DVD Review, Feature

Up (2009)

Only the second ever animated film to be nominated for an Academy Best Picture Award, Beauty and the Beast (1991) was the other. However some may argue that fellow 2010 best picture contendor Avatar, is also an animation! Up is a typically charming offering from Pixar. Fantastic animation as you […]

Film Review

Avatar (2009)

Visual extravaganza, cerebral wasteland… Someone once, unkindly, described the last, doomed Pink Floyd album in which a Roger Waters-free band tried forlornly to recapture some of their band’s former spark without the genie who created it, as “Wish You Were an Animal on the Dark Side of the Wall”. I […]

Film Review

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Already celebrated for its breathtaking realism in depicting soldiers and explosions, The Hurt Locker is being called “the best Iraq war movie,” with the qualification that the genre has been weak and the public response weaker. This is Kathryn Bigelow all right: macho men in dazzling exploits, exhilarating and always a little […]

Film Review

The Great Escape (1963)

You all know the story. It’s World War II and the Germans have brought together all of their most troublesome POWs in the newly constructed maximum security prison Stalag Luft III. Putting “all of the rotten eggs in one basket” was just asking for trouble – and the Germans get […]

Film Review

The Shining (1980)

Slim pickings at the Outlook Hotel… If you’re new to “The Shining” and intend to read the book and see the film, for goodness sake don’t read the book first. Stephen King’s novel The Shining is a very different enterprise, the experience of which will colour your expectations for Stanley […]

Film Review

Pitch Black (2000)

Oh isn’t it dark in here… It’s sometime in the future, a spaceship caught up in a meteor shower crash-lands on an unknown planet. What few survivors are left have to contend with the lack of food and water, the searing blaze of three suns, and the threat from one […]

DVD Review

Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man is a superhero film unlike any I have seen in recent years. With Robert Downey Jr. in the lead, Iron Man takes a direction which is both entertaining and more believable than most superhero films of this decade. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the head of a […]

Film Review

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

If you’ve ever tried to compile a list of pure comedies that are also truly great examples of cinema, you’ll know how hard it is. I get stuck at about three. I once flipped patiently through Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide to see how many four star comedies I […]

Film Review

Frost/Nixon (2008)

Beauty and the Beast… What a mightily enjoyable film. Frank Langella renders Richard Nixon as slower, older and heftier than he really was; somewhere between a punch drunk prize fighter and a waning silverbacked gorilla, snorting and puffing at the attentions of a glad-handing young dilettante. Michael Sheen plays that […]

Film Review

Hancock (2008)

Will Smith’s jaded superhero vehicle Hancock starts out well enough – albeit with a premise not a million miles away from Pixar’s The Incredibles, but the screenplay leaks coherence as it goes on, and by its conclusion has virtually none left. There was just too much in the plot arc […]