I don't think I've ever been so excited about a film at the cinema before. And after nigh-on three hours I was only slightly disappointed. I can't help raising those hopes too high obviously.
It is a very, very good film indeed; that needs to be said. It's filmed in glorious, lush colours and employs some neat panoramic shots of a boundless landscape that juxtapose neatly with a fairly compact plot. The violence, although used rather sparingly, cleverly switches between…
After the glowing reviews, I was looking forward to this. Sam Mendes and a really stellar cast; what could go wrong?
The answer is really, not all that much, but I don't think it's the magnificent return to form it's been hailed as after the turgid mess that was Quantum of Solace.
It certainly starts well; the opening scene is a great extended action sequence featuring Craig and Naomi Harris trashing half of Istanbul in pursuit of Ola Rapace's mercenary…
You've got to applaud a director who resolutely ploughs their own furrow (not a euphemism), and after Brick, which is one of my favourites from the last decade I was really looking forward to this, and I wasn't disappointed.
I won't go into the plot beyond stating that Joseph-Gordon Levitt plays a younger version of Bruce Willis' character, a Looper, or hitman who has been sent back to be killed by himself. The plot is suitably twisty, but never confusing.…
Oh dear - I think I may be beginning to like romantic comedies; especially when they're done as well as this.
Although I thought the ending descends into normal genre mawkishness, the journey there was definitely the route less travelled. It was suprisingly dark in places, and certainly didn't make light of the mental health issues that forms the basis of the plot.
I was also slightly surprised, pleasantly so, at how unshowy Jennifer Lawrence's performance is, considering she now…
Compelling true-life (albeit a heavily Americanised version of events) detailing the extraction of six Americans from a Canadian safe house during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1981.
Ben Affleck directs and stars as CIA operative Tony Mendez who comes up with the idea of a cover story for the Americans; they are six Canadians who are scouting suitable locations for fictional Star Wars rip-off Argo.
It would be far-fetched if it hadn't actually happened, but Affleck keeps the tale rooted…
This is surely the type of spectacle that cinema was invented for. It has taken seven years for Alfonso Cuarón to follow up his excellent Children of Men and he has delivered a monumental labour of love. It is film at its most transcendent, and combines an exploration of the technical limits of the craft without losing sight of its humanity.
The plot is streamlined almost to the point of being irrelevant. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her…
After reading some so-so reviews, this actually turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. The lengthy running time went by very quickly, and if it wasn't for people mentioning the merits or otherwise of the high frame-rate I wouldn't have even noticed.
There are parts that could have been excised. The dwarf song for example, and the clumsy link in to previous films with Old Bilbo writing the story for Frodo ("In a hole in the ground lived a…
I don't recall having this much fun at the cinema for a long time. I knew there was some vague post-modern spin to the movie, but somehow I managed to avoid trailers and various reviews that may have given the game away and went in cold. Jesus, am I glad I did.
I'll say no more about it except to say that every genre convention is played with and lovingly mocked. And the ending is just mental. In a wonderful…
In turns jaw-dropping and frustrating.
The opening scene in particular is astonishing and it does have some gripping and brilliantly done set pieces.
It doesn't have the prolonged sense of menace and claustrophobia of Scott's earlier classic however and some of the characters are mere fodder.
Also, I found the execution of its central conceit a little Scientological for my liking.
Still, I don't think it is the disappointment some reviews have claimed. Michael Fassbender's gloriously creepy android is worth the price of entry alone, and Theron's glacial performance made me wonder whether was more than one synthetic on board.
Tarantino offers up another lengthy vignettish mish-mash with a great cast. It's funny and chatty, with the first scene perhaps the stand out, a lengthy multi-lingual conversation between a farmer harbouring a jewish family under his floorboards and Cristoph Waltz's charming but ruthless SS man Hans Landa. The tension rises to unbearable levels and the rest of the film sadly manages to match it. Still, this is an irreverant and witty curio that plays fast and loose with history and is worth a watch for Waltz's astonishing Oscar-grabbing turn. Brad Pitt looks frankly silly beside him.
It's been necessary to put a bit of time between watching this and trying to write coherently about it. My eyes had spent the time in the cinema being taken out to dinner by the gorgeous opening sequence, seduced by the astonishing shipwreck scence, and finally sweetly caressed to climax by a million meerkats.
It is quite possibly, the most visually beautiful film I have ever seen. One that makes wonderful use of CGI imagery, but crucially, retains its humanity…
I think I've given this film a decent rating just for it not being Twilight. Oh well; I did enjoy it but I acknowledge that there is a lot wrong with it.
For a few examples:
*Incessant shaky cam.
*Ponderously slow build up that really doesn't tell us that much about PanEm. I never felt drawn into the film's world.
*Jennifer Lawrence is basically the same character as in Winter's Bone but attacked by teenagers rather than meth-heads. (She's lovely…