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Review- In a Better World, Unknown, Sanctum 3D and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

By Cinema and Reviews

In a Better World posterI love it when a film raises the stakes. Done with wit, it can drag you back in to a film you might have been drift­ing away from. Done with smarts, like Susanne Bier’s Danish drama In a Better World, it can drag you to the edge of your seat.

About two-thirds in to the film there’s an event that forces a cent­ral char­ac­ter to con­front his own prin­ciples – val­ues he has been care­fully (and self­lessly) teach­ing his kids – and he has to ques­tion wheth­er those prin­ciples are really doing him any good in a world that refuses to hon­our them in return.

The char­ac­ter is Anton (Mikael Persbrandt), a Swedish doc­tor work­ing in a sub-Saharan refugee camp where – in addi­tion to the usu­al lit­any of drought-related prob­lems – he’s patch­ing up preg­nant women bru­tal­ised by the loc­al war­lord. He’s troubled by the cir­cum­stances but smug about his role in the aid pro­cess. Perhaps he should be pay­ing more atten­tion to back home though, as his old­est son Elias (Markus Rygaard) is being bul­lied at school and taken under the wing of cold-eyed psy­cho­path Christian (bril­liant William Jøhnk Nielsen), griev­ing the can­cer death of his moth­er and tak­ing his quiet rage out on the world.

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Review: U2 3D, Nim’s Island, Street Kings, St. Trinian’s, College Road Trip, Hunting & Gathering, Blindsight, I Have Never Forgotten You and The Real Dirt on Farmer John

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

U2 3D posterEarlier this year I arbit­rar­ily decided that the Hannah Montana 3D con­cert movie was not cinema and chose not to review it. Now, a few short weeks later, I exer­cise my right to indulge in rank hypo­crisy by stat­ing that the U2 3D con­cert movie is cinema and, thus, belongs in this column. Pieced togeth­er from con­certs in soc­cer sta­dia across Latin America (plus one without an audi­ence for close-ups), U2 3D is an amaz­ing exper­i­ence and truly must be seen to be believed.

I hadn’t expec­ted the new digit­al 3D medi­um to be used so expertly so soon but cre­at­ors Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington have man­aged to make the entire sta­di­um space mani­fest with float­ing cam­er­as and intel­li­gently layered digit­al cross-fading, giv­ing you a con­cert (and cinema) exper­i­ence that can not be ima­gined any oth­er way. Even if you are not a U2 fan this film deserves to be seen as an example of the poten­tial of 3D to trans­form the medium.

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Review: Hot Fuzz and five more ...

By Cinema and Reviews

Hot Fuzz posterIt is, of course, com­pletely bril­liant. And loud. And while it’s not quite as per­fect as pre­de­cessor (and cinema re-definer) Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is as enter­tain­ing a night out as you’ll find anywhere.

Co-creator Simon Pegg plays PC Nicholas Angel, top cop, so good he’s mak­ing the rest of the Met look bad. He’s reas­signed to the sleepy west coun­try vil­lage of Sandford where, apart from a one-swan crime-spree, the peace is nev­er breached. Of course, in a pic­tur­esque English vil­lage noth­ing is what it seems and Angel and part­ner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) are going to bust this thing wide open, whatever “it” might actu­ally be.

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