phillip_harben

IMDb member since February 2015
    Lifetime Total
    1+
    IMDb Member
    6 years

Reviews

Interstellar
(2014)

Plodding
Christopher Nolan has officially jumped the shark. I enjoyed Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but I was waiting and waiting for something to happen in The Dark Knight Rises. Inception was okay, but overly long and Interstellar was eagerly anticipated, until I watched it.

Interstellar has a strong emphasis on family - it's written through the script like writing in seaside rock.

Nolan seems to have confused thoughtful with dull. As the venerable Doctor of Film, Mark Kermode often says: "it needed someone to go through the script with a chainsaw." Although this isn't strictly fair, as the script is (although both wordy and "worthy") not the issue here - it's the pace of the shots. Lots and lots of quiet time, with long takes of the actors doing nothing, but gazing into the middle distance, reflecting on their predicament in a thoughtful way.

Not a bad movie, thought provoking and in one scene, heart-breaking, but could've lost 30 minutes without trying too hard. Not the revolutionary movie it's supposed to be.

The Summit
(2012)

Beautiful but flawed
Interesting documentary, but as others have written, The Summit suffers from a disjointed narrative which impacts it negatively.

Largely focusing on the events of two days in 2008, which saw 11 climbers die, it is bizarrely interspersed with K2's first summit attempt back in the fifties. I do not know why Walter Bonatti's tale was woven into this. It had no bearing on the events in 2008 and should have been cut.

Also, the narrative jumps between 2008 and an aborted attempt in 2006, but as both attempts feature the same two people in the same geographical area, it is confusing. Also, the film mixes reconstruction with actual footage which adds more confusion.

Whoever edited this deserves shooting, as does director Nick Ryan for his blatant bias toward the fellow Irishman Ger McDonnell, who lost his life on K2. Trying to shoehorn a story of heroism into this mess of a film is incongruous at best. If he wanted to tell the story of Ger, he should have set that stall out to begin with, then weave the other narrative around it. Instead, we get some heavy- handed clunkiness about his (possible) heroism, based on supposition and hardly a shred of evidence. Really? The Koreans were further down the mountain than they were? Ger cut their tangled ropes and helped them down? Based on no evidence at all.

This is a dog's breakfast of a documentary, lacking in coherent narrative and some bad directorial decisions.

Why the high score, then? Despite all of the above, it was gripping in parts, and had some utterly breathtaking cinematography. It also gave the viewer an insight into the harsh, unforgiving "death zone" of K2.

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