Film Review: Shutter Island

Often, Martin Scorsese makes it all better. Every now and again, tired of the incessant remakes, sequels and sub-par star vehicles, one longs for a bit of quality in mainstream Hollywood cinema. It seems that Mr Scorsese has heard our cries, as Shutter Island is a thoroughly enjoyable film, reinstating a degree of quality missing from many other recent films. Granted, […]

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Film Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

When a film actually feels long, it’s never a good sign. The problem with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is that it takes far too long to build momentum. It is only in the second third of the film that pace is generated; prior to this there is exposition and little else. The film centres around the mystery of a missing young […]

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Film Review: Green Zone

A number of reviews have highlighted Green Zone‘s similarities to the Bourne film series. It is not hard to see why – with Greengrass at the helm (director of two of the Bourne films) and Matt Damon taking centre stage, Green Zone could be ‘Bourne in Iraq’. Taking cues from Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City, the film […]

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Film Review: Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton’s live action-CGI extravaganza is an entertaining escapade well worth the watch in 3D. A sequel to the Alice stories rather than a remake, it bares little resemblance to earlier cinematic adaptations. In this version, Alice is a nineteen year old who falls down the rabbit hole after running away from an undesired marriage proposal. Burton’s film features a […]

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Film Review: Crazy Heart

Jeff Bridges gives an exceptional performance as the washed up country singer attempting to revive his career in Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart. Behind the singer, who is lamented by both his dwindling fan base and his fellow musicians, is a man struggling with an alcohol problem, amongst other demons. Crazy Heart features a wonderful and fitting soundtrack, including the Oscar-winning […]

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Film Review: The Lovely Bones

Based on the bestselling novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones is a heart-wrenching drama that will elicit emotion in even the most hardened cinemagoers. The story of a murdered teenage girl and the aftermath of the tragedy overrides the harrowing nature of this event, instead choosing to focus upon the relationship between family members. The film combines drama and […]

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Film Review: The Last Station

The Last Station tells the story of the final days of Leo Tolstoy, and the tumultuous relationship he has with his wife, the Countess Sofya. Rather than a biopic, The Last Station is more concerned with the relationship between the two protagonists and what it reveals about life. Although the focus is on Tolstoy and Sofya, there is a parallel […]

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Film Review: The Crazies

Eisner’s remake of the low-budget 1973 The Crazies Romero flick is an entertaining enough affair. The slick production gives it more of a blockbuster feel than the original, though the premise is much the same. The contamination of a small town’s water supply leads to some strange behaviour, culminating in the presence of the undead and the containment of the […]

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Film Review: Youth in Revolt

The tricky thing with comedy dramas is getting the balance right between the two genres. Err on the side of comedy, and risk creating characters that the audience doesn’t care about. Lay emphasis on the depth of characters and seriousness of narrative, and inevitably the laughs will be sparse. Youth in Revolt has a difficult time in marrying the two […]

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Film Review: Solomon Kane

Publicity for Solomon Kane focussed heavily on the fact that the character was created by Robert E. Howard, of Conan fame. Presumably, marketing executives hoped this association would help snare sword and sorcery devotees. And though Solomon Kane and the Conan films have very different settings, there are many parallels between both the stories and the characters. Kane is a […]

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