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Non-Review Review: Epic

Epic looks stunning. While it doesn’t necessarily push the envelope in terms of 3D rendering or animation, it’s often quite beautiful to watch. Even in 3D, the vibrant greens radiate off the screen, with the characters having a pleasant elasticity to them. The action sequences are well-staged and the choreography is generally impressive. However, despite this, Epic winds up feeling rather shallow. Perhaps it’s a result of the decision to develop the world as a priority, rather than the characters inhabiting it.

The story is more a collection of familiar tropes and set-pieces than a compelling narrative, and none of the lead characters are ever developed beyond basic archetypes. There’s the plucky heroine, the roguish hero, the gruff mentor, the free-spirited wise oracle, the drôle accented bad guy, the comic relief and even the kooky dad. None feel of any real substance, which is a problem when you’re executing a plot as straight-forward as this.

It's a slug's life...

It’s a slug’s life…

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Non-Review Review: The Sapphires

The Sapphires is the perfect feel-good movie to take us into Oscar season. The “goldilocks” of feel-good cinema, the movie balances its tone well. It’s never too heavy, but it’s never too light. Dealing with the eponymous Aboriginal girl band and their career in Vietnam during the conflict, it’s often both witty and touching at the same time. This quality is best encapsulated by Chris O’Dowd, playing the group’s slightly dodgy Irish manager, Dave Lovelace. A barely-functioning alcoholic tasked with keeping the tensions in the group under control, O’Dowd manages to make Lovelace simultaneously hilarious and somewhat tragic – a character we truly like, even if we also pity him. It’s a fantastic performance in a very solid film.

Good morning, Vietnam!

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