Avengers: Age of Ultron

Posted in Review by - Apr 24, 2015

Late in Avengers: The Age of Ultron, a character cries out “none of this make sense” which is a knowing off the cuff remark designed for laughs.  Thankfully the film, like all Joss Whedon productions remains cohesive and multi layered.   Whedon adeptly juggles the large scale action and the small scale moments between his ensemble of superheroes.  Working with several character arcs he brings it all together.   Including Tony Stark in his attempts to end the path he started on, who falls prey to the law of unintended consequences, and inturn becomes complicit in the development of the …

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It Follows

Posted in Review by - Apr 22, 2015
It Follows

In 1979 John Carpenter directed a low budget horror classic called Halloween, Carpenter in the years before steadicam and mobile cameras, created fear and menace by placing the camera as a POV mechanism for psychopath Michael Myers.  It was a simply made film, full of long slow tracking shots that tapped into the audiences fear of a maniac on the loose.  David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to The Myth of The American Sleepover echoes Carpenter, in taking a simple premise and exploiting it to the max.  His technique is old fashioned in the best sense, preferring a slow pan and tracking shots …

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While We’re Young

Posted in Review by - Apr 19, 2015
While We’re Young

A film for adults, Baumbach creates another acerbic, finely written comedy/drama set in New York.  Targeted directly at the forty and over demographic, it speaks to the generation that suddenly find youth has passed them by without them realising it.  I can relate.  While We’re Young shows Baumbach in a kindler, gentler mode than his previous collaboration with Stiller, 2010s Greenberg.

Stiller and Watts showing great chemistry together play a childless couple in their forties realising their youthful spark has recently abandoned them.  It doesn’t help that Josh (Stiller) has spent the past eight years working on a documentary with serious …

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The Gunman

Posted in Review by - Apr 19, 2015
The Gunman

“For someone who doesn’t want to do this shit anymore your kill ratio is pretty fuckin high.”

The combination of the efficient action director Pierre Morel (Taken) and the acting talent led by Penn produces a richly enjoyable genre pic.   Penn hasn’t played a major role since 2011s This Must be the Place, deciding to use his talents for helping the displaced and dispossessed in places like Haiti and New Orleans.  Clealry his experience in these environments ravaged by poverty, internal corruption and exploitation from multinational companies has framed the narrative of The Gunman.  Penn also writes and produces the …

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The Age of Adaline

Posted in Review by - Apr 18, 2015
The Age of Adaline

Early in The Age of Adaline, there is a hope of greatness, Lee Toland Krieger whose previous credits include the original Celeste & Jesse Forever has a great eye for the construction of shots.  Visually The Age of Adaline is a feast for the eyes, particularly in the films early scenes, San Francisco in the early 20th century is impressively mounted.  However the central premise of the film requiring the audience to accept fantasy is hard to sustain over two hours.

The story tells the tale of Adaline born in the early 20th century who through a car crash, some lightning …

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The Longest Ride

Posted in Review by - Apr 10, 2015
The Longest Ride

The Longest Ride is a well made, gorgeously photographed adaptation of a Nicolas Sparks novel.  It features four attractive up and coming actors, including an Eastwood, a Huston and a Chaplin.  The plot revolves around a rodeo bull rider who needs to last 8 seconds against the most fearsome bull in America and a sorority girl who looks sexy and pure wearing cowboy boots. An old man appears played by Alan Alda, James Garner played this role in The Notebook but he’s dead now.  Jack Huston plays Alda as a young man who is Jewish in small town America.  However …

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X+Y

Posted in Review by - Apr 09, 2015
X+Y

“If beauty is truth and truth is beauty then surely mathematics is the most beautiful thing of all.”

There is a scene about an hour into X&Y, that gets you, the shy, Nathan (Asa Butterfield) walks from the back row to the front of the class to solve a maths problem.  His fellow mathematical nerds critically essay the strange introverted young man.  Up until this point Nathan has been largely passive in his experience of the world around him, due primarily to his mild autism punctuated by the sudden death of his father in a car accident.  Nathan appears incapable of …

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Dior and I

Posted in Review by - Apr 04, 2015
Dior and I

I’m a fashion novice, however I found the expertly constructed documentary from Frederic Tcheng fascinating.  Tcheng has clearly an insiders understanding of the fashion industry having previously co-directed Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel  and edited Valentino: The Last Emperor.

The camera follows Raf Simons who in In April 2012 was appointed Creative Director of Dior.  The film details the pressures and creativity required to deliver his first collection in eight weeks time. Simons adopts a radical approach to the project, and is an unlikely choice for the role having been classified a minimalist by experts in the industry, his …

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The Book of Life

Posted in Review by - Apr 04, 2015
The Book of Life

“What is it with Mexicans and death?”

20th Century Fox animation continues its ascension with its latest release, coming hot on the heels of Home which has already raked in over $100 million worldwide.  Produced by Guillermo del Toro The Book of Life showcases the glorious beauty of Mexico.  Or so the narrator and tour guide exquisitely voiced by Christina Applegate tell us.  Taking place on the day of the dead, the film asks us who will marry Maria, Manola or Joaquin?  That’s the bet between La Muerta (Kate del Castillo) and Xibabla (Ron Perlman), gods of the Land of the …

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Furious 7

Posted in Review by - Apr 02, 2015

An interesting fact, acclaimed screenwriter now director David Ayer (Fury/End of Watch) contributed his writing talents to the original The Fast and the Furious back in 2001.  What is glaringly lacking in the seventh instalment is a script and storyline that makes sense.  Chris Morgan’s dialogue is full of cliches, though Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson absent for a large chunk of the pic is afforded the opportunity to mouth some crowd pleasing one liners, such as telling his adorable young daughter ”daddy’s gotta go to work.”  At this moment the cinema audience almost rose out of their seats and broke …

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