Friday, 3 June 2016

Singin' in the Rain (1952)



Almost 65 years on and Singin’ in the Rain remains timeless, a real classic, not only because it tells of an important point in movie history (in that way it almost sits alongside Cinema Paradiso (1988) or Hugo (2011)), but because of the empathy we feel for the characters, and of course because of some tremendous dance numbers.


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Monday, 30 May 2016

Robocop (2014)



Formulaic and derivative actioner which lacks the bite of the original, and for which there was no need.

Where was the tongue in cheek jibe at modern day excesses? Where was the finger given to the MTV (I guess now YouTube) generation? Where was the commentary on the fact that huge corporations are inherently evil? Paul Verhoeven’s original had all this and more.

For one, it had a believable lead role, not even Michael Keaton or Gary Oldman could rescue this. Jackie Earle Haley’s character was fun, but Samuel L Jackson’s talk show spots didn’t really work as a prop to hang the plot on.

Not to mention that the way that Alex Murphy becomes Robocop has changed, the EDs are never explained – they’re just there, and Robocop never says “Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.”

I suppose comparisons with the original are unfair and shouldn’t really be made; but when a “reboot” is this poor it’s hard not to. A missed opportunity, and a waste of everyone’s time.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Zootopia (2016)



On the one hand this is a cartoon about a bunny wanting to be a cop, with lots of fish-out-of-water gags as the naive rabbit is variously patronised. On the other hand, the main themes of standing up for what you believe in as well as cultural/racial tolerance are really quite serious.

Of course this is a Disney animated kids film though, and as such it does everything right. The jokes are thick and fast, the creation of the utopian animal world is excellent with so much detail that repeat viewings will doubtless reveal ever more unnoticed touches, and the voice cast it excellent.

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Monday, 9 May 2016

Gone too far (2014)



With themes of identity and finding your place in the world, Gone too Far is a hilarious window into the young ethnic diversity of London.

When his brother arrives from Nigeria it threatens to upset Yemi's comfortable existence. Events force him to assess his heritage and struggle with local bullies and the girl of his dreams in the midst of racial prejudice between Africans, Jamaicans and second generation residents of Peckham.

Very witty with sharp dialogue and very very funny.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)


Dawn of Justice?  Still in the dark if you ask me.  There was one good scene, about halfway through I guess; but otherwise there is too much plotting, and when we finally get to the final showdown, it’s all wham, bang, bash, explosion!  A a rather run-of-the-mill affair with little to recommend it.  Still the creative genius behind the Dark Knight trilogy (Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer) can’t help this turgid series.

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