Archive for Reviews

 

Marvel’s latest action film franchise, set in the same universe as The Avengers, starts off as far more quirky and raggedy than their usual offerings. Action packed and full of snappy one liners though it may be, it is not a superhero movie as such and has a very different feel to any of the other recent releases.

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From the premise of Michael Fassbender (famous for playing Magneto in the new X Men films and creepy android, David, in Prometheus) in a big papier-mache head making weird music in the middle of the countryside in Ireland, you may think that this film does not sound promising.  If you think that, then you are so wrong.

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Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley: The Soul of America, which recently aired on the BBC, is one of those documentaries that justifies a good chunk of the TV tax all on its own. Over the course of an hour (the limited theatrical release was 72 minutes) we are shown around the life of a former James Brown impersonator who only made it with his own material in 2011, at 62 years of age.

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The Great Gatsby was one of the most eagerly anticipated films to hit our screens this year. The combination of Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio had many fans and critics keen to see what the two could create. Like with any major film release that has a big build up, there was always going to be some film critics ready to slate it just to cause upset and go against the grain, but essentially the film has been well received, taking $51million at the US box office in its opening week.

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Dir. James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farminga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston

Just like studio sitcoms, horror films that make the audience jump seem terribly passé these days. There is something not very sophisticated about the whole thing – like getting your kicks from poking someone in the sides, or unexpectedly screaming in their ear. Which is a shame, because there is nothing wrong with a film that shocks by jumping out at us from the dark, providing it does it well.

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Before Midnight

You’re probably going to want to see Before Midnight without knowing what happened to Jesse and Celine since last time.

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If you’re disappointed with David Lynch’s lack of recent output, this new short from London-based auteur Alexander Sebley could be right up your flag pole. Set in the astral planes of London, ‘The Wood The People’ has all the elements of a Lynchian terror dream: freaky men, freaky women (both wearing red, naturally), and lots of woodland imagery. Accompanied by a experimental jazz soundtrack from Mutado Pintado and Jonathan Dryden, it’s possibly the most beautiful movie ever to feature a peeping tom, a piano and a pair of pants in a tree. Enjoy.

Hollywood is always remaking what it shouldn’t. Rather than tackle films that had great potential but just couldn’t quite get there, they focus all of their attention of films that were amazing, had a cult following and don’t want to see it reborn as a 3D blockbuster starring Kristen Stewart or Zac Efron.

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Confession time: I haven’t read all of 2000AD or the Judge Dredd comics. I’ve read enough to understand he shouldn’t take his helmet off and that the 1995 version Judge Dredd – featuring Sly Stallone without the eponymous character’s headgear – wasn’t a great adaptation. (It wasn’t bad though, why it was so widely lambasted is a bit beyond me. It was over-the-top and a bit silly and nowhere near the dark tones of the comics, but it was a great film to watch and be entertained by.) I know enough to realise that Dredd  3D is a great Dredd film.

For those who have a limited understanding of the Dredd universe; the world has been decimated by nuclear war and left the planet a scarred wasteland called the Cursed Earth. Only the area of land between Boston and Washington remains liveable and 800 million people now reside in MegaCity One. To control the overwhelming amount of crime in such a place, the Hall of Justice was built and Judges trained. They are licensed with being judge, jury and executioner when dealing with ‘perps’. Read the rest of this entry »

Film Review: Brave

Let me start off by saying, I loved Brave, but I won’t start with the review of it just yet (Sorry for the somewhat misleading title). Instead, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the short animated film that preludes the main feature that has become the staple of Pixar films. People get as excited about seeing what Pixar can do in 5 minutes as they get about whatever hour-and-a-half film they’re about to watch. La Luna, the short preceding Brave, is no exception.

It’s such a delightful and adorable short that you almost forget what you came to see in the first place. I hesitate to say that the 5-minutes were worth the price of admission alone if only because of the extortionate prices cinemas charge nowadays.

Oscar-nominated La Luna shows us the story of three-generations of lunar-janitors; a grandfather, a father and the young son. The shorts are characteristically speechless but we understand that it’s the young lad’s first time out working with the family business. Read the rest of this entry »