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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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Review: Robin Hood, The Secret in Their Eyes & four more ...

By Cinema and Reviews

Robin Hood posterWhen my usu­al movie-going part­ner was offered the chance to see the new Robin Hood her first ques­tion was “Who is play­ing Robin?” When I told her that it was Strathmore’s finest son, Russell “Rusty” Crowe, she declined sug­gest­ing some­what unchar­it­ably that he was prob­ably bet­ter suited to play­ing Friar Tuck (or at a pinch Little John). Her favour­ite Robin is the 80s be-mulletted Michael Praed from the tele­vi­sion. Mine is a toss-up between the “fant­ast­ic” sly fox in the 1973 Disney ver­sion, John Cleese in Time Bandits and Sean Connery in Robin and Marian, so Rusty and dir­ect­or Ridley Scott had a moun­tain to climb before the open­ing cred­its even rolled.

This new Robin Hood is a pre­quel (or an ori­gin story in the com­ic book par­lance). On his way back from the Crusades with Richard the Lionheart, Robin Longstocking (sorry, Longstride) heads to Nottingham to return a sword. In Richard’s absence, England has fallen in to fin­an­cial and polit­ic­al ruin and the French are plot­ting to fill the void with an army mass­ing off the coast and spies in the court.

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