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Film Reviews

  • 26th May 2007

    Flyboys

    9:34 AM — It may not have won Martin Scorsese an Oscar, but his epic period biopic The Aviator does, at least, seem to have had a bit of an impact on Hollywood.The spectacular flying sequences during the recreations of the filming of director Howard Hughes' classic First World War film Hell's Angels were amongst the best in Scorsese's impressive film, and they appear to have revived the film industry's interest in the heroic dogfights of the age of biplanes.

  • 25th October 2006

    The Devil Wears Prada

    12:00 AM — Few people who work on the editorial side of the magazine business have to worry about much more than the irritation of dealing with PR people, outdated computer systems, and the ever-approaching deadlines. There is one small but prestigious section, however, in which every working moment threatens to be a nightmare, where appearance is even more important than ability, and contacts more vital than talent. They may be a tiny minority of journalists, but for those who work on glossy women's magazines, this film promises to be every bit as cringe-making and difficult to watch through painful recognition as The Office was for the rest of us.

  • The Departed

    12:00 AM — After a string of successes of remakes of recent Japanese cult hits like The Ring and The Grudge, Hollywood seems finally to be turning its eye to Hong Kong for material.As the Mecca for extravagant and imaginative action flicks for more than three decades, much has been pilfered from Hong Kong cinema in the past - including the director John Woo and actors like Bruce Lee, Maggie Chung and Jackie Chan. Rarely, however, has Hollywood attempted an outright remake of a Hong Kong hit.

  • Marie-Antoinette 2

    12:00 AM — Despite the fact that she's both richer and more successful than any of us can imagine, it's hard not to feel sorry for Sofia Coppola.If it wasn't bad enough to have one of the late 20th Century's greatest film directors as a father, ensuring that any initial forays she made into cinema would be dismissed as merely "Francis Ford Coppola's daughter imitating daddy", she first came into the public eye as a late replacement in one of her father's own films.

  • History Boys

    12:00 AM — Since opening in London in May 2004, Alan Bennett's first play in 12 years, of which this film is an adaptation, has sold out at almost every venue over hundreds of performances, winning countless awards - from Oliviers to Tonys - along the way.Bennett may well be one of Britain's best-loved playwrights, but rarely has even he met with such success.

  • 26th July 2006

    Pirates Of The Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest

    12:00 AM — Though the commercial success of a film which saw the mighty Disney team up with mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and an array of well-known actors was pretty much guaranteed, the critical success of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was anything but. Though the commercial success of a film which saw the mighty Disney team up with mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and an array of well-known actors was pretty much guaranteed, the critical success of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was anything but.

  • The Break Up

    12:00 AM — Considering the title and the stars, this could hardly be more perfect gossip magazine material. Following her very public divorce from Brad Pitt, this is one of ex-Friends star Jennifer Aniston's first big screen outings - her break up followed by The Break Up.To add to the delight of those who thrive on celebrity tittle-tattle and rumour, it was while making this movie that Aniston started dating her co-star, Vince Vaughn - who just happens to be one of her ex-husband's friends.

  • 29th April 2006

    Mission: Impossible III

    12:00 AM — With the man behind the insanely popular and quirky TV series Lost, JJ Abrams, in the director's chair for this third installment of Tom Cruise's 60s TV show-inspired action series, it is likely that many cinemagoers will be expecting something a bit different.But, lest you forget, the last two Mission: Impossible films were also helmed by big names famed for their idiosyncratic styles, Scarface's Brian de Palma and Hong Kong legend John Woo. Neither was quite able to break the standard action movie mould. Yet it is doubtful if that was ever the intention.

  • Confetti

    12:00 AM — The pitch is not a hard one to imagine - This Is Spinal Tap meets Four Weddings and a Funeral with just a touch of Pop Idol chucked in for good measure. Nonetheless, it is a strange experience to find a film where the biggest names in it are Martin Freeman, aka Tim from The Office, and Jimmy Carr, the ubiquitous host of innumerable nostalgic compilation TV shows.But put into the Spinal Tap-style mockumentary comedic tradition the fact that the cast is largely unrecognisable to most British, let alone American, audiences is all part of its charm.

  • The Da Vinci Code

    12:00 AM — Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is one of those novels that occasionally appears and inexplicably becomes a phenomenon. On the surface, there was nothing overly special or original about the standard airport thriller plot; the characters are all archetypes at best, stereotypes at worst, and the writing varied between bland and outright bad.Compare it with any other similar pulp thriller and there is little, if anything, to set it apart from the crowd, let alone to explain its almost unprecedented 40 million worldwide sales.

  • Brick 1

    12:00 AM — Generally speaking, films set around the world of US high schools are to be given a very wide berth, especially when they are using a high school setting for an alternate backdrop to an established genre.There have been hundreds of tediously clichéd standoffs between the jocks and the nerds or the chess club and the cheerleaders over the years, and any number of unimaginative reworkings of Shakespeare, westerns and the rest in the corridors and classrooms of some generic school in a standard suburb.

  • Prime

    12:00 AM — Although at first glance this might seem to be a fairly typical romantic comedy, the utter lack of fame of the male lead compared with that of the two female stars on the poster should be an indication that this is a movie that's not so easy to pigeonhole.Yes, it's set in New York. Yes, there's some typical use of well-worn themes of New York Jewishness and sessions with therapists.

  • Down In The Valley

    12:00 AM — Edward Norton is generally regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation, an heir to the likes of De Niro and Brando, with two Oscar nominations to his name by the age of 30, and someone who can turn in performances of great subtlety even with rather sub-par material.Sadly, the past couple of years have seen him working with far more bad material than good, from the dire remake of The Italian Job to Ridley Scott's disappointing Kingdom of Heaven.

  • 28th April 2006

    Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room

    12:00 AM — In 1987, Oliver Stone defined a decade with his superb exploration of American business that was Wall Street, yet even the devious business mastermind that was Gordon Gekko could not have dreamed up some of the things the energy giant Enron managed to get up to -and that eventually led to its downfall.The story of Enron's collapse was well covered at the time yet for many it remained a story for the business pages.

  • American Dreamz

    12:00 AM — Ignore the terrible 'trendy' title, because it is all part of the surprisingly intelligent yet still highly amusing and often wonderfully silly satire of this movie. Combining two of the most popular obsessions of the last few years, reality television and terrorism, may not seem like the most obvious cinematic draw, as by now we're all becoming thoroughly sick of both.

  • 16 Blocks

    12:00 AM — Bruce Willis seems to have been playing the washed up, aging wannabe hero now for even longer than he was playing the real thing. After breaking out of television with 1988's Die Hard and becoming one of the big names of the action movie world, his best roles since playing the washed-up boxer in Quentin Tarantino's superb Pulp Fiction back in 1994 have all been very similar.

  • 5th April 2006

    Happy Endings

    12:00 AM — Happy Endings, the film that opened the 20th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, is the latest offering from Don Roos.It is a twisting and sometimes complicated tale of relationships between nine Californians. Incorporating blackmail, sperm donation, questionable paternity and long-lost parents from the director of 'The Opposite of Sex', the film explores the complexity of modern life.

  • 4th April 2006

    Keep Not Silent

    12:00 AM — This film explores the difficult subject of orthodox Jewish women living in Israel who try to reconcile their deep religious belief with (the forbidden) homosexual practice. The genre was more fly on the wall documentary than feature film and focused mainly on the real life stories of two lesbian women living in the ultra orthodox religious communities in Jerusalem.The first, a single woman, seeking understanding tolerance and acceptance from her family and permission from her rabbi to live as a lesbian women and practice her religion

  • 24th March 2006

    Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

    12:00 AM — Since the success of the likes of Toy Story and Shrek, computer-animated movies have become a regular fixture of the school holiday cinema listings.From the apparent decline of Hollywood animation in the 1980s and early 1990s, new technologies have revitalised the art of feature-length cartoons, and the constant desire of parents world-wide to find something to keep their kids occupied has ensured that there is big money in the genre.

  • Paradise Now

    12:00 AM — You surely cannot get much more topical and controversial than a Palestinian film about suicide bombers. Anyone who watches the news regularly will have seen and heard about little else for much of the last five years.So the obvious question many would ask is, "Why would I want to go to the cinema for this when I can just turn on the TV?"

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