Looking for the Twilight zone, all you get are testosterone-fueled pretty boys snarling their way through a macho version of The Craft. Some impressive special effects can’t disguise the vacuous, sub-Supernatural script. Unintentionally comedic, courtesy of ham-fisted Finnish demolition-meister Renny Harlin.
Somewhere in Massachussets; the Ipswich Colony (which immediately destroys the movie for the Brit’s – we can’t take anything from Ispwich seriously), where, since 1692, a ‘covenant of silence’ has kept witchcraft from the world.
Now, in the present day, the teenage heirs of four ancient families of warlocks battle it out with the banished evil fifth son… meh. Continue Reading
Life is for living: a hokey, magical-realism, ghostly romance is saved from Ghost Whisperer ignominy by the star quality of Zac Efron.
A supernatural drama based on the best-selling book by author Ben Sherwood, Charlie St. Cloud (Efron: High School Musical, Me and Orson Welles) is a home-town golden boy who wins a sailing scholarship to an Ivy League college; but in the summer after high school, a car-wreck kills his younger brother Sam and Charlie is clinically dead until revived by paramedic Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).
Charlie was driving, and, weighed down by guilt, puts his life on hold to work in the cemetary where he plays catch daily with Sam’s ghost. Then Charlie’s former high-school classmate and sailing rival Tess (Amanda Crew) returns to town. Continue Reading
[Small spoilers alert]
During the chaos at the end of WW2 as the Russians and Americans are circling the wreck of Europe, a man with a plan collects a motley team of art experts together to help retrieve and return a continent’s mountain of looted art treasures to its rightful owners.
If you’re looking for action, violence and large scale spectacle you won’t get it – what this film excels in is its charming blokey friendships, with a ‘let’s get through this’ sense of humour and a different agenda at odds with the rest of the Allies. Visually stunning recreations of the destruction and devastation of city, art and life mix with astonishing real archive images of stacks of priceless treasures and their epic hiding places. Continue Reading
Some serious 70′s hair and make-up; but no Oscar nomination in that category, while The Hustle seems set to sweep all else before it. And like the director’s previous Silver Linings Playbook, it’s all a bit mad.
David O Russell’s trademark off-the-wall and off-kilter view of America is filtered through this ‘based on a true story’ heist caper; a period movie that lets Russell’s repertory players light up and show off. But sorry boys, it’s Amy and Jen who steal the show.
Note it’s not just any hustle, but an American hustle. Continue Reading
Manga comics have a lot to answer for in this misbegotten Franken-movie, combining classic Western The Searchers with Mad Max, The Matrix, Blade Runner and a big dollop of creature-feature CGI vampires lifted from Cowboys and Aliens. And we know how that turned out.
A mis-cast Paul Bettany keeps his acting integrity as the titular priest, but for everyone else, it’s grimace and bear it and pick up the cheque.
The premise of this post-apocalyptic (aren’t they all) distopian future Western probably sounded good to the studio. Bullet-proof Monk type Priests versus Silent-Hill, Pan’s Labyrinth vampire creatures, lots of black leather, epic landscapes, cityscapes, caves; a Matrix-style fight atop a speeding train. What could go wrong?
The flattest movie in 3D, that’s what. Continue Reading
This Bourne-with-a-bra, by-the-numbers espionage thriller is saved from the bargain bucket by two things: real-life MMA star Gina Carano’s genuine kick-ass chick Mallory Kane, and the reappearance of a oscar-winning director – Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Solaris), finally cut free of the Ocean‘s train-wreck.
It’s no Bourne-by-Greengrass, the script by Lem Dobbs is a join-the-dots rehash, and the supporting cast look bored and confused; but the action is a thrill-ride that kept me away from the remote flipper. Continue Reading
The classic three act drama can be described as ‘get your hero up a tree, throw rocks at him, get him down again.’ This is definitely act two, with an ominous ‘what have we done’ at the bottom.
The nearest thing you’ll get to a ‘previously in The Hobbit’ is a quick flashback on what it’s all about from before ep 1, with the same grotty, muddy Bree pub that Aragorn will be found skulking in years later and a carrot-munching Peter Jackson cameo. Continue Reading