Kill List

 

Occasionally along comes a film that is so far from your expectations of what it is going in that afterwards you can’t help but feel disorientated. When this turns out to be the director’s prime intention the feeling is compounded. Welcome to Kill List, for me probably the most interesting film of the year by a significant margin. Be warned however, you won’t enjoy your stay.

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Drive

 

Drive feels like a throw back to another time, one when films were willing to take more risks and be far less sanitised than they sometimes appear these days. A distinct “guilty pleasure” (at its root it’s pure pulp) it rises above what could have easily been a small scale direct to DVD endeavour to something else by virtue of a top-notch cast and an off-kilter presence. For my money, it’s probably one of the highlights of the year film-wise, but it’s just as likely to leave people cold as well.

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If you go down to the woods today…

 

Lars von Trier’s Antichrist arrives laden with a reputation for shocking violence, misogyny and questions regarding the nature of censorship that have had people clamouring for the director’s blood rather than concentrating on the film itself – all of this is a great pity as it’s one of the most astonishingly beautiful films (albeit filled in the last twenty minutes with ugly, ugly moments) to be released for a long time. Certainly the last twenty minutes are a gruelling experience (one image that I didn’t have a problem with last night is certainly proving memorable in all the wrong ways now) but none of it is gratuitous in the way that films such as Saw, Hostel and other torture porn are – the violence here feels like an extension of the narrative that has gone before rather than a means of closure (something this film offers little sense of).

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The Dark Knight Revisited

Of all the films I never got round to commenting on this summer probably the most glaring omission was The Dark Knight. I made a brief reference to it with regards the BBFC’s rating of it but I never actually got to sit down and watch it again. The thing was I recognised that it would take a second viewing to fully appreciate it, not to determine whether it was any good (that much was apparent) but just how good it was. The problem is now its not really a recommendation – everyone knows how good it is – but rather a comment on how it stands up four / five months down the line. This was after all a rare thing; a summer movie that lived up to the hype.

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Did the BBFC see a different film?

Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight is bloody brilliant (although I want to see it a second time before commenting on how good), but there is no way in hell I’d consider taking a six year old to see it – which I can legally do with its current certificate. The BBFC’s comments on its decision are as follows;

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Eastern Promises

The start of autumn usually brings a slew of serious minded films after the summer as things gear up for March the following year. Eastern Promises is getting a lot of publicity following the success of A History of Violence as a companion piece, something that sits wrong as that is a western while this feels more like a urban horror like Taxi Driver.

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I’m beginning to have concerns about the BBFC…

Most specifically surrounding their increased use of the 12A certificate.

Now don’t get me wrong I’ve liked the way that the BBFC has progressed over the last few years in allowing adults to make up their own minds whilst ensuring that certain trends don’t become too prevalent (especially their stance with regards sexual violence which has always been strong). However, this trickiest of certificates now seems to be stuck between two extremes and drifting towards the MPAA’s model.

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