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audrey tautou Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt in Ron Howard's Rush (2013).

Review: Rush, Blancanieves, Mood Indigo, Metallica Through the Never, Planes, The Smurfs 2, Percy Jackson- Sea of Monsters and One Direction- This is Us

By Cinema and Reviews

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt in Ron Howard's Rush (2013).

Firstly, I need to apologise for the infrequency of updates. Real world work has intervened. The result is that this collection of reviews will be even more cursory than usual.

Rush posterRon Howard’s Rush is a great showcase for Chris Hemsworth (Thor) to prove that he has some potential beyond the comic book beefcake. He plays British playboy racing driver James Hunt with a perfect languid English accent and a rock star twinkle just failing to hide his understandable insecurities. Daniel Brühl as his on-track nemesis Niki Lauda also does a creditable job of making an unattractive character appealing. Downsides are that the film is about 20 minutes too long and it’s the first 20 minutes that you could easily lose. Peter Morgan’s script is — unusually for him — very by-the-numbers until the inciting incident occurs after the halfway stage, also kicking Howard’s direction into gear.

Blancanieves posterBlancanieves was reportedly Roger Ebert’s final favourite film, added to his own festival earlier this year after only a handful of screenings. As usual, Mr. Ebert’s taste did not let him down and the film should win over lovers of classic cinema at least. Much closer to a genuine silent picture than Oscar-winner The Artist’s pastiche, Blancanieves resets the Snow White legend to 1920s Spain with a background of bullfighting and intrigue. It’s luscious to look at and as romantic as any of the great vintage silents that inspired it, although viewers with lower tolerance for melodrama and arch, high intensity performances may struggle to buy in.

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Before Midnight poster

Review: Before Midnight, The Lone Ranger, This Is the End, The Internship, Camille Rewinds, The Place Beyond the Pines and Thérèse Desqueyroux

By Cinema and Reviews

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight, 2013.

As is so often the case at this time of year (usually related to 48 Hours commitments) I am a little behind on my reviewing. This weekend I caught up on a lot the actual watching (although apologies to John Davies who sent me a screener of Remembrance that I haven’t yet sat down and watched) so now I will try and rustle up another one of my trademark collections of “Capsule Reviews of Questionable Utility”.

Before Midnight posterOf all the movies I’ve seen so far this year, Linklater, Delpy and Hawke’s Before Midnight (after three movies I think it’s fair to credit authorship severally) is the one that has stuck in my brain the longest. In it, we catch up with the lovers from Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) as they reach the end of an idyllic vacation in Greece. Hawke’s Jesse is wondering whether he should try and spend more time with his teenage son who lives with his mother in the States. Delpy’s Celine is about to start a dream job back in Paris where they currently reside with their two adorable daughters.

They are at a crossroads but, as the film makes clear, when are we ever not? Delpy is magnificent, creating a wondrous, beautiful, insecure, infuriating and righteous woman who is simultaneously proud and frustrated at the role she has found herself playing. Watching her I was thinking about a couple of relationships of mine that I ended. Maybe I was a little bit hasty. Maybe I wasn’t really listening.

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Review: Twilight- Breaking Dawn Part 2, Monsieur Lazhar, Delicacy, Diana Vreeland- The Eye Has to Travel and Electrick Children

By Cinema and Reviews

Twilight: Breaking Dawn part II posterMy friend Simon calls Twilight “Twiglet” but that’s pretty much the maximum amount of amusement that I’ve managed to derive from a franchise that I have never managed to appreciate. Actually, that’s not quite true. During the latest — and final — episode, Breaking Dawn Part 2, I did laugh long and hard at the arrival of the fiddle-dee-dee Irish vampires with their red hair and their tweed waistcoats, part of a motley band of multi-ethnic sparklers assembled to fight off the threat from the Vettori (or whatever they’re called).

The Vulturi, led by simpering Michael Sheen, want to destroy (or absorb) the dangerous hybrid child Renesmee, a terrifyingly unrealistic CGI baby supposedly born just before Kristen Stewart’s Bella was finally converted at the end of the previous film. Despite being able to travel at the speed of light they take their time getting to snowy Washington state, allowing the Cullen’s — and their werewolf neighbours — to formulate a plan.

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Review: Anonymous, The Debt, Beautiful Lies, The Thing, Conan the Barbarian and I Don’t Know How She Does It

By Cinema and Reviews

Economically speaking, theatres are a complete waste of space. I mean, take a look at the St James or the Embassy and try and imagine how many cubicles and desks you could fit in to those huge pieces of prime real estate. Or even better, how many cars could you park inside them? (Car parks require lower ceilings therefore more floors for the same building height) What kind of fool thinks of constructing a big empty building simply to shine a light through the middle of it?

Anonymous posterThis kind of nonsense has been going on for centuries though as Anonymous, Roland Emmerich’s new piece of speculative fiction, demonstrates. Stretching credulity almost as far as Star Trek requiring us to believe in faster-than-light speed, Anonymous asks its audience to assume that barely-literate actor Will Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) was not the author of all those plays and sonnets but instead they were penned by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans) and used as a tool to rile the populace and provoke political unrest.

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Review: Separation City, G.I. Joe- The Rise of Cobra, Coco Avant Chanel, Flashbacks of a Fool and Earth Whisperers/Papatuanuku

By Cinema and Reviews

Separation City posterBecause privileged white males haven’t had a fair suck of the sav in recent times when it comes to arts funding it seems only fair that the Film Commission should try and redress that injustice with the new Tom Scott-scripted comedy Separation City.

Aussie Joel Edgerton plays Simon, a normal kiwi bloke who has a gorgeous intelligent wife, a beautiful house on the beach in Eastbourne, a job steering affairs of state for a cabinet minister and a mid-life crisis caused by nothing more dramatic than a lack of action in the bedroom. He falls for beautiful cellist Katrien who may or may not be Dutch or German but has the cut glass English accent of London-born Rhona Mitra (last seen in skin-tight leather as a vampire in Underworld 3).

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