Tuesday 21 April 2015

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron by Joss Whedon - Review

How do you follow a mega smash hit like Avengers Assemble, with the film being so far the third most successful at the worldwide box office behind Titanic and Avatar? Any other studios would have just safely served us a rehash of the first film and counted the dollars, but not Marvel. The studio has been taking several risks and gambles since Iron Man, at once respecting the fans while playing with their expectations too, and it has paid off big time, with the most incredible run of commercial hits which have made them the envy of all the other studios in Hollywood, who are all busy trying to launch their own universe (rather pathetically in some cases).

In Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Starck's attempt to create artificial intelligence to protect the world against further threats cruelly backfires when his creation, Ultron, turns against its creator and humanity! It is up to the Avengers to team up once again to defeat this formidable foe.

Thursday 16 April 2015

BFI Cult: Popcorn by Mark Herrier

Popcorn is a hidden gem of 1990s horror cinema. It might have gone direct-to-video without passing Go and collecting £200, but that just makes it ripe for rediscovery and deserving of a second chance with fans of the genre. It is well worth your time and effort tracking this one down.

Set in an old picture palace, a group of students launch a fundraiser for their university film club and stage an all-nighter of cheesy old titles reminiscent of William Castle schlock. They renovate the place – sorting out the electrics – and hire costumes, equipment and memorabilia for the occasion. The films-within-the-film are: Mosquito, The Attack of the Amazing Electrified Man and The Stench. Each of these comes with a gimmick that is manipulated by a maniacal killer and used to orchestrate a gruesome – and very real – death. There is another film, too. Something far more dangerous and sinister. An art flick!

Thursday 9 April 2015

Futuro Beach - Brazil and Berlin combine to bring moody love story to the screen

Daring new film by Brazilian director Karim Ainouz, 'Furuto Beach' (Praia do Futuro) starts off slowly, but builds into an intense passion between Brazlian lifeguard Donato (Wagner Moura) and German tourist Konrad (Clemens Schick). Shot against the harsh sunshine of Fortaleza (Ainouz's hometown) and the dark grey of winter in Berlin, this is a story of love and loss that will surprise in many ways.

Sunday 5 April 2015

While We're Young by Noah Baumbach - Review

In While We're Young, middle aged Cornelia (Naomi Watts) and Josh (Ben Stiller) meet a younger bohemian couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) by chance, and strike an unlikely friendship, seduced by their more carefree and seemingly richer life, finding a renewed energy and excitement, and having a their eyes open to a new world. But how long can this unusual bond last?

While We're Young depict current young people the way us, slightly bitter middle aged people, see them: a lot more focused, confident and successful than we were/are (although I suspect their portrayal will make actual young people cringe). And there is a really funny and well observed gag that goes against stereotypes, and shows middle aged people a lot more comfortable with technology whereas their younger counterpart have rebelled against it, adopting anything vintage, be it watching films on VHS or playing board games.