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Zettel Film Reviews » Fantasy

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Avatar – Bambification of Aboriginal narrative

TweetFilm, performance, screenplay, art Technical, Effects, Art direction Avatar – James Cameron Avatar sucks: the bambification of an aboriginal narrative. A sentimentalised pastiche of a Native American stereotype. The Na’vi sound like Hollywindians and worship an Earth-mother who looks like a fibre-optic willow tree spiritually reified by tinsellated dandelion-seed-like Christmas tree baubles that slo-mo around […]

Dawn of the forlorn Prawn

Tweet District 9 – Neill Blomkamp The science is risible: the fiction banal. District 9 is a good B movie with pretensions; and like all good B movies, it rattles along at a pace fast enough for you to almost forgive the cheap n’ cheerful costumes, make-up, special effects and frequently clunky dialogue. A docu-drama, […]

Tarantino – enfant – terrible: but no longer both.

Tweet Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino The penny finally dropped: Quentin Tarantino simply has no imagination. He can’t create characters so he borrows bits from characters in films he’s seen. He can’t create a believable setting or narrative, so he echoes, parodies, de-constructs those of others. He is either passive or unaffected by reality or […]

Antichrist, Lars von Trier’s bleak but masterful vision

Tweet Antichrist – Lars von Trier Wittgenstein said he always found Freud worth reading – for thought-provoking psychological ideas. He expressed no interest in Freud’s work as the basis for a therapeutic regime. As ever, this is both clear thinking and wise. In Antichrist, Lars von Trier tempts us to become as entangled in Freudian […]

Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody’s sexual wonderland. Fantasy rules OK?

Tweet Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody Allen Woody Allen doesn’t simply film women: he makes love to them with the camera. I don’t really know how healthy this is or even by what criterion of health one should judge it. Cinema is irreducibly voyeuristic so we are complicit. If you doubt me consider this: by […]

Lord Of The Rings III – Return of the King – 9 hour trilogy ends with a fade on a door-knob

Tweet Lord Of The Rings – Return Of The King – Peter Jackson As the Laud of the Rings industry gears up for the Oscars, let’s get real. It will be a travesty if the Return of the King, the third and last in the Tolkein trilogy to be filmed, does not win a technical […]

Birth – Kidman, ice-maiden – all ice, no maiden

Tweet Birth – Jonathan Glazer A.W Kaufman. Remember the name: a Casting Director who has managed to miscast a whole movie, with the inevitable exception of Lauren Bacall of whom one must say you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. For me there is not a credible performance in this odd […]

The Incredibles – innocent, funny, family fun

Tweet The Incredibles – Brad Bird Beg or borrow a couple of kids from friends and treat yourself to this movie: or just sneak in on your own and treat yourself. Wall to wall animation on TV and some of the so-called animated blockbusters has for me made the genre very tired and predictable in […]

The Iron Man – techno-fascist, Marvel man, Afghanistan man

Tweet Iron Man – Jon Favreau As techno-fascist movies go, this is a good one: a well-paced narrative, above average acting for this genre, and an at times distinctive, stylish, visually witty tone. Favreau, making the most of Robert Downey Junior’s trademark insouciant, self-deprecating acting style, tongue-in-cheeks the preposterous goings-on well enough to induce you […]

The Happening – In the beginning, movie without end, amen

TweetThe Happening – M Night Shyamalan Bad Night at the movies. M Night Shyamalan has produced a first: the only movie ever where the trailer is actually better than the movie. We are familiar with ‘comedies’ where the only funny bits are all the in the trail, but MNS has gone one better – not […]