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Non-Review Review: Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance

I’m convinced that there must be a half-decent Ghost Rider movie to be made. In fact, I’m sure that Nicolas Cage already made it, in the form of the deliciously pulpy Drive Angry, which touched on a lot of the grindhouse and B-movie qualities one expects from a movie featuring a stunt driver with a flaming skull who sucks souls from criminals. In contrast, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance feels like it’s trying a little too hard. The script feels just a little bit too stilted and conventional, while the direction seems to overcompensate, feeling gimmicky to the point of being distracting and almost disorientating.

Hell’s Angel…

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Non-Review Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a movie that can be measured against the very best of John la Carré adaptations, and among the very best that the espionage subgenre has to offer. I make that assertion based upon a single viewing, convinced that revisiting the movie will be something of a wonderful experience, an attempt to decode and sift through the film seeking what Control cynically describes as “treasure.” Tomas Alfredson, who established himself with Let the Right One In makes one hell of an English-language debut, providing a film that embodies the culture as much as the language, an elegant and stately affair, never feeling forced or rushed or dumbed down. I think that, with its intriguing structure and manner of suggesting ideas (rather than stating plot points), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy might represent that mythical ideal: the perfect film for grown-ups.

Never gets Oldman...

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Non-Review Review: Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls is that sort of wonderfully quirky comedy that only the British can pull off. Based on the true story of a bunch of Yorkshire middle-aged women who stripped off for a calendar to raise funds for the local hospital, it’s a wonderfully wry and witty sort of tale that can really be split into two halves: the first exploring the societal pressures and prejudices which surrounded the construction of the calendar and the second an exploration of the consequences of the fundraiser’s success. While the first half is certainly more entertaining than the second, it’s a charming and endearing little film.

Get a load of those buns...

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