Avengers: Infinity War

Giant purple glove enthusiast Thanos (Josh Brolin) has a sad back story. His people, the Titans of Titan (which isn’t confusing at all, couldn’t it at least have been the Titons of Titan, or the Titaniums of Titan, or the Titans of Titanic? All viable options) were ravaged by over-population and over-use of natural resources, leaving their home world in ruins. Thanos had proposed an option to prior to this, which would have meant randomly killing half of Titan’s entire population, which was understandably vetoed. Now, in the wake of Titan’s ruin, Thanos has seen the opportunity to enact his plan on a much grander scale, wiping out half of all known life in existence, for which he will need the golden infinity gauntlet and six infinity stones scattered across the galaxy. It’s up to Earth’s mightiest heroes – and a few from some other places too – to try and stop Thanos before it’s too late.
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Chariots of Fire

In 1919 several young men develop and nurture a passion for running, and all aim to compete in the forthcoming Olympics in Paris in 1924. Amongst them are the Jewish Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and his friends at Cambridge (Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers) and a Scottish former rugby player turned Christian missionary Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson).
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Hamlet

There are some films on the List that I’ve no idea when I’ll get to them. These films fall into three categories – the ones I absolutely adore but have no clue how I’ll even start writing about them, the ones I desperately do not want to watch (but am too much of an anal completist to ignore) and the really long ones. This four-hour-plus cut of Hamlet obviously falls into the latter, but fortunately for me, my girlfriend opted for Kate Winslet as her Film-Maker of choice, and seeing as I’ve reached that point in Winslet’s career in which she appeared in Hamlet as Ophelia, I can cross off Kenneth Branagh’s opus from the Empire 5-Star 500. As for the unspeakable films I don’t want to see, whenever LoveFilm drop Salo through my letterbox it shall not be a good day, though I could pull an In The Realm Of The Senses and bottle it when I’ve taken as much as I can stand.
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Rabbit-Proof Fence

Three mixed race aboriginal girls – fourteen year old Molly Craig (Everlyn Sampi), her younger sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) and their cousing Gracie (Laura Monaghan) are taken from their home in the Australian outback and forced to train as serving staff at a settlement 1200 miles away. The three manage to escape, and set out to trek the arduous journey back home, but are being hunted by the camp’s tracker (David Gulpilil) and the government’s Chief Protector of Aboriginees, Mr. A. O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh).

This is one of those films that is supposed to make you angry and upset at the injustices and hardships endured by the protagonists. The three girls, and indeed all the other girls kidnapped and taken to the Moore River camp, have been captured in an attempt to prevent the creation of an ‘unwanted third race.’ The girls, you see, are all the product of white men sleeping with their aboriginal mothers, and the government believed that this ‘new race’ would cause problems, predominantly for those within the race. Once within the camp, the girls would only be able to breed with white males, and their offspring would in turn breed with white people, until the ‘aboriginal gene’ was all but eradicated. So yes, to this extent I felt sorry for the girls, as their capture was essentially an attempt to wipe them out. However, their escape attempt is supposed to be exceedingly difficult and deadly, yet this never really came through.
Whilst the concept of three pre-pubescent girls navigate across 1200 miles of unforgiving outback obviously sounds not only impossible, but so ridiculous its out of a comic book, the film depicts it as the girls drifting from one helping hand to the next, rarely encountering any obstacles that cannot be easily resolved. Even when, at one point, the three are separated, it is not long before they are reunited, despite the great distance that must have been covered. Even though it’s based on a true story, I still felt at times that it was either thoroughly unbelievable, or that major leaps were taken in the timeline. Granted, there’s probably only so much trudging through a bleached desert landscape that I can handle watching at any one time, but still.
The three leads perform well, especially given this was their first acting role, though only Sampi has worked since. Branagh, on the other hand, seems delighted to sink his teeth into a proper villain role (one that he would reprise again in all but name for The Boat That Rocked seven years later). Known to the girls as Mr. Devil, Neville is deeply hatable at every turn, even though he is working to what he believes to be the best intentions, doing what he things is right and indeed beneficial for the girls.
There are some nice burueacratic red-tape scenes, with the government debating who should pay for the country’s hunt for the girls, but the ending, which all the way through seemed a foregone conclusion, takes a little wind from the film’s sails with a “well what was the point of all that then” attitude. All-in-all, though I was impressed with the performances, there was a missed potential in what could have been a more harrowing and intense picture.
Choose life 5/10