Never a fan of Du Maurier’s sub-Bronte shananigans, but desperate to like this one, Robert Michell’s costume psycho-drama proves the existence of LAS – Literary Adaptation Syndrome.
The necessary over-compression of a long novel beats all the mystery out of Du Maurier’s ‘did-she-didn’t-she’ plot, reducing it to Fatal Attraction in Crinolines, with all the subtlety of a bulldozer crashing through your window. Continue Reading
The final instalment of the X-Men reboot is an unruly tangle of belonging, family and identity with plenty of CGI mayhem and big action set-pieces. Stuck with the mis-casting of Fassbender and MacAvoy, it relies on Sophie ‘Mahogony’ Turner stepping up as the empathetic core and she’s just not that kind of actress. Blown away by Jessica Chastain’s icy villain and Jennifer Lawrence’s too-short stint as Mystique, Turner is the weak nail in the wall from which the whole thing hangs. Continue Reading
The top box office movie of 1968, this Boy’s Own Adventure, behind-enemy-lines, WWII jaunt has Richard Burton slumming it alongside Clint Eastwood in an original script by novelist Alistair Maclean. Continue Reading
Thankfully, reviewing is not my paid job. It’s just as well. The list of movies I am prepared to sit through is ever-shrinking, thanks to an in-built content filter that flashes red at the very casting of certain actors. Their very names on a poster has become a guaranteed indicator of cinematic sewage not worth my time. Life is simply too short and getting shorter by the day. It’s becoming quite a list.
Kong meets Apocalypse Now in a 70’s re-boot with all the logic of a Japanese ’60’s kaiju movie. Go to Vietnam; leave Vietnam; go to island; meet Kong, fight giant cave lizards, do not leave island, do not go to New York, do not kill the ape. At least Kong is a ‘real’ ape with proper fur – cast of Cats take note. Continue Reading
You like musical theatre or you don’t. You like screen musicals or you don’t. You like Andrew Llyod-Webber or you don’t. But the uncanny valley of these weirdly sexed-up felines with CGI fur and human faces… that’s one kink too many.
Eliot’s Book of Practical Cats was ersatz English whismy, and as the source for a two hour musical, the material’s decidedly flimsy. Okay, I won’t do the whole review in verse.
This witty and understated Austen adaptation is a sparkling team effort that gives the original text space to breathe in a sumptuous (when else do you get to use that adjective?) production where every frame is a tribute to the costume department. ‘Period drama’ doesn’t get any more period than this. Continue Reading
Don’t be deceived by the trailer that looks like Aquatic Aliens, Underwater is actually a sensitive documentary about the conservation of coral reefs in the pacific…
Of course it isn’t. At the bottom of the Mariannas Trench, a drilling rig suffers a catastrophic failure, leaving Kristen Stewart and a handful of survivors to escape the rig, the deep ocean, and an undiscovered race of ancient hungry nasties. Continue Reading
Netflix’ ‘fuzzy felt’ production line continues to throw content at the wall to see what sticks – and it’s not this. A poorly adapted, incoherent, journo-political thriller, despite Anne Hathaway acting her socks off, makes no sense whatsoever. Plenty of tension and skull-duggery during Reagan-era, Central American shenanigans, can’t reconcile Hathaway’s dedicated news hound to her run of catastrophic decisions. Continue Reading
A movie that isn’t a movie; a play that isn’t a play. Live-streamed from the Playhouse Theatre in London’s ‘glittering West End’, the Rostand classic gets a modern, no set, no props, Brechtian makeover, complete with rap, beat-boxing and no end of swearing.
More than that, one of theatre’s famously ugly leads is played by a bona-fide movie star, James Macavoy, without a false nose. Then he takes his shirt off. Continue Reading