Spectre - United Artists / Sony

(Life got in the way, this has been sat half written for about a month and a half now, waiting for me to get round to finishing it…)

Bond Twenty Four arrives after the most successful (financially) Bond ever; and possibly the most successful artistically. Skyfall marked a high point for modern Bond, taking it away from the pulp origins to try to look at the character in a deeper fashion. Spectre feels like a return to the fun of Bond, and if honest is less successful as a result (it feels a bit more old fashioned as a result), but remains top tier – its biggest problem is that it can’t live up to the film it comes after.

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Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak - Legendary Pictures

I’m torn about Guillermo del Toro’s latest film. On the one hand it’s a very slight concoction, a very effective love-letter to the Hammer Films of old, but with very little meat on its bones. On the other it is one of the most beautiful films for a long time, designed within an inch of its life, and one where every scene could be framed and hung on a wall. Whilst I’m leaning towards saying I liked it, it isn’t a film I would go out of my way to see again, although the beauty means that I am glad I saw it on a large screen.

Minor spoilers ahead.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road - Warner Bros

A genuinely smart action film smack bang in the middle of the summer season? Check! A real sense of craft on behalf of everyone involved in the film? Check! The best female action protagonist for longer than I can remember (maybe even Aliens)? Check! The new textbook on how to reboot a long dead franchise? Check!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Studios)

Have the wheels of the Marvel juggernaut finally begun to wobble? Avengers Age of Ultron (or AAoU) isn’t bad per se, but it feels closer to the Guardians of the Galaxy end of the quality spectrum than Winter Soldier. The Marvel standard plot points are all present (large object plummeting to earth in the finale, weak villain motivation and a desire to shoehorn in every shout out / set up possible) at the expense of everything that made the first film so much fun (witty characterisation, dialogue etc.,). That’s even before you note some of the dodgy politics creeping in (explained in spoilers).

Seriously, whoever thought that “Unable to have a child = Monster” was a message to include in a film like this needs having words with (as well as showing a map of the world, seriously the coast of Africa is a big place, maybe you need to pin point the location a little bit more). Continue reading “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game - Studio Canal / Weinstein Company

As good as The Imitation Game is I can’t help but feel it plays a little too loose with history. That’s about the only criticism I have of an otherwise fine film, the fact that for anyone who hasn’t read anything previously on the events at Bletchley Park this could become the definitive version of events – which is a pity really as this is certainly a case of the reality being as interesting as the fiction. Turing is an interesting figure without mythologizing aspects of his life.

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