Silence of the Lambs (1991) Film Review


Detective Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is about to graduate into the FBI but is targeted by her boss to talk to Hannibal the Cannibal (Anthony Hopkins), to gain an insight into the identity of the current killer on the loose, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine).

This is a fabulous film. Yes, the style has dated – especially Agent Clarice Starling’s very big hair. But the film is so intense and compelling, it is very easy to ignore the stylings. I remember watching this at a slumber party in the nineties – there were four of us, two of us had not seen it and the other two (I was one of them) had never seen anything like it. And we screamed and laughed and screamed. I haven’t watched it since, but I recalled so much of it that the impact was lost. Yet, it was still an intense experience.

Silence of the Lambs won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jodie Foster), Best Director (Jonathan Demme) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced of Published (Ted Tally) and was nominated for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.


Elysium (2013) Film Review


Elysium is a place orbiting Earth where all the wealthiest people went when the world became overcrowded and where the poor who remain dream of one day going. Not only do they have beautiful houses and gardens and no fear of crime, but they have fancy machines that are used to heal any injuries or illness. Max (Matt Damon) lives on Earth working an honest job after a wayward youth of stealing cars. He dreams of earning enough for a ticket to Elysium. But when he is hit with a soon-to-be-fatal dose of radiation at his work, he feels his only hope is to get there now, and hooks up with his underworld pals again. Along comes Kruger (Sharlto Copley), a nasty enforcer who will do anything he is ordered to by his sometimes boss, Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and things get mega violent. Add into the mix Max’s childhood love and her sick child and you have a whole film.

I found much of this film didn’t click for me. Yes, it had a lot of action, and there was injustice and good versus evil. There were certainly some aspects of the film that had similarities to Blomkamp’s previous film, District 9. The creation of a powerless underclass and the need for them to regain some power, and that is surely making comments on human nature in so many different ways. It felt like it should work; decent script, some top actors giving great performances. But it just didn’t work for me. Still, give it a try.


The Beaver (2011) Film Review

Walter Black (Mel Gibson) is a deeply depressed man. Neither his lovely family nor his CEO position at a toy company can overcome his mental illness. Finally, he hits rock bottom. But a puppet of a beaver that he found in the rubbish comes to life as an alter-ego; a way for Walter to express his inner-most feelings. Despite the insanity of it, this ‘therapy’ is supported by both his family and his colleagues – until he take drastic measures to free himself.

I can’t say whether the film would be better with someone other than Mel Gibson in the main role. It is pretty difficult to overlook his anti-Semitic rants and Holocaust denial, and several extremely bad films. He’s not bad in this; and this is not a bad film. It’s not a great film, but not as bad as I had expected. It’s a bit like a weak version of Lars and the Real Girl – a man with a mental illness uses an inanimate object to work through his problem. The big difference is that Lars and the Real Girl has heart and beauty. The Beaver felt lacking in both heart and beauty.