The Road - A Review

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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The Road - A Review

Light rain falls as a small group of people enter the MPC Screening Rooms building. Modern cars and taxis drive by in the rain lite up by neon lights. We hear the buzz and excitement of a big city on a Friday evening.

I love film. I love everything about film. All my life, I've always wanted to make movies. I dislike reviews and I'm torn on film marketing. In fact I think reviews and marketing is damaging film. I guess some explanation is necessary.

A children's birthday party, in the semi dark everyone's eyes glued to a flickering make shift screen as Ian Fleming's Goldfinger plays out.

See that kid there, his face full of chocolate cake, his eyes wide and his mouth open. The cake half chewed. Well that's me, and that's the magic of cinema happening for the first time. Well the first time I can remember.

FREEZEFRAME. The words FORMATIVE MOMENT (all caps),appear at the bottom right of the screen.]

An extreme zoom into a metal sign saying "MPC"

INT London Agency. The room is filled with people standing around, eating & drinking in anticipation of an event

My problem with reviews is thus:

To the crowd and FREEZEFRAME on a young man's upper body & Face. He is about 25 wearing a goatee, drinking from a glass of wine.The following appears to his right.

  • Seen "a lot films"
  • Believes that he's not a critic, but a qualified professional
  • Believes that the anatomy of a good film review is much like a football match commentary.- That is; a blow by blow account of the story as it unfolds with clichéd pseudo pop culture comments inline (that's the edgy review bit). After all the only way this kind of review could made better is if more plot devices are put under the expositive magnifying glass.
  • Has a small penis (OK! I made that up)
  • All together displaying a complete lack of what it takes to get something up on screen.
  • Doesn't think QT is all that but Pulp Fiction was quite good and Woody Allen's films are all crap because he is a douche.
  • And finally has to end every review with a thought provoking question or statement . Well if you have the intellect of used tissue it may challenge your intellect.
  • Oh yes, has perfect control of English Grammar. So it doesn’t really matter what the review says as long as it's formatted correctly all is well
  • Random Example:
A montage/trailer of Cloverfield
"Basically, it's a YouTube Godzilla. True, when you're not strapped into a cinema seat, the blind, uncomprehending 'what would you do?' panic of what's essentially a terrorist attack in a lizard suit is somewhat less riveting but it's still a rocking, rollercoaster-on-fast-forward blockbuster with a considered political subtext."
INT small plush screening room.SLOW PAN across a seated film audience. The camera stops on a man sitting in the audience.

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is the tale of a desperate father in a hopeless future with one all consuming goal - stay alive to look after his son in a world gone mad. The story follows the two on their journey down to the coast along The Road in a heinous dystopia future
McCarthy draws a sparse, bleak and claustrophobic picture whilst John Hillcoat’s film uncompromisingly shades the grey world with cold ashen chalk. This is “Mad Max with reality turned up to the uncomfortable setting.

The tension and emotional depth of the 3 key characters plight is masterfully, portrayed by Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and a young Kodi Smit-McPhee and other power house luminaries.

The Road is the emotional equivalent of being punched in the stomach and then being continuously kicked after you have collapsed. Much like Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men left my parched The Road left my throat raw and hankering for clean air whilst the relentless heavy atmosphere closes in. For a while after it had me pondering hope, futility, duty, desperation, survival and how man can sometimes be his own worst enemy.

See that man there, his eyes wide and his mouth open. Well that's me, and that's the magic of cinema happening.


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