It’s summer, the kids are bored and the grown-ups are too warm for Twister – it’s time for family cinema gold. Why not bring out yet another movie in which animals can talk, couple it with a lack-lustre storyline, and a mish-mash of actors. Cook it for about a year, let it cool for a month and what are we left with? Zookeeper.
Kevin Bacon to play a bad guy? Never!
Tired of going to a bland old West End cinema, paying £8 for a popcorn combo and crying salty tears all the way through the latest piece of superhero big budget low quality rubbish, lamenting the state of exhibition practices these days? Do you long for the days of all nighters, of midnight movies, of dirty dive bars that stick a blanket to the wall as a makeshift screen? Well, you’re not the only one, as we pay tribute to the groups that are bringing movies out of the cinema, and re-igniting our love for the big screen.
A quietly confident introduction and the fun of multi-task-actors makes you hope that Country Strong will do for Gwyneth Paltrow what Crazy Heart did for Jeff Bridges. Sadly though, it soon becomes clear that there’s just too many cliche moments piling up to glimpse a genuinely moving story, and trowling on the sentiment only serves to alienate whatever audience lasts until the end. (Except for country lovers, of course. They’ll probably just lap up the massive hats.)
Jeff Bridges’ apparently immovable jaw leads a beautifully crafted three-hander in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit. A confidently gentle pace and sparse backdrop means the focus of this Western re-make is always on the shifting central relationships rather than action- and though this may make for slightly frustrating viewing for shoot-em-up-ride-em-off lovers, the payoff is well worth the (slightly) clippety-cloppety ride.
Tron Legacy, I feel for you. Why everyone is so surprised that you’ve turned out to be massively silly is beyond me. Tron was massively silly, and as we all know by now, the 00’s light-tastic apple never really falls far from the 80s synth tree. Hopelessly beautiful to look at, 3D-licious and utterly bonkers, there’s a lot to enjoy in this sexed-up sequel. Just as soon as you stop worrying about what on earth is going on.
In real life as much as in film, the experience of watching someone spectacularly break down is as compelling as it is awkward. Our intrepid blogger Cal has scoured the length and breadth of YouTube to bring you some of the most painful, absurd and Nazi-themed character meltdowns in cinema, from Jim Carrey’s umbrella-behatted rant to Al Pacino’s bug-eyed “GREAT ASS!” moment.
Everybody knows Christmas is a time for cinema, but this year there aren’t many fresh festive treats being served up. So in the spirit of charity and knowing what it’s like not to want to talk to your family, we’ve scoured the charts for December and found the films most likely to placate your clan for most of the festive season. Did someone say ‘eye-popping CGI and childish plotlines’?