May 2015 Film Viewing Round-Up

Herewith some brief thoughts about films I saw in May which I didn’t review in full. Find reviews for the following below the cut:

Aru Kyohaku (Intimidation) (1960, Japan)
Aventurera (1950, Mexico)
Belle Époque (1992, Spain)
The Expendables (2010, USA)
Hanna (2011, UK/USA/Germany)
Hit So Hard (2011, USA)
John Wick (2014, USA)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015, Australia/USA)
Plemya (The Tribe) (2014, Ukraine/Netherlands)
Tomboy (2011, France)

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Foxy Brown (1974)


FILM REVIEW || Director/Writer Jack Hill | Cinematographer Brick Marquard | Starring Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas | Length 94 minutes | Seen at home (Blu-ray), Thursday 5 September 2013 || My Rating 2.5 stars likeable


© AIP

I’m by no means an expert on the so-called ‘blaxploitation’ genre, but this particular title seems to get a lot of play in popular culture. Quentin Tarantino, after all, sampled the title character’s name — not to mention its actress, Pam Grier — for his own Jackie Brown, and generally Foxy is considered an icon of embattled black femininity striking back at an unjust system. Yet for all the rhetoric around it, the film itself is a rather sleazy little piece of low-budget exploitation cinema, as is perhaps hardly surprising.

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Kick-Ass 2 (2013)


NEW RELEASE FILM REVIEW || Director/Writer Jeff Wadlow (based on the comic books Kick-Ass 2 and Hit-Girl by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.) | Cinematographer Tim Maurice-Jones | Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey | Length 103 minutes | Seen at Cineworld Haymarket, London, Monday 9 September 2013 || My Rating 1.5 stars disappointing


© Universal Pictures

There’s a refrain that’s repeated over and over in this film: “this is real life”. It’s repeated often enough that I get the feeling the writer-director must have a bit of a complex about quite how abstracted all this stuff is from any kind of recognisable reality. I mean, that’s fine — it hardly hides its comic book origins with all those luridly saturated colours, the glib violence, the superheroes and supervillains storyline and the superimposition of comic book captions — but the repetition of that particular phrase just comes across as witless irony in such a uneven work.

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