Apr 14

RAW – Film – The Book of Eli

Filmed for the most part in silver monochrome and deep in atmospherics, The Book of Eli, covers surprising Hollywood ground – Christianity. Washington gives an excellent display as does Oldman. The pace of the film is somewhat laboured but held together by Washington and some good old fashioned violent sword and gun fights – the opening stoush in silhouette is great. The fact that this is not a by-the-numbers type of script is an added bonus though there are moments in the closing quarter hour that undermine the credibility of the whole for just being silly.

Kryztoff Rating – 3.5K

Apr 07

RAW – Film – Girl With Dragon Tattoo

After losing a high profile libel case, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is plucked out to investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vangar 40 years after her disappearance. His search is aided by Lisbeth Salandar (Noomi Rapace), a punk, cyber geek with a troubled past who had been tracking through hacking his investigations. Mayhem and intrigue follow from there through the depths of a Swedish winter.

Based on the book by Stieg Larsson (the first of a trilogy), Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a violent but engrossing and entertaining thriller with plenty of twists and turns. Rapace is terrific and increasingly steals the show as her character’s dysfunctional past and present get revealed. The many, often conflicting, facets of her personality get well drawn even if by the film’s end we feel we don’t much know her still. The Blomkvist character lacks development as to his motivations and history but together they make an engaging team who by one means or another come to understand how the other works best.

At 2 ½ hours, viewing could have been a struggle but the pace and tension is sustained, the cinematography is superb and the violence, while at moments graphic, adds meaning to both characters and story rather than being gratuitous. At times, the story does rely on big time coincidences that make you feel you are watching Law & Order – Criminal Intent but one quickly is moved on to see how it all plays out.

Those who have read the book may find the treatment unsatisfying but such is always the case with films drawn from novels, especially complex ones. But as a standalone film, this is a high quality thriller justifying its moniker as Nordic’s highest grossing local movie.

Kryztoff Rating   4K

Mar 31

RAW: Clash of the Titans 3D

Clash of the cliches is more like it.

100 minutes of recycled highlights from the golden age of sword and sandal classics to Avatar, Alien and even Life of Brian.

Sam Worthington gets the gig as the main man but lacks the square jaw to pull it off. Not that he is helped by all that stilted lingo these films insist on and the special effects that while impressive at times were mostly just kind of limp. None of the characters resonated with Liam Neeson as Zeus (and dressed as Freddie Mercury) and Ralph Fiennes as his unhappy brother, Hades (dressed of course in black) going at it but who cared.

Giggling at it all often seemed the right response. The indeterminable trek across the wilderness (sometimes over the same ground twice) with the aid of scorpions would drug even the most Coke fired up teenage boy. His fighting comrades, who having just been hailed great men, put up unbelievably lame efforts against Medusa. (Nicholas Hoult, you are no Orlando Bloom which in itself is no great rap) and soon (but not soon enough) Worthington takes control and, guess what, wins the day.

Another in the running for worst film of the year. Expect to read a press release from Homer distancing himself from the content.

Kryztoff Rating: 1.5K

Mar 27

RAW – The Mess at Mela

Mela, Adelaide’s annual Indian cultural fest at Elder Park, ended in farce when headline closing act, internationally acclaim hip hop stars, Street Assassins, were threatened with arrest for daring to entertain the crowd. Microphones were removed, lights turned off, sound systems unplugged in the ensuing complete organisational shambles.

Mind you, problems were brewing a long way out when entertainment was suspended for over an hour around 7.30. (The Premier was blamed for this along with the late start to the formal dinner!) By around 9pm when things resumed, more than 50 performers were lined for their time on stage, many of whom had been due to perform up to 3 hours before and some, like the Street Assassins, never made it before the 10.30 curfew kicked in.

Full story in this week’s Kryztoff out on Thursday. Pics on Facebook by Monday.

Mar 09

RAW: Le Grand Macabre @ Adelaide Festival Centre

György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre is a very dark look at a modern, perverse, lost society in terminal decay about to be wiped out by Nekrotzar. It grotesquely, sarcastically takes a mocking, ironic look at mortality and death.  Set on, inside and around a giant female body, complete with tongue movement, which adds to this bizarre opera, sure is a grand opening to this years Adelaide Festival.

The music score just adds to this insane artwork, opening to jarring car horns, yet so fitting, brought with enormous energy and force, conducted exemplary by Robert Houssart. The only critique on the music would be the pit not allowing the true sound of all instruments to carry to the audience.

The set piece, the crouching body, brilliantly built with arms, legs, buttocks which reveal  inner organs and a moving head, is also used as a projection screen for video footage and lighting effects giving 3D a new or should we say true meaning.

The performers pull this 4 scene,  anti-anti-opera, off in a way that makes it all seem real and a perfectly told drama, yet obviously enjoying themselves.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

>> Check out more interviews, videos, feature articles and polished previews in our latest Fringe Guidehttp://www.kryztoff.com/fringe