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Trance – Who’s Who and What’s What Mind games with Danny Boyle

Tweet    Trance – Danny Boyle Not all banknotes can be forgeries. A forgery can only be passed off as real against the background of a viable currency which requires that most notes in circulation are genuine. Much the same logical limitation applies to the central dramatic device that lies at the heart of the […]

Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow. The assassination of a terrorist

Tweet    Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow Lincoln could be described as portraying the unprincipled pursuit of a principled objective, in conflict with the principled pursuit of an unprincipled end. It is a tragic lesson of history that when old men possessed of power talk with passion about principles – young people die. No […]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson Technical triumph Dismal Drama

Tweet    Technical Quality Dramatic Quality    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson This visual realisation of a fantasy world of endlessly warring kingdoms is a technical tour-de-force: graphically state of the art with special effects to match. Simon Bright’s Art Direction aided by Andy McLaren and Ben Milson, together with Dan Hennah’s […]

Killing Them Softly – Andrew Dominik: The absence of other minds

Tweet        Killing Them Softly – Andrew Dominik One of the deepest and most interesting issues in Philosophy is that of knowledge of other minds. How is it that we can come to know, understand, care, hate, love another person? Indeed the idea of what it is to be a person is an […]

Lawless – John Hillcoat. Stupid men doing stupid things in very stupid ways for pretty stupid reasons

Tweet    Lawless – John Hillcoat Stupid men, doing stupid things, in very stupid ways, for pretty stupid reasons. Hillcoat and screenplay writer Nick Cave re-unite after the gratuitously violent The Proposition to delight us with the gratuitously violent Lawless. I wrote this of that first film, much admired by some. “A new genre – […]

The Bourne Legacy – Tony Gilroy Keep taking the little blue, and green pills

Tweet      The Bourne Legacy – Tony Gilroy Fast, furious and slick. Gilroy’s extends the Bourne franchise neatly with enough narrative linkage to the absent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and the ending of The Bourne Ultimatum to carry credibility and engage us in the exploits of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) number 5 operative in […]

Prometheus – Ridley Scott – Breach of Prometh

Tweet      Prometheus – Ridley Scott When did the octopus first become the template for space-monsters? I get why: they carry all the repulsiveness of the snake – multiplied by 8; and they are very what we might call grapho-genic. Wave the arms about a lot and our imagination comfortably believes in flying octopi […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 and 3D

Tweet        Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 and 3D – David Yates   The best use of the 3D process I have seen in a film so far.  If 3D is to be more than just the short-lived gimmick it was when it was first used commercially in movies in the […]

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 – David Yates

Tweet    Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2:  David Yates Alexandre Desplat is the star of this urgent, thrilling denouement of the Potter saga. And neither he, nor anything he created or contributed to the film can be seen. Almost everything in Deathly Hallows 2 is the best in the series: acting, […]

More Grit than True

Tweet The American West as myth is far more powerful than its historical reality. The period of American history that has spawned thousands of films, TV series and books lasted less than 40 years at the end of the 19th century. If the reality of the pioneering spirit of the early settlers runs deep in […]