Author Archive

This Is Where I Leave You – Better Left Unwatched

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After the abysmal August Osage County, This Is Where I Leave You is another painfully humourless attempt at a family drama.

When Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) walks in on his wife Quinn (Abigail Spencer) having sex with his boss (Dax Shepard) he unravels, unsure of who is and what he wants in life.

In the midst of his depression Judd’s father dies and his grieving mother Hillary (Jane Fonda) orders him back to the family home, to sit Shiva with his siblings. Continue reading

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The Book of Life

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The Book of Life is a quirky animation film by director Jorge R Gutiérrez, celebrating Mexican folklore and the Day of the Dead.

The story begins outside a dusty old museum with a rag-tag bunch of temperamental children showing up for a tour and delightful guide, with long hair and a sexy smile showing them a hidden doorway.

With the help of wooden puppets she begins telling the old Mexican folktale of Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Maria (Zoe Saldana). Continue reading

Film Review: Serena

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Wrapping in 2012 Serena has sat on a shelf until now, and maybe it was better that way. Director Susanne Bier’s disjointed anti-romance starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper may be highly anticipated but doesn’t seem to capture its audience quite as hoped.

The melodrama is set in America in the 1930s and tells the story of logging baron George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper). When Pemberton’s timber empire begins to crumble he leaves the beauty of the North Carolina Mountains to seek help from big city bankers. While sipping cocktails he spots Serena Shaw (Jennifer Lawrence) riding on the back of a white stallion, the wind in her hair and he instantly falls in love.

After a short and passionate courtship, they marry and George returns home to his trees with his beautiful bride in tow. His colleagues aren’t very welcoming but that doesn’t deter the outdoorsy and very capable Serena to soon take over. Continue reading

Film Review: Gone Girl

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This autumn’s most anticipated thriller Gone Girl is finally here and it doesn’t disappoint. Adapted by the author herself, Gillian Flynn has turned her bestseller successfully into a Hollywood blockbuster.

On their fifth year wedding anniversary Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) arrives home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared. He calls the police assuming someone broke in and abducted her, but as the investigation unfolds things just don’t add up.

Detectives Boney (Kim Dickens) and Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) soon change the investigation from abduction to murder and Nick becomes their main suspect. Continue reading

Film Review: The Calling

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Based in a small snowy town in Canada with a female cop as a lead The Calling is begging to be compared with Fargo. Sadly The Calling falls somewhat short as the dark humour in missing and it feels more like a TV drama than a big screen thriller despite its stellar cast.

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef (Susan Sarandon) holds down an undemanding job in a sleepy town in Ontario. Despite taking painkillers and enjoying her booze she seems to know what she is doing which becomes more evident when a gruesome murder occurs. Continue reading

Film Review: The Maze Runner

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A mix between Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games, the latest YA book to receive a Hollywood makeover is The Maze Runner. Like so often the story is set in a post-apocalyptic world and author James Dashner refrains from any vampire fangs or werewolf bites and centres his trilogy around a group of young boys.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up to find himself in a vacant filed surrounded by a group of modern day lost boys. He tries to make a run for it but soon discovers that the field is surrounded by towering stone walls with only a tantalizing gap into the unknown as a way out. But before Thomas can escape the boys catch up with him and he discovers a whole new problem, his memory has been wiped. Continue reading

Get-On-Up

get-on-up-movie-james-brown-storyFunk, swagger and a lot of hair add up to the biopic that is Get-On-Up, a story about the life and music of the legend that is the “Godfather of Soul”: James Brown.

Raised in South Carolina, Brown grew up in poverty, was handed around from relative to relative and at the age of sixteen he ended up in jail. His love for music was rooted in gospels but he found his first success through R&B and later established funk. Continue reading