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Review: Senna, Hanna, Footrot Flats - The Dog’s Tale, Final Destination 5 and The Double Hour

By Cinema and Reviews

Despite my pos­it­ive review for TT3D last week, I’m not a huge motor­s­port fan. In 1996 I worked on the last Nissan Mobil 500 race around the water­front and couldn’t see the appeal of watch­ing cars go belt­ing around the same corner over and over again. In that race you couldn’t even tell who was win­ning, it was all such a blur. In fact, the only time I’ve ever watched Formula 1 was when I chan­nel surfed on to some late night cov­er­age one Sunday night in 1994 just before going to bed. Two corners (about 30 seconds) later, Ayrton Senna was dead. It was pretty freaky, let me tell you.

So, I knew (as all audi­ences must) that Asif Kapadia’s bril­liant doc­u­ment­ary Senna was going to end in tragedy. What I didn’t know was how riv­et­ing it was going to be from begin­ning to end. Senna works because it is first and fore­most a por­trait of a com­pel­ling char­ac­ter – a cha­ris­mat­ic, con­fid­ent but humble young man who under­stood the risks he took and fought to bal­ance those risks with his innate desire to race and race hard – but when the polit­ics of Formula 1 took the con­trol of those risks out of his hands there you could see there was only going to be one result.

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Review: Saw VII (3D), Hall Pass, I Am Number Four and The Adjustment Bureau

By Cinema and Reviews

If ali­ens have been look­ing down on Earth, watch­ing us with love and amuse­ment over the last few mil­lion years (as so many movies have told us they are), they will surely be very wor­ried about recent devel­op­ments in our cul­ture and what it all means for us as a spe­cies. I know I am.

Saw 3D posterOn the sur­face, the cine­mat­ic trend towards “tor­ture porn” films like Hostel and Saw – and their even more dis­mal cous­in The Collector – betrays a weird human human abil­ity to take pleas­ure in the extreme pain of oth­ers that is at odds with how we most of us actu­ally live our lives. I’m curi­ous. What does it all mean?

This was the ques­tion I found myself ask­ing as I watched Kevin Greutart’s Saw VII on Saturday after­noon (I say “watched” as, per usu­al, I found myself star­ing at the cinema EXIT signs dur­ing the more grue­some pas­sages). On closer inspec­tion it’s clear that what we have here is an Old Testament-style mor­al­ity tale, updated for the attention-deficit, sensation-seeking, mod­ern generation.

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Review: Julie & Julia, Food, Inc., Saw VI, Surrogates, Tyson, Monty Python- Almost the Truth and The Crimson Wing

By Cinema and Reviews

Back before the days of “Iron Chef”, “Masterchef” and “Hell’s Kitchen”, television’s top food expert was a very tall, slightly ungainly, woman who soun­ded a little drunk. She was Julia Child and in the 60s she taught America how to cook. In an era where tv din­ners, pre-prepared sauces and easy cake mixes were top of a busy housewife’s shop­ping list, Child pro­duced the almighty tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking which went on to sell mil­lions of cop­ies and make her a legend.

A little later on, 2002 in fact, New Yorker Julie Powell star­ted an online pro­ject to repro­duce every recipe in the fam­ous cook­book (over 500 of them) in a single year. Nora Ephron’s new film Julie & Julia skil­fully merges the two stor­ies, freely not­ing the par­al­lels between them, and man­aging to pro­duce a warm and witty film that hon­ours the remark­able Child.

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