saw Real Steel knowing Evangeline Lilly is in it.

    It's always good when kid actors surprise you; Elle Fanning recently wowed me in Super 8, and Maisie Williams as Arya from the Game Of Thrones series (Did you see this? You should see this).

  2. Game of Thrones? Seen it, read it, got the Stark family crest and words on a t-shirt. I love Arya in the series, she's good, I agree. Haven't seen Super 8 yet though, would you recommend it?

  3. Super 8, yes. Not life-altering, but well worth a look. THAT train crash - on the big screen at least - is as good as everyone says it is. Very much a tribute to films like E.T. And The Goonies, but that's not such a bad thing, as films like that are a rarity these days when they can just POUNDYOUINTHEFACEWITHACTIONACTIONACTION.

    Got GoT? I may be seething with jealousy about that, I've been considering getting a Stark or Targaryen shirt myself. :D
    I just finished the first book. Saw the series first. Very surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. Shameless plug, but I splurged an excitable blog about it just this morning.

  4. I already knew that regenbogen was German for "rainbow". I even had a friend who I called regenbogen back at secondary school. It's not too difficult to actually work out why when you know what his surname is and which language we both took for GCSE. Ah, Captain Obvious strikes again.


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