Offender was released into cinemas in August this year and is so self-consciously ‘gritty’ that it scrapes at your eyeballs. Riddled with angry-young-men cliches, scattered with graphic violence, and littered with clunky references to Modern Culture, Offender cannot be forgiven for a painfully badly-judged script, confusing cinematography and appalling sound quality. Offender is The Shawshank Redemption for the Plan B generation. If Tim Robbins was a giant turd.
A merciless exploration of rage, shame, paralysis and bitterness, Tyrannosaur would be nigh on impossible to watch if it wasn’t also absolutely hypnotic. Staggering central performances from Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman add powerful weight to a sparse, unpretentious script – a debut piece for writer/director Paddy Considine. Enjoyable might be the wrong word, but this is vital viewing all the same.
The first Iron Man was the surprise hit of 2008 and propelled Robert Downey Jr back into super-stardom. It was the first movie from Marvel Studios, the Marvel comic group’s own production company, and was hailed as a huge success. So just two years after the first movie, Robert Downey Jr is back as the eccentric billionaire Tony Stark. But is the sequel any good? Well, no. Not really.
If Robert Luketic’s action-packed romantic comedy is to be believed – and it is an almighty stretch – men are capable of hiding everything from their nearest and dearest. In the case of the film’s charming hero, he manages to meet, woo and marry the woman of his dreams without revealing a vital part of his genetic make-up. His unsuspecting wife will definitely regret her wedding vows to love him ’til death us do part, and to be honest, we regret paying the ticket price.
For a film about the re-writing a political memoir, it’s rather ironic that the screenplay for Roman Polanski’s thriller should be one of its weaknesses. Characters are not fully formed in a script co-written by Polanski and Robert Harris, adapting his novel of the same name. Indeed, they are ciphers in a clunky and contrived plot that builds to a big reveal, which would be risible in less accomplished hands.
Absence should make the heart grow fonder but has anyone missed Jennifer Lopez on the big screen during her four-year hiatus to raise fraternal twins with husband Marc Anthony? The slow-burning 1998 thriller Out Of Sight with George Clooney remains her best work, sandwiched between the camp B-movie Anaconda and numerous instantly-forgettable romantic comedies. Lopez makes her return to pouting in front of the camera in Alan Poul’s whimsical chick flick, which asserts that love happens when you least expect it. Excited? Yep.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the flickering of Gary Winick’s winsome romantic comedy about one young woman’s quest for everlasting love in sun-dappled Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet. Screenwriters Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan serve up a steaming spaghetti of cliches, cultural stereotypes and unintentional laughs, garnished with a light classical and pop soundtrack.