High Rise

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The latest films have not been kind to us recently and that pattern continued with High Rise. High Rise was developed from the Novel by J G Ballard and is the story of a Doctor who moves into a high rise block in the 70’s. This block represents society and all that it is wrong with it. The poor live at the bottom and the rich at the top. There is an equal dislike for each other and a distinct feeling of inequality.

There is no real need to leave the high rise as everything is there. Many become isolated from the outside world as they shop, go to school, work, exercise all in one building. They party amongst their own class although these parties get out of hand. There is one man at the top who is the architect of the building and rules it. His idea however soon spirals out of control.

Things start to go wrong as the electric power cuts. This leads to panic as food is cleared off the shelves in the buildings supermarket. The people turn on each other and this leads to murder and rape. The building soon becomes a wreck and one man takes his own life. The people have become so wrapped up in their life inside the high rise that they forget about the outside world. Police and paramedics do not get a call as more and more people fall apart.

The Doctor is seen as the neutral one amongst the madness. He however gets lost in his own little world and accepts the behaviour of those around him. He is one of them despite only living their for 3 months.

This is an extremely strange film. I get what it is trying to do, but I felt it really didn’t work. The characters are so disgustingly horrible on every floor. Is this really representative of human society? The Doctor is devoid of any personality and the one man who questions high rise life is a complete brute and doesn’t have the vocabulary to challenge life there. He is completely without morality.

The performances are ok, but it is such a strange film that you wonder why such actors accepted the roles. The Abba soundtrack is interesting and tries to show the era in which this was set. The voice of Margaret Thatcher also tells you that you are living through the late 70’s. Was life this bad under her reign?

I was thoroughly disappointed in the film. I still want to read the book to discover the story behind the high rise.

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3/10

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Bone Tomahawk

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I went into this film with high expectations as all reviews were pretty good. I left the cinema feeling disappointed and sick to my stomach due to the gratuitous violence and Gore. This is a mix between a western and a horror. It’s like a strange mix between The hills have eyes and any film of the western genre.

This is a story of murder and kidnapping in the wild wild west. The guilty are not bandits wanting a random, or Indians protecting their land but Neanderthals living way off in the caves. Is this sounding rather ridiculous? If I add that these Neanderthals speak by sounding a horn noise through their throat, does it make it more sane? Or that they are cannibals?

The deputy Sheriff and the wife of a local have been taken while treating a criminal in the cells. The criminal has also been taken, but he is of little concern to anyone. A rescue mission has been set up including the Sheriff, the deputies replacement, the fastest shooter in the west and the kidnapped females husband. The husband has a broken leg and not in the best condition for the 3 day journey, but insists on going.

We see the long western landscape of sand and mountains. This is a hard journey and one they all struggle with. A local Indian man has told them where to go, but is in fear of these creatures, so won’t go himself. For about an hour they are just walking. The relations are not always friendly among the men, but they have a common cause. This is certainly not a journey without major risk.

We soon come across the monsters and this leads to some disgustingly gruesome scenes. I’m ok with gore, but this was too much for me. I think most of the audience were horrified judging by the gasps. This is just a weird mix of genres that doesn’t really work and leads for the most part a very boring film.

I know many will love this film, but I really didn’t see the point of it. The acting was fairly good from all the cast, but it was wasted on the subject. It would be good to see a really good modern day western. Unfortunately this is not it.

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4/10

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10 Cloverfield Lane

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******spoiler alert********

I haven’t seen Cloverfield, so I went into this blind. From what I have read this is not a sequel.

The film starts off with a car crash involving a car Driven by Michelle. She ends up in a bunker chained to the wall whilst laying on a mattress on the floor. It is not long before we see Harold who rescued her from the crash. He tells a story of the outside world which is in nuclear fall out. There is no going outside because the air is poisonous. Howard has planned this all his life. He was ready when others were not.

There is another trapped in the shelter as well. Emmet knew of Howard’s plan and went there when the explosions occurred. Michelle struggles to believe until she sees the outside world after an escape attempt. The acceptance of the fall out brings some peace and happiness to the shelter. It is clear however that they are not in the company of a sane man. It is clear that Howard is a psycho and sees Michelle as a daughter.

The atmosphere in the shelter is extremely claustrophobic. The tension is palpable as Howard becomes more obsessed and reveals how dangerous he can be. It’s a case of which is more dangerous? Howard or the outside world? Howard’s calculating slow movement and speech makes you feel uncomfortable in your seat.

I think the end could have stopped more suddenly and the aliens are far less interesting than the psycho. I think more could have been left to the imagination.

John Goodman is brilliant as Howard as it creeps the hell out of you. You feel their fear and their danger as they have no where to go. The wrong move or word could cause a lot of pain. This is one of Goodmans best performances. The whole cast does well, but all evolved around the keeper Howard. One of the better films I have seen this year after watching London Has Fallen, Bone Tomahawk and Hail Caesar.

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8/10

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London has fallen

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This is a pretty ridiculous film and pretty far fetched. I say this feeling rather cautious as before 9/11 people would have said that such a thing happening would be impossible and crazy, but sadly it did happen.

This starts with the death of the English Prime Minister, which means many heads of states travelling to London. Security is supposedly at a high with nothing left unturned. The heads of state attempt to get to st Paul’s cathedral in their different modes of transport. Then all hell breaks loose with police firing at the president and public, paramedics firing rocket launchers and bikers travelling around shooting many down.

The main focus is on the president and his protection. A chase in and around London ensues as all major landmarks topple under fire. Gerrard Butler takes on the enemy almost single handedly armed with his loyalty to the President. London slowly shuts down as the terrorists work their evil plan. There is very little in the way of intelligence in this film. It’s just a shoot fest with a few explosions along the way.

I didn’t rate the the first film Olympus Has Fallen. However this film makes the first episode look like an Oscar worthy piece of film making.

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4/10

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