Month: May 2013

Uggie the Jack Russell with co-star Bérénice Bejou in The Artist

Dogs in the Movies

        Dogs. Yes, that’s right, dogs. I’ve probably already doubled the amount of traffic to this site just by writing the word “dogs” three times. Four times if you count that mention. Because people just love dogs (five). They can’t help themselves. It’s down to their dependability.

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Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, The Score

The Score

    Frank Oz is apparently a bit sniffy about being described as the man who used to be Miss Piggy. Here he directs Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Ed Norton in a one-last-heist movie and discovers that big hitters aren’t quite so easy to fist as a porker

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Kevin Bacon in The Woodsman

The Woodsman

    There are two big default ideas in Hollywood movies and in The Woodsman we have not just a fine film about a paedophile but also a film tackling these two notions head on. The first of Hollywood’s mantras is “be yourself”. The second: “you can have anything if

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Yoshinori Hiruma in When the Last Sword Is Drawn

When the Last Sword Is Drawn

    Here’s a different type of samurai movie, the winner of the Japanese equivalent of the Oscars, following the strange, grudging friendship that develops between two warriors – one fierce, the other mild. It’s a massive sprawling affair that starts in 1899 in a doctor’s office where an old

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Nick Nolte and Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda

    In 1994, 800,000-plus Tutsis were butchered by their Hutu neighbours while the West debated whether this was genocide or merely isolated “genocidal acts”– i.e. not serious enough to warrant intervention. A decade on and the conflict is beginning to arrive on cinema screens, and most of the attempts

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Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the Head

3 June 2013-06-03

Out in the UK this week     Bullet to the Head (Entertainment One, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) Last week it was Arnie in The Last Stand. This week the DVD shelves are groaning with 400lbs of mechanically recovered Sylvester Stallone, complete with new facelift and hair (though there’s not much

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Alexa Vega in Sleepover

Sleepover

    Alexa Vega – the girl component of Spy Kids – gets her own teenage vehicle, and it’s the sort of film it’s very easy to be snarky about, especially if you’re not the target audience. It’s the usual teen/tween fare, in fact, about girls who are obsessed with

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Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events

      Somewhere near the end of this highly anticipated children’s adventure movie there’s a cameo by Dustin Hoffman. He just blurs on, says a couple of indistinct phrases and is not seen again. The pointlessness of his appearance is indicative of what’s wrong with this film, a series

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Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy in Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

    Cinderella updated, with Anne Hathaway as the luckless teen Ella and Hugh Dancy as Prince Char. You see what they’re doing with the names? As with the names so with the film – it doesn’t quite work. For starters we have Hathaway herself – so sweet and milky

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Sabrina Ferilli and Toni Servillo in The Great Beauty

The Films of Paolo Sorrentino

  Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) is a portrait of Rome through the eyes of a world weary writer. It’s being hailed as Sorrentino’s La Dolce Vita and stars Sorrentino’s Marcello Mastroianni, Toni Servillo. It’s close to a masterpiece in other words, making this a

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