Film review: The Day After Tomorrow

6 comments

Don’t expect any surprises and you’ll probably enjoy this film. The Day After Tomorrow delivers all the expected ingredients of its genre – the father searching for his son (and redemption as a father), the young love story, the child with leukemia, the divorced parents rediscovering their love, the faithful friends who stick with the star through thick and thin – you’ve seen em, you know ‘em. Add some pretty mind-boggling special effects and a dash of science, serve (very) cold and enjoy with popcorn. The only spice in the stew (OK, OK, enough with the recipe metaphor) is a surprisingly humble epilogue instead of the usual gung-ho American patriotic fervour. This, and the scene of Americans fleeing south of the border into Mexico, could possibly herald a reduction in the amount of flag-waving in American blockbusters. Until the next Arnie film anyway.

3 tidal waves out of 5.


Film review: Troy

3 comments

I walked out of the cinema somewhat ambivalent toward this Hollywood ancient history epic—my girlfriend thought it was laughable, but I must admit I was expecting worse and there were some sequences, such as the one-on-one battle between Achilles (Brad Pitt) and Hector (Eric Bana), that I really enjoyed.

For once the computer effects don’t completely overwhelm the story, but Brad Pitt might be computer-generated for all the depth he brings to the role of Achilles. There’s never anything going on behind that confused expression and perpetually troubled pout, and his weakness is not helped by a director who can’t resist zooming in on his star at every opportunity. A great shame, as complexity could have been brought to the conflicted Achilles by a better actor. Seeing an old man like Peter O’Toole (King Priam) blow all the newbies away in every scene in which he appears makes you despair for the future of the film industry. Is this all we have to take up the mantle when the oldies have gone— Brad Pitt and Eric Bana? Ye gods!

The city of Troy is spectacularly realised—how many thousands of beautiful ancient cities have burnt to the ground or crumbled to ruins over the ages, I wonder— and the battle scenes visceral and real enough to make you go “oof” in your seat. And I thought they condensed a complex story to film length quite well. But a mix of lame script and beefcake acting drags the film down from the Olympian heights to which aspires.

2 and a half breastplates out of 5.


Film review: The Cooler review

Comments Off on Film review: The Cooler review

A wonderful, warm fable of a movie that was the perfect antidote to the sugar-coated derivative bloat of Van Helsing. From the moment Mark Isham’s score kicked in I knew I was in for a quality, old-fashioned movie. And what a change to have realistic, human sex scenes—with real bodies not models—in a movie.

4 and a half chips out of 5.


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