If you have not yet seen the film, there may be some spoilers in here for you! :O If you haven’t seen it I suggest you run to the hills! Before the zombies get to us!!! … *whispers* they want your eyes.

Hmm Crash… Never having actually seen Million Dollar Baby; even after all the reviews, my reason for going to see Crash was not linked to any particular actor/director/screenwriter, I believe I just wanted to see a film, and Crash was the best rated. I was with high hopes of seeing a more than average film; which had not been the trend recently.

Crash; the film of a thousand production companies… No really, there were tons of them, and if you ask me they were repeating the same ones over and over.
Strangely, if you ask me, Crash, was in no way related to that of David Cronenberg’s Crash, but it does makes me wonder how they were able to keep the same name, anyway onto the review.

Directed by Paul Haggis, and starring Sandra Bullock (Jean Cabot), Don Cheadle (Det. Graham Waters), Brendan Fraser (DA Rick Cabot), Michael Pena (Daniel), Ryan Phillippe (Officer Hanson), Matt Dillon (Officer Ryan), Ludacris (Anthony) Jennifer Esposito (Ria) Loretta Devine (Shaniqua), Thandie Newton (Christine), and Larenz Tate (Peter Waters) to name only a few.

A film such as Crash is always hard to explain in a few words. To perhaps help, it’s like Six Degrees of Separation. Wherein each character is somehow related through an action or decision that another character made, related to that point, I did read one review in my local newspaper which wrongly slated it comparable to Love actually, simply for its multitude of characters linked together, actually calling this a reason to stay away from the film.
Getting back to the story of the film, it focuses on fourteen very different people; each one having their own views on racism, all being of different races themselves, they all live in Los Angeles, and in 36 hours, they all collide.

It was definitely a change from the films I have been watching recently, it lacked the loud obnoxiousness of both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Fantastic Four, which was extremely welcome. I myself was surprised that my cinema was even showing a film that might not appeal to the masses.

Onto the actors, as I may have mentioned already in this review, the two performances that shined out to me were that of Matt Dillon, Michael Pena and perhaps Sandra Bullock; you’ve always gotta love the obnoxious person that turns around and realises how stupid they are. I don’t really have much else to say, these three took some of the best parts of the film and stole the show.

The screenplay; was written by Paul Haggis; who as I mentioned before wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby and I felt that this was the best screenplay I had heard so far this year. The lines were wonderful; I scarcely remember predicting lines, rolling my eyes or anything that I usually do while watching a badly written film. But then this is also partially because of the brilliant acting performances given.

So what were the good parts of the film? First off, it is definitely not a film that you will laugh all the way through, there are some humorous parts (although you tend to be forced to ask yourself, “Because I laughed at that, does that make me incredibly racist…”), but not many, most of the time you will either be shocked or moved. It’s a horrible film for manipulating the audience, but it is extremely effective through that, and the best sad film I’ve seen in a while. Some of the better parts of the film I would have to say would be with Daniel (Pena) and his daughter, as well as a few of the scenes with Officer Ryan (Dillon) these scenes were by far the most superior in my eyes, most touching as well.

So those were the good bits… what was bad? As horrible as I sound, I already mentioned that I do not like child actors (although the little girl was not bad), I also do not like it when musicians are in films, Ludacris was not so bad in Crash, though nonetheless it irritates me. Other than my own pickiness I found the film to be superb in every shape and form.

Overall I can say that I thought of it as a great film. With some superb acting, and a tight script which is at once realistic, moving, shocking, sad and amusing, and one film that I can say that I have really enjoyed.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 8/10
Although some feel it is a load of garbage I felt that Crash is one of the best films of the year. As far as serious drama’s go, it’s the best one I’ve seen in a while.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you have not yet seen the film, there may be some spoilers in here for you! If you haven’t I suggest you gouge out your eyes… please don’t gouge out your eyes… just look away.

Hmm Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… another turn out from Tim Burton who is considered a god among men nowadays, let me say that his newest film left me less than satisfied.

Having considered myself a fan of Burton for years since Beetlejuice and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure I was hoping for another good film. I myself liking Big Fish; his last film, although like you may have guessed, I did not think his newest accomplishment lived up to its hype.

Directed by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp (Willy Wonka), Freddie Highmore (Charlie Bucket), David Kelly (Grandpa Joe), Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Bucket), Missi Pyle (Mrs. Beauregarder) and Christopher Lee (Dr Wonka) to name only a few.

I myself have never read the book by Roald Dahl, but suffice to say that didn’t mean that I didn’t know the story. For those of you that don’t know it, Willy Wonka (Depp) decides that he will distribute 5 golden tickets around the world, so that five children may visit his chocolate factory. One by one the tickets are found by four different children. The story follows Charlie Bucket (Highmore) a poor child that lives in a crooked house and how he surprising gets the last golden ticket. The rest of the film should be about the tour around the factory, ultimately ending with Charlie becoming the heir to the factory. But not in Burton’s version, he decided he would include a new angle by bringing Wonka’s father into the picture; Dr. Wonka (Lee)

Strangely similar to the Fantastic Four; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory seemed like some sort of MTV kids movie than anything else. With some loud, unintelligible  Oompa-Loompa songs (which I could hardly ever hear the lyrics to), and bright Burtonesque colours, its probably a great film for the youths of today. Unfortunately I thought that he was taking it a little too far. Or perhaps I just don’t think like a child anymore. Though I suppose fortunately Depp invented some weird quirky role that was funny at times, but I’ve gotta say he looked way too much like a girl with that hair… other than that no one really struck a chord…

But then I should probably comment on them… What can I say, I’m not a fan of child actors, I believe I’ve mentioned this before somewhere, but I cannot stand them, none of the children’s roles really astounded me. I can however comment on Christopher Lee and Missi Pyle. I namely bring those two up, because Christopher Lee is legendary; getting on a bit, but he is still a great actor, although his part was seriously not needed. I must also comment on Missi Pyle, unfortunately not constructively, but she freaks me out, ever since I saw her in Big Fish I thought that she belonged in a David Lynch film, simply for how odd she looks.

There was two great guest appearances by Mark Heap and Kevin Eldon; both from the twisted comedy series JAM, their appearances both unexpected and extremely weird as the two men walking dogs outside the factory, look out for them.

Onto the screenplay; written by John August; who also wrote the screenplay for Big Fish, very much similar it was a funny film. The lines weren’t horrible. But they were not fantastic either, that’s all I have to say.

So what were the good parts of the film? First off the introduction to the factory was hilarious. The Doll’s singing and dancing while their eyes were melting and burning out of their very sockets was excellent, pure dark humoured Burton I suppose. Much like this part, the other enjoyable sections of the film were amusing bits, such as the strange conversation about cannibals, and the hilarious flag museum scene.

So those were the good bits… what was bad? Mainly I felt the added storyline of parents was definitely not necessary, as well as near to the end of the film where we saw the children walking out of the factory all disfigured etc.
As with the end of the film, I must say I liked the 1970s version more. The cruel and mean visage that Wilder put on was great, and I was hoping for the same feature in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but was sadly disappointed.

Overall I’m not sure what to say about that... it had its funny moments... but kinda irritating, a film, it could definitely have been better. I preferred the original 70s film.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 5/10
I felt that the film was too over hyped, Burton has become too overrated nowadays.