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Review: Summer Holiday Roundup (2011/12)

By Cinema and Reviews

Time to clear the sum­mer hol­i­day back­log so that the next time it rains you’ll have an idea of what you should go and see. There’s plenty to choose from – for all ages – and there’s a bunch more to come too.

Hugo posterBest thing on at the moment is Martin Scorsese’s first “kids” film, Hugo, but it took a second view­ing for con­firm­a­tion. It is a gor­geous love let­ter to cinema, a plea for decent archives, a cham­pi­on of the latest tech­no­logy – all Marty’s cur­rent pas­sions – but it’s also about some­thing more, some­thing universal.

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is a little orphan ragamuffin hid­ing in the walls of a great Paris rail­way sta­tion, wind­ing the clocks and try­ing to repair a broken auto­maton that he believes con­tains a mes­sage from his dead fath­er (Jude Law). While steal­ing parts from the sta­tion toy shop – and its sad and grumpy old own­er – Hugo meets the old man’s god-daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz) and between them they try and unravel the mys­tery of the auto­maton and why Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley) is so unhappy. Hugo is a mov­ing story about repair – the kind of redemp­tion that comes when you don’t write off and dis­card broken machines – or broken people.

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Review: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, I Love You, Beth Cooper and four more ...

By Cinema and Reviews

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 posterOne of the Film Society high­lights in recent years was the spe­cial screen­ing (on lus­trous 35mm) of the 70s clas­sic thrill­er The Taking of Pelham One Two Three about the hijack­ing of a New York sub­way train. It was a won­der­ful exper­i­ence for many dif­fer­ent reas­ons – a cyn­ic­al love let­ter to a decrep­it, bank­rupt and graffiti-covered city; an ordin­ary guy hero that audi­ences these days would nev­er be allowed to accept (played by grizzled old Walter Matthau) and Robert Shaw (from Jaws and The Sting) chew­ing the scenery as the vil­lain hold­ing a city to ransom.

Thus my heart sank when the remake was announced, par­tic­u­larly the choice of styl­ist (over sub­stance) Tony Scott as dir­ect­or. His recent films like Domino and Déjà Vu have been full of music video fan­ci­ness, giv­ing his act­ors no room to breathe – he’s the Scott you get when you can’t have his broth­er Ridley.

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