Top News
WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT MICHAEL-AN AWARD WINNING ACTOR

Congratulations to the cast and crew of "12 Years a Slave" winning an Oscar for Best Picture

Michael is currently filming "MacBeth"

Watch "12 Years A Slave" and "Frank" in theaters

Watch "The Counselor" and "12 Years A Slave" on DVD available now

Michael is set to star and produce on a film version of the video game "Assassin's Creed"

Completed projects: X-Men, Untitled Malik project

Upcoming projects Assassin's Creed, Prometheus 2, MacBeth,and more!

Header credit here

MFmultiply's Disclaimer


Order region 1 dvds-Amazon store

Order region 2-UK dvds-Amazon Shoppe

Please check the calender for films on TV, Theater, or dvd releases
October 2017
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Calendar Calendar


Fish Tank DVD reviews

Page 3 of 3 Previous  1, 2, 3

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:52 am

http://www.indiewire.com/article/small_screen_dvd_blu-ray_fish_tank_get_low_memento_celebrates_its_20th_anni/#

Small Screen (DVD/Blu-ray): “Fish Tank,” “Get Low” & “Memento” Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
by Nigel M Smith (February 22, 2011)

This week on DVD and Blu-ray “Fish Tank” finally drops via Criterion, Robert Duvall teams up with Bill Murray and “Memento” celebrates its 10th anniversary.

This Week’s Top Pick:

“Fish Tank” Finally Drops

The Deal: Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Andrea Arnold’s acclaimed second feature, “Fish Tank,” finally lands on DVD and Blu-ray via The Criterion Collection. Employing a similarly intimate and frank approach that marked her first feature, “Red Road,” Arnold’s “Fish Tank” finds her exploring the tough suburbs of Essex, England.

Sensational newcomer Katie Jarvis plays Mia, a foul-mouthed 15 year-old with aspirations to become a hip-hop dancer despite her dire predicaments at home. When her mother brings home an attractive new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender), Mia becomes immediately smitten with the stranger.

“Arnold’s combustible first feature, “Red Road,” wedded British kitchen sink realism with moody expressionism, a marriage she revisits and intensifies with “Fish Tank,” wrote Eric Hynes in his review of the film for indieWIRE. “Her two films are as unsentimental as they are sensitive, and so attuned to the messy modalities of behavior that even tallies of fear and heartbreak accumulate with dignity. Urban living’s concrete drabness is both bemoaned and limned with color and grace, the smallest and most desolate corner yet capable of offering escape and earthbound pleasure. Her characters may not transcend their place in the world, but at least they’re allowed to fully inhabit it.”

Extras: All three of Arnold’s short films (“Milk,” “Dog” and the Oscar-winning “Wasp”); a new video interview with actor Kierston Wareing; an interview with Fassbender from 2009; audition footage; a stills gallery by on-set photographer Holly Horner; the film’s original theatrical trailer; plus a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ian Christie. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:03 am

http://www.blog.filmarmy.org/2011/02/your-weekend-in-film-6/

Andrea Arnold compellingly restricts her characters in 4:3; is a resurgence in the works? Ha.

Fish Tank [The Criterion Collection]
Directed by: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, Harry Treadaway, Sydney Mary Nash

What: Andrea Arnold’s follow-up to 2006′s arthouse boon Red Road is an occasionally harrowing bit of 21st century social realism with an extraordinary performance by Michael Fassbender, again justifying his reputation as one of the finest screen actors in the world under 40. I can take or leave its denouement, but several sequences here show a young filmmaker completely in control of her aesthetic aims and thematic focus, a truly rare sight.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:07 am

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/blu-ray-review-fish-tank-the/

Blu-ray Review: Fish Tank - The Criterion Collection

Fish Tank, new on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection, is a 2009 British film written and directed by Andrea Arnold. The story concerns an underprivileged, uneducated teenage girl struggling to find greater meaning in her life. Her name is Mia Williams and she lives in a housing project with her younger sister and negligent mother. She's angry, inarticulate, and prone to violence. But she is not without goals. A self-taught hip-hop dancer, Mia dreams of performing as part of a dance troupe.

Before you envision an uplifting Billy Elliot-style feel good movie, know that Fish Tank isn't really about dancing. Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a modestly talented beginner at best. Despite earnest practice sessions in a vacant apartment, she doesn't have any opportunities to train properly. With a disinterested mother (Kierston Wareing) who is more concerned with partying than parenting, Mia has no one to help her discover opportunities. Her home life changes when her mother starts dating Connor (Michael Fassbender). Connor encourages Mia to pursue her dancing interest, boosting her confidence as she plans to attend an open audition.

The sexually naive Mia is confused by the mixed messages being sent by Connor, whose interest in her is clearly not strictly paternal. He lives for a brief spell with the Williams family, representing sort of a father figure to Mia and her sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths). Unfortunately his influence drifts from positive to destructive and he attempts to abruptly return to his normal life. Nothing in Mia's life seems to go her way. With no one to turn to, she begins a tentative relationship with a local squatter named Billy (Harry Treadaway) who lives in a trailer and keeps an underfed horse chained on a concrete lot.

The cast of Fish Tank does wonders with their roles, especially the highly lauded Katie Jarvis in her debut role. Jarvis makes Mia’s anger at - and distrust of - the world around her believable. Her performance is a fine example of restrained understatement. No matter what choices Mia makes, and she does make some baffling ones, Jarvis always manages to keep her sympathetic. Kierston Wareing is given little to do, which makes sense considering the story is told entirely from Mia’s perspective, but effectively projects an air of bitter indifference towards her children mixed with a hint of jealousy. The most striking supporting performance comes from Rebecca Griffiths. As Mia’s little sister Tyler, Griffiths offers an utterly convincing portrayal of a foul-mouthed, uncouth child. Yet she also displays tenderness in a heartbreaking moment with her sister near the film’s end.

Criterion presents Fish Tank on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition, framed at the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. I’m not sure why Arnold chose not to frame her film in widescreen. It does result in the loss of a cinematic feel, but the image itself is excellent. So clean is the visual presentation, I wondered if it was shot on digital video. But the Criterion Collection booklet states the transfer was done using the original 35mm camera negative. The film is surprising colorful and brightly lit, considering the subject matter and slummy locations. Fine detail, from a festering cut on Mia’s ankle to the protruding ribs of the underfed horse, is vivid throughout.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is absolutely unremarkable. Given the near documentary-style realism of the film, the audio is basically very ordinary. It sounds fine, with clear and centered dialogue, mixed at an appropriate level. The movie is loaded with diagetic music, which always sounds like it’s coming from whatever the onscreen source is. There is no original score. The hip-hop tunes don’t impress in terms of surround activity, but rather approximate the home stereos they’re being played on. Music emanates from cheap speakers, car stereos, or is sometimes muffled as it’s heard from another room. The sound design is simple but never a problem.

Criterion’s edition of Fish Tank has been supplemented with several interesting features. There is an interview in which actress Kierston Wareing discusses her experience making the film. Michael Fassbender is heard in a lengthy audio-only interview. Of most value are three short films by Andrea Arnold, one of which (Wasp) won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. These early works (which also include Milk from 1998 and Dog from 2001) contain traces of themes that would be explored more effectively in Fish Tank, albeit with less heavy-handed symbolism.

Fish Tank is a quietly effective character study. The Criterion Collection has done an excellent job of presenting the film on Blu-ray.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:11 am

http://www.pompousgeek.com/pompous-geek-thoughts-on/2011/02/new-releases-week-of-february-22nd.html

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
NEW RELEASES; Week of February 22nd

Every Tuesday, here at POMPOUS GEEK, you will be able to check out the week’s DVD/Blu-Ray and Music new releases. The number of releases can be long but you can come here to see what is and isn’t worth your time.

No more explanation needed. Here you go:

DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASES

FishTank

This British independent film was actually release in 2009 but has taken awhile to make its way stateside. This has been one of the most acclaimed movies to come out of the UK in several years. In addition to DVD and Blu-Ray, it is also available to watch on Netflix Instant View. The presence of actor Michael Fassbender is reason enough to check it out.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:12 am

http://www.movietobo.com/2011/02/23/niks-dvd-corner-nurse-jackie-season-2-due-date-fish-tank/

Fish Tank

A fantastic symphony of characters making regrettable decisions, Fish Tank is a depiction of innocence lost, set against a common backdrop of working-class England, with its claustrophobic habitats and perpetual ambiance of hostility. It’s a dynamite film, but I was caught watching with eyes-through-fingers a few times, fearful moments of exquisite tension would devolve into a Catherine Breillat-style shock-value spectacle. Thankfully, director Andrea Arnold has better taste, making her feature not a depressive cage, but a maze of behavioral patterns and damage with some form of light at the end of the tunnel.

15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a lost girl struggling with her negligent mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing), a filthy home, and the images of hip-hop dancing salvation force fed to her through television. Into the family comes Connor ( Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds), Joanne’s latest fling, who takes a shine to Mia and her prickly disposition. Mia, curious about the attention, becomes infatuated with Connor, unsure how to process her newfound sexual response. Though she stumbles upon a friend in age-appropriate Billy (Harry Treadaway), Mia finds Connor’s advances more persuasive, putting her in yet another precarious situation while the rest of her life continues to slip out of control.

Though not quite as feral as the 1999 Palme d’Or winner Rosetta, Fish Tank submits a similar sort of impetuous, teenage, hand-held screen energy, tracking an unpredictable character as she maneuvers through a series of obstacles while trapped in an impossible economic situation. The setting here is England and its lost generation: a track-suited teen nation raised on lousy American hip-hop, unobtainable displays of extravagance found on television, and brimming with chipped-tooth discontent brought on by easily attained alcohol and an absence of parental interest. We’ve been here before, but the general hold of sympathetic study in Arnold’s direction is riveting, taking the viewer into areas of conduct that are uncomfortable to watch, yet vital to the overall understanding of Mia and her well-oiled rage.

Fish Tank is a generally silent, semi-verite journey that follows Mia as she stomps around her community, put off by her peers as she pieces together a dream for a better life. Her golden ticket out of town is dance, which she practices inside an abandoned apartment, worried to reveal her passion for fear it will be taken away. She picks fights with the locals girls, and grows fixated on a horse chained in Billy’s yard — a symbolic figure of forecast that Mia takes to heart. She’s a complicated girl with wrath as her one and only exterior speed, yet Connor brings something out of her that’s rarely allowed the light of day: vulnerability. However, he’s a predator of unknown origins, with Arnold plucking a devastating string of tension pulled taught between them; it’s an unnerving sexual energy the picture plays superbly without feeling the need to be lascivious about it. It’s a fresh sensation of curiosity and urge handed to a bewildered Mia, whose only role model appears to be Joanne, a boozy, easy blonde who looks roughly 10 years older than her daughter. This is a GREAT film.

Special Features: (Again, Blu-Ray, so some features may differ, as well as it being the Criterion Collection edition.) Extras include the theatrical trailer, a Stills Gallery containing photos taken during the shoot, as well as Audition footage for Katie Jarva. Three short films made by the director, Milk (1988, 10:30), Dog (2001, 10:16), and Wasp (2003, 25:46) , containing images and themes of family, adolescence, and poverty that would eventually funnel into Fish Tank. even nabbed her an Academy Award. as if this dvd wasn’t packed enough, it also contains two interviews with Michael Fassbender and Kierston Wareing.

Buy, Rent, or Pass? BUY.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:17 am

http://theawardscircuit.blogspot.com/2011/02/joeys-dvd-picks-of-week-2222011.html

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Joey's DVD Picks of the Week (2/22/2011)
This week, things slow down a bit on DVD, with the quality heading downward to a degree. Keep in mind, the top selection is still a strong film, but there's not a whole lot going on besides that, in my humble opinion. There have been worse weeks, but there's also been far better ones as well. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I honestly just went with the only film that I liked. That being said, it luckily is a film I did enjoy quite a bit. It's:

Fish Tank

This intimate character study of a troubled English youth featured a stunning performance from newcomer Katie Jarvis. She absolutely blew me away as Mia, the volatile youth with a rough family life who finds an outlet to her anger in dance. Michael Fassbender is excellent as well, playing the boyfriend of Mia's mom who complicates Mia's life even further. The third act of the flick is a bit of a letdown, but it's still a movie (and a performance) well worth seeing.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:17 am

http://www.slantmagazine.com/dvd/review/fish-tank/1943

Fish Tank
****

by Glenn Heath Jr. on February 21, 2011

Mia (Katie Jarvis), the propulsive teenage heroine of Andrea Arnold's sophomore feature Fish Tank, has a gigantic poster of a tiger on her bedroom door. This parallel between character and animal fits nicely, as Mia spends most of the film pacing back and forth like a caged soul looking for something (or someone) to set her free. Arnold's handheld visual aesthetic, so polished and fluid in her enthralling debut, 2006's Red Road, now sputters on a flimsy axis, stalking Mia's often spastic but sometimes graceful dance through life. While Fish Tank is a coming-of-age story, with Arnold fluctuating tones to highlight Mia's highs and lows, much of the film is intrinsically tied to the suffocating stasis of urban solace, the bits of silence wavering in between extreme emotional outbursts.

Fish Tank's opening sequence fits this mold, finding Mia alone looking down and breathing heavily after a tiring dance practice in an empty apartment, as if already winded by the perpetual mixture of disappointment and monotony that defines her life. This quiet doesn't last long, as Mia's volatility comes center stage when she violently confronts a group of scandalous tweens dancing for the neighborhood boys, one of them a former friend who's forsaken their relationship over a minor dispute. As with every plot turn in Fish Tank, this is a moment of social transition for Mia, and much of the film's energy stems from how she reacts to the adult complexities of the surrounding world. The many paradoxes of life, death, and sex confound Mia's perspective throughout, and Fish Tank becomes a stirring requiem to her consistently futile pursuit of understanding.

The one constant in Mia's life is dance, and the healing power of artistic expression gets put to the test throughout the film. Whenever something bad happens, be it an argument with her mother Joanne (Kierston Warening) or her sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths), Mia turns to dancing for release. She practices hip hop moves with a fundamental devotion to the subtlety of movement, taking inspiration from the countless music videos gracing her family television, but unafraid of shedding the trashy qualities for more nuanced expression. Unlike the other girls her age, Mia doesn't perform for a male audience—just for herself, as if the act itself is something sacred. When Joanne's new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender), accidentally catches Mia dancing in the kitchen, she gets startled not only by his presence but by his flirtatious acknowledgement of her femininity. A young woman's fantasy world has jarringly overlapped with a subjective adult experience, and this one moment sets Fish Tank on a track toward emotional fragmentation.

Connor becomes more of a staple in Joanne's life, and Mia's own curiosity about sex and physicality get a visual motif in the many slow-mo close-ups based around their mutual touch. Arnold zeroes in on the contours of Connor's shirtless torso as he walks up the stairs, Mia's amplified breath as Connor sets her limp body down onto a bed, and Mia's bleeding foot as Connor puts a bandage around her wound. All of these shots retain a lyrical quality, elevating Mia's perspective out of the standard urban malaise represented by the constant hum of diagetic neighborhood noise. This sensual rush culminates in the film's most uncomfortable moment: a sudden sex scene between Connor and Mia that splinters the narrative into a thousand pieces. As a result, Arnold's carefully calibrated story dips into the well of contrived melodrama, nearly collapsing under the weight of its own pretense.

While Fish Tank's third act is incredibly problematic (some of the symbolism is overtly simplistic), Arnold's resistance to finite solutions makes Mia's near-foray into tragic plight emotionally salvageable. Instead of an easy summation, Arnold leaves us with indelible images ingrained by the camera in much the way Mia might remember them years down the road. A dying fish lying on the grass sucking its last breath, a dog eating the guts of that same fish on the kitchen floor, and a cracked windshield held together by blood and human hair all linger long after they fill the frame. The meticulously placed long shots cementing the viewer's omniscient perspective of Mia's transition are even more telling, like when Mia and Connor face each other knee deep in a calm river, or Mia is framed by a background of epic cranes, and finally when two small children traverse through tall grass as storm clouds roll in. In a film about the suffocating stranglehold of barriers and limitations, Arnold cuts wide to hint at the growing possibilities beyond the frame.

Despite Fish Tank's harsh and unrelenting view of crippling family dynamics, Arnold ends the film by positioning Mia, Joanne, and Tyler in a stunningly singular dance sequence together. The moment connects all three in a generational chain of positive movement, the anger, hatred, and betrayal evaporating in favor of rhythmic understanding. Still, Mia's restless soul must leave the nest in order to survive, and Tyler's parting prose to her older sister is especially haunting. "Say hello to the world for me," she screams, Mia waving goodbye as the child disappears from view. Even in a world where innocence and sexuality are commodities just like any other, Fish Tank gives us hope Mia will do just that.
Image/Sound:

Fish Tank is presented in 1080p HD with its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio intact. Overall, the transfer retains Andrea Arnold's strange combination of vibrant splashes of color and collective grittiness, with the blues, blacks, and grays of Essex nicely rendered in both exterior and interior shots. The skin tones of faces, hands, and bodies always contain a wonderful amount of detail, important to a film dealing with the expressiveness of touch. Only in some of the nighttime sequences do some of the background materials blur into the darkness, losing the necessary nuance in key dramatic scenes. Fish Tank depends heavily on overlapping sound design, specifically the mixture of dialogue, diagetic music, and sound effects. The DTS-MA soundtrack captures this aesthetic brilliantly, making each sound feel part of an evolving audible space.
Extras:

One of Criterion's more bare-boned discs, but the supplements are still superlative, especially the new transfers of Andrea Arnold's three short films: Milk, from 1998, follows a suburban woman's breakdown after she experiences a miscarriage, evoking Red Road's dark vision of fractured sexuality; Dog, from 2001, echoes Fish Tank's stifling urban milieu and themes of female entrapment; and 2003's Academy Award-winning Wasp, whose tonal shift recall Arnold's features, building tension out of the audience's expectation of tragedy. The disc includes an informative interview with star Kierston Wareing, who discusses Arnold's directing methods and location choices, and an audio taped conversation with Michael Fassbender from the Museum of Moving Image. No audio commentary is offered, frustrating considering it feels necessary to get Arnold's impressions and perspectives on this very personal film. Audition footage, a stills gallery, the original theatrical trailer, and an insightful essay by film scholar Ian Christie are also included.
Overall:

Suffocation takes many forms in Fish Tank, the most notable being romantic promises written in water.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:18 am

http://shopping.aol.com/articles/2011/02/22/new-dvd-releases-february-22/

Director Andrea Arnold walked away with the Jury Prize at the 62nd Cannes Festival and the 2010 BAFTA for Best Film for her mesmerizing work Fish Tank (Starting at $21.99: Up to 27% in Savings). Mia Williams (Katie Jarvis, in her first-ever acting role) is a lonely, anti-social 15-year-old teen living with her alcoholic mother Joanne (Kierston Waering) and rowdy little sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths) in public housing in Essex, England. As she wanders around looking for trouble, Mia finds expression by dancing to hip hop music by herself in an abandoned apartment. In a metaphorical moment of picque, Mima tries to free a sickly horse tied up near her home and ends up befriending Billy (Harry Treadaway), one of the horse's owners. Life is injected into Mia's household in the form of her mother's charming Irish boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender), who takes a liking to Mia. He even encourages her to try out for a local club looking for dancers. But when Mia's emerging sexuality escalates her relationship with Connor, it turns Mia's cloistered world upside down, forcing her to swim for it. Miraculous social realism filmmaking from Arnold, one of the new bright voices on the international scene.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:20 am

http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1764-fish-tank-an-england-story

23Feb11
Fish Tank: An England Story By Ian Christie

Andrea Arnold seemed to emerge out of nowhere with Red Road (2006), her revelatory, shrewdly observed debut feature about voyeurism and sexual revenge. That film won Arnold multiple awards, and she had already earned an Oscar for her short Wasp (2003), echoes of which can be found in both Red Road and her third feature, Fish Tank (2009): all three center on young women living in housing projects and facing sexually fraught situations. This may sound bleak, but there’s an energy to her films that’s anything but, thanks to her audacious heroines, who certainly don’t see themselves as victims. This is especially true of Fish Tank’s gutsy young protagonist, Mia.

It’s easy to pigeonhole Fish Tank as the latest entry in a very British tradition: the social-realist portrayal of people less fortunate than most of the intended audience. For many international viewers, the key reference will probably be Ken Loach’s Kes (1969), or almost any of his studies of deprivation among the underclass. But there is also a longstanding custom of such gritty drama in British television, which was indeed where many directors, like Loach, cut their teeth. “Plays,” as they were described, such as Up the Junction (a 1965 telefilm by Loach), Loach’s Cathy Come Home (1966), and Alan Clarke’s Scum (1977, remade for cinema in 1979), established a vernacular tradition in writing, acting, and location shooting that has since become a touchstone for contemporary social realism.

Within this tradition, there are two distinguishable strands: the disillusioned and the redemptive. But Arnold straddles the two, showing us just how bleak things can be while also giving her characters real presence. Her heroine in Fish Tank, Mia, aspires to dance, but we can see she isn’t a great dancer in the making, except in her own private world. Mia may be heading off to a brighter future at the film’s end, or she may just return to live on a council estate (as housing projects are called in the U.K.), falling into the slovenly, welfare-dependent lifestyle of her mother, or even being drawn into drugs and prostitution. Arnold seems less concerned with predicting which is more likely than with imagining a fifteen-year-old girl’s life today (rare enough in the boys’ club of cinema) or with providing a vivid snapshot of the urban margins that make up much of contemporary Britain. It was another shrewd anatomist of British society, Stephen Frears, responsible for such key films as My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Dirty Pretty Things (2002), who shared his enthusiasm for Fish Tank with me, saying that he had the sense of its showing “what we need to know,” in the same way that Kes had once done for his and my generation. The Full Monty (1997) and Billy Elliot (2000) offered feel-good takes on what the Conservative leader David Cameron likes to call “broken Britain,” where “talent” of the kind displayed on TV shows can bring fame and fortune—Fish Tank has no such reassuring message. But neither does it wallow in deprivation.

Arnold’s outlook is distinctive, and surprisingly nuanced for British realism. Her rather unusual background certainly helps to explain the tremendous empathy she shows for Fish Tank’s young people, whose behavior may be aggressive and whose language foul, but who are also portrayed as vulnerable, typically banded together in groups and noticeably less confident on their own. Arnold worked as a performer and presenter on youth-oriented television for much of the 1980s and ’90s (including acting as a roller-skating character on a Saturday morning teen soap). But even more relevant is her own family experience as the oldest of four children growing up in a council house in Dartford, Kent, on the opposite side of the Thames Estuary from where Fish Tank is set. Although there is no suggestion of autobiography in the film, Arnold clearly knows firsthand the semiurban desolation that rings London, and the middle-class prejudice often directed at those who speak with what’s known as an Estuary accent. Historically, Essex and Kent received the former inhabitants of London’s East End and Docklands when those slums began to be cleared after World War II. The Mardyke Estate, where much of the film was shot, is typical of such projects. Built in the 1960s to house workers at Ford’s vast auto plant in Dagenham, it offered former Londoners new flats, arranged in tower blocks. Distantly inspired by the utopian schemes of modernist architects and planners, these developments soon proved disastrous. The new tenants, uprooted from their former, traditional communities, were disoriented and isolated. The walkways and elevators soon became threatening, and drug dealers began to invade the estates, adding their own criminal networks to a culture already steeped in alcohol abuse and petty crime. (Stanley Kubrick had only to look to the Thamesmead Estate in South London for the future dystopia of 1971’s A Clockwork Orange.)

All this, however, is merely the setting for Arnold’s drama about a fifteen-year-old girl poised between childhood and womanhood. And unlike some of her peers in British social realism, who are more concerned with anatomizing the society that oppresses their characters, she is unequivocally on the side of Mia. We meet her in the first image of the film, head down and alone in the private world of an empty apartment that has become her bolt-hole and personal dance studio. From here, she looks out over the life of the estate—an image that may fleetingly recall the doctor in Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death (1946), as he surveys his mundane village “kingdom” through a camera obscura. But we’re not granted access to Mia’s thoughts, except through her actions. Here, she dances, and drinks cider when she can get it through an older accomplice. She will briefly dream of dance as a means of escape, although her first steps lead to ignominy, when she realizes that an “audition” is for only dancers likely to titillate jaded drinkers.

Another dream, or desire, emerges when she impulsively tries to steal a horse that’s tethered on a nearby wasteland. A horse in such circumstances in England could signal only the presence of gypsies, or “tinkers,” always viewed with suspicion and often the object of police and community harassment. Mia instinctively tries to free this firmly chained animal (which for her has an immediate, almost sensual appeal), and even returns with tools to try again. Her desire is palpable, even if utterly impractical. It offers an unexpected window into her otherwise well-concealed soul—and for aficionados of British cinema, it may evoke the startling, surreal image of a white horse glimpsed in the blazing streets of wartime London in Humphrey Jennings’s Fires Were Started (1943).

Mia’s desire to free the flea-bitten horse leads her to someone who may prove to be a soul mate: one of the caravan dwellers, Billy, whose status is never spelled out but with whom she bonds because he offers her complicity in underage drinking and an unthreatening companionship. What is most striking about almost all the other characters is their overt sexualization—in contrast with Mia, habitually wearing plain, unrevealing clothes. Even her little sister, eight-year-old Tyler, is first seen sunbathing in a bikini top, and her swearing is already lewder than Mia’s. The atmosphere in the apartment they share with their mother, Joanne, decorated in pink and green, with an incongruous Palm Beach mural, has a constant undercurrent of sensuality. Joanne seems to drift from one liaison to another, drinking and smoking constantly, and keeping a jealous eye on her older daughter’s emerging sexuality.

Arnold’s first-person perspective, brilliantly realized by director of photography Robbie Ryan, ensures that we see the world almost exclusively through Mia’s eyes, whether in subjective point-of-view shots or in tableaux that express her aggressive-defensive attitude. She is quick to spy new threats and opportunities through doorways and windows. A visual motif is a dark, silhouetted frame surrounding Mia’s field of vision as she warily looks out at the world, her aggression hiding the uncertainty she clearly feels about her sexual awakening. And then her mother’s new boyfriend, Connor (played by the brilliant Irish actor Michael Fassbender, fresh off his breakthrough in Steve McQueen’s Hunger), enters the picture, instigating a dangerous attraction, which moves from fantasy to sobering reality. Arnold carefully choreographs the interplay between Mia and Connor as a delicate web of exchanged looks, punctuated by unexpect­edly boisterous horseplay, while at the same time suggesting an innocent family intimacy Mia has never known.

Fish Tank’s authenticity may owe much to Arnold’s own experiences, but it undoubtedly stems almost as much from her finding Katie Jarvis, an untrained seventeen-year-old discovered having an argument with her boyfriend on a station platform, and coaching her through a demanding central role. Just as Loach’s Kes depended totally on the tough vulnerability of the young David Bradley as Billy, so Jarvis brings to Mia a complete believability. Whether she is asserting her status among peers, tentatively trying out makeup in her mother’s bedroom, or impulsively wreaking revenge for Connor’s betrayal—in a scene both frightening and exhilarating that takes us to the coastal edge of the Thames Estuary—Jarvis is entirely convincing. And never more so than when she decides she must leave the family nest and seize her chance at happiness. Here, Arnold’s unerring ear for the soundtrack of her characters’ lives (which has already given us Connor’s cherished “California Dreamin’,” creating an immediate bond between him and Mia) produces a triumphant, wordless scene, as Mia and Joanne launch into an impromptu dance routine, set to Nas’s pounding “Life’s a Bitch.”

Arnold has joked that Loach must be tired of hearing her compared to him, and indeed, it would be hard to set the evidence of such a small body of work against the five decades of Loach’s probing analyses of mainly working-class experience in Britain. Any filmmakers working in this genre are likely to find themselves taken as spokespeople for the “condition of England”—a state first identified as “ominous” and “strange” by the historian and social critic Thomas Carlyle as long ago as the 1840s. Alert viewers will notice several Union Jack flags forming part of the decor of Mia’s life—one on a tea mug, the other on a CD entitled An England Story, which is a compilation of Caribbean-influenced MC dance music. They may wonder if Arnold is indeed offering an anatomy of “broken Britain,” like her contemporaries Shane Meadows, in his dissection of the skinhead subculture in This Is England (2006), and Antonia Bird, in Safe (1993), her devastating exposé of life on the streets. But I’m persuaded that, like the Dardenne brothers of Rosetta (1999) and the Agnès Varda of Vagabond (1985), she is more concerned with telling the story of one girl’s struggle to escape the stereotyped expectations that trap working-class youngsters. The threat of being sent to a “pupil referral unit,” for children already excluded from school, hangs over Mia, as her mother reminds her. Yet Arnold wants her to escape, without necessarily predicting that she will succeed. Fish Tank is surely about hope—about, in Albert Finney’s immortal line from the founding film of postwar British social realism, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), not letting “the bastards grind you down.” But also, as she drives off with Billy, it’s about dreaming of a better tomorrow.

Ian Christie is a professor of film and media history at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a fellow of the British Academy. He has written and edited many books on Russian, British, and American cinema, including Arrows of Desire: The Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Film Factory (coedited with Richard Taylor), and Scorsese on Scorsese (coedited with David Thompson).
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:23 am

http://www.whatdvd.net/fish-tank-criterion-collection-dvd-review-1670.html

Fish Tank: Criterion Collection

February 17, 2011

Director: Andrea Arnold,
Starring: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, Harry Treadaway, Sydney Mary Nash,
Rate Fish Tank: Criterion Collection DVD Release:

Fish Tank (2009) is Andrea Arnold’s third feature film and already she’s drawing comparisons to Ken Loach for her unflinching kitchen sink realism approach towards her depiction of working class English people. All three of her films feature young women living in housing projects and coming of age amidst tough social and economic conditions. Her latest film has garnered all sorts of acclaim and has positioned Arnold as part of a new wave of exciting British filmmakers to document the trials and tribulations of everyday people.

Thanks to edgy, hand-held camerawork by Robbie Ryan, we are immediately immersed in Mia’s (Jarvis) world – one which sees her insult a friend’s father and punch a teenage girl in the nose for questioning her dancing prowess. She lives with and barely tolerates her mother Joanne (Wareing) who seems to exist only to give Mia grief. The teenage girl aspires to be a dancer but she certainly has a lot to learn. Still, it provides a temporary respite from her dreary life, which gets considerably more complicated when she meets Connor (Fassbender), her mother’s latest boyfriend. Mia is intrigued by his disarming charm and good looks. He even gets along with her younger sister Tyler (Griffiths). He seems too good to be true and this may be the case the more Mia gets to know him.

Plucked literally off the streets, Katie Jarvis is a revelation as the strong-willed Mia. She is able to get us immediately invested in her character so that we care about and want to know what happens to her next. There is a realness to her performance, unencumbered by acting school and all the baggage that can come with it and this rawness is ideally suited for the role of Mia.

Fresh from his astounding performance in Hunger (2008), Michael Fassbender brings an easygoing charm to the role as evident in how Connor gradually wins over Joanne’s daughters. The actor is also able to hint that there’s more going on with his character as we only see him through Mia’s eyes. Inviting further comparisons to Ken Loach is the casting of Kierston Wareing (who starred in Loach’s It’s a Free World) as Mia’s mother. She has the world-weary attitude of someone who’s led a tough life with little hope of it getting much better. Wareing resists the temptation of playing the stereotypical bitchy mother by offering us glimpses of humanity.

Not much happens in terms of plot but Fish Tank isn’t that kind of film. It is all about the characters and the narrative is driven by their actions and the decisions these people make. The drama comes from how these decisions affect their lives. Arnold’s film is filled with all kinds of wonderful moments that provide insights into these characters and their lives so that by the end we are left wondering what might happen to them in the future.

Special Features:

There is an interview with actress Kierston Wareing in which she talks about how she got the role. She gives her impressions of the film and, specifically, her character. Wareing talks about some of the nuances of her performance and the choices she made in this excellent featurette.

Also included is an audio interview with Michael Fassbender who talks about his career in general with an emphasis on Fish Tank. He talks about what drew him to the film – Arnold’s grasp of human behavior. Naturally, he talks about his character and working with Arnold.

There is audition footage of various young girls trying out for the role of Mia. It features them dancing to various songs.

Also included is a collection of three short films Arnold made prior to Fish Tank, including “Wasp,” which earned her an Academy Award for best live-action short film.

There is a gallery of production photographs.

Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:39 pm

http://dougonfilms.blogspot.com/2011/02/januaryfebruary-2010.html

FISH TANK (2010)
You won’t see a better portrayal of a confused, sad and unfocused teen (is there any other kind?) than Katie Jarvis’s Mia in this gritty British picture.

She and her little sister pretty much fend for themselves as their mother (Kierston Wareing) spends her time drinking and picking up men. Her latest lover Conner (Michael Fassbender from “Inglourious Basterds”) starts spending time with the girls, taking them on outings and creating a sense of family.

He encourages Mia to pursue her interest in dance, giving her a bit of self-confidence after years of being berated by her mother. But nothing good lasts for this neglected girl and she’s soon forced to take back control of her life. Jarvis manages to bring out both the vulnerability and the anger of Mia.

Writer-director Andrea Arnold follows in the tradition of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh in portraying trouble youths without letting the story become trite or melodramatic. In Hollywood, this script would have been reworked into a fairy tale ending with Mia winning a talent prize or a scholarship and her mother deciding to settle down with the right man. “Fish Tank” paints another, less perfect, picture that shows life a bit darker and dirtier than your typical Lifetime channel movie.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:41 pm

http://www.joblo.com/digital/dvd_review.php?id=2949

Fish Tank
BLU-RAY disk
Fish Tank order
Reviewed By: Mathew Plale

Director: Andrea Arnold

Actors:
Katie Jarvis
Michael Fassbender
Keirston Wareing

Rating:
Movie:
DVD:

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A 15-year-old girl (Jarvis) living in the Essex projects tries to cope with her life and her mother's sleazy new boyfriend (Fassbender).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
In the first ten minutes of Fish Tank, 15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) head butts a rival and gets into a harsh verbal altercation with her mother, ended only by the slamming of her bedroom door. She lives in a council house in Essex, the daughter of a drunken burden(Keirston Wareing) who you’d never want as a mother. The burden, Joanne, has a new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender, outstanding) who you’d never even want as a gas station attendant.

Mia finds solace in hip-hop dancing which, while that does sound like a setup for one of those lousy teen dance movies that stars a hot face with a hotter bod, is wisely not placed as the focal point of the film. Instead, director Andrea Arnold (whose 2003 work Wasp won the Oscar for Best Short Film) utilizes the time in her sophomore feature to develop her characters through an important story that should be explored.

The key moments of the film highlight Mia’s family life. There is a nice scene where Connor takes Mia, her mother and her sister on a trip out of the projects, where he forms a camaraderie by sparking the childish yet revealing question, “What kind of animal would you be if you could come back as one?” Following the drive, Connor takes Mia into a stream to catch a fish with his bare hands. It’s a scene that’s just as inviting as the previous, until you figure out that Connor’s words (“Come here, slowly…”) and trapping technique are those usually dealt by a predator and not a father figure.

Though Arnold has a bit too optimistic of a future laid out for Mia and the escapist symbolism is laid on thick (there’s an out-of-place chained horse that Mia tries to set free numerous times, and the reappearance of “California Dreamin,” a classic song of escape), Fish Tank is still a harsh and (mostly) authentic portrait of what it’s like to be a girl in an environment she doesn’t belong in.

As the film relies almost solely on the performance of its lead, it was important that Arnold find exactly what she envisioned while writing the screenplay. That lead, Jarvis, is a girl who, as it goes, “had never acted before...She was spotted by a casting director having a fight with her boyfriend and was offered the role.” After reading that, her performance is all that more alive and personal. See Fish Tank for her and wonder, with the rest of us, just how far she goes from here.
VIDEO/AUDIO
Video: 1.33:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec.

Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

Though it may not come across as a must-see on Blu-ray, Fish Tank is still given an excellent video transfer. The picture is detailed and sharp throughout, from the scenes inside of Mia's council house to the brief scene in the country and by the stream.

The audio is also very good here, though a bit more subtle in its presentation. The soundtrack is clear and atmospheric throughout.
THE EXTRAS
Keirston Wareing (14:19): Wareing, who plays Mia’s mother Joanne, sits down to discuss working with director Andrea Arnold, the message behind the film and more. Wareing is a bit of a stale listen and lead Katie Jarvis would have been a better inclusion, but this is a passable substitution.

Michael Fassbender (26:22): Fassbender, who plays Connor, chats with David Schwartz, curator at the Museum of the Moving Image, in this audio-only interview. He discusses working with Arnold and Jarvis, his “irresponsible” character and more. This is a fine listen though, again, the exclusion of Jarvis is frustrating.

Audition Footage (9:42): This addition offers a collection of footage featuring 10 actresses trying out for the part of Mia. It should be noted that each clip has the girls freestyle dancing and not running lines. Again, no Jarvis.

Short Films: Included are Arnold’s three short films, Milk (1998), Dog (2001) and Wasp (2003), which won the Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action.

Stills Gallery

Trailer

Also included with this Criterion Collection Blu-ray is a 16-page booklet with an essay titled “An England Story” by film scholar Ian Christie.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank seems a fitting inclusion into The Criterion Collection. For those who missed its theatrical run of 15 theaters, this is the best way to see the unflinching yet hopeful Fish Tank. Included are a pair of interviews with cast and a trio of Arnold's short films, all of which are great companions to the feature.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:06 pm

http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=32551

Wilmington on DVD: Fish Tank, You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger, Thelma and Louise, Megamind
Mike Wilmington on Wednesday 03/02/2011 10:00 am

PICKS OF THE WEEK

Fish Tank (A-)
U.K.; Andrea Arnold, 2009, Criterion Collection

Sometime an amateur actor can embody a role so thoroughly that we seem to be watching drama-turned-documentary-and-back-again. Katie Jarvis, the young nonprofessional whom Andrea Arnold picked to play the lead in her second feature film (after Red Road), is a case in point. We seem to be not so much watching her perform, as eavesdropping on her character.

Jarvis plays, or embodies Mia Williams, a young British girl -- 15, foul-mouthed and rebellious -- who lives in the projects with her blonde, curvy hell-raiser of a mother, Joanne (Kierston Wareing), her equally foul-mouthed little sister, Sophie (Charlotte Collins) and whatever new boyfriend Joanne is bedding at the moment. In this case, the bloke of choice is Conor (Michael Fassbender of Hunger), a security guard who seems smart and responsible and very nice to Joanne's daughters, especially Mia.

Too nice? Arnold and Fassbinder keep us guessing. But the possibility always looms -- as Mia rocks around the house in the aggressive hip-hop routines she wants to try out at a local strip parlor dance contest, and as Conor applauds and helps out and encourages her -- encourages a little too much for the quality of the dancing.

Soon, something happens, and then something further happens, more drastic, more dangerous, when Mia, who's a bit of a psychopath, breaks through the barriers for a chilling try for revenge. This sequence, which we won't describe (You'll know it when you see it) has been damned by some of the film's more fastidious admirers as melodramatic, though, given Mia's personality and background, it's not all that implausible.

Perhaps only the extreme naturalism of most of the rest of Fish Tank and its superficial similarity to the work of British naturalists like Ken Loach and Mike Leigh -- though often it seems closer to the Lynne Ramsay of Ratcatcher and the Alan Clarke of Scum -- lulls some viewers into too casual a sense of what some 15-year-old girls can be capable of. Certainly actress Jarvis and filmmaker Arnold give us plenty of preparation. And the movie is often a knockout.

Fish Tank, won the Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. It looks as if it deserved it. (Extras: three short films by Andrea Arnold: Milk [1998[, Dog [2001] and the Oscar short film winner Wasp [2003]; interviews with Fassbender and Wareing; audition footage; booklet with Ian Christie essay.)
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:08 am

http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/fishtankbluray.php

Case Number 20819

Buy Fish Tank (Blu-Ray) Criterion Collection at Amazon
Fish Tank (Blu-Ray) Criterion Collection

Criterion // 2010 // 122 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Bromley // March 3rd, 2011

All Rise...

Judge Patrick Bromley is "The Fish Whisperer."

The Charge

Live, love and give as good as you get.

Opening Statement

I have no idea who came up with that tagline for Andrea Arnold's 2009 film Fish Tank. It's obviously an attempt to market the movie as some uplifting, inspirational movie that celebrates the power of love and family. Fish Tank is not that movie. I guess words like "dark," "raw" and "sometimes disturbing" don't look as good on a poster.

Facts of the Case

15-year old Mia (Katie Jarvis in an incredible debut) is trapped, living in a tiny apartment in a run down building with her single (but mostly absent) mother (Kierston Wareing, Wire in the Blood) and difficult younger sister. Her only escape—besides cigarettes, the occasional swiped bottle of booze and fist fight with the neighbor girls—is hip-hop dancing, which she practices in an abandoned apartment and hopes to someday turn into a living. When Mia's mom begins seeing a new guy named Connor (Michael Fassbender, Centurion), everything in Mia's life starts to change.

The Evidence

Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank is the kind of movie that sneaks up on you—one that seems slight and unassuming as it unfolds, but which gradually builds to deliver some major emotional blows. Very little happens in the film, plot-wise, but the things that do happen are the kinds of things that change lives forever. If that makes the movie sound heavy-handed, it shouldn't; writer/director Arnold wisely tells the story without judgment. She simply observes the life of a teenage girl on a path of self destruction. It's personal and intimate—the endlessly persistent handheld camerawork and tightly cropped photography see to that—but never judgmental.

In many ways, Fish Tank feels like Lee Daniels' Precious, minus that film's propensity for flashy, compensatory style and melodrama. It follows a young girl, kicked around by life and left to fend for herself in a world that's challenging and sometimes downright dangerous; she wants to do something to better her station but lacks the decision making skills, age and experience to do so. Mia doesn't even have the support system that Precious was eventually able to find—even the adults that she turns to are only able to do more damage. That she stands any chance at all in the world is a testament to her own strength and ability to change—a point that the film never hammers home the way Daniels did in Precious. Nothing against that film (maybe a little against that film), but Fish Tank is so much more subtle and gives the audience so much more credit for being able to draw their own conclusions. That it received about 1/100th of the attention of Daniels movie is a real shame. Here's hoping that audiences are able to discover Fish Tank now that it's out on DVD and Blu-ray.

None of the film would have much impact if not for the stunningly lived-in performance by first-timer Katie Jarvis, who is never less than authentic as the hard-edged Mia. It can be tricky to pull off a role like this, which requires Jarvis to be all strut and glower and act years beyond her age until those moments when we realize that she's still just a scared teenage girl. It's in those moments that Jarvis finally feels vulnerable, reminding us just how much of her tough girl act is a put-on and how much of it is a function of her having to fend for herself. Fassbender has an equally tricky role, playing a character who isn't a villain but who is far from being a good guy. It's going to be interesting to watch his star rise in the next year or so; on the heels of Inglourious Basterds, it seems like he's attached to every genre property that requires performance over star power. Fish Tank confirms that he can handle the performance; it's movies like X-Men: First Class and Ridley Scott's Prometheus that I suspect will confirm his star power. I'm looking forward to it.

Unsurprisingly, Criterion's Blu-ray edition of Fish Tank (it's one of those rare titles that makes its debut on the Criterion label, rather than appearing as a special edition years after its release) is a stunner. The fact that the film was shot in the 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio threw me at first, but before long it became obvious why the choice was made; this is a movie about characters who are trapped—crowded and claustrophobic—and the tightness of the framing only serves to highlight that. The HD transfer is nearly flawless, with no dirt or imperfections and lots of naturalistic detail and brilliant color reproduction. There's nothing flashy about the film, visually speaking, but that doesn't take away from the beauty of Criterion's transfer. The DTS-HD audio track is really only asked to deliver dialogue clearly, which it does in the center channel. The remaining speakers are devoted to ambient effects, which helps add to the realism that the film is hoping to achieve—it puts us in the middle of these characters' world.

Though Criterion does offer up a decent amount of bonus features on the Fish Tank Blu-ray, they're not really of the same quality as the studio's usual output. First of all, there's no commentary track included (this from the studio that practically invented the director's commentary back in the days of laserdisc). Instead, there's a pair of interviews: a video interview with Kierston Wareing, who plays Mia's mom in the film. It's not a bad interview, but the neither the character nor the actress factor into the film all that much—she's not exactly who we want or need to hear from when it comes to Fish Tank. Better is an audio-only interview with star Michael Fassbender, who discusses his character, the production and themes of the movie. Three of director Andrea Arnold's short films are included: "Milk," "Dog" and "Wasp," (which won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film) as is reel of young actresses auditioning for the role of Mia that really puts the power of Katie Jarvis' performance into focus. A collection of production photos and the original theatrical trailer round out the supplementary section of the disc.

Closing Statement

Fish Tank is challenging stuff, and isn't always easy. It's right there in the title; there we are, standing outside of the fish tank as passive observers, unable to interfere in the lives of these characters who are trapped in their own little world. They can't escape, even as they see the possibility of another life on the other side of the glass.

The Verdict

Not Guilty.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:46 am

http://playeraffinity.com/movies-news/dvd-blu-ray-discussion-new-for-2-22-11.html

Fish Tank (DVD and Blu-ray)

What's the Deal?
One thing British cinema does really well is gritty social realism: films looking at social issues and working class culture. Andrea Arnold’s (Red Road) film sets out to continue this trend and won the Jury Prize at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival and best British Film at the BAFTAs for her troubles. Michael Fassbender (300, Hunger) stars alongside newcomer Katie Jarvis, who was discovered after the casting director saw the teenager arguing with boyfriend at a train station.

Mia (Jarvis) is a troubled 15-year-old teenager who lives in a run-down council estate in Essex (that is the county just east of London). She has been expelled from school and hangs around drinking alcohol. But her life is complicated further when her mother brings home a new boyfriend, Conner (Fassbender).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Three Short Films by Director Andrea Arnold: Milk (1998), Dog (2001), and the Oscar-winning Wasp (2003) - New Video Interview with Actor Kierston Wareing - Audio Conversation with Actor Michael Fassbender from 2009 Audition footage - Stills Gallery by Set Photographer Holly Horner; Original Theatrical Trailer - Plus: a Booklet featuring an Essay by Film Scholar Ian Christie

Amazon Price: $21.99 (DVD), $27.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars, Video 5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 3.5 stars, Replay 4.5 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:57 am

http://blogs.indiewire.com/carynjames/archives/fish_tank/

The Oscar Gem on the “Fish Tank” DVD

Andrea Arnold’s Oscar-winning short, Wasp, is every bit as accomplished and harrowing as her amazing feature, Fish Tank, and takes the same gritty, realistic approach to its working-class characters.

In the 2003 short, a very young single mother of four leaves them in a parking lot while she has a date in the pub with a long-lost boyfriend. Arnold makes you hold your breath wondering whether a wasp flying near the baby’s mouth is the worst that will happen to these kids.

Wasp, (photo above) which won the Oscar for best live action short, is the strongest feature on the new Criterion DVD of Fish Tank. It’s easy to see Fish Tank‘s heroine (Katie Jarvis) as a girl trying not to become the woman in Wasp, even as she falls for her mother’s too-attentive boyfriend (Michael Fassbender).

Although the DVD includes two earlier shorts, it’s too bad there’s no commentary from Arnold. But maybe Wasp is enhancement enough.

Caryn James posted to Best On DVD at 8:59 am on February 22, 2011
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:49 pm

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/blu-ray-review-fish-tank-criterion-collection

Blu-ray Review: Fish Tank (Criterion Collection)
3
COMMENTS
While polarizing, I immediately knew I wanted to add it to my collection
By: Kevin Blumeyer
Published: Tuesday, March 8th 2011 at 10:35 AM
Fish Tank

As told through the eyes of Mia, a mouthy 15-year-old aspiring hip-hop dancer, Fish Tank plays like a grittier, low-class version of An Education. Though both are British films, the worlds their characters inhabit could not be more different.

Mia doesn't seem to care about anything besides dancing and acting tough. Her wardrobe consists entirely of track suits and she drinks like a seasoned pro, both in her mother's scuzzy apartment and in the vacant one to where she escapes to practice her dancing. Both Mia and her younger sister curse without hesitation at their perpetually wasted mother (Kierston Wareing), who can't be a minute older than 30.

When her mother brings home a slimy, yet charming new boyfriend named Connor ( Michael Fassbender of Inglourious Basterds and Hunger), Mia instantly becomes smitten when he compliments the way she dances along with a Ja Rule music video.

Writer/director Andrea Arnold originally wanted to cast a trained dancer in the role of Mia, but Katie Jarvis landed the gig after a casting director spotted her at a train station arguing with her boyfriend. The casting of a non-dancer works because Mia, while a decent dancer, isn't nearly as good as she thinks she is. It shows Mia's naivety and alludes to Connor's impure and manipulative ways as he continues to encourage her in an attempt to gain her trust. The performances from Jarvis and especially Fassbender are exceptional. It's easy to see why he's one of today's fastest rising stars.

The film is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio, with the picture matted into the shape of an old school "square screen" TV. Some have alluded to this giving the film a more claustrophobic feel, but I feel it was done to treat the audience more like an outsider. We're a silent observer, much like Mia is when she looks into the kitchen window (again, a square). Mia sees her mother dancing ecstatically the morning after her first night with Connor and no doubt judges her for the quality of her dance moves. Many scenes are accompanied by a glare that imitates that annoying midday sun protruding through the blinds in your living room. Coincidently (or perhaps not?) no wide-screen or high definition televisions appear in the film itself.

It took me three viewings before I gathered a theory on what the film's title means. I think it all comes down to a scene when Connor takes the three girls on a picnic. Connor, clearly showing off, walks into the pond and tries to catch a fish with his bare hands. Connor convinces Mia to wade into the water and help lure the fish into his arms.

"Look, people don't come here often. The fish are stupid, we'll get one easy," he explains. Mia isn't used to being around guys or receiving any positive attention in general. Much like the fish who isn't exposed to the threats of heavy fishing or larger fish, Mia is easily manipulated and succumbs to Connor's trap.

The disc comes in the standard Criterion clear plastic case that I've come to know and love, complete with an 18-page booklet of stills and an essay by film scholar Ian Christie. I'm not familiar with the circumstances surrounding the film's release and the extent of Arnold's involvement, but it seems inexcusable that Criterion was unable to obtain a commentary track for a film that premiered nearly two years before this release. Instead we get all three short films Arnold directed before making her feature debut with 2006 Cannes Jury Prize winner Red Road — Milk (1998), Dog (2001) and Wasp (2003).

The obvious standout here is Wasp. This outstanding 26-minute film won the 2005 Oscar for Best Live Action Short and feels like a precursor to Fish Tank in regards to cringe-inducing parenting.

If I had to complain about anything (aside from the lack of director's commentary), it would be that the nearly transparent menu screens are often difficult to read. The remaining extras consist of an audio-only interview with Michael Fassbender, a video interview with Kierston Wareing and a throwaway ten-minute reel of dancers auditioning for the part of Mia.

The disc's pristine image quality is on par with what we've come to expect from Criterion, even if the supplementary material lacks by comparison. As much as I love this film, I can also see that it's a rather polarizing one (Brad didn't like it nearly as much as I did). So my recommendation is this: Watch Fish Tank on Netflix Instant (the picture quality won't be the same, but you'll get the gist of it) and buy the Criterion Blu-ray if you dig it. I stayed up ridiculously late to watch the film on the Sundance Channel a few months ago and knew immediately that I wanted to add it to my collection.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:17 pm

http://cinegeek.com/?p=3418

On Blu Ray: Fish Tank

Stephen Lackey | Mar 15, 2011

Fish Tank

Directed by: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Katie Jarvis, Kierston Wareing, Harry Treadaway, Michael Fassbender

I am a big fan of films from England. In particular, films set in working-class England rather than the trials and tribulations of the rich. So, Fish Tank is right in my wheelhouse.

The Movie

Mia (Katie Jarvis) is fifteen years old. She has a mother named Joanne (Kierston Wareing), for whom the name mother only applies because she gave birth to Mia, as she doesn’t do much in the way of actually “caring” for her daughter. The two live in a filthy apartment and Joanne focuses much more of her attention to whatever man she is “dating” at the moment.

Mia finds solace and escape from her life in the form of rap music and hip hop dancing. She practices with enthusiasm in abandoned apartments and buildings in her neighborhood. She hopes that dancing might be her ticket out of her dreary existence. It really is all she has to rely on as she spends her days at home as she has been kicked out of her school.

She spends her days being alternating solemn and angry. She picks fights with all of the local girls and has a strange fixation on a horse that she discovers chained in a classmate Billy’s (Harry Treadaway) yard. While Billy seems to offer some sort of friendship to Mia, she isn’t much interested.

Enter into the picture Connor (Michael Fassbender), the latest beau in Mia’s mother’s life. While he seems nice enough on the surface, something else seethes beneath his easy going demeanor. Even though Mia can be rude and sullen, he likes Mia’s mercurial personality immediately.

However, Connor’s intentions aren’t exactly 100% altruistic. He flirts with Mia who is unsure of how to sort out her feelings for Connor. She is intrigued and excited by the attention of an older man, but knows there are consequences. But, worrying about consequences isn’t really in Mia’s DNA strand.

Fish Tank is a compelling and realistic “cinema verite” exploration into the life a young Brits journey from teenager to adult. Mia’s road is definitely bumpy and wrought with never ending opportunities for peril and tension. You aren’t going to see teenage life portrayed in this manner on Glee, that’s for sure. And, that is the film’s strength.

The performances are all solid, in particular Katie Jarvis as Mia. She brings a realistic intensity to her portrayal of this girl “on the edge”. The cinematography by Robbie Ryan (Red Road) is wonderfully gritty and straightforward.
The direction by Andrea Arnold is bold and honest. This story and film is told free of any pretentiousness. I am familiar with Arnold’s work from another film, Red Road, which is another film you should check out.

I digress. Fish Tank is what indie film should be about: candid stories told in an emotionally resonating manner. Add this one to the Netflix queue or to the home collection with quickness.

8/10

The Video

The film is presented in an AVC encoded full frame aspect ratio. The colors are natural and the gritty look of the film is preserved. The level of detail is impressive and the black levels are respectable.

8/10

The Audio

The film is presented in 5.1 DTS HD sound mix. The dialogue is crystal clear and mixed well with the ambient sound. While this might not be the disc you pop into to show off your home theater, this is perfect audio presentation for this film.

7/10

The Packaging and Bonus Features

The film is presented in a standard blu ray amaray case with artwork suited to the film presented.

There are some nice bonus features to peruse on this release. Michael Fassbender is an interview with the actor discussing his acting style and his experiences working on this film.

Audition Footage shows various actors’s trying out for the part of Mia and their varying dance skills.

Kierston Wareing is a discussion with the actor that portrayed Joanne in the film. She discusses her motivation and her prior film work.

Also offered are several of Arnold’s short film work, Milk, Dog and Wasp. All are very good and Wasp earned Arnold an Academy Award.

Rounding things out is a stills gallery and theatrical trailer.

8/10

Overall (Not an Average) 8.5/10

The Review
The Film 8/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 8/10
Overall ( Not an Average) 8.5/10
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:36 pm

http://abdie.web.id/15032011/blu-ray-review-fish-tank-criterion-collection/

Blu-Ray Review: Fish Tank — Criterion Collection

Posted by abdie on 3/15/11
Amanda Mae Meyncke,
Mar 14, 2011

If you told me how Fish Tank was going to end before I saw it, I wouldn’t even have believed you. Shocking things are rarely shocking, like a horror movie that wants to scare you so much that it goes overboard with the shrieks and spooks. But sometimes, carefully built up over the course of a few hours, things happen in films that are so entirely unexpected and strange that you can hardly believe that you have the good luck to see them for yourself. Engaging, at times heart-stopping, strangely hopeful, and relentlessly fascinating, Fish Tank is the best and worst aspects of close-up voyeurism all tumbled together with almost no relief from the action.

15-year-old smart-mouth Mia (Katie Jarvis) lives in the Essex housing projects in England with her neglectful mother (Kierston Wareing) and volatile younger sister. The film follows Mia through her days filled with casual drinking, solitary dancing (she aspires to be a hip-hop dancer), and fighting with neighbor girls. Mia expects nothing of her life, and it is obvious that nothing is expected of her, until her mother’s new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) comes into the picture and begins to encourage her. As the sexual tension builds, Mia struggles to find her way into the confusing world of adulthood.

Once the film gets going, it’s almost impossible to stop watching, even if the phone rings or you need a Popsicle, so get settled before you start. Hyper-realistic in tone and feeling, director Andrea Arnold completely nails the particulars of this small world, and has an absolute eye for pacing. One of my favorite elements was that moments of importance to Mia lose all sound except for the quiet in-and-out of her own breathing. If only for a minute, that breath is all there is in the world. Other elements of the film are entirely shocking, and the resolution is hard won to say the least. Fish Tank is undoubtedly one of the most provocative films I have ever seen; I find myself thinking about it days after seeing it, though I’m not sure I’d want to see it again for a while.

Criterion is absolutely right to pick this 2009 film up, and the Blu-ray edition is gorgeous, though the subject material may not necessitate the Blu-ray treatment. Sadly, there are far fewer special features than I would have wanted, including nothing from director Andrea Arnold other than three of her short films, Milk (1998), Dog (2001), and the Oscar-winning Wasp (2003). Conversations with the director are often the most illuminating aspect of a film, especially on projects that were written and directed by the same person, providing depth that cannot be got at any other way. None of that to be found here, which makes me think that Criterion may have rushed this one through production.

What we do have is a video interview with Kierston Wareing, who plays the mother, and a brief audio interview with Michael Fassbender. Why no interview with the lead, Katie Jarvis? Both the interviews do give insight into the filming process, which was tightly controlled by Arnold to the point that she did not allow actors to see the entire script — instead they shot chronologically and were given their pages only a few days in advance. The essay by Ian Christie is interesting, though it left me wanting more. There’s audition footage, which is mildly interesting, and a stills gallery. But it’s really not enough. When someone makes a movie as good as Fish Tank, I want to crawl inside it for awhile, understand what makes it tick. Criterion usually does a good job of exhausting my desire to learn more about a film, giving me exactly as much as I want or more. Sadly, this release feels more like a starting point rather than a definitive edition.

Fish Tank is available now from the Criterion Collection.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:23 am

http://themreporter.blogspot.com/2011/04/dvd-review-fish-tank.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
DVD Review - Fish Tank
Fish Tank was released in Great Britain in 2009. It went on to win the BAFTA for Best British Film as well as the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. IFC Films gave the the movie a limited theatrical run in early 2010. The Criterion Collection then added it to its roster, a prestigious honor. That and the well-crafted supplements on the disc make this one of the best DVDs of 2011.

Andrea Arnold wrote and directed this very compelling story about a female character the likes of which you rarely see. Her name is Mia and she's played by Katie Jarvis. Mia is a tough, hotheaded, teenage girl who is quick to throw rocks and pick fights. She is also quick to walk into dangerous situations. In a way, she's a female thug.

But, that's not all she is. When walking by an empty lot under a highway, Mia sees a horse chained to some kind of post. She's immediately drawn to it. Is it because she recognizes something familiar? Does she perhaps feel chained in some way?

Back at home, Mia lives with her mother and younger sister, Tyler. Her father is nowhere to be found. They live in a low-rent, high rise in an Estate just east of London. To say that they're poor would be putting it mildly. Poverty is invariably Mia's chain and as she tries to free the horse, she also tries to free herself.

She doesn't run away or commit crimes like a thug would though, at least not egregious ones. She breaks into an abandoned apartment and dances. Music and the movement of her body is her freedom. It's how she breaks whatever chains holds her down. It's interesting that this skinny, white, British girl chooses hip hop music and break dancing, but that's just Mia.

However, a wrinkle in her world is introduced in the form of her mother's new Irish boyfriend, Connor, played by Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds). Mia is listening to Ashanti and Ja Rule when Connor's shirtless torso appears. They exchange pleasantries but the sexual tension is intense. It is immediately felt by both. There is also a very interesting and seductive, point-of-view shot through Mia's arms that is reminiscent of the shot through Mrs. Robinson's legs in The Graduate (1967). There is a heat here.

This is not exactly like Mrs. Robinson going after Ben but reverse genders. That relationship was all about the gratification, about the uncertainty and pressures in life. There really isn't much of that here. For Mia, it's about showing her that there's more to the world than the enclave that she knows. It's about curiosity, the courage of exploration and the light of discovery, discovery of things that aren't necessarily new but new for Mia. Things like Bobby Womack or fishing in a shallow pond, things that also aren't grounded in her concrete reality.

But, what Arnold excells is documenting that reality. The way that she does is uncompromising but beautiful. The way she has her three female characters dance together to Nas' "Life's a Bitch" is raw elegance, or perhaps a rough elegance. Whether Arnold is observing a young man in silhouette doing back flips out in the open or observing the gyrations of women in a strip club, she conveys a rough elegance.

Of the great supplements or DVD bonus features, there is an interview with Kierston Wareing who plays Mia's mother. She talks of Jarvis' direction, how it's like Ken Loach, how she worked in continuity to the script, but how Arnold didn't give her the whole script but only it in pieces. The DVD includes audition tapes for the role of Mia as well as the first three films directed by Andrea Arnold, including Dog (2001), which in a lot of ways sets the tone for this one and her Oscar-winning short Wasp (2005).

There's also audio of Michael Fassbender during a Q&A in Queens, NY, for the Museum of the Moving Image's Pinewood Dialogue Series. Fassbender talks about how Arnold had no condescension on her part towards the characters. He was also impressed with her 2006 film Red Road, which I was as well.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated R for sexual content and language.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 3 mins.
Posted by Marlon Wallace at 6:44 PM
Email This
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 27093
Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

Back to top Go down

Re: Fish Tank DVD reviews

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 3 of 3 Previous  1, 2, 3

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum