25 November 2010

I'm Still Here [Blu-ray]

I'm Still Here [Blu-ray]
I'm Still Here [Blu-ray]


I went into this really really hoping it'd be five stars. The concept is, in my opinion, five stars. It just feels as though either editing or the execution itself - something falls a little short.

Joaquin Phoenix announces rather casually that he's done with acting and then becomes "JP", a rapper. Because, you know, he's tired of being what Hollywood and his fans and everyone else wants him to be - he wants to be real.

*spoiler alert that's not really one if you know anything about this movie or read the news or read other reviews* As the movie was released Casey Afleck admitted it was a "hoax". In other words Joaquin was playing… um Joaquin the basketcase lost Hollywood young star who'd given it all up to be "JP" for a year so they could film this. He was a character basically 24/7. Sadly the best of the best stuff they captured took place in public and was already seen long before the film came out. The Letterman appearance. The rap shows that were viral video hits.

I was so sure that if people had any problems with this, it'd be because they'd remembered how his brother died. You know, see this as some sort of shocking choice for him. Instead they seemed upset that he fooled them all. Or that people who knew about it LET him do this. Or that people who didn't know it was "a hoax" didn't try to save him. In the end all of those criticisms make me think they should have never admitted it was an act. The people who "got it" would have appreciated it for what it was, but the others? Well yeah, let them wonder. People should be asking those questions. So Joaquin was *gasp* acting. Perhaps even over the top. But read the "Entertainment" section of any news site and you see these stories for real all of the time. Not exactly entertaining and not exactly handled correctly most of the time.

So yeah, good concept, some good to brilliant performances. Just a bit slow and not totally pulled together as well as I'd hoped. 3/5 stars

06 November 2010

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere


If you've read the book, you know what this story is. If you've not, well there is London above - the world we all know. There's London below, the much darker world where the forgotten live. We don't see these people unless they really go out of their way to make themselves seen to us and then we forget about them soon after. Richard somehow sees Door in London above, surprising them both. He's pulled into the drama of London Below after he tries to help her out. For 6 episodes we see Door trying to figure out who ordered a hit on her family, Richard trying to figure out how to get home, and a cast of unusual characters being helpful and not so helpful in these quests.

I see complaints that it's not the best production value but if you're familiar with older BBC productions and like them, this will not bother you in the least as you'll actually look at it and within moments say "Yup this is a BBC show".

It's not perfect but it's pretty good if you like Neil Gaiman, have read the book, or just want something a bit different from the usual standard hollywood show. 4/5 stars
 

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