In which V and M have seen several films of varying quality.1. 300
This is the film of the year, for serious. Completely awesome from start to finish, and from what I gather from flipping through the graphic novel, visually very faithful to Frank Miller's artwork. See this ASAP. Definitely one to get on DVD as well. Possibly the finest example of asskicking put on film to date. I saw a review of this somewhere, and it was from the right-wing conservative evangelical viewpoint, and said something along the lines of "Frank Miller is all about violence and whores" and I was all "what's the problem?" Seriously. Violence and whores. Bring it on.2. The Number 23
Sometimes you go to a film hoping it's going to be the most awesome thing ever, with all kinds of profound insight and great visuals and blah blah blah. But sometimes you just go to a film hoping to be entertained. I didn't have huge expectations for this one, I just thought the previews looked intriguing and I thought it might be fun to see. And you know what, I really enjoyed it. There are probably several hundred plot holes, and if you try too hard to make sense of it you'll no doubt just piss yourself off. But I mean, I just watched it, and didn't really try to solve anything. And it was fun. I don't think M liked it, but then again he kept dozing off and then waking up and saying "What? What's going on?!" so maybe don't take his word for it.3. The Hitcher
A well made but completely unnecessary remake. Practically a scene-by-scene copy of the original. Rutger Hauer is definitely a creepier baddie, but Sean Bean is... well, he's Sean Bean. And that means QUALITY.4. Zodiac
Considerably more grim than expected, but less grim than Seven (or Se7en, if you're anal). I thought the actual murder scenes were quite brutal and didn't pull any punches. Perhaps they came across as brutal because as the viewer you know this stuff really happened to someone. It's not pure fiction. The acting was superb, and even though this was a long film, the plot moved along at a steady pace. Highly recommended. Note: if M reviews this, he will likely mention that I made an exit to the ladies' about halfway through the film, arms flailing in dramatic silhouette against the screen. I am sure I was more dignified than all of that.5. Pan's Labyrinth
I had already seen and loved this, but went again for M's benefit as this is really the sort of film you want to see on the big screen if at all possible. Despite knowing how things were going to turn out, I once again cried buckets at the end. Very compelling, powerfully emotional film. This is a must-see.6. Dead Silence
There was really no way this was going to be a good film, but M was keen to see it so we went. The first 20 minutes were promising, and there was a twist at the end that was pretty cool, but everything in between was tedious crap. M kept dozing off again. Lessons to learn: when a film is billed as being "from the creators of" a popular good film (in this case, the creators of Saw), you can bet that the film is going to suck. I mean, why else would they need to ride on a popular film's coattails? But I digress. Ventriloquist dummies are proper scary, but not within the context of Dead Silence. And honestly, if a film can make ventriloquist dummies boring, you're in one out of five stars territory. Maybe even half a star.