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.
If you look down my list of reviews, you’ll see I don’t do stars or ratings. That’s all very superficial and reductive. I just give opinions based on my own subjective experience. I’m not an influencer. I don’t suppose most of the time anyone cares what I think, but I’ll say it anyway. I watch a lot more than I ever write up. If I have an agenda it’s either to give praise where it’s due, abuse where it’s due, or to undercut the hype generated by marketing departments chasing a fast buck. Sometimes a movie is so egregiously bad, it gets a red cross. Continue Reading
The final release poster for Alita: Battle Angel is out and she’s holding some weirdly unidentifiable, but cool-looking sword. A 26th-century cyborg still needs a sword.
Cue Hellboy reboot and in the poster, the guy who carries an unfeasibly large calibre revolver is holding… a sword. As is… Transformer‘s own Optimus Primus Stove, a thirty-foot alien robot from another planet last seen wielding a dirty great sword, which presumably transforms into, I dunno, a roofer’s scaffold tower? Continue Reading
Cruise, Smith and Pitt have all flopped this year, but when the cries about expensive overpaid stars no longer opening movies die down, the next wave of ‘bankable certs’ should arrive in two years time.
Oblivion, After Earth and the troubled World War Z are the latest high-concept movies to have mangled the scripts in favour of big action set-peices and dodgy dialogue.
Oblivion steals from every sci-fi flick in decades, After Irk, the Smith family project from M. Night Shyame-about-the-last-one makes no sense and WW-Zeeee departs so far from the lauded source material you wonder why they bothered.
With wobbly Star Drek: Into Loudness overtaken by wobblier, louder Man of Steel and then by overblown Korean toilet cleaner Pacific Rim as most deafening and least original blockbusters of the year, you also wonder if all those ‘smart’ studio execs are actually just a bunch of sheep throwing truckloads of cash at CGI effects houses just because that’s what everyone else is doing. Continue Reading
Ask me today, ask me tomorrow. The answer will be different.
‘Best’ is about lists. It’s about rationalising and classifying and making our own certainties. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment made us obsessive-compulsive in our need to sift and sort and rank everything according to ‘objective’ quality criteria.
Fads, fashions, newness, nostalgia. Those are the four horsemen of the list-making apocalypse. Continue Reading
Are you asking me? How are we measuring ‘best’?
Movies are not an Olympic sport. There is no objective scorecard for content, artistic impression, or execution. Box office takings are no guide, otherwise Michael Bay would be in the top ten directors of all time. He isn’t.
Similarly, with apologies to Mr Cameron, Titanic is a terrible, cliche-ridden, rip-off of a movie (A Night to Remember, if you must know). Avatar is technically good, but think of it as Dances with Smurfs, or Smurf-a-hontas; the 1950’s Western script and that honking dialogue… Continue Reading
Lifted from our favourite movie review’s show, we present the Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode Cinemagoers Code of Conduct, the ten commandments for cinemagoers.
This should be essential reading for every filmgoer and a mandatory public notice pinned at the entrance to every screen. RC