- "Fun, loud and uninspiring"
Directed by Shane Black
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow
Running time: 130 minutes ::RDJ is back as Tony Stark to fight off a terrorist threat from a man called the Mandarin whom wants to destroy America. According to the Guardian, to become Iron Man it would cost in the region of $1,600,000,000. To become Batman it would be a little cheaper at $690,000,000. If you have that sort of money, or at least if I did, I'm pretty sure I would be out there playing around with all the toys available to me whilst trying to save the world. But sadly I don't. I''m a peasant and unless you have just won the lottery jackpot my guess is you are in the same financial league as me. Which is good because that means we can unite at some point and become the peasant version of the Avengers. Yeah? Okay maybe not. Anyway on with the review of "Iron Man 3".The first "Iron Man" did it for me until about three quarters of the way through when I suddenly thought "my god this is ridiculous" and eventually gave up. I admit to not having seen "Iron Man 2" so I cannot comment but AC/DC's music running through it all like what Daft Punk did with Tron Legacy was a nice touch by the sounds of things. So walking into "Iron Man 3" with little in depth knowledge or expectations was a good thing because I left the cinema satisfied. It did not move me, invoke strong reactions or make me really care that much in great detail about what was really happening on the screen. But then again, it is not designed to is it?
★★★ "Spring Breakers" (18)
- "Forgettably shallow, unforgettably beautiful, "Spring Breakers" is a film of complete juxtaposition."
Directed by Harmony Korine
Starring Vanessa Hudgens James Franco
Running time: 92 minutes
Harmony Korine's latest film is exactly that: a complete juxtaposition. Its filthy characters and motives clash with the artistic, hyperstylised beauty that they dwell within. It's beautiful and mirky, which left me wondering whether or not Korine's film deserved better characters to exist within its beauty. Then I realized that "Drive" which also had a crime element fused with a hyperstylised palette, was not exactly a film layered with the most respectable characters either.
But it would be wrong to compare this solely to "Drive" - its hyperstylised visuals and crime plot yes - but not concerning its characters. Last year's "Project X" is a better comparison. And yet while it's characters, four bikini clad babes have much more in common with the character's in "Project X" from both an age and party angle motives, Harmony Korine would probably want us to see the comparisons more to "Drive" ,"Scarface" and even "Miami Vice", simply because it has those gangster movie; crime TV show influences. Those films might seem like strange comparisons but the more it progressed, the more it became clear that it is these influences that will make "Spring Breakers" stand out from a mere teen movie that we have all but seen before.
★★★ "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" (12A)
- "Not as funny as what it should be but it has good energy and enough heart to pull it through"
New Line Cinema
Directed by Don Scardino.
Starring Steve Carrell, Jim Carrey.
Distributed by New Line Cinema.
Running time: 100 minutes.
With Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey involved, one would have every right to expect this comedy about magicians on the Las Vegas strip to be a complete knockout. Sadly its satirical material is not as strong in the gag department as either the talented cast involved or the films warm spirited messages. Therefore it is not the knockout it could have been but it is well meant and good spirited and, sometimes, that is enough for a decent couple of hours at the movies- even if it is the only time we experience it.
★★★★ "Side Effects" (15)
- " A cold, expertly controlled psychological thriller"
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara.
Distributed by Open Road Films.
Running time: 115 minutes.
Steven Soderbergh, at 50, has recently called it quits on his film directing career with this cold thriller being his last venture in the world of film. And he has made sure that he is going out on a high note. While his last thriller "Haywire" was absolute garbage and "Magic Mike" was something of an emergence out of the garbage bin; "Side Effects" is a complete re-emergence out of the trash. I just wish he made more human thrillers like this throughout his career.
★★★★ "Flight" (15)
- "Denzel's presence quite literally saves it all"
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle
Distrubuted by Paramount Pictures
Running time: 138 minutes
Flight" might just be the only disaster movie to be nominated this year for an Oscar. When I say disastrous I mean both the central disaster of the airplane crash (that we have clearly seen on the trailers) itself and the existence of the character that gets caught up in it all afterwards. This is ironic viewing for myself having only watched "The Aviator" the other day; a drama which sees aviator and pilot Howard Hughes's personal life lost to his uncontrollable inner demons. The same goes here with our ant-hero in Denzel Washington's character.
★★★★★ "Wreck-It Ralph" (PG)
- "The best animated film to come out of 2012 and the most creative so far this year"
We follow Ralph, whom lives in the world of the arcade game Fix it Felix. Like the majority of video games, an antagonistic piece of artificial intelligence sets out to create mayhem. But Ralph is different. He's tired of being the bad guy, doing the same routine shtick very day since the 80s. He's an outcast due to his stereotypical creation of being bad. But he's not bad in nature, just in programming. So he sets out to prove the good guys wrong, by aiming to win a medal of courage from another treacherous gaming world, only to cause a domino effect of mayhem inter-sprawling into other gaming worlds, threatening his and every character's existences.
★★★★ "Zero Dark Thirty" (15)
- "A down tempo, expertly crafted piece of muscular filmmaking"
Columbia Pictures / Alliance Films
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Starring Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong.
Running time: 160 minutes.
I remember back in May 2011 when I saw the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed and seeing Americans cheering outside the Whitehouse. It was an emotional moment, I am sure for a lot of people, especially for those whom lost loved ones due to the terrorist’s involvement with Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 tragedy. But there was also a real sense of mystery surrounding his death. Who killed him? How was he killed? Where was he hiding? Only a select group of people really knew, while the majority of us were left stranded in the dark. Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” shines a dramatised light on the intricate details surrounding the events spanning over a decade - concluding with the successful raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout and his termination.
★★★★★ "Django Unchained" (18)
- "Tarantino's return to the big screen is wild, extraordinarily idiosyncratic and bloody fantastic"
The Weinstein Company
Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Starring Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Running time: 168 minutes.
Tarantino’s return to the big screen is controversial, exhausting, bloody fantastic and completely off the chain. Like “Kill Bill” and “Inglorious Basterds”, "Django Unchained" has been made with the level of affectionate parody one would only expect from a director with such an encyclopedic knowledge on films and, of course, it is another riddled with controversy, something Tarantino’s films never lack. However, his post modern, new sadism boundary pushing with “Django Unchained” is not why it stands out as a fantastically un-ordinary adventure. No, in fact it is far simpler. In typical Tarantino methodological fashion, "Django Unchained"s awesomeness lies with its compelling script and dialogue, anachronistic soundtrack and Robert Richardson's gorgeous cinematography.
★★★ "Les Miserables" (12A)
- "There is something phenomenal at work here, I just cannot see what it is exactly"
Directed by Tom Hooper.
Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway.
Running time: 158 minutes.
"Les Miserables" is one play that has never really appealed to me. Neither have films that use a musical foundation to progress both narrative and characterisation for that matter. Only two motion picture experiences in the past have delightfully surprised me on such music conceptual grounds; those being “Moulin Rouge” and “Sweeney Todd”. After witnessing Tom Hooper’s adaptation, who also directed another historical drama with “The King’s Speech”, I still have no hunger to see the play. I have no qualms with the outstanding performances, the fantastic cinematography, or Hooper’s direction. No, my qualm is with the film’s bombastic, self indulged core that accompanies all that concrete artistry.
★★★★ "The Impossible" (12A)
- "A subjective, harrowing look at one of the worst natural disasters over the last ten years"
Warner Bros. (Spain) / Summit Entertainment (United States)
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona
Starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts
Running time: 114 minutes
The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is one disaster that is still fresh in my mind. So is Hurricane Katrina of 2005. I suppose that is due to me having to write detailed reports on them. Some events just stick in our minds so much more vividly than others. What separates these two disasters, from the majority of others, is down to the haunting number of fatalities lost to them. "The Impossible" sets out to remind us all that even through such turmoil - sacrifice, refuge and hope still prospered throughout such natural evil.