‘Django Unchained’ plays like a beautiful dirge.
Fun, but over familiar; if you’re bored of the Olympics and have seen The Dark Knight Rises, ‘Ted’ is a reasonable way to spend a couple of hours in an air conditioned room.
So, we have, at last long last, the finale to the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy.
Slickly made, the film is captivating in its set pieces which utilise 3D post-production well, including a duel between Abe and a vampire in the midst of a horse stampede and recreations of battles during the civil war…
An enormously entertaining horror comedy; ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ updates the fantasy horror genre as seen in films like the Evil Dead trilogy for knowing modern audiences.
Seeing a vast array of co-production funders at the start of a film suggests, to me at least, one of two things:
Firstly, that this is some serious art piece where filmmakers of real passion have hustled money from all over, inspiring support with their great idea.
… OR …
… it’s some big tax write-off.
Despite what Disney cartoons and breakfast cereals may have taught us, animals cannot talk.
‘Ghost Protocol’ makes no bones about where it stands: it is an action movie through and through.
Tsui Hark’s Tang Dynasty detective story is a thrilling adventure, though for western viewers the mystical elements make the mystery a little hard to follow.
I have to admit I was never the greatest fan of Tintin comics or the classic animated series, but even a casual knowledge of them makes it obvious this film does a disservice to both.
Pedro Almodovar’s most accessible film in years, a story of murder, kidnap and substituted desire that returns to some of the themes of his 2004 thriller Bad Education
‘Captain America’ is a fun action ride that doesn’t try to put on airs.
Green Lantern is a briskly entertaining and enjoyably broad superhero flick that doesn’t seem to know quite which audience it’s aiming for.
It’s not a great sign when the cast list for a film makes more interesting viewing than the film itself.
The Hollywood career of Jason Statham is reminiscent of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Doggedly working the straight-to-DVD schlock martial-arts beat, Statham has laboriously clambered to the top-rank of action stars. Like Van Damme it’s got to the point where no-one even feels the need to hand-wave away his accent – Statham just IS.
Sadly, and also like [...]
contains spoilers… for ‘Lord of the Rings’.
Steven Moffat has a thing about spoilers. You’d have guessed it, given he snuck the word into ‘Doctor Who’ and then turned it into River Song’s catchphrase. But his recorded complaint about fans posting spoilers made BBC Breakfast News (and elsewhere).
I agree with Moffat. The kind of person who [...]
‘Woochi the Demon Slayer’ has a fatal flaw but is otherwise a lively tale of good, evil and personal stylists.
Just as an Archgod is about to banish all the evil goblins from the world with his enchanted pipe, three impatient Taoist gods disrupt the spell. The goblins are freed, the Archgod vanishes and two wizards [...]
Great Odin’s Raven! Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Thor’ is remarkably uncompromised.
All you need to know about ‘Sucker Punch’ is that it is the slickest B-movie ever made.
Now, if you’re feeling bold and continued past that initial assessment, what else I can tell you about ‘Sucker Punch’ is that the movie is clearly an exercise in imagination. There is no end to the amount of good [...]
‘71 Into the Fire’ takes a little known incident of the Korean War and gives it well-deserved epic treatment.
There’s a broad trajectory war films take, as the war they depict recedes into history. During the war they are obviously propagandist. Immediately afterwards they are patriotic and heroic. Then comes lighter fare, then films that question [...]
‘Vallanzasca, gli angeli del male’ (‘Angel of Evil’) is a slick portrayal of a smooth criminal. It purports to be the true story of a criminal whose gang ran riot in Milan in the 1970s.
‘True crime’ films are, of course, nothing of the sort. The messy reality of events is neatened up and causality is [...]
If I say that ‘True Grit’ is pretty much a perfect movie, it’s not so much that I’m placing it in some imaginary canon of great films, or saying that it’s impossible to improve upon, merely that it has all the elements you might want in a visit to the cinema, and that all those [...]
Starting on 1 March, we’re planning to say ciao to a range of contemporary Italian cinema at London’s Italian Film Festival.
We love a film festival here. There’s something very satisfying about a week immersed in cinema, looking at themes that emerge from a well-curated programme.
The Italian Film Festival’s programme includes ten new Italian films across [...]
…as dumb, violent, action, drink smuggling films go, it’s the best I’ve seen in a while.
‘Dark Metropolis’ is a slickly shot indie sci-fi movie that aims high with its concept. Humanity has lost a 300-year old war to their genetically engineered offshoot called the Ghen.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reprise another version of their amiable bromance that’s been featured in all their collaborations and is an entertaining Sci-Fi romp aimed at fans of the genre.
Watching ‘Missing’ I was unsure of whether it was a coldly scathing portrayal of male violence against women or a tasteless, and for the most part extremely slow, horror film.
It’s beautifully shot, has a great soundtrack and a gripping performance by the lead. However not a film I feel I’ll ever want to watch again…
This is a movie that practically begs you to compare it to things that are a lot better.
The B-movie is something that is quickly falling into irrelevance. With the drop in the cost of producing movies in the digital age, what was previously considered camp trash is now indie, and with it comes a greater measure of respect than previously.
Like Scrooge, we’re a bit at sea about what the future holds for our favourite kinds of nonsense.
Another trailer of interest, this time the teaser for Danny Boyle’s ‘127 Hours’, starring the always-interesting James Franco:
‘127 Hours’ is in cinemas nationwide 5 January 2011.
One late Christmas Eve Ebenezeer Scrooge was visited by three spirits who showed him things from the past, the present and the Yet To Come. This is like that, but with three reviewers & Shiny’s usual pop culture nonsense. Merry Christmas.
Like most belated sequels to 70s / 80s family blockbusters, ‘Tron: Legacy’ has the weight of history, technology, and nostalgia to live up to and like ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, it is a sequel that doesn’t satisfy fans of the original or new audiences either.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing it but Leslie Neilsen was not just a white-haired deliverer of deadpan lines. He was also the romantic lead in one of the most seminal SF films of the 1950s.
‘Forbidden Planet’ is off the scale. It blew its budget retelling Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ as a space exploration story. Morbius [...]
To take you into the weekend, here’s the trailer for ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’, coming to Blu-ray and DVD on 27 December 2010.
More from Grimm Up North 2010: ‘13 Hours’, ‘Slice’, ‘Chop’, ‘Primal’ and ‘We Are What We Are’.
I’m finding it hard to get quite as worked up about the Joss-free ‘Buffy’ remake as many fans of the series are.
Day Three of Grimm Up North 2010: Evil in the Time of Heroes, The Pack, and Amer.
How can anyone resist a film with the title ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk’? I certainly couldn’t, and am very pleased I gave in to temptation.
Day Two at the Grimmfest: ‘The Reeds’, ‘Dream Home’ and ‘Alien vs Ninja’.
Day one of Manchester’s ‘Grimmfest’ horror film festival: The Last Man On Earth rescored by Animat, and new Brit-horror ‘Outcast’.
It isn’t just that ‘Burke and Hare’ is bad, although clearly it is.
Jackie Chan’s latest martial arts film is a more sombre affair, with a disconcerting subtext.
Michael Lewis intended ‘Liar’s Poker’, his seminal 1989 book on his career as a bond trader, to be an exposé.
‘Suck’ combines vampires with a rock’n’roll movie, and wears its cheapness on its leather sleeve.
A sensitively played and beautifully shot adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker nominated 2005 novel, ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a harrowing and deeply affecting film.
I had high hopes for ‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’, about which I’d heard good things. I’m afraid, however, that viewing this film was a pretty disappointing and also slightly depressing experience.
‘Good Hair’ is nominally a study of the multimillion dollar black hair industry, but has some deeply resonant things to say about the wider question of race in American society.