May 07, 2012 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2012: April

Just three films in April’s Film Fight…

First up, The Kid With A Bike is a missed opportunity. It tells the story of a small boy who has been abandoned by his family, for reasons that he doesn’t really understand. It’s about him coming to terms with the anger he feels, the difficultly he has in making new relationships, and the mistakes he makes. What should be a sad piece (possibly with a hopeful ending), doesn’t do the subject any justice. Through failings in pace, dialogue, and direction, it fails to bring any weight to the boy’s situation. We end up with a smattering of events without the feeling of any deep consequence. A shame. (See my The Kid With A Bike Twitter review).

Sean Penn finds a role that is surprising even for a seasoned character actor like himself in This Must Be The Place. Penn plays a fragile and quiet goth rocker, coming to terms with the death of his estranged father while coming to some realisations about the emptiness of his life. Penn’s performance is, as always, something to behold. For a man who has portrayed so many strongly driven characters, it’s eye-opening to see him play someone so meek. Sadly, the rest of the film does not live up to the lead: it’s a slow, meandering slog where not enough happens over far too long a period. It’s difficult to watch, not due to the subject, but simply because it is largely bereft of worthwhile content. (See my This Must Be The Place Twitter review).

Finally, The Cabin In The Woods has taken years to finally make it to the screen, and it has been worth the wait. It’s in that most troublesome group of films to review; in which any commentary could ruin the first watch, which would be a shame even though it will undoubtedly stand up to many repeated viewings. What can I say? It’s ostensibly a horror film that is about horror films, but it’s also so much more. It’s been put together with craft, style and wit into a package which we haven’t seen before in many years. I’ll say no more other than to say it is excellent. Definitely see this film. (See my The Cabin In The Woods Twitter review).

As should be clear, The Cabin In The Woods is the clear winner for April.