"Gravity"

I went to see Gravity recently – what an immense film. It’s definitely a slow burner – as has already been commented on, it’s something like 10 minutes before the first cut. But it is beautiful to watch. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are superb. Most of the screen time is devoted to Bullock, playing Dr Ryan Stone, an engineer on her first space flight doing some work on Hubble. A satellite explosion causes a chain reaction of space debris, which destroys Hubble, detaches Stone from the space shuttle/Hubble, and kills the rest of the crew except for Matt Kowalski […]

"Star Trek: Into Darkness"

Warning – Spoiler Alert! Went to see “Into Darkness” at the weekend. What an awesome film! I love what J.J. Abrams (and others) have done with this franchise, and the first outing was fabulous. At the time I commented about my appreciation of the fact there was no cheats way out of the paradox. Vulcan really was destroyed. Spock really was set adrift in time and ended up in a parallel timestream. The casting is superb, and the action relentless. I have a few quibbles (would Kirk really be the only person to think that all the senior starfleet officers […]

"The Hunger Games"

I went to see The Hunger Games on Friday, at the Harrogate Odeon. Don’t go to the cinema very much, so it was a real treat. What a cracking film – really enjoyed it. The premise is that there is a brave new world order, with a ruling class and a lower class. The ruling class live in a hi-tech city and generally the lap of luxury. The ruled class live in ghettos (called Districts), growing crops, mining, generally eeking out an existance. Around 70 years before the start of the film, twelve of the districts rebelled. This rebellion was […]

"Freaky Friday"

After a pretty slow start, I actually ended up really enjoying this film. The basic premise is that Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan are mother and daughter, who magically swap bodies on the eve of the mother’s wedding (following the death of the husband/father 3 years previously). That said this is firmly aimed at the young teen market, and has it’s humour and tone pitched accordingly. Nothing too heavy here, everyone! It must be said that Jamie Lee absolutely blew the socks of LiLo in terms of acting, although I guess it’s an easier ask for a 40/50 year […]

"To Die For"

Perhaps I only like kooky films these days, but I found To Die For a mild disappointment. There was nothing desperately wrong with it, and I quite like the idea of the story unfolding as Nicole Kidman videoed a CV and her relatives gave interviews to the media, both in response to the events of the film. This probably made up half the film – the other half was the events themselves, told through flashbacks. The problem was it didn’t really work for me. Nicole Kidman’s character Suzanne Stone simply didn’t hang together very well. On the one hand utterly […]

"Manderlay"

Yup, it’s another cracker. Crying shame they couldn’t get Nicole Kidman back (I don’t have anything against Bryce Dallas Howard, but her Grace doesn’t have the fragile beauty of Kidman’s Grace) – not that I’m particularly surprised since I don’t suppose our Nicole would have agreed to a scene were she is in flagrante delicto : lying on her back, naked, with her legs spread wide, filmed from the bottom of the bed…. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lars von Trier has struck gold again, and the above gratuious sex was only about 2 minutes in an otherwise entirely […]

"V for Vendetta"

Hooray, another film for the “loved” pile. What a fantastic piece of work. Rave rave! The story follows Evie (an awesome Natalie Portman), an ordinary-ish girl who gets caught up with a modern day Guy Fawkes (the ‘V’ of the title). You know I don’t even know where to start describing it. The film opens with a split-screen of Evie and V getting ready to go out – Evie putting on makeup, V putting on his mask and cloak. Did I mention the mask? By modern day Guy Fawkes, I meant someone who dresses up as him, wears a Guy […]

"Casio Royale"

Well. I don’t want to write another downer review, but I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed with Casino Royale. Actually I was a lot disappointed. The opening sequence (before the titles) is normally one of the highs of the film, but this was a bit of a damp squid. I plan to write a fuller blog on why I think James Bond has gone all wrong, but suffice to say a flashback sequence of him making his first two kills in order to gain ’00’ status didn’t interest me. In fact, I can’t even remember exactly […]

"Ghost World"

What an interesting and compelling film this was – absolutely hilarious most of the way through, but a very downbeat last 20 minutes or so, and ends really on a bit of a downer. The story follows Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) as two social outcasts who have just graduated from high school, and am trying to make their way in the big bad world. Actually it’s mainly Enid’s story, and to be brutal I found Rebecca to be fairly weak. I haven’t yet decided if Scarlett Johansson really is as gorgeous as everyone seems to think she […]

"American Beauty"

After three reviews on the trot that were – franky – downers, finally a film to get excited out! American Beauty was fab. It gripped me from the opening sequence through to the end credits. It set up a fantastic tension in the opening voice-over that was resolved in the final 5 minutes, but kept me guessing how it was going to resolve the whole way through the film. It was a film of suprises – as often as not scenes ended up taking a radically different route from the one I was expecting. The characters were also full of […]

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