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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 […]

Sex And The Single (English)man – Fear And Loving in Greece

Tweet    The Inbetweeners – Ben Palmer Tragedy takes many forms but there can few things more acutely tragic than the sight of four basically decent English lads adrift on a sea of hormones, desperately trying to get laid.  The odds they face are truly frightening: their chronological equals of the fairer sex are light-years […]

Horrible Bosses – witty, stylish, silly and satisfying. Fun

Tweet    Horrible Bosses – Seth Gordon The best comedy I’ve seen this year. And judging by the queues, a word-of- mouth hit. The sheer pace and minimal gag gaps in Horrible Bosses means our interest never flags and the next laugh is never far away. Lots of very solid TV comedy experience is all there on […]

Sci-Fa Not Sci-Fi: Science farce not science fiction

Tweet Skyline – Colin and Greg Stausse Sci-Fa not Sci-Fi: science farce not science fiction. Final score: Latex 10 – Literacy 0. Graphic designers Colin and Greg Strausse (Avatar, Iron Man2, 2012 etc) should have stuck to their day job. As directors, well where should one start? Everything in this movie is derivative and deeply […]

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 […]

Avatar – Bambification of Aboriginal narrative

TweetFilm, performance, screenplay, art Technical, Effects, Art direction Avatar – James Cameron Avatar sucks: the bambification of an aboriginal narrative. A sentimentalised pastiche of a Native American stereotype. The Na’vi sound like Hollywindians and worship an Earth-mother who looks like a fibre-optic willow tree spiritually reified by tinsellated dandelion-seed-like Christmas tree baubles that slo-mo around […]

Il Divo – the extraordinary life of Giulio Andreotti* – an essay

Tweet Il Divo – Paolo Sorrentino (2008) Shakespearean in content, operatic in tone, writer director Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo (the extraordinary life of Giulio Andreotti) is a masterly work. Richly textured and at times demanding, Sorrentino’s film is a profound study of power, and its irresistible affects on men who possess it and those drawn […]

The Apprentice Week 5 – Parrots, Pirates and Pants

Tweet The Apprentice Week 5 – Parrots, Pirates and Pants The penny finally drops: when deciding who to take into the boardroom, the losing team leader must ignore task performance, personal animosity one or two-way, disruptiveness, charmlessness and most especially the unshakable solipsistic egoism shared by all the apprentice Apprentices. No: the implacable rule is […]

The Apprentice Week 4 – ‘Sh*t of the Show’ winner

Tweet The Apprentice Week 4 – ‘Sh*t of the Show’ winner – with still 8 shows to go. Yale Psychologist Stanley Milgram July 1961: “I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental […]

Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody’s sexual wonderland. Fantasy rules OK?

Tweet Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody Allen Woody Allen doesn’t simply film women: he makes love to them with the camera. I don’t really know how healthy this is or even by what criterion of health one should judge it. Cinema is irreducibly voyeuristic so we are complicit. If you doubt me consider this: by […]