12 Months of Movies 2006: April

According to my ticket diary, April was a pretty lacklustre month. It contained not just one of my favourite films of the year, but also one of my favourite films period. Yet it seemed so … underwhelming … by comparison to other, party, months.

V for Vendetta

April 4, 6:00, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 8)
Remember, remember, the fifth of November …
My most watched film of 2006, it’s little surprise that this has become one of my favourites. Strangely enough, the first time that I saw it I felt that it had too many stories and would have been better served as a miniseries.

V for Vendetta

April 14, 3:40, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 11)
By the second time, I had swung around. The movie was perfectly formed. I have had tears in my eyes at the end every time that I have seen it (admittedly, “only” four or five times). This is a film with an expert grasp on the metaphorical, the political and the zeitgeist. An excellent examination of the media’s hold on a nation and the ease with which citizens can be turned for or against their leaders, V for Vendetta is proof that the Wachowski Brothers don’t suck. Maybe if they’re left to spin too much of their own stuff they get into tangled troubles, but adaptations? Marvellous.

Failure to Launch

April 20, 2:30, Greater Union Campbelltown (Cinema 6)
The worst film ever made? Possibly. While I appreciated that SJP didn’t play a pure neurotic as she did in The Family Stone, there is very little else that I appreciated about this film. Basically this film represents a waste of talent: Zooey Deschanel is reduced to deadpanning it with a monotone to play some sort of strangely psychotic roommate for SJP and … why was Kathy Bates in this movie? You can do so much better, Kathy! Think back to About Schmidt! Misery! Past glory doesn’t mean that your future can’t be bright! No one needs to settle for such third rate contrived “romance” “comedy” tripe that was neither romantic, comedic, or even feel good!
Here’s the part where I complain about the bankruptcy of Hollywood. Then I take a deep breath, and get over myself: there’s still worthy material out there. This just sure as hell ain’t it.

The World’s Fastest Indian

April 27, 4:40, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 2)
I didn’t want to see this movie; the trailer made it look cornball and lame. However, I had to see Dylan Moran at 8 that night (and I did: one of the funniest nights ever, by the way), and Indian was still on. It’s a good thing too, because this turned out to be one of the most legitimately nice films I’ve seen.
Anthony Hopkins shines as Burt Munro, one of the most affable characters on the screen (and, indeed, in real life – this is a true story). His journey across America to reach the salt flats is essentially one long exercise in showing that you get out what you put in. The magic of the movie is that Burt is nice to everyone, and they are nice to him in return. It’s a conceit that I can buy in the sixties but I don’t believe that such a trip would go as well in this modern day.
The magic of this film is that I was actually worried for the welfare of Burt, despite the fact that this movie wouldn’t have been made if it didn’t have a positive result. After all, the film’s name tells you all that you need to know: Burt Munro indeed possessed the world’s fastest Indian. The problem with this film is that it highlights one of our problems: New Zealand has a much better industry than Australia. They even make proper television programs. We can’t boast that.
The World’s Fastest Indian exists in a vacuum, but it’s the most pleasant vacuum ever. Almost makes you wish for simpler times.

Pick of April 2006: Failure to Launch V for Vendetta

I liked The World’s Fastest Indian so much that I feel sorry to have to give this award to V for Vendetta. Unfortunately, V for Vendetta is the more important movie to me. It wins this truly two horse race.

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