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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Reviews: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Journey to the West (2013), and Eastern Promises (2007)
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Set initially in Detroit, vampire Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is visited by a human, Ian, who sells him vintage guitars. Adam asks Ian to get him a bullet, capped with wood. Only Lovers Left Alive is another reasonably original take on vampires. The two leads, Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, are fantastic. The story is mostly slow, but doesn't spoon feed too much, and is laden with atmosphere and characterisation. Recommended for anyone interested in yet-another-original-take-on-vampires. 4/5 (Good)

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013). Loosely based on the 16th century novel by Wu Cheng'en and directed by Stephen Chow. The film starts in a Chinese village located by the sea. A child is playing in her father's fishing boat, when her father jumps out of the water and scares her, pretending to be a monster. Because he upsets her he tries to make amends by messing around in the water, but suddenly something attacks him. Journey to the West is an odd film, to say the least. It's full of quirky humour, which I found was hit more than miss. There are a number of action sequences with very average CGI, but what the film lacks in quality and somewhat average acting it more than makes up for with charm and story. Recommended for anyone that likes fantasy stories and quirky humour. 4/5 (Good)

Eastern Promises (2007). Written by Steven Knight and directed by David Cronenberg. Set in London, the film starts in a Russian owned barbers. There is only a single customer having a haircut, when the son of the owner enters. He closes the blinds and changes the sign on the door to closed. The son looks upset, and his father passes him a straight razor. He cuts the throat of the customer. Eastern Promises is a gritty tale of the Russian mob, intertwined with that of a midwife who has Russian ancestry. The story is well paced, albeit dark and gory in places. The cast are excellent, with a particularly great performance from Viggo Mortensen. Recommended for those who enjoy dark drama and don't mind a bit of gore. 4/5 (Good)