The Walk

courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment


Director: Robert Zemeckis

Screenplay: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne

Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale

Rating: * * * (out of 5)


The thirty-odd-minute sequence of the actual walk – if that non-descript word is adequate to describe Philippe Petit’s still-scarcely believable 1974 tightrope balancing act between New York’s World Trade Center skyscrapers – in The Walk elicits palpitations and sweaty palms like no other movie this year (particularly if viewed in vertiginous 3D IMAX). But far too much of the preceding hour and a half (along with those climactic moments replete with the film’s worst tendencies) only has you wringing your hands in frustration. Read more


copyright Studiocanal

MACBETH (Cert. 15)


Director: Justin Kurzel

Screenwriters: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie & Todd Louiso

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis

Rating: * * * * (out of 5)


Maybe it’s some residue from theatrical superstitions about “the Scottish play” never to be named aloud, but film versions of Macbeth appear far more sporadically than fellow Shakespearean heavyweights, Hamlet, Othello or Romeo and Juliet. This relative absence of potentially the Bard’s most mystical and visceral tragedy is a shame; but also an opportunity, as taken by Orson Welles in 1952 and Roman Polanski in 1971, to make a generation-defining interpretation. Read more

The Martian

Matt Damon in The Martian

The Martian (Cert. 12A)

Director: Ridley Scott

Screenplay: Drew Goddard

Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean

Rating: * * * * (out of five)


Ridley Scott will probably always be defined by his brooding, dystopian, early-career sci-fi classics Alien and Blade Runner (and defiled for the latter day travesty that is Prometheus), but The Martian is, in spirit if not quality, their mirror image: a peppy, bright-eyed, often very funny tale of collective heroism in the face of insurmountable odds. Read more

Fast Track to Fandom – Wes Anderson / BFI

Why this might not seem so easy

“All of Wes Anderson’s films are comedies… and none are.” When the foremost chronicler and advocate of Wes Anderson’s cinema, US critic Matt Zoller Seitz, makes such a sweeping and seemingly paradoxical statement about his subject, the uninitiated Anderson viewer might be forgiven a certain hesitancy to get started. Read more


courtesy of StudioCanal

LEGEND (Cert.15)

Director-Screenwriter: Brian Helgeland

Stars: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Ecclestone

Rating: * *


Tom Hardy is a better actor than either Gary or Martin Kemp, but their 1990 version of The Krays, for all its overwrought symbolism (crocodiles, Siamese twins in formaldehyde), is by far the better film. Legend, as the very title suggests, retells the story of our very own low-rent, mid-century mobsters by hiding behind a heightened fantasy of good-twin-bad-twin (or at the very least, not-so-good-twin-psychotic-nutter-twin) and Hardy’s impressive, if overly emphatic, duality. Imagine Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers stripped of all their complexities and innate tensions and you’ve got an idea of writer-director Brian Helgeland’s approach here. That elderly barmaid witness to Ron’s shooting of Geroge Cornell, too scared to testify to what really happened? That’s effectively Helgeland. Read more

Terminator: Genisys

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys - Paramount

Dir: Alan Taylor
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney
Rating: * ½

I’ve never seen a movie sequel as convoluted as Terminator Genisys – and I’ve seen Jaws: The Revenge, the one where a Great White shark follows Chief Brody’s widow from Amity all the way down to the Bahamas, because, you know, revenge. One of the film’s many, many problems, other than complete redundancy, is that it doesn’t just attempt to engineer a new timeline along which to string further franchise instalments; it retroactively destroys the significance and potency of James Cameron’s peerless first two films. If Judgment Day can be infinitely deferred or displaced, and the one key element of the Terminator narrative, i.e. the conception of future resistance leader John Connor, tossed aside, you haven’t rebooted your franchise, you’ve shut it down. Hasta la vista, baby. Read more

Jurassic World

Courtesy of Universal Pictures


Director: Colin Trevorrow
Screenplay: Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly and Rick Jaffe & Amanda Silver
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins

Rating: * * * ½ (out of 5)

Jurassic World traffics in the repercussions of genetically modified hybrid creations: the perfect alibi, then, to deliberately splice into the film itself a self-aware apology for the inherent urge to manufacture a product, in the words of one character, that’s “bigger, louder, more teeth”, with the very unabashed f/x-driven carnage its audience demands. “No one’s impressed by a dinosaur any more,” we’re told early on, a sentiment soon backed up by our jaded audience proxy, modern teenager Zack (Nick Robinson), who’s more entranced by a cell phone SMS than any resurrected dino-DNA. Even this Meta-saurus Rex. Read more

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