"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Harsh Times

Another xfm competition, another film preview. This time it was at the Soho Screening Rooms. We walked in and some guy asked "you here for Harsh Times?", a question that should be answered carefully when travelling around Soho but we assumed he meant the film. No names were taken and it did occur to me that we might just have popped in to ask directions and ended up with a couple of free beers and a film. When we wandered through to the screening room there weren't enough seats for everyone, so perhaps some people had done just that.

So, what's Harsh Times about? It's about a war veteran (Christian Bale), and his friends, trying to find gainful employment and his gradual self-destruction.

Well, that wasn't much of a review, now was it? The trouble is that there isn't really a great deal to say about the film itself, without drawing comparisons with films like (inevitably) Taxi Driver. The filming was Ok, the music was Ok, the plot was as described above, the acting was good, with some liberal dashings of rather dark humour, giving the feel of a British film at times. And, well, that's about it.

Harsh Times does keep your attention throughout but at the end I was left with the feeling that it hadn't really delivered anything new: almost a sense I'd seen it before. I don't want to give the impression that it was a bad film, and I certainly don't regret watching it, but then I didn't pay anything and had free beer, so YMMV.

It's out in cinemas on Friday 18th (tomorrow). Worth watching if you're a bit bored and have nothing else on, or if you're a Bale fan. Otherwise, wait till it's on FilmFour I guess.

2 comments:

Tom said...

Cheers for the review Seumas - I'll probably give it a miss. Now that I've got kids, I make it to the cinema about once a year, so I need to make sure that's it really really worth seeing!

john said...

I'm still waiting to see Clerks II (prolly a wait for DVD now). There's also a fantastic looking freeride mountainbike movie out called Roam - teaser trailer on the website here.