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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 […]

Film Review

The Wrestler (2008)

You can’t help but wonder at the autobiographical aspects of The Wrestler – for all his spandex and the lank blonde hair and the slf-mutilation, at a very visceral level Mickey Rourke isn’t entirely acting this. I have read some comments that this is a film full of cliches redeemed […]

Film Review

Persepolis (2007)

Stylish, well executed and produced, but lightweight… During the opening scene in Persepolis we see a taxi approaching Orly Airport in Paris and the air-traffic control tower rears priapically over the terminal building like – well, like a minaret over a mosque – and briefly I thought I might be […]

Film Review

Signs (2002)

And the bug-eyed monsters? Are green, yes… Signs tries to have a bob each way on too many horses in the race for it to turn up a net winner. The premise is simple, and schlock-ish enough: Mysterious corn circles appear all over the world, explicable by none but the […]