Tag Archives: benedict cumberbatch

Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

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Director: Steve McQueen.

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye, Brad Pitt, Garret Dillahunt, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti.

Running Time: 134 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

Synopsis: Based on the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free Black man who was captured and sold into slavery. His struggle to keep his identity and stay alive are made even more difficult when he finds himself bought by slaveowner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).

Following on from haunting, visceral Fassbender machines, HUNGER and SHAME, Steve McQueen’s latest, incredibly raw triumph grabs you by the scruff of the neck and demands your heart and soul. 2013 delivered two very different tales of Black oppression courtesy of Tarantino and Spielberg, but this nigh-on flawless retelling of Solomon Northup’s plight is the one to beat in 2014.

Finding art in the smallest of things, McQueen’s proclivity to linger where others would call cut fascinates and enchants – notably in an incredibly tense scene that finds Solomon’s life hanging in the balance whilst others go about their daily tasks. Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt once again melts into the director’s vision, creating numerous iconic moments from the spraying of fresh blood at the hand of Edwin Epps’ whip to a journey following Solomon through the woods. Malickian interludes serve to measure the years passed, but refrain from self-indulgence, instead letting us appreciate minor details and transforming 12 YEARS A SLAVE into a transcendent, necessitated rewatch. Continue reading

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Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MAY 4TH, 2013***

Director: J.J. Abrams.

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, John Cho, Anton Yelchin.

Running Time: 132 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

SynopsisWhen an unstoppable force of terror rises within their own organisation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt that will put the lives of the Enterprise’s crew at risk.

After the success of 2009’s space reboot, J.J. Abrams left tongues wagging as to how he would follow his superb Romulan romp. His sequel may contain some brilliant comedy and interesting moments, but it unfortunately suffers due to an unoriginal first half that shares much with the cold and hollow materials that make up the USS Enterprise.

Immediately thrown amongst an active volcano and a chase involving an indigenous papier-mâché-esque tribe, things stall after we are treated to one of the film’s more impressive and stomach-churning gravity defying leaps. The witty repartee between crewmates may be continuously present, but things feel unremarkable and stuck in neutral until Abrams puts his ship into warp speed come the final thirty minutes. Continue reading

A Batch Of Cumber, Murdering Apollo Creed And Jamie Foxx’s Junk

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On Monday night I took part in the rather fabulous podcast, Raging Bullshit. The results are now up and it’s fair to say their first show of 2013 covered rather a lot of cinematic (and anatomic!) ground.

Discussion topics include Rosamund Pike’s insanely distracting cleavage in Jack Reacher, what we’re most looking forward to in 2013 and who’s been grossly overlooked in Awards Season.

Please listen to the results here and give them a cheeky little subscribe on iTunes – just search ‘Raging’. You won’t regret it.

The Great Trailer Debate – Week 5

It’s definitely fair to say that we have rather a mixed bag for you this week, with comedy, action, drama and thrillers all covered in last week’s trailer releases. So, without further ado, Nadine and I (check her blog out here) bring you Wrong, John Carter, The Sitter, The Grey, War Horse, Shame (TRAILER OF THE WEEK) and Wish You Were Here. Continue reading

The 2011 BIFA Nominations

And so here starts Awards season.

Admit it, we all felt it looming. From the minute Tinker Tailor came out complete with best of British, we were all secretly wondering who’d be up for the big ones come January 2012. Who would be the one chosen for Best Supporting – Hardy or Cumberbatch? Or neither? Would Gary Oldman finally get his horrifically overdue nomination? But many of us have been quietly making our Academy Award predictions for months now. For those that saw Drive back in August, what of Albert Brooks? That same month, Warrior gave us a possibility in the form of Nick Nolte. And now with trailers for War Horse, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, The Descendants, J. Edgar, My Week With Marilyn, Coriolanus and Albert Nobbs etc, etc, etc, coming in thick and fast, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little giddy with excitement – and the potential bragging rights that come with guessing the most winners correctly. Continue reading

Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

DIRECTOR: Tomas Alfredson.

CAST: Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, David Dencik, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Stephen Graham, Kathy Burke, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Simon McBurney, Philip Martin Brown.

SYNOPSIS: After a covert mission goes horribly wrong, George Smiley (Oldman) and his superior, British Intelligence spymaster Control (Hurt) are let go from their jobs. But when Ricki Tarr (Hardy) turns up claiming to have evidence that there is a Soviet mole at the heart of British Intelligence, Smiley and colleague Peter Guillam (Cumberbatch) are enlisted to pin down the traitor.

Beautifully constructed and meticulously executed, Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a showcase in pitch perfect pacing, acting and storytelling. Centred around a series of flashbacks utilised as a way in which to pin down the mole at the top of the circus, the race to find the culprit is as sadistically frustrating as it is chokingly tense. Continue reading