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Showing posts from January 25, 2015

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Alden Ehrenreich is a sensitive soul who longs to leave his small South Carolina town. He likes to read and hopes to escape to university. Then along comes mysterious new girl Alice Englert, who is mocked and/or shunned by the bible-bashing locals because of rumours about her family’s extracurricular activities. But Ehrenreich is smitten, and eventually wears down the young girl’s snarky exterior. They can’t help but fall in love with one another. Unfortunately, her reclusive uncle (Jeremy Irons) forbids their relationship. You see, they aren’t human, but immortals with special powers, and with Englert’s impending 16th birthday, the time will come for her to be claimed by either the light or dark side. Or something like that, there’s other reasons for keeping them apart which are only gradually revealed. Meanwhile, religious zealous Emma Thompson is rallying the small-minded local Charlie Churchies to run Irons and his family out of town. But she isn’t quite what she seems. She seems …

Review: Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett stars as Jasmine, who despite claiming to be broke, flies first class from New York to San Francisco to stay with her working class adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Ginger’s current squeeze Bobby Cannavale isn’t too happy about this living arrangement, and the snooty Jasmine certainly doesn’t approve of the rather boorish, but well-meaning mechanic. She also looked down on Ginger’s previous handyman hubby, Augie (Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay, boorish and not terribly well-meaning), and seems all-round ungrateful to be put up for a while by her sister. We learn through flashbacks that Jasmine was married to a scheming and outrageously womanising con-man venture capitalist (Alec Baldwin). Her current living arrangements with Ginger are a result of that situation completely blowing up, and Baldwin committing suicide (Augie, by the way, also got screwed over by Baldwin). Now Jasmine is starting all over again from the bottom, and for someone used to an affluent lifestyle, let a…

Review: The Box

Set in 1976, husband and wife James Marsden and Cameron Diaz (who have a young son) find a peculiar box on their doorstep. It has a red button on it, and a message saying that someone will visit them by the end of the day. That someone turns out to be avuncular, but horrendously scarred Arlington Steward (Frank Langella), who tells them that they can become rich by pushing the red button. However, he tells them that by doing so, someone they don’t know will die. They cannot investigate Mr. Steward or his employer, nor can they tell anyone about this. At first, they dismiss this as a hoax or at least nonsense, the button doesn’t appear to be connected to anything, the box is entirely empty. Meanwhile, Diaz (a teacher) and Marsden (who works for NASA) both experience serious setbacks at work. Seemingly on a whim, and without consulting Marsden, Diaz pushes the button. And so their nightmare begins. Celia Weston plays Diaz’s mother, James Rebhorn plays Marsden’s superior at NASA, and Jen…

Review: Déjà vu

*****SPOILER WARNING***** Whilst much of the information contained in this review is revealed fairly early in the film (and in every review of the film), you might wish to save this review for when you’ve finished watching it. In the meantime, if you’ve seen the trailer, just look at my score and then decide if you want to see it (I hope you do see it, by the way). Filmed in post-Katrina New Orleans (everyone else mentions it in their review, so who am I to buck the trend?) ATF agent Denzel Washington (who investigated the Oklahoma City bombing, another detail everyone else seems to mention- what can I say, I’m a sheep!) looks into the explosion of a ferry that has killed several hundred people. He is particularly fascinated in a deceased young woman (charismatic then-newcomer Paula Patton) who was seemingly in the area at the time, and is somehow connected to the bombing. Val Kilmer (who used to be the skinny Batman, right?) is an FBI man so impressed with Washington that when he tak…

Review: 24 Hour Party People

Steve Coogan stars as Tony Wilson, a Granada TV presenter who went on to form Factory Records, and from 1976 to 1992 helped put British New Wave music on the map (Manchester, specifically), through bands such as Joy Division, the subsequent New Order, and the Happy Mondays, whilst not making all that much money himself out of it. It’s all about the bands and the music, you see. Wilson also co-owned a dance club called The Hacienda, which seemed to give birth to the rave movement/culture, but didn’t turn much profit because everyone was scoring Ecstasy instead of going to the bar for a drink. Before all that, though, Wilson (who is a bit of a selfish prick, as played by Coogan) would host a music TV show called “So It Goes”, for more discerning music lovers eager to see bands who don’t normally get mainstream media coverage. Paddy Considine plays Wilson’s chief business partner, Rob Brydon and Simon Pegg play journalists, Sean Harris plays troubled Joy Division front man Ian Curtis, an…