Notes On A Film: Man Of Steel

There has been a lot of response to Man Of Steel, which is to be expected with one of the best known fictional characters in the world and the many different attachments people have to the concept of Superman, so I thought I should add my own – it’s been a week since I’ve seen the movie and it’s taken me that long to compile my thoughts. Herein be spoilers, so fair warning. SPOILER WARNING Despite my love of comic book superheroes, I’m not a huge fan of Superman. This isn’t a slight on the character or the great creators […]

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Notes On A Film: Star Trek Into Darkness

I really enjoyed the Star Trek reboot from JJ Abrams. This is despite the fact that they blew up Vulcan just to emphatically state that this was a completely new Star Trek (not cool, Abrams) and that the villain of the piece wasn’t particularly good. It didn’t have a lot of what made Star Trek so popular in the first place, but it was a film that meant we would get new Star Trek films, so it achieved its aim. And Karl Urban was fantastic as Doctor McCoy. This meant that I was looking forward to the sequel, even with […]

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DVD: Catching up with films (which everyone else has already seen)

Due to various circumstances, I stopped my monthly subscription to a certain cinema chain that allowed me unlimited watching of films on actual proper film screens, with noisy people using their smartphones and coming in late and everything. This meant that I didn’t see many of the films that were in my area of interests (boo-hoo for developed-world problems). However, when my local Blockbuster (history note for children: Blockbuster was a chain of real-world shops where dinosaurs could rent physical copies of recently produced film in a legal transaction involving money, instead of pirating them) sent me a letter announcing […]

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Notes On A Film: Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is a confident man – confident in his abilities as a film-maker, a scriptwriter, a salesman for his work, and the success of his place in cinema. It is what has allowed him to make relatively few films but at his own schedule, films that are overlong and indulgent but are nevertheless enjoyable, cine-literate mash-ups of exploitation genres. This means that he believes himself when he says that Django Unchained is a film that addresses slavery because of its historical accuracy despite the fact that the film is never going to be treated as a cinematic textbook – […]

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Notes On A Film: Lincoln

I don’t know if it’s because I’m British or because my knowledge of history, and in particular American history, is fairly basic but I have been aware of Abraham Lincoln on a fairly shallow level. I know he was assassinated in a theatre, I know he freed the slaves and ended the Civil War, but for the most part I know him as caricature – the tall hat, the silly beard and the speeches (and I’m not just talking about Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which I suppose you could consider the unofficial prequel to […]

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Notes On A Film: Skyfall

Some belated notes on Skyfall, long after any discussion has finished so I could talk about it with some spoilers, just to get things out of my head. In an interview, Sam Mendes (the first Oscar winner to direct a James Bond movie) talked about the slight influence of The Dark Knight on his approach to directing Skyfall, and how he could make a darker movie with an established cinematic character. The strange thing is that there are other influences of the Christopher Nolan reinvigoration of Batman in the script itself. The main connection is between the bad guy of […]

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Notes On A Film: Looper

The great thing about Looper is that it blends smart sci-fi with exciting action without losing anything from either element – that’s a smart trick to pull off. It has a strong and simple hook: in the future, time travel has been invented but immediately banned, used illegally by gangsters to send back people they want disposed in the past. However, it uses it for a film that has heart without being sentimental and characters you care about. Writer/director Rian Johnson has made one of the best time travel action films (a small field). Joseph Gordon Levitt is Joe Simmons, […]

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Notes On A Film: Dredd

‘Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’. That’s the first credit that comes up when the film has finished, before the name of the director or the screenwriter. If I wasn’t smiling before, I was certainly smiling when I saw those words. I don’t remember those words appearing in the credits for Judge Dredd, but I try not to remember too much about that film – I hazily recall the great judge costume and the Lawmaster (the judges’ bike), and the fact that they included lots of elements from the comic books, but a film with Rob Schneider as comic […]

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Notes On A Film: The Dark Knight Rises

Several weeks after the film came out – this is absurdly late to post my thoughts on this film. All the discussion has already occurred, although I avoided it for fear of spoilers, and I have nothing new to add. However, The Dark Knight Rises was such a wonderfully enjoyable film, I had to compile a few notes to honour its achievements. This has been a good year for superhero films: The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have been really good films that honour their comic book roots and have been enjoyable stories, albeit in different ways. The thing […]

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Notes On A Film: John Carter

This is not a review of a film, it is a question about a film: Why did the media rag on John Carter so much? Because I watched a perfectly enjoyable fantasy adventure film, and I’m completely bemused by the treatment the film received. Is it the greatest film ever? No. Is it the worst film ever? No. It’s simply a good adaptation of a book, with beautiful scenery, a conflicted central character, a strong female character, ships that sail on light, four-armed green aliens, adventure, sword fighting, bad guys, mystery and excitement. What was everyone’s problem? I believe it […]

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