This category contains 218 posts

Review: The Maze Runner (2014)

Impressive visuals can’t hide the lack of originality behind this “Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies” franchise opener. And with the long shadow of Lost cast front and centre, you know you can’t trust a thing that anyone says or does from start to finish. Just as well The Maze Runner‘s Lost Boys are … Continue reading

Review: Dracula Untold (2014)

Actually, chaps, it’s Dracula Re-told in that ‘Lord of the Rings mashed with 300/Videogames’ aesthetic, in a kinetic but oddly stilted, bloodless CGI-fest of 15-certificate non-horror. Welshman of the moment Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Immortals) cuts a dash as the anguished and clearly misunderstood Vlad (the Impaler) Dracul, historical Transylvanian prince of legendary cruelty. Clearly … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Grotesquely violent, sweary, nuts-and-bolts action flick Olympus Has Fallen, starring and produced by gruff Scottish lump “THIS IS BUTLER!” Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen), makes uncomfortable viewing. Not for it’s graphic terrorist attack on Washington, bloody and uncompromising as it is; but for the dire poverty of script and ideas in this cynical money-making … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Man of Steel (2013)

Despite an over-long, four-act structure, disjointed flashbacks and an over-reliance on vast swathes of CGI carnage, Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) delivers a surprisingly super-heroic epic on a grand scale. Boy, do you get a lot of movie for your money. Choosing homage to Christopher Reeve’s Superman I and II over the DC Comics source material, … Continue reading

Movie catch-up: Ender’s Game (2013)

An old-fashioned sci-fi space-opera which, despite the huge and complex CGI fleet actions, relies entirely on the conflict between child warrior Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) and his grizzled mentor Colonel Gruff – sorry, Graff (Harrison Ford). Fifty years after the insectoid Formics are beaten back from invading the Earth, mankind is breeding child soldiers whose … Continue reading

Movie catch-up: Now You See Me (2013)

A little bit of The Sting, a little bit of The Prestige and a lot of Oceans Eleven can’t lift this entertaining but empty thriller that tries to be as tricksy as its subjects. From the point it introduces Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson as street magician, escapologist, hustler and mentallist, … Continue reading

Movie catch-up: The Host (2013)

Stephanie Meyer (Twilight) moves on to a different kind of ‘vampire': an alien invasion of body-snatching luminous jelly-fish with a penchant for white suits, silver sports cars and a passive, peaceful, perfect utopia. Of course, there’s a small resistance force fighting extinction and for everything human; including the right to be hormonally over-excited teenagers, even … Continue reading

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Sometimes feeling like a giant episode of the late lamented Firefly, it’s fun, inventive and spectacular to look at with some marvellous CGI work and a SCRIPT. An actual honest to goodness script. Some great performances, with the standout surprise that is Dave Bautista as the endearingly heartfelt vengeance-fuelled irony-free Drax stealing the show. Recommended. … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: X-Men first Class

More like X-Men Economy Class, this lack-lustre origins’ prequel plays like an X-Men tribute band. Inserting itself into the Cuban Missile Crisis with a vast CGI extravaganza, light-weight superheroes and paper-thin villains First Class has nothing new to add to the back-story. While the new intake of teen mutants make no difference at all, and … Continue reading

Movie catch-up: Holes (2003)

A few years ago someone at Disney – yes, Disney – decided a kids version of Cool Hand Luke infused with The Goonies and a dash of Shawshank Redemption would make a decent movie. So they set it in the desert, hired Signourney Weaver (Paul, Abduction) do do one of her cold villains, alongside a … Continue reading

Movie catch-up: Cold Light of Day (2012)

An American family takes a vacation to Europe which descends into car chases and shoot-outs, owing to the father’s shady past as a US master spy, and his son has to come to terms with his parents’ double life. No its not 1985’s Target, with Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon; this time, dad Bruce Willis … Continue reading

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