Monday 30 January 2012

Double Bill Mini Musings: Polar Opposites...

The Woodsman:
This 2004 character piece must have been quite the risky prospect when they were trying to get it made - simply because Kevin Bacon's central character Walter is a paedophile on parole (living in an apartment overlooking a playground). Keeping decidedly to himself at his job at a lumber mill, he soon gets into a strange relationship with a female colleague (Vicki), but when his past is revealed to those around him - resulting in disgust - he has to fight against his inner demons. The filmmakers wisely only suggest in small, obscure doses what his character has done in his past (before he was incarcerated for twelve years), as it allows the viewer to not just completely shut down to the rest of the plot. There's no doubt that it makes difficult and bleak viewing at times - although let's be very clear, there's nothing graphic anywhere in the movie - the horrific aspects of the story are kept to subtle images, the tortured inner turmoil etched on the face of Walter (Kevin Bacon delivers a powerful performance), and the testimonials with his handler Rosen (Michael Shannon) which reveal just enough back-story to proffer the creation of his sickness.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides:
For a title like that, there aren't many strange tides in the movie, particularly as it's all about finding the Fountain of Youth. The first movie was fun, the second two were far too long, far too overblown, and far too complicated, and this fourth entry is just boring. The rip-roaring fun of the first is long gone, Jack Sparrow's just become a bit of a repetitive arse, and the script is flat-out crap. Indeed the latter complaint is best summed up by the entirely perfunctory thread-bare 'love story' between whinging man of God Philip who just gets in everybody's way, and Mermaid Syrena who has nothing to do but gawp at everyone with doe eyes. With half of the original cast missing you can't help but wonder if they had got thoroughly disenchanted with the whole venture and opted to better their careers elsewhere. I'm so very glad I didn't pay to see this in the cinema and just watched it on Sky Anytime instead, for it is a weak and boring load of old cobblers.

No comments: