Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

After watching the various Tim Roth and Gary Oldman films recently, I decided it was time to visit this film, a film I last saw a very long time ago.

My memories of this this film before I watched it were that it was witty and fun to watch, but as I started watching it I remembered that it is actually quite tedious and kind of boring, for the most part. It is certainly not “mercilessly funny”.

The story was kind of confusing at times. It is based on Hamlet, a play I have never read, so maybe if I knew that story better this may have made more sense.

And despite Tim and Gazza being two fave actors of mine, I thought they both over-played their roles a bit, they seemed to think that they had better act this as if they were on stage rather than on a film set, perhaps that is the director’s fault. So, their comedic reactions were a bit over the top with a lot of double-takes, comedy pauses, and various other techniques more commonly seem on stage or in bad TV comedies.

It was genuinely funny at times though, I especially liked Gary Oldman’s character building modern machines out of paper, or “discovering” scientific concepts, only to have Tim’s character destroy or completely ignore them. Some of the dialogue was quite witty and funny, there was just not enough of it.

Reviews for this were mixed, with Wikipedia saying that some reviews say it is more suited to the stage than film. It received a Golden Lion at the Venice Film festival. Roger Ebert did not like it at all.

I may just try to read Hamlet and see if that helps me understand or not understand this film a little better: that is the question. But, I do find Shakespeare tiresome to read…perhaps a dumbed-down version will be in order.

Date watched: September 14th
Score: 5/10
Film count 2018: 57

Made In Britain

Straight after watching Meantime I just had to watch this, a 1982 television play starring Tim Roth in his first role.

Like Meantime it has no real story, it just follows Tim Roth’s 16 year-old skinhead character “Trevor” as he is charged in court on various charges and is sent to a youth detention centre. A youth worker can see that he is intelligent and tries to get him to go straight, but Trevor seems basically resigned to a life of hate and self-destruction.

Tim is absolutely brilliant in this, and the contrast between his characters in this and Meantime show what an excellent and underrated actor he is. The very last scene where you see a crazed look on his face after being beaten by a cop was powerful stuff, and it summed up the character and his future well.

This is part of a series of four films written by David Leland about the British educational system, so I will try to watch the others if I can find them.

Seeing both Tim Roth and Gary Oldman together in a film (Meantime) reminded me of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, another excellent film that I must watch again, probably next actually.

Date watched: August 25th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2018: 56

Meantime

This is a film I remember watching way back in the 90’s, and it had a lasting impression on me. I last watched it in 2010.

It is a 1983 made-for-TV film starring Phil Daniels (he had the speaking part in Blur’s “Parklife” song), Tim Roth, and Gary Oldman. Alfred Molina had a smaller role.

The story follows two brothers (Daniels and Roth) as they basically just go about their daily life on the dole, along with their bitter father, and the equally bitter but working mother. Gary Oldman plays a skinhead who does the usual skinhead things. It isn’t a story as much a look at the extremely depressing life of working-class in the East End of London under Margaret Thatcher.

For contrast, the mother’s sister lives in a much more well-off suburban part of the city and does her best to help Roth’s character, but we see that even her seemingly idylic life is also troubled…money doesn’t buy everything.

It was directed by Mike Leigh, who does these kinds of films extremely well, and it is just plain superbness throughout. This was Tim Roth’s second film (TV film), with Made In England being his first, which I am going to watch next.

Date watched: August 25th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2018: 55

The Incredible Hulk

James got this out on Blu-Ray, so Hana, James, and I watched it today.

I thought Hana might be a bit freaked out but she seemed to like it, although she was only half watching it, she was also playing dollies which must have put her in a calm place. James though was riveted, and I thought it was pretty good too.

It had great graphics, kind of comicky, but very impressive. Plenty of action and a good comic story, but predictable. It was good to see Tim Roth, haven’t seen him for a while, Edward Norton too. Stan Lee made his cameo, and Robert Downey turned up at the end to plug the next Marvel film in the series. All well done.

Date watched: January 13th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2013: 5

Here is the pilot for the TV series.