March Reviews

The small gap in my reviews that occurred mid-March was mainly due to the fact that I got bored of giving out 7s! Whilst this is still a respectable score for any film to achieve it did reach the point where my partner asked, ‘when was the last time we watched anything really good?’ Of course, this comes from the woman who has High School Musical 3 on our rental list at the moment but the point was still well made. Here then is a compendium of this month’s watches that were all pretty impressive in their own right but didn’t quite measure up to 5-star quality.

The best of the bunch was About Schimdt which personally I really enjoyed watching. I think I would have enjoyed it more however, if I hadn’t seen Sideways (Director Alexander Payne’s most recent full-length) first. Schimdt felt like a bit of a warm-up to the latter film which was one of my favourites of that year. Still, Jack Nicholson is always a joy to watch and here he does his ‘sad lonely’ version of the grumpy old man character that has served him well over his past few films.

A couple of comedies also caught my eye this month, namely You Don’t Mess With the Zohan and Get Smart. While the latter featured a stock plot, jokes, twist and various other things I fully expected from it, the star power of Dwayne Johnson, Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Alan Arkin were more than enough to keep the jokes flowing and the film watchable. Zohan, meanwhile, didn’t quite measure up to being classed as ‘original’ but did have a few moments where I genuinely wondered where they were going with it. Add to that the fact that I watched it with one of my best friends who happens to be a hairdresser and it made for one of the funnier movie experiences of recent times.

Near the start of the month I managed to catch Gomorrah which I had been looking forward to for a while. If anything though, I was a little disappointed. I had heard it compared to City of God which I love but it generally failed to capture the energy or characterisation that that film aspired to. I couldn’t find anyone to really love or hate in the film and I didn’t get the feeling of organised crime on as grand a scale as the book, and subsequent articles, insinuate there is. Maybe that was part of the point and amalgamated malice of the picture but I just wasn’t as captivated as I thought I would be.

And finally there was Eastern Promises which, quite the opposite to Gomorrah, I had low hopes for. I thought A History of Violence was one of the most over-rated films doing the rounds of critical acclaim back when I watched it and I feared the same for this. However, it was enjoyable and had a good story that didn’t fall into cliché or actively pursue a love story that was never there to begin with.

And that about rounds up my March round-up! Next month I already know I should have Changeling, the ‘50s classic 12 Angry Men (No.9 on IMDB’s top 250 list) and probably (but not hopefully) HSM3, coming through my door so here’s hoping there will be more to write home about then and for the following weeks.

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