Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It’s a brave choice to tackle a book that has not only become an institution amongst fans of the genre, but was also made into a TV series that became something of a national institution, but Thomas Alfredson (last seen turning the vampire genre on its head with “Let The Right One In” seems to have taken the bull by the horns with this brave, complicated, but most importantly adult interpretation – no one could accuse him of dumbing down the subject matter for the audience (it will be interesting to see how this plays in the States, where it’s glacial pace and lack of forgiveness for those that don’t keep up is on a par with The Wire in terms of audience expectations). Indeed, the audience as for the most part older than what we’ve become used to in cinemas over the last few years.

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Super 8

 

Super 8 arrives in the usual cloud of JJ Abrams of secrecy that has surrounded his previous projects, fortunately once again this secrecy only increases the joy of the final product – the less you know about the structure of the film beforehand the better because of the sheer joy that comes from seeing something so lovingly crafted unfold before you. Abrams is up to his usual tricks of letting you think you know what film you’re going to get before pulling the rug from under you – yes there’s an alien involved but come the end of the film that isn’t what you care about, for Abrams story and characters remain king.

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Captain America

Number two out of the Marvel traps this year sits somewhere between the fun of Iron Man and a glorified advertisement for the films to come – whilst it isn’t essential to have seen the other films there is a glaring sense that they’re trying to bring the universe together as a coherent whole with this one, and as such the shout outs to the other elements of the franchise can be seen everywhere.

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Potter 7.2 (and an overview of the series)

It doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks of Potter 7.2, as of the end of last Monday it will probably have already passed the half-billion dollar mark, next week may well see it comfortably past the billion point if this trend continues. In all likelihood it will easily be the best performing film of the year, but is it any good?

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The Tree of Life

 

Does God exist within the fabric of nature (and in turn, evolution) or through the process of design, or is he merely a passive observer of events? Are one’s memories of a given event also given to fabrication to fit within the truth we have established? Are such concepts as a driven narrative and dialogue over-rated?

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Senna

The problem with many documentaries (or fictionalisations) about household names is that everyone knows the ending before they go into the cinema – we all know that Ali won the fight in Zaire (When We Were Kings) – and as such they’re a difficult sell. It’s even more difficult when we know the ending involves the tragic death of someone who was far too young and whose brilliance was only just becoming apparent.

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Attack the Block

I must admit a slight weakness for low budget, well thought out horror films. Not out and out gore, but ones which certainly don’t mind delivering scares, a little social commentary and aren’t too pretentious (I guess this ultimately falls back on my love of 70’s movies where this was the order of the day). Attack The Block is being marketed as a horror comedy, but it’s far more a straight horror action film that happens to have some comic moments (mainly at the start when we’re being introduced to the characters).

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Pina

Wim Wenders latest curiosity is part documentary, part performance piece. Initially conceived as a documentary about the subject (Pina Bausch) it hit the complication of its subject dying half way through the filming. What remains is more of a tribute to her work (and the work of her company). As such whilst it succeeds as a performance piece, it does have failings as a documentary as there has been no attempt to place it within any context, and those starting anew on the subject will find themselves having to do supplementary studies afterwards.

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Thor

The Marvel Movie Machine continues apace with their latest attempt to dominate the summer movie market. Like Iron Man it pitches its idea around talent that we aren’t used to seeing in this context – in this case Kenneth Branagh – as a means of drawing in the crowds. Like Iron Man it is (at heart) silly, immensely enjoyable trash, but never pretends to be anything else.

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