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Disappointing Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen. Woody was, is and always will be more a Lubitsch than a Bergman

Tweet          Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen Woody Allen is blessed. He has a God-given gift. That gift is to make us laugh: with an articulate wit, incisive irony, and a delicious sense of the personal and metaphysical absurdity of life. Camus in drag. His gift as an artist, is not to […]

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 […]

Silver Linings Playbook – phoney, patronising but with great Lawrentian moments

Tweet      Silver Linings Playbook – David O Russell The mesmeric Jennifer Lawrence almost makes this phoney movie work – but not quite. For me at least. Claudia Winkleman on BBC’s now equally unwatchable Twittery Film 2012 loved it; while her mate on the show, Danny ‘Boy’ Leigh hated it. Reluctantly, I’m with Danny […]

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 […]

Rampart – Owen Moverman. Bright, shiny, stylish: and empty

Tweet      Rampart – Oren Moverman When did the Hollywood Dream factory re-tool to produce nightmares? Was there a key year; a definitive film? I always feel the repressed misogyny in largely male directed movies finally crossed a borderline with Brian de Palma’s 1980 Dressed To Kill: the first film I remember where I was, […]

Man On A Ledge – Asgar Leth: device that suffers from law of diminishing dramatic returns

Tweet      Man On A Ledge – Asgar Leth Workmanlike thriller with a central device that generates tension at first then gradually suffers from the law of diminishing dramatic returns. Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-cop jailed for stealing a legendary diamond from ruthless tycoon David Englander (Ed Harris). Claiming he was framed, […]

The Descendants – Alexander Payne Heart-warming pathos – laid on thick

Tweet          The Descendants – AlexanderPayne I have laughed as the world ends in a ballet of atomic explosions to the voice of Vera Lynn; at a Knight struggling to fight back having lost both arms, gushing blood, undeterred even when his legs are the next to go; even God help me, once, […]

Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold: Emily Bronté it ain’t

Tweet      Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold “Well I’m not going to move to Yorkshire.” Comment from a guy I’ve never met as we left the Curzon. He was I think responding to the weather which dominates Arnold’s film, but his remark would have been just as apt referring to the characters as portrayed […]

Tintin Movie – 5 Star Technical: 2 Star Entertainment

Tweet      Technical   Entertainment   The Adventures of Tintin – Steven Spielberg and the use of 3D and Performance Capture – Essay/Review Spielberg: at last the Directorial penny drops on the use of 3D. What David Yates made innovative use of in the final Harry Potter film, Spielberg exploits rigorously throughout his Tintin movie to make it the […]

The Kids Are All Right – the parents are screwed up

Tweet Embarrasssment defines and divides Americans and Brits. Movies reveal this. For Americans embarrassment is funny: for Brits embarrassment is, well, embarrassing. Films like Meet The Fokkers or any comedy with Robert de Niro in it demonstrate this perfectly. Ben Stiller is the patron saint of embarrassment humour. There is an instinct for schadenfreude in […]