- Monday, 20 May 2013
Australian Co-Writer/Director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet) found his perfect Romeo in 22-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator, Titanic) and now, 17 years later has cast him as the eponymous hero in The Great Gatsby.
With the exception of one over-acted scene, DiCaprio is as close to the embodiment of Gatsby as any mortal can be. But Luhrmann’s film marks the fourth (the first adaptation from 1926, being lost) noble, but unsuccessful attempt to adapt F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece for the big screen and should be the last.
- Friday, 17 May 2013
“Hi, Jay, you got me at a really bad time;” Ginger Baker tells his Rolling Stone Magazine interviewer, documentary filmmaker Jay Bulger. “My favourite dog was poisoned this morning.” So begins (after a superfluous introduction by Johnny Rotten) Beware of Mr Baker, a dynamic and informative, at turns hilarious and tragic documentary about a colourful life lived to the fullest, if not to the best.
For many readers, Peter Edward ‘Ginger’ Baker’s name should still ring a bell or two. In the 1960s the red haired boy from Lewisham played drums for the popular Graham Bond Organisation, the short-lived but hugely influential mega-band Cream (arguably the world’s first super band) and Blind Faith, becoming one of the most famous drummers in the world.
- Friday, 17 May 2013
Over the past twelve years this all-action stunt movie franchise, in which muscle men and skinny chicks somehow survive carnage in high-speed cars, planes, motorcycles and tanks, has, the production notes claim, grossed $1.5 billion at the box office. This kind of bragging has been a factor in film piracy, one that incentivizes the criminals while assuaging the guilt of those members of the public that retain a conscience.
But all of that seems far removed from Fast & Furious 6 which has other concerns as far as the public is concerned. A disclaimer at the end warns viewers not to try these stunts at home.
- Friday, 17 May 2013
The Liability is another low-to-medium-budget variation of a British gangster movie that hopes to be a hybrid thriller and black comedy, but ends up being a Guy Ritchie spin-off. The Liability is, at least, partly saved by Tim Roth and enough clever plot turns to keep the clichés pretty much at bay.
Adam (Jack O’Connell, Tower Block) 19, is a liability to his mother’s boyfriend Pete (Peter Mullan). He has discovered that Pete is involved in a sex trafficking and online porno ring but doesn’t know whether Pete knows that he knows.
Adam needs a job, and is delighted when Pete apprentices him to 50-something hit man Roy (Roth), because Adam’s aspirations go no higher than this. But Adam isn’t entirely suited to the job and soon becomes a liability to
- Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Back in 2008, diehard fans of Gene Roddenbery’s 1964 television series, subsequent permeations and spin-offs, and an uneven, distant Star Trek movie franchise, lived in the past.
Then, in 2009,
So successful was Abrams’ 2009 reboot that he and the core crew of the spaceship, the US Enterprise, are back for more adventures in Star Trek: Into Darkness. The plot is rather silly, and the title metaphorical, because ‘Star Trek: Who Do You Trust?’ would have been more descriptive.
- Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Instead, aided by a flashback structure and a brilliant performance from Emilie Dequenne (Best Actress Award for Rosetta, Cannes, 1999), he compels us to follow the mother’s torturous path from an unthinkable to an inevitable act.
In the end, though, Lafosse’s alienating camera style, inability to transcend the voyeuristic nature of the plot and failure to address some nagging questions about the three main characters, somewhat diminish the undeniable power of the film.
- Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Many of Mira Nair’s films (Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding, the Namesake), reflect her dual Indian/American education, worldview and lifestyle, making her an obvious choice for an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
You can understand why a Director who, like Hamid himself, was born in Southeast Asia and educated at an Ivy League American University, would be attracted to the of a successful New York business consultant who has an identity crisis post 9/11 and returns to his native Pakistan.
But despite an excellent performance from Riz Ahmed as Changez Khan, the eponymous protagonist, solid back-up from his co-stars and impressive production values, Nair’s heavy-handed polemic and some clumsy writing undermine what the story might have to say about the clash between culture, ideology and individualism.
- Thursday, 09 May 2013
New Yorker Adam Leon’s low-budget directorial debut is a gem that is so effervescent that it is likely to float away before anyone has seen it. It’s also easy to overlook or frown upon the two main characters: Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sofia (Tashiana Washington). They are black, teenage freeloaders from the Bronx who shop lift, jump the barriers in the underground and struggle to leave their mark in the competitive world of graffiti vandalism.
Seeking revenge on a rival gang, they hatch a plan to ‘bomb’ the New York Mets’ iconic Home Run Apple, an irreverent coup that would make them the envy of their peers. The title comes from the fact that the friends need $500 to bribe their way into the grounds.
- Tuesday, 07 May 2013
This entertaining and informative family documentary from Disney follows a family of chimpanzees through their daily life, focusing on the youngest member of the family, the adorable Oscar. Oscar is one of the cutest creatures in Disney’s large repository of cute animals, and will win you over, just as he does the stern, huge leader Freddy when Oscar’s mother dies.
One of the film’s most surprising discoveries is that this male leader, in his prime and with serious competitors, neglected his contested leadership duties to play surrogate mother to the orphaned baby chimp. We see a rival gang of chimps stage an attack on Freddy’s group in order to gain control of a coveted area of the forest where nutritive nuts grow.
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