Here we go with Worth Watching for May, a month that saw another pretty heavy focus on docos, though I mixed in a little body building to go with the political ones. Aside from that there were new release blockbusters ranging from the flawed yet ace to the utterly abysmal, plus a dash of European blandness. As always, share your thoughts with me in the comments section below on these ones.
- The Corporation (2003), Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott – A great history lesson on the corporation and what that can tell us about what they have become. Rights fought long and hard for have been increasingly wound back for individuals and granted to corporations. It is hard to go wrong with great talking heads like Zinn, Chomsky and Michael Moore. We are gradually waking up to the practical and real effects of allowing corporate power to continue unchecked, but less and less is being done about it. Scary. “There ought to be a principle higher than making money.” A statement that should be so obvious, but in this age of the corporation it isn’t. A world where rainwater can be privatised is not a world I am fond of.
- Generation Iron (2013), Vlad Yudin – A brief history of Mr Olympia makes way for a focus on the 2012 tournament. Some of it seems a little scripted and Mickey Rourke, whilst great on the voiceover, is occasionally hard to hear. But the film nails the craft, sweat, tears and science that go into a pretty unique sport. There is no ‘caaahming’ moment here, but it is still worth checking out if you have even a passing interest.
- How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012), Matthew Cooke – A stylishly done, mock ‘how-to’ guide to doing what the title states. Working its way up through the levels of the drug trade, the cautionary aspect to the film comes from just how frightening the scene is. Mainly concerned with the nature of selling, but does briefly touch on the failed War on Drugs. Well worth a look.
- Godzilla (2014), Gareth Edwards – Some script issues stop it from being the great Godzilla film I was hoping for. But it’s still a very good one. You can see Edwards’ touch all over this, which is a good thing. And the monster itself looks absolutely stunning, better than I could have ever imagined. I thought some of the nuclear allegories were really well handled in the film too. Like so many have mentioned though, this film could use a whole lot more Godzilla. But I’m looking forward to a sequel where we will hopefully see more (and more of the awesome fighting sequences too).
Not Worth Watching:
- Transcendence (2014), Wally Pfister – Terrible. Has a fantastic start and a smattering of interesting ideas. But never threatens to be anything other than utter cliché. First half is blighted by silly villains, but by the second you’ll be wishing they would come back. Incredible how many great performers this film wastes – Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Rooney Mara. Only Paul Bettany comes out of it looking good. It’s not their fault though. It’s the tepid script that has no idea what kind of film this wants to be that kills it.
- Barbara (2012), Christian Petzold – Pre fall of wall Germany is such a dense, rich setting for a film, but you wouldn’t know it from watching this. It starts in a totally uninvigorating manner and never gets going, partly because you don’t invest in the romantic relationship(s) supposedly at the core of the film. All it really succeeds in doing is being simultaneously arthouse and cliché. It’s exceedingly slow paced with a clunky script, meaning that the dashes of worthiness, such as the lead performance, are buried.
- Bad Neighbours (2014), Nicholas Stoller – There are plenty of reasonably funny moments, but overall this is just another below average comedy. Risqué comedies just don’t know how to push boundaries these days. Can we please stop using rape as something risqué. It’s not boundary pushing its just offensive. There are some ok performances from Rose Byrne, Dave Franco and Zac Efron. But overall there is nothing really worth bothering with here.
If you only have time to watch one The Corporation
Avoid at all costs Transcendence