Tag Archives: review

Not Quite A Haiku Review: Her (2013)

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I just fell in love.
Is it possible to marry a film?
Siri, please wipe my tears.

Theodore works for Star-Lord, apparently.
Please let me be his Mrs. Twombly.
I like future Los Angeles.

Scarlett’s sultry tones are magnetic.
Kudos to you moving aside, Samantha Morton.
That surrogate shit be cray.

Get excited about future games.
That little cartoon dude begs for abuse.
Everybody loves Mr. Adam Spiegel.

Here’s to Oscar-winning Spike Jonze.
And dedicatees Yauch, Savides, Sendak and Gandolfini.
Don’t go humping the fridge.

VERDICT: 5/5

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Review: Cuban Fury (2014)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON TUESDAY 11TH FEBRUARY, HERE***

Director: James Griffiths.

Starring: Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Kayvan Novak, Rashida Jones, Olivia Colman, Ian McShane, Rory Kinnear.

Certificate: 15.

Running Time: 98 minutes.

SynopsisJunior salsa champion, Bruce (Nick Frost) leaves his dancing dreams behind after a bullying incident goes too far. Bored and stuck in routine, the arrival of beautiful, smart new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) gives him reason to dig out his Cuban heels once more. That is, if sleazy co-worker Drew (Chris O’Dowd) doesn’t get in there first.

Fresh out of The Cornetto Trilogy, Nick Frost swaps ice cream for dancing shoes in a surprisingly relatable story buried under a mountain of sequins. The opening credit narration and quick-fire editing may suggest an Edgar Wright rip-off, but CUBAN FURY delivers far beyond the usual romcom tropes thanks to its brilliant cast and token salsa twist.

Based on an original idea that came to him after a drunken night out, Nick Frost plays Bruce, a former UK salsa champion who locked his trophies away after the horrors of ‘Sequingate’. Though evidently very good at his job, daily abuse from colleague Drew makes it less than enjoyable until new American boss Julia shatters the tedium. Convinced she’s out of his league, a shared love for dance has Bruce egged on by his best friends to win her heart – but getting back on the dance floor is a little more complex than climbing onto his fold up bike. Continue reading

Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MONDAY 10TH FEBRUARY, HERE***

Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller.

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman.

Running Time: 100 minutes.

Certificate: U.

Synopsis: When the ordinary, rule-obeying Emmet (Chris Pratt) is mistaken as ‘The Special’, he finds himself battling the evil President Business’ (Will Ferrell) plan to glue the individual Lego worlds together.

Move over Michael Bay. There’s a new type of cinematic mayhem in town and it comes in the form of Lego. After keeping our planet happy for the last sixty-five years, the Danish toy company have gone full blockbuster with a completely bonkers but engaging underdog story that definitely ate all the blue Smarties.

Just like 2009’s CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, the duo’s second animated feature is heavy on both style and morals. Centering on the very ordinary Emmet, he may lack the crazy invention skills of CLOUDY’s Flint Lockwood, but he is equally trying to minifigure it all out. Perfectly happy with his daily routine, a chance encounter with the mysterious ‘Piece of Resistance’ sees an opportunity to break the monotony and open his eyes to the realities around him. Continue reading

Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY, HERE***

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Kevin Rankin, Steve Zahn.

Running Time: 117 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

Synopsis: Hard living redneck Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) finds his morals and beliefs questioned when diagnosed as HIV-positive. Given thirty days to live, he teams up with transvestite, Rayon (Jared Leto), to help find an alternative to new drug on the block, AZT.

1985 Dallas was not the most accepting of places, with early mockery of “faggot” Rock Hudson’s death setting levels of Texan tolerance incredibly low. In the midst of the name-calling is electrician, Ron Woodroof, who, unbeknownst to him, will soon be subjected to the same taunts from those he calls friends. But this rude awakening sets the part-time rodeo rider on an unwavering path from homophobic bigot to tireless, accepting campaigner.

Woodroof’s debauched, drug-heavy antics lead to the odd blackout or two, but it’s only after an accident at work that the true reason behind them is revealed. After a spectacular outburst of denial, Ron buries his head in library book research, but cocaine-fuelled nights and trips to the strip club are still very much on the cards. Soon realising the American health service offers little more than AZT drug trials that may or may not see him beyond the projected thirty days, Ron begins smuggling untested cocktails of drugs for his physical – and financial – gain. Continue reading

Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Film Title: Out of the Furnace
Director: Scott Cooper.

Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe.

Certificate: 15.

With only 2009’s CRAZY HEART to his name, Scott Cooper’s OUT OF THE FURNACE struggles to disguise its relatively green writer-director. What could have been an intelligent, tense revenge thriller unfortunately soon unravels as a redneck version of TAKEN; a paint by numbers and completely unremarkable affair that signposts any shock tactics from a mile off. However, with Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio (originally set to direct and star) onboard as producers, it’s hardly surprising it attracted such impressive talent.

After a tragic car accident puts Russell Baze (Christian Bale) behind bars, he returns to a place where everything is fundamentally the same, but inescapably different. His younger, Iraq-serving brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) seeks solace in physical bouts, while girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) is far more standoffish than hoped. But Rodney’s addiction to the boxing ring is more than just a hobby as he finds himself sucked into a dangerous world of underground fighting, headed by the nefarious Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). When little bro mysteriously goes missing and local police chief Wesley (Forest Whitaker) is slow to act, Russell decides to take matters into his own hands. Continue reading

Not Quite A Haiku Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

inside-llewyn-davis-w724Thanks to Joel and Ethan,
I just went inside actual Llewyn Davis.
His name needs another syllable.

Oscar has an impressive voice.
He is nicer to Mulligan this time.
She actually made me laugh.

Llewyn is really quite sad.
Jake Johnson must be his older brother.
He hitchhikes far too much.

Adam Driver rocks my world.
Garrett and Goodman are an unnecessary distraction.
Timberlake has a good beard.

LOVE the record cover poses.
Please Mr. Kennedy is my new jam.
I must have that cat.

VERDICT: 4/5

Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

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Director: Kenneth Branagh.

Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Costner.

Running Time: 105 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

Synopsis: Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), a young C.I.A. analyst, finds himself uncovering a potential terrorist attack whilst investigating a Russian plot to crash the American economy.

With nearly as many incarnations as Bond, SHADOW RECRUIT marks Jack Ryan’s fifth screen outing. But where Ian Fleming’s smooth operator works in a very knowing, tongue in cheek world, Kenneth Branagh has managed to sap any sense of fun from proceedings, delivering a film that rarely rises above a jumble of BOURNE-pinching boredom.

Introduced to Jack at University, the events of 9/11 spur him on to join the Marines. After saving two of his comrades in Afghanistan and coming to the attention of Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner purely there to push the story forward), this exemplary serviceman finds himself on a fast track to the C.I.A. Yes, this is all very impressive (well done, Jack), but it soon becomes apparent that this is an origin story without spark or originality. Continue reading