Direct from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, here’s a round-up of the latest clutch of films that I managed to catch…
Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World
In this film, Ollie Kepler is almost an ordinary man. He has a job, a girlfriend and a best friend, but he also has a massive knowledge of physics. It’s what makes him who he is. So when his girlfriend dies and his best friend tells him he’s moving away, it all gets to him and his world starts to crumble away at the seams.
It’s a perfectly acceptable story and the viewer is allowed a great deal to delve into his mind, as we should in this kind of film. In fact, we are so pulled along in his story that part of us starts to believe that maybe there is something to it, and maybe he’s not going through a nervous breakdown. It’s because the film truly, as far as the audience knows, represents what it is like to go through this challenging and tough time that we may never have gone through ourselves. It pulls us into his mind and takes us along for the ordeal.
Even when it came toward the end and he never had the answers to the questions running through his head, I felt that it was unfinished or unresolved, but, of course, that is the nature of mental health problems. And that is where this film succeeds greatly, showing us that downfall from pure sanity intensely and without letting up.
Edward Hogg is brilliant in the lead role and he and director Viv Fongenie create an entirely believable world here, without which the film would be nothing. Its dramatic story is incredibly well executed and there are even shining moments of dark humour too, but the lacklustre performance of the supporting cast drags the film down from where it could be. It’s a shame, but not entirely detrimental to the effect of the film on the viewer, as the story is still hugely affecting.Toy Story 3
You’ve probably read the Den Of Geek review already, plus all the other reviews out there, so I’ll try and keep this short. For those of you who don’t know, Toy Story 3 picks up with Andy at seventeen, just about to head off to college. While the toys haven’t been played with for years, they are still worried that they’ll be forgotten or thrown away. However, before Andy can decide, they are mistakenly given away to Sunnyside Daycare Center. While the toys argue over what really happened, something sinister happens, and they decide it’s time to break out.
Toy Story 3 gives you exactly what you want. It brings the gang back together in an entertaining way, and gives you an epic storyline that was worth the long wait between films. Make no mistake about it, this is (or at least it should be) the end for the Toy Story franchise, so be glad that it’s as good as it is. If this went out with anything less than what the previous two films have given us before, then there would probably be public outrage.
Everyone is as good as they were before and it almost feels like no time has passed at all. Everything here is great, and makes the film well worth seeing: the scripting, the danger, the emotional involvement, the animation and the masses of fun. Toy Story 3 is exactly what it needed to be and just that little bit more. When it comes to that scene in the film, (“The button, push the button!”) you may want to start crying, so be aware that it may have some tough scenes if you are emotionally involved.
The ending especially proves why we loved these films and why it is so true to life to have toys that mean a lot to you, and you may need a box of tissues handy. However, don’t despair, Toy Story 3 is as fun as you could want it to be and possibly more so, and is a brilliant, fitting end to an incredible journey.22 Bullets
Jean Reno is the man. There are a few men in the world that you can call ‘the man’ in a good way, but Reno is definitely one of them. However, when he introduces the role as the best character since Leon, and the film as a ‘human story’, he’s not exactly being truthful.
A few seconds later he forgets the character’s name and cracks in his previous words start to form. Let’s break it down to the basics: 22 Bullets is about Charly Matteï, a retired mobster who gets shot twenty-two times and decides to go on a revenge spree. Can the story expand on that much? He has a vulnerable family. If you can’t see what’s going to happen, you haven’t seen enough action films.
It’s not that the film is bad, but it’s not like it’s breaking new ground either, but the fact that it gives you the impression that it will is highly misleading and, honestly, I would have preferred them to instead go all out and give Jean Reno a big action film in which the events that happen in the film still happen, but in a much more entertaining way.
As it stands, the film drags a bit, and steals plotlines from a few already tired concepts. Having said that, the film was still Jean Reno going about killing people and, as such, was enjoyable.
There are even a few brilliantly comedic moments that just brighten the film up, and give the sense that it’s not entirely being played for the dramatic push, but is also here to have a little fun.
Jean Reno is pretty much exactly what you want him to be here, a softie at heart (with opera music bringing most of this out) but with an entirely ruthless edge that will carry him through whatever.
The film gives you what you want in that respect, but you can’t help but feel it would have been better if this was Transporter 4 instead.