n terms of hype, Precious is the only film in months that has managed to come close to the endless Avatar onslaught. This is in part due to the number of people that were genuinely affected by the film’s story – that of a 16-year-old girl lived in Halem, horribly abused and hopeless scrabbling through life with only dead ends in front of her. And it is in part (perhaps the more significant part) due to the massive impact that Oprah Winfrey’s opinion has on the American public.
It turns out hell does have a fury like a woman scorned – a father’s loss. Just ask Liam Neeson in Taken and now Mel Gibson in his new ‘actioner’, Edge of Darkness. After a good few years dedicating himself to his behind the camera endeavours, Gibson returns to his -just this side of sanity- best with Edge of Darkness. Bad guys beware, you went after his daughter, now he’s coming for you!
It may be strange to think it, but in an age where we’re so used to 3D creatures, pixilated flying houses and talking toys, a 2D film can be considered pushing the boundaries of today’s kids entertainment. Gone is the golden age of Disney classics- The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin – all-singing, all dancing, all bloomin’ marvelous. Today what kids want is action explosions, nifty special effects and some smooth-talking robots, right?
Bill Bailey goes all-out musical in this new DVD, recruiting the entire Albert Hall symphony orchestra to assist him in his mad, amusing rambles. Taking a tour of the entire orchestra, Bailey drags in everything from the sound of trombones, jellyfish, the Doctor Who theme tune, Bach and Motzart. It’s a huge show – easily Bailey’s biggest – and while his trademark wit and surrealism still sparkle, the massive repetition of material sadly bogs down this release.
It’s always a risk when film-makers decide to try and attach heavily religious messages to blockbusters, and it doesn’t get more heavy-handed than in The Book Of Eli. Overall, though Eli is willing to trek across the world to save a story, we’re not sure we’d do this same with this one. It’s The Road with a book instead of a kid, and frankly, that’s not enough of a reason to spend your money.
We’re pleased to report that Up in the Air lives up to its press. This romance-comedy-drama from Juno director Jason Reitman is intelligent, soulful, keeps you laughing, keeps you guessing, and leaves you with that lump-in-your-throat feeling that you’ve experienced a truly lovely moment in cinema. Clooney’s emotionally detached jetsetter is perfectly (and surprisingly) matched by Twilight newcomer Anna Kendrick, and Reitman’s narrative expertly weaves witty comedy into beautiful moments of poignancy. If you only see one film this month, make it this one.
Warning – don’t go and see this film expecting another Twilight. The vamps in Daybreakers belong firmly to the old school of demonesque bad guys who have overrun the earth and must be hunted down with machine guns, exploding crossbows and other such gore-porn paraphernalia. The action is set 10 years in the future, where the human population has been infected with vampirism and blood has become as big a business as Coca-Cola. It’s up to Ethan Hawke’s erstwhile hematologist to save the population from themselves, but mostly he just ends up shooting a lot of stuff.
Based on the beloved 1978 children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett, ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ is a comical fantasy about one man’s pursuit of his dreams. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s computer-animated film is also a colourful morality tale about the gluttony of the west where bigger is apparently always better, especially when it comes to icecream
After the mammoth critical and commercial success of No Country For Old Men, it was perhaps inevitable Hollywood would turn to Cormac McCarthy’s next book and hope the success can be repeated. But brothers Joen and Ethan Coen, who produced and directed No Country, are very special filmmakers indeed. Could The Proposition director John Hillcoat turn McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Road into another multi-Oscar winner?