angelophile: (Iron Man - Why has the rum gone)
2013-04-26 09:56 am
Entry tags:

Reviews: Iron Man Three

IM3

So, I went and saw Iron Man 3 (Three) on its opening night last night and I have a few thoughts about the movie. I'm trying my best to keep things vague, as a misplaced word could ruin the film (I went in having, mostly, avoided trailers and pre-publicity). But a few vague critiques lay under the cut.

Read more... )
angelophile: (Doctor Who - Thumbs Up)
2012-04-27 11:15 am
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Review: The Avengers




So, yes, The Avengers. It’s out over here, a week or so before North America for some reason, so we have it and I saw it. And what did I think? Well…

Opinions follow that may be mildly spoilery…

Read more... )

angelophile: (Default)
2012-03-21 12:47 pm
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Review: John Carter

A lot's been said about the financial failure of John Carter, but I went into the movie wanting to like it. On paper, it's the kind of story I love - I'm an avid consumer of pulp adventures. And a screenplay by Michael Chabon? Added bonus.

In reality, I couldn't love the movie, although I did enjoy it. Most of its flaws have been well reported - over long, bland villains, a lead that lacks star power - and those are probably true. Taylor Kitsch lacked the secret ingredient of charisma and the twinkle in his eye. Something that James Purefoy's performance had plenty of. Sadly Purefoy was on screen for maybe a few brief minutes. Kitsch was there through the whole movie. Purefoy was, however, for me, the only supporting character to stand out. In fact, thanks to the similarity of costume design between most of the supporting characters, armies and even CGIed characters, I had trouble telling any of them apart. It was like watching a Transformers movie.

John Carter had plenty of the ingredients I love, but the one vital ingredient it seemed to be missing was a sense of fun. The movie didn't need to try and be a comedy, by any means, but everything was so straight faced and earnest. I just felt that more buckles needed to be swashed in the process and the central character's reluctance to play the hero dragged. The aforementioned James Purefoy seems to have been the only one who was really relishing his role and had the playful rogueish element the movie could have done with more of, although Lynn Collins was also a strong Dejah Thoris.

But the elephant in the room was, perhaps, the biggest problem with the movie, in my eyes. The movie's lost a lot of money, yep. And it's lost a lot of money because a lot of money was thrown at it. The film has the reek of over-indulgence. The world-building is rich and detailed, but you can't help but feel that a much smaller budget would have led to a more thrifty screenplay. As it was, the movie was bloated with scenes that could easily have ended up on the cutting room floor and led to a more punchy, and enjoyable, movie. 

But when all's said and done, John Carter wasn't a terrible movie by any means. A complete marketing failure, to be sure, but there's plenty I enjoyed about it. But it's not a movie I'll be rushing to pick up on DVD. Worth a look and, despite pulling for it because of the beating it's been getting, I enjoyed it just enough. But I couldn't necessarily recommend it. 


angelophile: (Default)
2012-03-21 12:47 pm
Entry tags:

Review: John Carter

A lot's been said about the financial failure of John Carter, but I went into the movie wanting to like it. On paper, it's the kind of story I love - I'm an avid consumer of pulp adventures. And a screenplay by Michael Chabon? Added bonus.

In reality, I couldn't love the movie, although I did enjoy it. Most of its flaws have been well reported - over long, bland villains, a lead that lacks star power - and those are probably true. Taylor Kitsch lacked the secret ingredient of charisma and the twinkle in his eye. Something that James Purefoy's performance had plenty of. Sadly Purefoy was on screen for maybe a few brief minutes. Kitsch was there through the whole movie. Purefoy was, however, for me, the only supporting character to stand out. In fact, thanks to the similarity of costume design between most of the supporting characters, armies and even CGIed characters, I had trouble telling any of them apart. It was like watching a Transformers movie.

John Carter had plenty of the ingredients I love, but the one vital ingredient it seemed to be missing was a sense of fun. The movie didn't need to try and be a comedy, by any means, but everything was so straight faced and earnest. I just felt that more buckles needed to be swashed in the process and the central character's reluctance to play the hero dragged. The aforementioned James Purefoy seems to have been the only one who was really relishing his role and had the playful rogueish element the movie could have done with more of, although Lynn Collins was also a strong Dejah Thoris.

But the elephant in the room was, perhaps, the biggest problem with the movie, in my eyes. The movie's lost a lot of money, yep. And it's lost a lot of money because a lot of money was thrown at it. The film has the reek of over-indulgence. The world-building is rich and detailed, but you can't help but feel that a much smaller budget would have led to a more thrifty screenplay. As it was, the movie was bloated with scenes that could easily have ended up on the cutting room floor and led to a more punchy, and enjoyable, movie. 

But when all's said and done, John Carter wasn't a terrible movie by any means. A complete marketing failure, to be sure, but there's plenty I enjoyed about it. But it's not a movie I'll be rushing to pick up on DVD. Worth a look and, despite pulling for it because of the beating it's been getting, I enjoyed it just enough. But I couldn't necessarily recommend it. 


angelophile: (Default)
2012-03-21 12:47 pm
Entry tags:

Review: John Carter

A lot's been said about the financial failure of John Carter, but I went into the movie wanting to like it. On paper, it's the kind of story I love - I'm an avid consumer of pulp adventures. And a screenplay by Michael Chabon? Added bonus.

In reality, I couldn't love the movie, although I did enjoy it. Most of its flaws have been well reported - over long, bland villains, a lead that lacks star power - and those are probably true. Taylor Kitsch lacked the secret ingredient of charisma and the twinkle in his eye. Something that James Purefoy's performance had plenty of. Sadly Purefoy was on screen for maybe a few brief minutes. Kitsch was there through the whole movie. Purefoy was, however, for me, the only supporting character to stand out. In fact, thanks to the similarity of costume design between most of the supporting characters, armies and even CGIed characters, I had trouble telling any of them apart. It was like watching a Transformers movie.

John Carter had plenty of the ingredients I love, but the one vital ingredient it seemed to be missing was a sense of fun. The movie didn't need to try and be a comedy, by any means, but everything was so straight faced and earnest. I just felt that more buckles needed to be swashed in the process and the central character's reluctance to play the hero dragged. The aforementioned James Purefoy seems to have been the only one who was really relishing his role and had the playful rogueish element the movie could have done with more of, although Lynn Collins was also a strong Dejah Thoris.

But the elephant in the room was, perhaps, the biggest problem with the movie, in my eyes. The movie's lost a lot of money, yep. And it's lost a lot of money because a lot of money was thrown at it. The film has the reek of over-indulgence. The world-building is rich and detailed, but you can't help but feel that a much smaller budget would have led to a more thrifty screenplay. As it was, the movie was bloated with scenes that could easily have ended up on the cutting room floor and led to a more punchy, and enjoyable, movie. 

But when all's said and done, John Carter wasn't a terrible movie by any means. A complete marketing failure, to be sure, but there's plenty I enjoyed about it. But it's not a movie I'll be rushing to pick up on DVD. Worth a look and, despite pulling for it because of the beating it's been getting, I enjoyed it just enough. But I couldn't necessarily recommend it. 


angelophile: (Alan Rickman Angel)
2012-01-22 11:27 pm
Entry tags:

Review: The Guard



The Guard
(2011)

Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh

This movie doesn't sound that good on paper. The publicity throws around phrases like "fish-out-of-water comedy" and "buddy cop movie" like they're going out of fashion and it could very easily have been another unmemorable movie of the genre. Its posters describe it as "a raucous comedy", which totally missells it - it's much more In Bruges than Lethal Weapon, thanks to pitch-black deadpan script and direction from John Michael McDonagh, coincidentally (or not) the brother of Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed the aforementioned In Bruges.

Both also star Brendan Gleeson, on top form again as Sergeant Gerry Boyle, managing to craft a character who could either be incredibly stupid, crass and oblivious or very very sharp, depending on your interpretation. It's Gleeson that is the backbone of the movie - it's not really a traditional buddy cop movie at all, despite Don Cheadle's presence as an FBI agent out to catch drug smugglers in Gleeson's quiet corner of western Ireland. Think Bad Lieutenant meets Father Ted and you'd have a closer definition of what the movie feels like. Cheadle's straight man is there as a bonus. The film is all Gleeson's, from the deadpan opening to the Spaghetti Western-esque final confrontation.

There's great support too in the form of Boyle’s cancer stricken mother (Fionnula Flanagan), the wife of his new partner (Katarina Kas) and a trio of drug smugglers (Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot and Mark Strong) who always seem to be bemoaning their lot and quoting philosophy. But it's Gleeson's movie and, despite the trailers trying to sell his character as a straightforward "eccentric comedy racist", he's far more complicated and compelling than that and the humor of the movie far more dry and subversive.
angelophile: (Kim Pine 1-2-3-4!)
2011-09-21 11:47 am
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Review: Submarine




“Most people think of themselves as individuals. That there’s no-one on the planet like them. This thought motivates them to get out of bed, eat food, and walk around like nothing’s wrong. My name is Oliver Tate.”



A self-assured writer/director debut from Richard Ayoade, probably best known to people as Moss in The IT Crowd, Submarine succeeds in being something a little odd and unique, but strangely all-encompassing, capturing a sense of alienation and angst that most teenagers have gone through at one point or another.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of a way to describe the movie. “Like Wes Anderson decamped to Wales and decided to make a Judy Blume adaptation” is about as close as I can get, but it doesn’t really do the movie justice. While Richard Ayoade’s work seems to owe something to Anderson stylistically, there’s a warmth and affection to it that’s lacking in Anderson’s sterile environments.

The story concerns it self with Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a teenager growing up in a small town in Wales, (presumably) sometime in the eighties. His dad (Noah Taylor) is a dispassionate, depressive marine biologist direct from presenting on the Open University and his mother (Sally Hawkins) is distracted by the obnoxious New Age mystic Graham (Paddy Considine), who’s moved in next door. Oliver’s not exactly a complete outsider, but not popular either, despite his messianic delusions and attempts to adopt intellectual affectations. In other words, he’s not unique, he’s just your typical teen. And Oliver has a crush on fellow classmate Jordana (Sarah Jane Adventure’s Yasmin Paige), an acerbic, self-professed pyromaniac.

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angelophile: (Leon Peekaboo)
2011-09-17 12:29 am
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Review: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy



This movie…

It had something to live up to. The brilliant novel by ex-spymaster John le Carré. The magnificent BBC adaptation starring Alec Guinness and Ian Richardson. That’s stepping into some big shoes.

And big shoes need big feet to fill them. So, with John le Carré on board as executive producer, they’ve pulled out the cream of British character actors of a certain generation. Gary Oldman is George Smiley. The other denizens of the Circus - Toby Jones, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Kathy Burke, Stephen Graham, Roger Lloyd-Pack…

That’s a cast.

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angelophile: (Rushmore)
2011-07-16 09:15 pm
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(Spoilery) Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II




So, last week, I made a shopping list of thing I wanted to see in the last Harry Potter movie. Things that weren't slavishly reproducing the last half of the book blow for blow, but variations that I hoped to see in the movie. Stuff like:

  • More than a couple of minutes of Neville badassery.

  • An actual redeptive arc for Draco. Hell, a single redemptive scene would do.

  • Ron and Hermione not just disappearing when the action moves to Hogwarts. You know, giving the major characters of the series something to do in the finale would be nice. And something that isn't just randomly slipped in there. It should be Ron and Hermione's story as much as Harry's.

  • Also Ginny.

  • A finale that isn't the last half hour of the two hour film filled with exposition.

  • The horcruxes actually still being important and difficult to dispose of. Rather than you getting the impression the writer suddenly got bored with that plotline and whipping through the remaining horcruxes as quickly as possible to get them out of the way.

  • Some Slitherin actually sticking around to defend Hogwarts. You know, just one or two in a crowd scene, even.

  • More than a few seconds of Horace Slughorn doing something decent.

  • Snape's ending? 

  • For that matter, showing how major characters die instead of just tossing it out in passing.

  • And if you have a major gay character in the series, why not use the opportunity to mention that on-screen?


  • So, did I get any of what I wanted?

    Read more... )

    angelophile: (Jubilee - Waiting to be impressed)
    2011-06-09 11:56 am
    Entry tags:

    Spoilery Review: X-men: First Class




    First up, let me say that I've never worshiped at the altar of Bryan Singer's X-men. Oh, I liked them well enough, but they never really felt like the X-men to me, with a few exceptions for certain characters. So coming from that point of view, and recalling that Ratner's X-men: Last Stand used a script that barely differed from the one Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer had in place when they left the project, my hopes for this movie weren't high. So did they exceed expectations?

    The answer is... kinda.

    Read more... )

    angelophile: (Iron Man - Why has the rum gone)
    2011-05-25 12:31 pm
    Entry tags:

    Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides




    Went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides last night. And while it was a perfectly acceptable distraction, I'm having a tough job composing a review of it because it lacked anything really memorable.

    Read more... )

    angelophile: (Beast Wars Inferno - For the Royalty!)
    2011-04-27 10:34 pm
    Entry tags:

    Review: Thor




    Caught Thor tonight and it pleasingly exceeded my (admittedly not sky high) expectations. When Branagh talked about it being a character driven movie, he did put his money where his mouth was and even minor characters were given time to develop.

    Relatively spoiler free review under the cut. )

    angelophile: (Leon Oldman)
    2011-01-23 12:51 am
    Entry tags:

    Review: Winter's Bone



    Just finished watching Winter's Bone, which I've been meaning to catch ever since I heard the glowing reviews coming out of last year's Sundance Film Festival. (Where it won the Grand Jury Prize for best Dramatic Film.)

    The film was written and directed by Debra Granik, and stars Jennifer Lawrence as the 17 year old Ozark teenager responsible for raising her two younger siblings when their impoverished family is seemingly abandoned by their meth-dealing father when he skips out on bail. When she discovers that he put the family home up as his bail bond and if he doesn't return to face trail they'll lose the house, she determines to track him down. The story follows her as she perseveres to find out her father's fate, despite the obstacles put in her path by the local criminals, family and law alike.

    Jennifer Lawrence is outstanding as Ree Dolly, the major protagonist of the film, who faces the hillybilly-gangster world unflinchingly, refusing to step aside despite the white-trash nightmare world she's entering. Everyone she encounters seems to be kin of some kind and each more determined than the last to place obstacles in her way to stop her from learning the truth. It's stark and unrelenting, but Ree Dolly's moral center, intelligence and her courage in the face of the violent world she's entering make her an understated feminist lead.

    Likewise is essentially a crime thriller is played through the lens of downbeat Orzak scenery in place of the more familiar surroundings of urban sprawl, which makes the film that much more unique. The story itself is, perhaps, not fresh. But the presentation - all backwater grime in the Orzak woods, drained of life and color - presents the poverty, both moral and literal, of the world unflinchingly and without sentiment. It's Arkansas Noir.

    Highly recommended.
    angelophile: (Toy Story Aliens - OOoooooooh!)
    2011-01-04 04:44 pm
    Entry tags:

    Review: How to Train Your Dragon




    Did finally watch this movie over the holidays. And while I wasn't as enamoured of it as the majority of critics seem to be (trending 98% on Rotten Tomatoes to Toy Story 3's 99%), I did find it an enjoyable ride and certainly a huge step above the standard Dreamwidth's animation studios have usually been attaining in general.

    The story wasn't groundbreaking and certainly not on a par with Toy Story 3 for making you feel the whole gamut of human emotion (I still consider TS3 the best movie of last year and one of the best movies of all time, animated or not) but the movie was definitely entertaining and endearing. And the animation was also a step above Dreamwork's norm (although the backgrounds and landscapes were so lovingly rendered in exquisite realistic detail than the more stylized central characters occasionally looked at odds with them). It's just a little bit of a shame that the supporting characters weren't so defined and, as seems to be commonplace in Dreamworks flicks, I walked away not actually remembering the names of any of the characters outside of Astrid, Toothless and Hiccup, whereas even with minor characters like Slink or Rex in the Toy Story movies, their names are reiterated enough to stick in the mind. A little thing, I know, but the little things make the difference between a good movie and a great one.

    Anyway, good fun and definitely a good choice as a Christmas present for my nephew who was hooked on the whole thing.

    angelophile: (Miss Marple - Hmmm)
    2010-11-23 10:46 pm
    Entry tags:

    Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)



    I was very late coming to Harry Potter and only read the books and saw the movies last year, after much resistance. Nonetheless, I enjoyed them well enough, although I've never clicked with them in the same way as pretty much everyone else I seem to come across. Perhaps because I didn't grow up with the books in the same way as younger readers did. But anyway, I did sneak out and watch the movie this afternoon. I did a mass watch of all the movies last year and reviewed them at the time, so I thought I'd better include this one in the list. Although, I admit, I was curious to see it anyway. The Harry Potter movies attract dream casts, if nothing else.

    So, thoughts under the cut, including some spoilers.

    Read more... )
    angelophile: (Jack Nicholson lobotomy)
    2010-10-24 12:29 am
    Entry tags:

    Little Shop of Horrors Original Ending



    Here's something I've never seen. The original ending of Little Shop of Horrors has been dug up from the rare Special Edition (withdrawn after producer David Geffen protested this material's inclusion) and made its way onto Youtube. Sadly, the colour prints of the original ending were destroyed in a studio fire, so the black and white work print is all that remains.

    It's easy to see why it wasn't popular with test audiences and was changed. Yes, I know that it's closer, if not identical, to the stage version of the musical, but the ending is by far and away my least favorite part of that.

    The last part does include Don't Feed The Plants, with a fantastic B-movie styled visuals, though, which I do think was a shame to lose, so it's nice to see it finally. Apparently the sequence cost $5m to produce using various miniatures and paying tribute to movies like King Kong and War of the Worlds, amongst others. But, as Frank Oz commented after it was cut: "In a stage play, you kill the leads and they come out for a bow — in a movie, they don't come out for a bow, they're dead. And the audience loved those people, and they hated us for it."

    Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

    angelophile: (Empowered BOO YAH!)
    2010-10-22 11:51 pm
    Entry tags:

    Review: RED




    It's been a rather backwards-looking season at the movies and after a summer that's given us The Expendables, The A-Team and Predators, it's Bruce Willis' turn to step up to the plate and into his old shoes as the action hero of the day.

    Okay, so Bruce did that a little while back with another Die Hard sequel, but RED is the action movie that's left to stand on its own two feet. Of course, it's not just Willis' show. He's the central character, but the plot, loosely based on the Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner comics and revolving around a group of retired CIA and secret service agents who suddenly find themselves on a hit list, gives a chance for other actors... of a certain age to join in the fun. The posters make much of Willis' co-stars being John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Dame Helen Mirren, but Richard Dreyfuss and Brian Cox are also along for the ride, the latter rather poorly served by the publicity as he's every bit as essential a character as Freeman, if not more so.

    And what a joy to see Ernest Borgnine. In a supporting role, perhaps, as his screentime doesn't add up to much, but he's a genuine screen legend.

    So, a world-beating cast, then, but how does the movie stand up against the other nostalgic flicks of the summer?

    Read more... )

    angelophile: (Leon Peekaboo)
    2010-10-07 09:36 pm
    Entry tags:

    Review: An Education




    An Education did well at this years' Oscars and it's easy to see why. A coming-of-age story set in the early 60s, the movie benefits from the glamour of that era, strong, charismatic performances, a simplistic, but appealing story and a sparkling screenplay, adapting Lynn Barber's memoirs, by author Nick Hornby. The end result is a movie that's charmingly old-fashioned, harping back to the kitchen sink dramas of 1960s British cinema, and which effortlessly draws you in.

    The story is rather straightforward. Carey Mulligan plays Jenny, a seemingly worldly-wise and undoubtedly intelligent 16 year old girl who is studying hard to pass the entry examinations for Oxford, pushed on by her ambitious father (Alfred Molina). Then she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), nearly twice her age, charmingly seductive, who introduces her into a more exciting and glamorous world.

    If you're a fan of Mad Men, there's a huge amount to enjoy here too. The period detailing, from the attitudes to the outfits, is fantastic. There's a real glamour throughout as Jenny is introduced to a more exciting world of jazz clubs and fine dining, of glamorous clothes and glamorous people, by David and his two friends, played by Dominic Cooper and Rosamund Pike. It'd spoil the movie to say too much, but the juxtaposition between this world and the more dowdy world of academia, represented by Jenny's teachers, in the shape of Emma Thompson and Olivia Williams, is pivotal.

    Read more... )

    angelophile: (Dalek - To Victory)
    2010-10-05 01:27 am
    Entry tags:

    Review: Made in Dagenham



    During a fairly dry patch for British film making, where every movie seems to want to be the Next Four Weddings or Full Monty, even after a decade or so of water treading, to has to be said that Made in Dagenham doesn't bring a whole lot new to the table.

    What it does do, however, is take a nearly forgotten moment in British grass roots politics, which advanced equality for women globally, and dramatize it near impeccably with a startling good cast of polished British character actors (with the emphasis on actresses).

    Calendar Girls director Nigel Cole brings together the cast, which tells of the 187 women machinists at the Ford plant in 1968 Dagenham who saw their pay scale reclassified to unskilled labour. They decided to make a stand, snowballing from the pay dispute to a much larger issue - legislation for equal pay for women nationwide, and, as the ripples of the strike action was felt in Whitehall and beyond, worldwide.

    Sally Hawkins plays Rita O’Grady, the catalyst for the strike action, encouraged by sympathetic union representative Bob Hoskins and her fellow workers - at least the female ones, as sympathy drained when it became clear that the women's rights might come at the expense of male workers too. She's the impressive core of the movie, around which other established character actors revolve. There's not a duff performance to be seen from Geraldine James, Richard Schiff, Jamie Winstone, Daniel Mays, Roger Lloyd Pack, Rupert Graves, Andrea Riseborough, Rosamund Pike, Phil Cornwall and many others.

    And, as the kitchen sink drama starts to spill onto a larger stage, Miranda Richardson is utterly magnificent as Barbara Castle, then Secretary of State for Employment, who was instrumental in forcing through the bill that made it illegal to have different pay rates for men and women. It's both a tribute to the firey politician and a masterful performance. And John Sessions pops up to give an uncanny and gently mocking impression of then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

    A special shout out, too, to Kenneth Cranham, who's brilliant as a self-serving and unsympathetic Union leader.

    But it's Sally Hawkins' performance that's at the heart of the movie and she's fantastic as the shy factor worker who finds her voice, empowerment and courage to stand by her convictions to lead the crusade that became synonymous with equal rights.

    While the movie doesn't exactly delve deeply into the politics of it all beyond the basics and plays a few archetypes instead of fully rounded characters, the decidedly feminist script still sparkles, the performances are outstanding, the period detailing and soundtrack marvelous and the direction tight. While not mold breaking, like the original striking workers were, the movie is funny and affecting but also exceptionally uplifting, if veering a little close to being too sanitized as the real figures at the heart of the action are replaced by glamorized versions (which the trailer rather shamelessly plays up to). That said, it's not anything genuinely new or unexpected, but equally as effecting and enjoyable as Calendar Girls, The Queen, Brassed Off, Billy Elliot or The Full Monty managed to be and that, in itself, is to be applauded.

    Highly recommended.

    angelophile: (Doom Laughing)
    2010-09-03 12:02 am
    Entry tags:

    Review: Four Lions




    Chris Morris' new comedy comes from a dark place. Four Lions tells the story of five unlikely British jihadists with abstract dreams of glory, bent on becoming suicide bombers and creating mayhem at the London Marathon. Not exactly the standard route for comedy you might think, and you'd be right.

    Chris Morris is one of Britain's most savage satirists, if not the most savage. His expose and satire of the media's obsession with pedophiles in the Brass Eye pedophile special earned him notoriety – rightly so. His humor is both deeply funny and deeply, deeply uncomfortable.

    So, when he turned his eye towards jihadists following the 7/7 London bombings, there was a definite discomfort. Chris Morris started to do meticulous research into modern jihadism. He apparently read the story of five jihadists planning to ram a US warship. They packed their launch with explosives and stepped in. It sank. This was apparently the real life inspiration behind Four Lions.

    Morris said: "I had a press card and watched the Bluewater trial and got to hear a lot of MI5 surveillance tapes of the suspects, and you start to realise these people are klutzing around in a very average way - like men at stag parties or five-a-side football. Everyone reporting on it knew it was like The Keystone Cops. The police thought it was funny and would sometimes surreptitiously play the funniest bits of their material to the journalists. There were loads of surveillance tapes that cruelly exposed very average conversation."

    The end result of this research is a movie that has been described as the War on Terror's Dr. Strangelove. To describe it as uncomfortable viewing is understating it. But with fear considered the jihadists' greatest weapon, the movie strips that away and make them figures of fun and even sympathy, in an intelligent way. Ridicule has often been the best response to terror and that's partly what is presented here, as well as humanizing the people who, perhaps inexplicably to many, decide to strap explosives to themselves and end lives.

    Read more... )