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Non-Review Review: Predator

Predator is an absolutely brilliant piece of work. It’s elegantly constructed, beautifully directed and cleverly written. Perhaps the smartest thing about Predator is the way that it so fantastically plays on audience expectations, offering the perfect bait-and-switch, teasing a jungle adventure in the style of Schwarzenegger’s Commando before morphing into something else entirely. It’s so well handled that the film’s reputation and prestige has done little to dampen its thrills.

A predator stalks...

A predator stalks…

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Who We Are In The Dark: Zero Dark Thirty & Torture…

That Zero Dark Thirty should come under fire for its use and portrayal of torture is not surprising. The film deserves to spark debate about how we respond to these sorts of threats, and critically examine our claim to the moral high ground. However, the debate seems overly simplistic. It has been suggested that the controversy over torture cost director Kathryn Bigelow a Best Director nomination, and that’s a shame. The fact she’s felt to the need to respond to these relatively shallow commentaries is less than heartening.

Zero Dark Thirty has a lot to say about torture. It’s a lot of thoughtful and insightful and nuanced stuff, and Zero Dark Thirty actually gets to the nub of the issue, very clearly condemning the culture of “enhanced interrogation”, in a way that is much more effective than any of the commentators seem to realise.

zerodarkthirty4

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Non-Review Review: Burn After Reading

I caught Burn After Reading last night and sat down with my aunt and uncle to watch it. Sure enough, it was as divisive among us as it was among everyone else – my aunt hated it, my uncle enjoyed it and I loved it. My aunt claimed nothing happened and the cast was full of over-actors, my uncle was relatively satisfied with his viewing experience and I was delighted to see the funnest Coen Brothers film since The Big Lebowski.

Artist's interpretation of Darren enjoying this film. Note: Hunkiness may be exaggerated.

Artist's interpretation of Darren enjoying this film. Note: Hunkiness may be exaggerated.

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