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Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron movie poster

In a relentless drive to up the ante in Marvel comic-book sequels, it’s only Joss Whedon’s sense of humour that saves this noisy, CGI-laden behemoth from crash, bash and smash tedium.

The script is a load of portentous twaddle about artificial intelligence, monsters, mayhem and extinction-level events, or, put another way, any excuse to run out our current favourite superheroes. It’s an awful lot of epic for your money, and you can tell Whedon has put his usual care into the dialogue, but at nearly two and a half hours, you have to ask; do we need quite so many metal-fetishised CGI robots smashing cities to pieces? Continue reading

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Review: Cinderella (2015)

Cinderella movie posterShakespeare and opera actor/director Ken Branagh continues his mainstream success (Thor, Jack Ryan) with this lavish live-action spectacular lifted from the Disney and Charles Perrault fairytales.

It’s an entirely conventional re-telling of an orphaned girl and her chance meeting with a mystery prince named Kit in a fairy-tale Ruritanian kingdom; of vast fairy-tale palaces and huge fairy-tale balls, with fairy-tale pumpkin coaches and glass slippers. Cinderella does exactly what it says on the label. Continue reading


Review: Insurgent (2015)

Insurgent movie posterInsurgent is the difficult middle instalment of Verionica Roth’s teenage rebel sci-fi dystopian trilogy Divergent; so more of the same running, jumping, fighting, crying, and ‘it’s all about family, innit’ [copyright Eastenders or your choice of soap here].

Expect more punch-ups, shoot-outs, train-jumping, big CGI landscapes, teary heroines, betrayals and a bit of snogging (but not too much, we can’t have teenage sex in the movies, even though our leads are 25+).

What’s most disturbing is the sheer amount of gunplay and violent death in what is supposed to be a 12A certificate movie. No wonder the American psyche is so screwed up with this perpetual Western frontier mentality of solving every problem with a bullet. Continue reading


Review: The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game movie posterThis unassuming biopic of British scientist and father of modern computing, Alan Turing, is warmly and delicately told from his time as a schoolboy prodigy to his last days as a convicted, chemically castrated outcast.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Fourth Estate) brings his other-worldly strangeness to the obsessive cryptographer and builder of the code-breaking Colossus machine at Bletchley Park.

British war-time period drama it may be, but there’s invention enough to lift it out of the ordinary, adding drama to the tragedy of the man who broke the German Enigma code. Continue reading


Humour: Stop smiling


“Stop smiling – the PC’s not even plugged in”

From: The Register, Microsoft U-turns on ‘free’ Windows 10 upgrade promise for ALL previewers

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