james debate
james debate

Friday 3 August 2007

Lets get one thing straight, I do watch a hell of a lot of movies. SO now in order to put this to good use here is my roundup of the state of cinema this summer, what's hot, what's not, what classics shall live on in the memory and what will quickly fall into the oblivion of forgotten films.

The first thing worth noticing is that quality seems to be fairly genre-skewed this summer. To begin with we have a relative dearth of true horror films, especially when most seem to be more concerned with shock value than genuine terror by going the route of saw-inspired gore excess, a trick which, as many are finding out, doesn't really work unless you have a core of substance underneath the red rum, as saw did. As such it's hard to recommend hostel II or captivity. Then there's "i know who killed me", which if the title doesn't ward you off, maybe the fact that it stars lindsay lohan will. Could this finally be the movie where miss lohan lives up to her promise? unlikely, as one reviewer noted, "Much like the career of its star, I Know Who Killed Me opens promisingly, starts to stumble in the middle and has gotten so laughably ridiculous by the final act that you can't take it seriously at all." The obvious highlight of this genre is 28 weeks later, which is well worth a viewing, if not as masterful as its predecessor 28 days later. Much promise ahead in the form of future dark materials duo Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig together in 'Invasion', however for a film containing such a team to be so underhyped suggests it is not going to be anything to live long in the memory. Wait instead for Rob Zombie's remake of 'Halloween'. Slightly ill advised? perhaps, but if reimagined well it could still end up being one of the horror highlights of this summer.

Action is one genre inundated with entries this summer. Spiderman 3, pirates of the caribbean 3, oceans 13, (the surprisingly good) die hard 4.0. the list goes on. They all achieve what they set out to accomplish with aplomb, if not a slight case of tongue in cheek. Even the followers in the pack, fantastic four 2, transformers, are all worth a watch. Fans of the genre will no doubt be sallivating at the soon to be released Bourne Ultimatum.

Comedy is another area not lacking in effort, sadly there are few films here that will live long in the memory. Many efforts range from the brief cheap laugh (knocked up, bean's holiday) to the downright lame (hot rod, i now pronounce you chuck and larry). There is no breakaway classic a la men in black or austin powers or even a bruce almighty. despite steve carell's best efforts. Shrek 3 was a massive dip in standard following the first two attempts, though certainly adequate in it's own right. Evan Almighty, you'll be glad to hear, is not as tacky and depressing as the trailer would make you think, and does manage to maintain the atmosphere and feel of the original, though fails to replicate as many laughs. Instead the highlight this summer is the Simpsons, which is a lovely movie, capitalises on what makes the simpsons great and does much to repair the reputation of a series which has seen a fall from grace in recent years. That's not to say it recaptures the genius of the early seasons of the show but it certainly makes an improvment on what we've seen recently. It's not perfect and it's far too short but it is certainly the bright spot of this summer's comedy scene. Keep your eyes peeled for rush hour 3, which is sure to disappoint and drown under the expectation of the first two films, and probably repeat a lot of the same jokes (to cringeworthy effect) if the trailer is anything to go by.

As far as romance goes, there really isn't anything to mention. In fact teh only hints of romance you get this summer is in films like pirates, spiderman and, i suppose, knocked up. its hard to recommend anything for the romantic thsi summer, but pirates probably has the most involving love story.


For the action fan: Die Hard 4.0 - for your last chance to see john mcclane do what he does best
For the comedy fan: The Simpsons- welcome to the silver screen
For the horror fans: 28 weeks later
For romance fans: no comment...
For the kids: ratatouille
For those who want something a little different: Paprika - simply beautiful, more like a work of art than an example of story telling, in both good ways and bad ways.

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