February 21, 2011 Latest
Burnham-On-Sea Ritz Cinema films reviewed
film enthusiast Molly Harding, who was last year nominated for
the national award 'Young Film Critic of the Year', reviews the
latest crop of films showing at Burnham's Ritz Cinema in Victoria
Street this week...
Free-spirited if not slightly overconfident Aron Ralston's arm
becomes trapped "between a rock and a hard place" whilst
exploring the Blue John canyon. To add to his problem he left
no note to say where he was going, scarce water supplies and only
basic equipment. During the 127 hours he is trapped he reflects
and re-assesses his life and values and is forced to go to incredible
lengths to escape.
To start with, I would like to talk about "the scene"
that I think might put a lot of people off coming to see this
film. DON'T LET IT! Danny Boyle tackles this small part of the
film efficiently whilst not lingering on all the gory details.
I felt fully prepared by the time the scene came, in fact I was
pretty much thinking "just cut the damn thing off!"
You can't help but watch, it's all medically accurate and Franco
perfectly portrays the agony mixed with terrific relief Aron must
have been feeling during his real life ordeal.
Now that's safely out of the way let's concentrate on the other
brilliant ninety minutes of the film. A misconception people may
have with "127 Hours" is how Danny Boyle could possibly
make a gripping and compelling film with one person stuck in one
place. He does. As he said himself it's "an action movie
with a guy who can't move." The action comes in the form
of harrowing scenes of Franco battling physically and emotionally
with both the boulder and himself. The rest is consumed with flashbacks
of Ralston's former life, although full of adventure also empty
of compassion which he realises inadvertently led him there in
the first place.
Although it is hard to muster much sympathy for our protagonist
you are completely behind him. When he finally escapes and has
that final hurdle to conquer it took alot of restraint not to
jump out of my seat and start cheering him on. The ending is moving
and a perfect close to a wonderful true life based film.
The setting of the canyon is vast and beautiful, the shot that
particularly stands out is the zoom out of Aron's claustrophobic
prison showing how everyone is at the mercy of our ruthless environment.
Aside from the stunning and at times surreal visual sequences
there is also a fantastic fitting soundtrack and not forgetting
the heartfelt and poignant performance by James Franco which all
comes together to make thoroughly enjoyable film.
A must see - 5/5
and Juliet (U)
Two garden gnomes are caught in the middle of a bitter feud between
the separated red and blue themed gardens. After a chance encounter,
Gnomeo and Juliet decide to embark on a forbidden romance despite
the tensions and rivalry surrounding them.
Whoever came up with the idea of re-inventing Shakespeares
classic play is officially a genius! This is such a fun family
film and although it really shouldnt work it really does!
The Elton John theme tune was great and it was good to see a fully
British cast including Emily Blunt, Michael Caine and Dame Maggie
Smith. Its very colourful and actually raised quite a few
laughs even from me who can be incredibly hard to please
But I think possibly the biggest question this film poses is
this; why did I have to spend weeks studying Shakespeare when
we couldve just waited to see Gnomeo and Juliet?
You dont gnome what you missing! 4/5 stars
Black Swan (15)
Fragile ballerina Nina (Portman) lives a ballet dominated life,
sheltered by her over protective (and rather scary) Mother. All
she yearns for is perfection, so when she is given the role of
Swan Queen in her company's Swan Lake production this could finally
be her chance to shine, but to do this she must explore her darker,
more sensual side to be able to embody both the black swan as
well as the innocent white swan.
The way in which Darren Aronofsky captures the raw paranoia
and competitive world of dance in not just powerful but also masterful.
It takes a lot of skill to pull off laughing paintings and body
morphing while not losing the creepy and suspense-charged atmosphere.
I was practically cowering up to my equally scared friend at times
and there are some finger/toe nail injuries that are so awful
to watch they make you cringe and send a shiver down the spine.
If this isn't enough from Natalie Portman to bag the best actress
BAFTA then I don't know what is, she is fantastic.
I have never seen anything so unique as this. It's a visual and
mental experience of which comes around rarely. Even if, like
me, you get confused at times by the complexity of this psychological/suspense/thriller/horror,
like Inception, it's still one hell of a ride which will
stay with you long after you leave the cinema (the Ritz Cinema
But the supporting performances mustn't be forgotten, although
slightly overshadowed by Portman's. Mila Kunis plays the outgoing
and seductive character, Lily, whom Nina is convinced is trying
to take her role. Also, Vincent Cassel is the production's director
who tries to help Nina relax and better portray the black swan
role whom in her uptight and childlike state she cannot find the
part of herself she lacks. All these different pieces assemble
to push Nina over the edge. Cue gory and chilling hallucinations,
many of which you yourself do not know if they are real or just
a fragment of her increasingly warped imagination. Your just as
confused as she is by the end of it!
A solid and scary 4/5
Sanctum (15 in 3D)
"What could possibly go wrong?" exclaims one of the
explorers about to absail into a vast, unknown and unexplored
cave system as a cyclone knowingly draws near. Well, when down
there, their escape route is blocked by a boulder so with the
waters rising and limited oxygen supply, the only way is down
to try and find another way out, so I guess quite a lot really...
With its "from executive producer James Cameron"
poster tag and promising storyline PLUS the fact it's in 3D I
had high hopes. It should've had all the magic of Avatar underwater
and the special effects did, but that doesn't distract from the
fact that the acting, to put it bluntly, was absolutely terrible!
It was as if they just picked any old cast, with a good cast I
would undoubtedly be giving this four plus stars. All the characters
were incredibly annoying and it was almost amusing when some met
their grisly end. Don't get me wrong it wasn't as if I didn't
enjoy the film, I actually did and I did want to see it out until
the end because the visuals and the setting was amazing. I would
say eighty-five percent of the film is in the cave and I didn't
tire of the story, but regardless of how many effects, money and
top producers you have that doesn't mean you'll get away with
naff actors. They struggled to portray the emotions you would
definitely be going through while stuck against all the odds in
such a helpless situation. Some couldn't even make themselves
shed a tear.
Dad said 2, I argued 3, unfortunately it gets a disappointing
Read more of Molly's regular film reviews on Burnham-On-Sea.com