This tag is associated with 281 posts

Review: Child 44 (2015)

Chameleon actor Tom Hardy (Batman, Legend) turns in a Brando-like performance as Russian war hero turned investigator Leo Demidov on the trail of a serial killer. In a paranoid Soviet state of suspicion and fear, executing its citizens at will, even his schoolteacher wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace – Prometheus, Dragon Tatoo trilogy) is afraid of … Continue reading

Last Knights (2015)

This technically impressive Euro-Asian co-production resets the 47 Ronin (the proper story, not the Keanu Reeves disaster) in a fantasy-medieval, multi-cultural version of the Byzantine Empire, looking for that Game of Thrones crossover. After Morgan Freeman’s (Transcendence, Lucy) nobleman sacrifices himself on principle, Clive Owen (Bourne, Closer) heads the masterless Samurai – sorry, knights – … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Jack Reacher (2012)

In an efficient, and in places, stylish, action thriller, the physically massive protagonist of Lee Child’s novels is replaced by the diminutive and svelt Tom Cruise. Between Knight and Day and various Missions Improbable, Cruise manages to bland-down the titular hero to a point somewhere between Minority Report and TV’s The Equaliser.

Review: Cinderella (2015)

Shakespeare 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 … Continue reading

Review: Entourage (2015)

Comedy with no laughs, drama with no dramatic tension and satire that contains no criticism or comment on its subjects, Entourage is a vacuous, pointless, sexist parade of leering, letching and contempt for at least 50% of the population. This is Hollywood as the land of naked ambition and consumerism filled with shallow, vain, self-serving … Continue reading

Review: Dredd (2012)

While Pete Travis’ (Vantage Point) bloodily excessive re-boot of Judge Dredd exorcises the horror of Danny Cannon’s 1992 Stallone pantomime, it simply doesn’t re-boot energetically enough despite an Alex Garland (Ex Machina) script. In a post-nuclear Mega City One, the 800m citizens sprawl across an area from Boston to DC that looks all too close … Continue reading

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Sam Taylor-Johnson steers this knowingly hilarious, better than expected Mills and Bondage, adapted from the terrible E L James “best-seller” – somebody still needs to explain that to me – down a surprising feminist path. Two surprises; it’s not the anticipated exploitation movie, being rather coy about the S&M; and it’s not flat-out terrible; plus … Continue reading

Review: The Imitation Game (2014)

This 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 … Continue reading

Review: Seventh Son (2015)

Farmboy [insert name here] is taken as apprentice by battle-mage [insert name here] to fight evil sorceror [insert name here], and along the way falls for <witch/peasant/princess/delete as applicable> [insert name here]. No, it’s not Eragon, it’s worse. We’re in <generic fantasy land> for Hobbit-y swords, spells and spectacular CGI monsters with a top-notch cast. … Continue reading

Review: Ex Machina (2015)

Shy, awkward programmer Caleb wins the company lottery; a week with his reclusive boss Nathan, the brilliant, billionaire founder of the world’s largest search engine, at Nathan’s isolated private estate in the wilds of Alaska. On arriving, Caleb finds his prize is in fact to run the Turing Test on Nathan’s ground breaking artificial intelligence, … Continue reading

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Welcome to the futuristic San Fransokyo, where misfit robotics prodigy (aren’t they all) Hiro takes on his late brother’s project, a medical robot, Baymax. But soon Hiro and his band of misfit science geek friends (aren’t they all) are out to catch the evil genius (aren’t they all) who stole Hiro’s invention and caused his … Continue reading

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