Friday, 26 June 2015

London Road review

London Road follows the story of the street London Road in Ipswich around 2006-2007 when five prostitutes were murdered. It shows the anxiety whilst the killer was still loose but also the recovery  after the killings.

London Road may not be one the most exciting looking films of the year. Yet it is in fact one of the most emotional and personal films of the year. The people of London Road aren't heroes they aren't perfect they openly say things to the camera that do sound shocking and uncaring but they ultimately come from a place of honesty. These people didn’t stand up and solve the problems at the heart of their community until it was too late. But what makes London Road so good is the way that they are portrayed simply as people. People who aren't perfect but simply human people who say things that can upset but are speaking truly but ultimately in the end have what they thing are the best interests of them and others at heart.

the main reason for the emotional honesty at the heart of London Road is the fact that it the characters dialogue comes from verbatim interviews taken from real people surrounding the events. It’s as realistic as dialogue can get. Interestingly this hyper  realism is contrasted with the fact it this dialogue has been taken and turned into musical verse. The words aren't changed but sentences are repeated to form choruses and it’s all scored. The music serves many purposes throughout the story. It makes some very dark and troubling ideas more palatable. For instance very early on in the film we see two girls walking through Ipswich town centre as they walk around they feel the sense that the killer could be any one of the men around them. Some this becomes the musical number “It Could Be Him” suddenly when put to song we become caught up in the music and it becomes easier to accept the idea that anyone around you could be a serial killer. But the music also makes a symbolic point these people of this community broken by these murders suddenly become united in verse not only that but all speaking with the same voice showing the strength of this community through such exceptional circumstances. This united sing voice contrasts with the individual interviews with the characters which are all spoken. The performances of the actors also make London Road so strong. Each character feels different yet they all feel united in the same purpose of wanting what is best for the community. Every character has different aspects to their personality. Rufus Norris’s direction of the film is an interesting part of the film the camera shows us the mood of the film though the way it shows the street. We can feel the anxiety and fears of the residents of London Road at points because the street will feel grey and messy but as they move past these fears the street itself will feel better. 

Ultimately London Road isn't the biggest film of the year it’s not the showiest but it’s ideas are bold and it shows the complex nature of people and how they act in a community. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World is generally a failure on all levels. Not only does it fail to live up to the magnificence of its predecessor it ultimately fails to work as its own piece of entertainment. In fact the film seems to think that because Jurassic Park is so good there’s no point in trying so the film doesn't even put a fight to be worthy of being in the same series. It lives in the shadow which only serves to remind you of how much you’d rather be watching Jurassic Park. This isn't just down to the fact Jurassic Park is good it’s down to the fact Jurassic World is such a failure of storytelling. 

The film attempts to set up an idea that bigger isn’t always better. The new genetically modified dinosaurs on exhibit at the park are portrayed as corporate tools designed to get people more interested in a time when people are apparently bored of normal dinosaurs. It’s a fair and interesting and relevant point and once the new scary Idominous rex breaks out everyone seems to have learnt the lesson that Ian Malcolm taught in the first film which is that if you can do something doesn't mean you should. Everyone except the film makers. Because after creating a villain that’s been tampered with to the nth degree so much that it’s impossible to stop the film has to end in one of the worst final set pieces I’ve ever seen in a blockbuster. It ends in a ridiculous dinosaur v dinosaur fight which is dripping in dodgy cgi with carless direction. The worst part is it doesn’t even work in a sort of fun nonsense way it’s just utter rubbish. There’s a complete disconnection. It proves the bigger isn't better theory by showing us that the big massive finale is nothing compared to the skill of better films. 

Ultimately Jurassic World’s biggest problem is the fact it fails to involve us in the conflict at the heart of the matter. We simply don’t care about the characters. Chris Pratt is the lead of the film but the script doesn’t allow him to be the Chris Pratt that we know and love. The film wants him to be a typical leading man which Chris Pratt can do but it doesn't allow him to have any personality despite the fact his character is supposed to be some sort of lively loose canon. Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire a character who's treated dismally she is shown to be some sort of boring suit to be livened up by Chris Pratt you always get the feeling she has to play second fiddle and she’s an archetype only there to advance him. Then there’s Vincent D’Onofrio’s military contractor who walks around constantly talking about weaponising these dinosaurs it seems to appear every second scene it doesn't move the plot or characters forward except making him more annoying because you wish he would shut up. Yet it also distracts from the film because it’s the sort of silly ridiculousness you wish the film showed a sense of this sort of  because it falls between a rock and a hard place. It’s not quite straight enough but the silly stuff isn't silly enough. The pacing is dreadful. The film is astonishingly slow it takes ages for the dinosaur to escape and then once it has everyone seems to have all the time in the world to deal with it. It lacks the sense of urgency that we need in order to be invested in it. In terms of basic film making language the action sequences lack any sort of skill or tension the cameras roams around the cgi landscape theres a total lack of precision to Trevorrow’s direction.

When thinking about Jurassic World it’s easy to say it’s not the original but oh well its fine. Yet whats the point in making any sort of sequel if it wont be as good and this dangerous sort of thinking leads us into the trap that means we end up with spectacularly awful films like Jurassic World.

2/5 Stars