The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)

IMG1It’s very easy to sum up The Inbetweeners Movie. It’s the American Pie all over again. Except it’s British, actors are much “uglier”, people talk too fast and its humor is, more often than not, quite cerebral. Not quite good, mind you, but boys are trying. Sometimes too hard. And that’s all that’s worth saying about this one. It’s yet another variation of a derivative story about boys’ night out. Not quite intelligent as it could have been, not quite amusing as I found them to be fifteen or so years ago, not quite unexpected and rather formal about its genre. We’ve seen it all before, and we’ve seen it behaving far better. Still, inquisitive mind can almost always find some point of interest. After all, when you’re watching something this stale, you have to do something that keeps you awake. Time is precious and you might just well try to find something that justifies wasting it.

bscap0000For example, one can try to compare The Inbetweeners Movie with one’s own experience, or a generational experience. We’ve all been in that let’s get wasted and fuck everything that moves waste of mind. For this purpose, road trips always came handy. Different town, different rules and, most importantly, no one to look over your shoulder while you’re making an ass of yourself. For characters of The Inbetweeners Movie, this promised country is far away, in one of those Greek tourist traps focused on 24 hour party people, for us it was a couple of miles around our hometown in any direction. Living in an area heavily populated by tourists of all kinds, my generation weaved their nets like only sexually frustrated spiders could. So far, The Inbetweeners Movie resembles our reality despite reflecting it from the opposite side of the mirror.

bscap0001We differ in one key point, which can be attributed to a fact that movies tend to exist in a fantastic discourse, showing idealistic projections (i.e. wants) instead of a reality. While characters in the movie go out to drink in expensive bars, drinking shots and cocktails in club-like areas where they must cost like GDP of some African country (no one drinks beer!?), we used to drink in ordinary bars or in open areas, getting wasted and prowling the night afterwards. Eventually, both sides would meet in an only place that was still open at 4 am. We used to laugh (and still do) at characters from this movie (rich kids doing kid’s stuff in areas where other rich kids hang out) so that wish-fulfillment part of The Inbetweeners Movie is kinda wasted on us. Still, it’s a bit disturbing that every similar narrative always uses the same rich-kids backdrop and accompanying mise en scène. If you show “normal” people partying then it’s a problem (alcohol being great sin and cause or every trouble that is), if you show rich kids partying then it’s an excess, a fleeting thing that will pass once they come to their senses and start using their money in more productive ways.

When all is said and done, The Inbetweeners Movie is much more American than it probably would’ve wanted to be. It’s not really a critique, it’s more of an observation that probably amuses me more than it should.

Directed by Ben Palmer
Produced by Christopher Young
Written by Damon Beesley
Iain Morris
Starring Simon Bird
James Buckley
Blake Harrison
Joe Thomas
Narrated by Simon Bird
Music by Mike Skinner
Cinematography Ben Wheeler
Edited by William Webb
Charlie Fawcett
Production
company
Bwark Productions
Film4 Productions
Young Films

 

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My week with Marilyn (2011)

my_week_with_marilyn_2011_5551_posterThere’s a not so funny line in this movie which stays with you afterwards. In some other occasion I don’t think I would have mentioned it at all. In this instance though, I find it much more interesting than it probably deserves. There’s so few points of interest in this movie that one starts to grasp for straws. Mind you, it really isn’t a straw but it’s so detached from the movie itself that it sure looks like one. You know the usual routine of biopics? The what happened afterwards part of the movie which usually brings some kind of closure for these characters that we just witnessed moving and breathing in a celluloid haze. My week with Marilyn has one of those too. In a rather inconspicuous lettering there’s a line that goes something like this: “Collin Clark became award-winning documentary filmmaker. He became internationally famous in the ‘90s after publishing his diary depicting a production of The Prince and the Showgirl.” I forgot the exact words but as you might have noticed by now, exact words don’t really matter. The spirit of the original is present in these as well.

vlcsnap-2014-06-25-22h34m50s44  What we have here is the ultimate rebuttal of a subtext that goes beneath this obvious crowd-pleasing infatuation with Marilyn Monroe (which is what this movie, ultimately, is all about). Throughout the film Adrian Hodges (scriptwriter) builds Collin’s character as an intelligent, yet a bit naïve boy who, more than anything in the world, wants to be a part of the moviemaking process. “Fuck the Marilyn; she’s just a star”, subtext goes, “real magic is film itself”. Collin will remain truthful to his youthful love, despite everything that has happened. He will cast aside cynicism of the experienced and will remain faithful to a romantic notion of films and their production. Funny how things sometimes coincide. My week with Marilyn came out same year as The Artist and Hugo, both of them heavily laden with romantic nostalgia of the same kind.

Anyhow, at some point the movie ends and so does the life of our Collin. We can only presume that his attitude remained the same. Presuming this we come to this conclusion. There was a guy who was in love with movies. He wanted badly to work on them, to create lasting moving images, to be a part of the process that gave birth to the most important media of the last century. He met with Marilyn Monroe sometime during the ‘50s. This came and went and he continued to make documentaries for most of his waking hours. His entire career is then summarized with this – your work doesn’t matter; to become internationally famous (this isn’t the same as wildly acclaimed) you have to meet a star (preferably a sex icon) and, at some point, write about that meeting. Fuck everything that you ever did. This is all that matters in life. There’s a nutshell of filmmaking right there dear Collin. Hope your grave is comfy enough so that you have plenty of room to turn in it. I know I would.

vlcsnap-2014-06-25-22h34m41s225Come to think of it, what the hell do I know? As far as I can tell from this movie, our Collin wasn’t the brightest chap in class. If I presume that Hodges’ adaptation of Collin’s diary is accurate (though I really don’t have any reason to assume something like that, considering everything that has been said), that all I can read from it is that My week with Marilyn is derived from the almost too idiotic notion to mention – “I spent one week with an American superstar and I was the only one who really understood her; everyone else, before or after, didn’t even come close to this profound understanding that I have magically acquired.”

I could go on and on because, basically, this movie pissed me but I think I ranted enough already. Few more tidbits are required though. Though I really like Michelle Williams as an actress (ever since Dawson’s Crack) she wasn’t the best woman for the job here. Oh, she mastered Marilyn’s body language, she studied the moves, did her homework and all that but – and this is very important for anyone who wants to “be” Marilyn Monroe – she lacked presence. You could see people turning their heads when she would make an entrance, but they turned them because it said so in the script, not because Williams made them do so. Apart from that, direction was average at best. One could picture Curtis’ style as something appropriate for small television dramas that Brits have always been very fond of. All in all, My week with Marilyn was a giant waste of time. Something like writing this blog, only vastly more expensive and ambitious.

Directed by Simon Curtis
Produced by David Parfitt
Harvey Weinstein
Screenplay by Adrian Hodges
Based on The Prince, The Showgirl and Me and My Week with Marilyn
by Colin Clark
Starring Michelle Williams
Kenneth Branagh
Eddie Redmayne
Emma Watson
Judi Dench
Music by Conrad Pope
Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography Ben Smithard
Edited by Adam Recht
Production
company
The Weinstein Company
BBC Films
LipSync Productions
Trademark Films

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Hamlet (1948)

ImagePart of me wanted to see Hamlet. I like old productions (much more than new ones I might add), and all in all – it’s a fucking Hamlet – as classic as it gets. While I know my way around tons of pop-cultural references I still have to update my classical database. What can I say? I had a relatively normal childhood which meant Bruce Willis instead of Laurence Olivier. This other part of me was much saner and its influence managed to stop me. For a couple of months at least. That part knew what we would be getting ourselves into. Hell, old British picture meets almost unabridged Shakespeare. It could’ve happened in only one way. No surprises there. It happened just so.

Take any Shakespearean play that you want (take the one you have seen, it’ll be easier that way). Take high-school productions, take your average rural amateur production, take your high-end, posh happening with obligatory black ties stapled underneath actors themselves; disregard the post-modern or deconstructivist stuff and you’ll get the picture. This one I mean – the one that was awarded with Oscar sixtyish years ago. It’s Shakespeare by-the-book. Sure, actors are far better than your average high-schoolers, costumes are much more expensive and life-like, swordplay choreography is as professional as it could be in 1948, and so on. Still, if someone were to give an award for a lack of imagination this movie would be a serious contender. Just compare it with Hitchcock’s Rope (which was released in the same year).

Image

I’m finding it difficult to even think about Olivier’s Hamlet as a movie. It reads and behaves as a filmed stage play. Theatre en masse. Sure, Desmond Dickinson did brilliant job with cinematography, guys in special effects knew what they we’re doing, Ophelia swooned beautifully and Hamlet showed restraint in waving his arms about (this has nothing to do with movies, it has to do with acting; still, I had to mention it), few camera rides accentuated some of the more important aspects of the text in question (like the one during the Ophelia’s burial) showing us stage from the perspective which would be impossible in a theatre but overall – direction was clueless if non-existent. It was clear, I’ll grant you that. Functional might be a more proper word, but that was all it was. In a “movie” ~150 minutes long Olivier decided not to use anything that this “mundane” medium could offer. Shakespeare itself should be enough (God forbid that someone would dare to edit the Bard), we want none of this plebeian bullshit and trickery.One can’t blame 40’s, nor can one blame style of the “old times”. It was a deliberate choice and it was a poor one.

Image

Of a Hamlet itself I can’t say much more than it has already been said thousand times over. It’s a classic for a reason. However strong and powerful the core text might be, in this interpretation it still comes across as unwatchable. It was acted well but having camera film competent actors doesn’t spell moviemaking. It was something Olivier never understood quite properly. Hitchcock did. It didn’t help him with Oscars though. Sometimes you just can’t win.

Directed by Laurence Olivier
Produced by Laurence Olivier
Screenplay by Laurence Olivier
Based on Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
Starring Laurence Olivier
Basil Sydney
Eileen Herlie
Jean Simmons
Stanley Holloway
Music by William Walton
Cinematography Desmond Dickinson
Editing by Helga Cranston
Studio Two Cities

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Witchfinder General (1968)

WITCHFINDER GENERAL - Silver Ferox DesignWhatever else it might be, Witchfinder General is not a horror. Oh, it surely was intended as such (or, shall we say, marketed as such), and it surely was perceived as such in 1968 Britain, but we shouldn’t give too much credit to historical (or even author’s) classifications. If at anything, we should look at internal logic of the movie in question. If we do that, the horror classification becomes problematic. To lot of people mere name of Vincent Price symbolizes old-school horror (or even horror itself), and because of that it’s understandable that Witchfinder General will find itself on some “best of horror” list over and over again. Let’s just say that if someone were to make a remake of this movie, not touching anything but the color and costumes, no one of sane mind would call that movie a horror. Historical fantasy – maybe. Sadistic exploitation – maybe (though far less likely, our standards have gone up in that field). It would definitively be put somewhere within the confines of historical movie. Not the Spielbergian kind, mind you, but history movie nevertheless.

I have no inclination to go into a long rant about the idea of horror, or how to define that genre exactly. Suffice it to say that bunch of sadists paired with graphic torture does not necessarily qualify a movie for a horror tag. Whatever else it might be (and rest assured, there’s no possible way in which it classifies as horror), Witchfinder General is primarily one thing. A good movie. One of the best critical movies about authority, submission and complicity that has been made in the long history of cinema.      Witchfinder General - Director's Cut (1968) WS DVDRip - iTeM.avi_003571440This requires some further explanation. While it undoubtedly tackles aforementioned themes, Witchfinder General doesn’t focus entirely on them. Putting this movie within the context of political drama (though somewhat burlesque-like I agree) is possible only if we do a little bit of abstraction in the process. There is a core element here from which there can be no escape. That’s the element Michael Reeves relied on for a successful sales pitch. We have a demonic (though unquestionably human, which is an important thing to notice) character of Matthew Hopkins, we have his sadistic crusade that’s happening all around England’s countryside, and – finally – we have a Richard Marshall – young soldier in service of Cromwell whose bride-to-be is “desecrated” in the process of the aforementioned crusade. These elements provide enough material for a revenge-movie (Reeves is taking great care to follow that line of presentation. He builds his villain quite well, he takes great care in prolonging the necessary final conflict, he “manipulates” his audience by giving them enough time to build up enough hate-rage so when the final fall of an axe eventually comes it functions as a cathartic release – metaphorical cleansing of historical guilt and so on) but those are nothing but a distraction.     Witchfinder General - Director's Cut (1968) WS DVDRip - iTeM.avi_001297560What goes on behind the spectacle of revenge-flick is somewhat more subtle. Too see that, one has to interpret Richard Marshall as a tool. The real “demon” of Witchfinder General isn’t a guy in funny cape (on a side note, real Matthew Hopkins wasn’t of Vincent Prices’ age – he was in his late twenties which is a moment contemporary filmmaking wouldn’t have missed if only because it provides more potential for the insight into the somewhat revered figure of sociopath) – it is, as always, multitude (while Hardt and Negri will argue that multitude is a powerful political force, they seem to neglect known historical manifestation of that power). It is multitude who “summons” the Witchfinder, it is multitude who stands behind and revels in torture, it is multitude who is motivated by fear, malice, or some sort of gain, it is multitude who is without empathy, and finally – it is multitude who supports both local rulers and king himself both of which legitimize this kind of behavior. Only an ordered society (symbolized, as always, in a figure of an army), with clear goals and military might can put an end to the wants and needs of unruly collective. Representational democracy is too crude a tool to do a good governmental job. Considering Witchfinder General came out in 1968, the year of Revolts, it is not that far-fetch to interpret it as a reactionary movie aimed at liberal movements of Western world. While it is too crude a statement to be considered seriously at face value, one can’t easily deny that Reeves managed to pinpoint some interesting characteristics of modern society, especially ones concerning relation between authority, power, fear, and control. Whoever might think that the days of arbitrary inquisitions are over, has only to gaze in the general direction of Guantanamo. One can learn much from the existence of such an institution.

Directed by Michael Reeves
Produced by Louis M. Heyward
Arnold Miller
Philip Waddilove
Screenplay by Tom Baker
Michael Reeves
Louis M. Heyward (additional scenes)
Based on Witchfinder General
by Ronald Bassett
Starring Vincent Price
Ian Ogilvy
Hilary Dwyer
Music by Paul Ferris
Kendall Schmidt (US version
Cinematography John Coquillon
Editing by Howard Lanning
Studio Tigon British Film Productions
American International Productions

 

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Never let me go (2010)

never_let_me_go_ver5_xlgMuch like The Handmaid’s Tale (with which Romanek’s movieshares many an intimate moment), Never let me go is total bullshit. If you read it from the SF perspective, that is. This requires some elaboration though I’m not sure if I’ll get around to that. It would require much more time than I have available right now. Much like The Handmaid’s Tale, Never let me go is a story about people getting used to their destinies. There is a significant difference though. The Handmaid’s Tale is political about it while Never let me go takes a more passive approach. In both cases destines that our characters have to get used to are nothing more than a political construct (even if the power of metaphor takes them further away). In both cases the System provides (and enforces) the Rules while individual have to come to terms with them or perish. Neither Romanek nor Ishiguro (whose novel this film is adapting) care much about the inner workings of the System. It just is. This alone moves the movie farther away from dystopia and brings it closer towards the allegory. Thing is, Never let me go is dangerously apolitical, almost fatalistic allegory which is one more reason why this shouldn’t be read as an SF. Or at least not as a good SF.

Never Let Me Go[2010]DvDrip[Eng]-FXG.avi_004313480 But, never you mind that. Never let me go provides ample opportunities for quality analysis. It just the matter of picking on things that irritate you (different approaches are viable as well, though hardly so amusing). There are things which Romanek does good. I’ll talk about them in a moment. There are things where he’s playing more on a safe side. If you think of manipulative, “exaggerated” musical score, drab palette of color that’s supposed to represent the drabness of the world our characters live in, some interpersonal theatrics, fucking voice-over (because we can’t have a successful adaptation of the book without voice-over, right?) and conservative scenography you’re thinking in the right direction. Those things take away some of the impact of this movie though much of it actually survives the mediocre direction. Never let me go was never supposed to be a Hollywood spectacle about evil dystopias (I was much relieved when it became obvious that no one is going to spell the situation out for you). It was always supposed to be a drama about people dealing with life which is, by definition, dystopian.

In this context of interpersonal drama, first part of the movie does extremely well. It spells out the entire situation for you without ever being direct about it (well, the teacher incident is as direct as it goes though it’s coherent and logical so there’s not much to be pissed about there), it builds its characters nicely, it evokes the sense of dread once when the realization of the situation sinks in and so on. The broad metaphorical strokes lead you to many a direction up to a point where you realize that this is neither futuristic nor alternative history environment. The logic of domination that’s insisting upon the idea that you have to give back to society because society took care of you when you were young is neither alien nor dead concept. The metaphoric interpretation goes just so far. While it is certainly possible (or even expected) to read this movie within the framework of how to deal with an imminent death sentence (where one must remember that we all have imminent death sentence upon us), that line of inquiry overlooks the problem of ideology. While biological death is, as far as we know, imminent the abrupt one – linked with a cause or purpose – is nothing but a political oppression. The fact that every character is far more inclined to just accept their role in society instead of trying to do something about it is alarming at the least.

Never Let Me Go[2010]DvDrip[Eng]-FXG.avi_002143268This is, of course, not unheard of. Both history and present reminds us of this whenever new concentration camp springs about (The Handmaid’s Tale relied heavily on this, though it chose to show the logic of submission and it did that extremely well… at least the book did). Still, one should think that some respite, or some revolutionary passion should be present in fiction, even if it’s so rare in the real life. Fiction should choose to challenge status quo (if you’re romantically inclined you could say that it should inspire) but Never let me go chooses to ignore that calling. Whatever else it might be, it’s hard not to notice the “hidden message” – however ridiculous your life might be, you should just learn to cope with it. It’s far more fulfilling than trying to change what cannot be changed. The rulers of the world are far too detached and far too protected to do anything about it. I don’t know about you, but I’m having serious trouble with that kind of ideology. Romanek and Ishiguro apparently don’t.

 

Directed by Mark Romanek
Produced by
Screenplay by Alex Garland
Based on Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Narrated by Carey Mulligan
Starring
Music by Rachel Portman[1]
Cinematography Adam Kimmel
Editing by Barney Pilling
Studio DNA Films
Film4

 

 

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Arthur Christmas (2011)

arthur_christmas_ver4Fuck it, I can’t help but be irritated by this cheesy bullshit they call a movie. Was it absolutely necessary that Arthur be no less than degenerate? Idiot-kid so obnoxious that no amount of bashing his head in could help. I guess it was. Can’t think of any other reason why someone would create some creature like that. The only positive thing that I can think of within this context is that, fortunately, small kids don’t remember much from their earliest media exposure. If they are able to remember, they should be just sane enough to shut the damn screen off when this thing appears. No one should endure such torture.

bscap0001In my flights of fancy I like to think of humanity as of something that actually exists in 21st century, as of something that begun on the ashes of thousands of dead writers, poets, inventors, scientists, movie makers, and lunatics of all kinds. When I think of the humanity in these terms, I find it incredulous that some people, heck – the entire industry of them – can conceive the notion of Christmas in such a boring, unimaginative way. The entire library of Santa/Christmas-porn is out there and one should think that Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith would feel the urge to create something exciting, something that doesn’t play it safe. Guess what? They didn’t. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather let my kid watch Lobo massacring Santa, than this sorry excuse for animation. By watching Lobo he would at least get a glimpse of what it means to be creative, or what it means to play with characters by the sheer power of imagination alone. By watching Arthur Christmas he would’ve learned nothing but how to put some pretty lights on dials and screens in a giant mission control room which flashes around so quickly that you can’t actually see all the fine detailing that went into a final product. I could, hell I should, bitch about the sorry state of the visuals themselves. Note the wooden features of figures, weird and kinda limited facial expressions, horrible lip syncing and constrained movement, note the conventional iconography (CEO Santa has a tie, crazy grandpa looks like any other crazy grandpa, dear old mother looks like something sprung out of Mother Goose, Arthur – sadly – look just mental) and note how you can’t note what exactly is there in the frame. It fucking moves and cuts and jumps around and tries to create an illusion of background or deep frame and somehow manages to make a perfect visual nonsense of it all. This is no Miyazaki, or anything like a creative movie, still – even industry used to have standards.

bscap0000Should I bitch about the “plot” next? I should. When I say “plot” I don’t mean just simple narration (or, god forbid, narrative) – these are executed well enough, conventional like everything else, but that was to be expected – no. What I mean by “plot” – here’s the guy that adores semiotics and phenomenology – is the way that “text” works within itself and the way it communicates with others. I’ll concede that much of what I find *wrong* isn’t something that a random kid (or a random grown up for that matter) would notice – it takes something like a weird mind or something like an experience to notice how the quest for happiness legitimizes the patriarchal/feudal structure which exploits the work of brainwashed, zombie-like creatures dosed and pacified with Ideology. Whatever, it’s not like a random kid writes this (or cares for it come to think of it), so I may as well comment the way I like. There’s this notion that kiddie movies should be spared the realities of life, main wisdom of this being – there will be time enough for that later on. Arthur Christmas embraces this notion and doesn’t even try to take some distance from it. The possibility of failure (of Arthur delivering the present in time) is, well, impossible. Which is all ok being the adventure plot for kids and all, but this notion then somehow ends up with a infantile, ridiculous protagonist (Santa i.e. Arthur) who believes anything is possible because – well, magic’s gonna save us all (few spaceships too). Put it differently – God watches (and cares) for every single one of us, and all our wishes will come true. Blah. Can it get cheesier than this? It would have been far more interesting (I guess even educational at some level) if Arthur actually failed with his mission and then have his family to give him support and explain to him that you can’t go around like blabbering idiot. At least not for long. Anyhow, I believe that kids are far more intelligent and perceptive than this movies gives them credit for. Arthur Christmas is a failure and no amount of fake Christmas spirit can fix that.

 

Directed by

Sarah Smith

Produced by

Steve Pegram

Written by

Peter Baynham
Sarah Smith

Story by

Sarah Smith (uncredited)

Starring

James McAvoy
Hugh Laurie
Bill Nighy
Jim Broadbent
Imelda Staunton
Ashley Jensen
Marc Wootton
Laura Linney
Eva Longoria
Ramona Marquez
Michael Palin

Music by

Harry Gregson-Williams

Cinematography

Jericca Cleland

Editing by

John Carnochan
James Cooper

Studio

Aardman Animations
Sony Pictures Animation

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tk-WZSqIGQ

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Ironclad (2011)

If you hang around certain forums, especially ones that have gaming fanboys around, you might notice that there’s a great deal of excitement when something, whatever it might be, medieval comes out into the daylight. Whether it’s a movie, or another boring sequel of once excellent The Elder Scrolls series, whether it’s a mmorpg like Mount&Blade or something completely different (I won’t even mention D&D subgroup, that’s a whole different story). Reaction is almost always the same. Borderline histrionics. I’m convinced that lot of the noise comes from this notion of glamorous medieval lifestyle that includes hand-to-hand combat, loosely clothed wenches, general manliness and pieces of armor that can break your spine if you’re not careful. Rarely anything bothers to show this period from the perspective of a simple peasant, or a forced laborer. Everybody wants to be a knight I guess. When you think about it it makes perfect sense. That these teenage (I’m using that word so that its meaning encompasses even older group) bratz, whiney internet know-it-alls, prone to incoherent raging whenever something doesn’t come out as they planned, drool upon the notion of a manly hunk in shiny steel chopping heads off. Drooling is all that remains (apart from the possibility of virtual reenactment of wet dreams like these). Sad reality is that majority of these people, if some random time paradox hurled us all backwards into the era of King John, despite all of their modern day knowledge, wouldn’t survive that long. Or at all.Ironclad.2011.720p.BRrip.x264.YIFY[22-18-40]

Ironclad from Jonathan English runs along these lines. Being a masculine fantasy not unlike the Alamo or 300. Apart from that there’s really not much going on. Pull out the gore, pull out the tidbits of a plot that remained (someone actually bothered with the plot which just goes to show how disillusioned he was about what this movie actually is), pull out the elements of every siege movie you ever saw and there’ll be almost nothing left. Apart from your usual cannon fodder that passes these days for well-developed characters, or ridiculous attempt of in-depth analysis of the protagonist, or completely insane “love plot”, or predictable structure or even more predictable lines of dialogues. Ironclad looks like a Frankenstein monster, a patchwork sewn together from countless elements of other movies that someone thought of as cool or even necessary. Still, as it is medieval times we’re talking about the crowd went wild.Ironclad.2011.720p.BRrip.x264.YIFY[22-18-46]

Still, one shouldn’t overlook the tiny bit of insight (whether intentional or not I can’t say) that lays hidden beneath these images. The whole Magna Carta nonsense, as presented here, eerily resembles recent events around Libia and Middle East (with a nod to the destruction of social state as well). You’re a rich merchant/baron that is bothered by the king who has all these rules which you must abide? There’s a remedy to that. First, make a smearing PR campaign and present your opponent as a devil incarnated. After that, strip him of his sovereignty and when he musters some mercenaries to retake the throne call upon the foreign power and their military might. During all this, bitch about the human rights so that you get some sympathy from the common folk (from those that managed to avoid their head being smashed on the rubble), and there you have it. A perfect example of history lesson thaught with relatively small budget with a help of lurking idiots in armor chopping their limbs of. The concept of critique lies far above the reach of Jonathan English or his movie.    

Directed by

Jonathan English

Produced by

Rick Benattar
Jonathan English
Andrew J. Curtis

Screenplay by

Jonathan English
Erick Kastel
Stephen McDool

Story by

Jonathan English

Starring

James Purefoy
Brian Cox
Derek Jacobi
Kate Mara
Paul Giamatti
Vladimir Kulich

Music by

Lorne Balfe

Cinematography

David Eggby

Editing by

Peter Amundson

Studio

VIP Medienfonds 4
Rising Star
Silver Reel
Premiere Picture
The Wales Creative IP Fund
ContentFilm International
Molinare
Perpetual Media Capital
Mythic International Entertainment

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