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Non-Review Review: Bel Ami

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by Bel Ami, the first film from theatrical veterans Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod. It’s a classy little period drama that doesn’t necessarily redefine the genre, but instead stands as a worth addition to the canon. In a way, it seems like a more lavish BBC adaptation, which is quite a compliment when it comes to period drama. I don’t know if actor Robert Pattinson will necessarily find life after Twilight, but I imagine he will find a niché if he choses his next couple of roles as carefully as he chose this one.

Hm... This guy rings a Bel...

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Non-Review Review: Twilight – Breaking Dawn, Part I

Twilight tends to generate a great deal of controversy on the internet, which is something I’ve never really understood. After all, all aspects of fandom – movies, television, comic books, video games – tend to suffer from a mainstream prejudice, so it seems strange that Twilight should attract such a harsh response from fans of other niche culture. In fact, I’d subscribe to the argument that Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part I is just like any other major franchise film, like The Expendables or Transformers III. The only major difference is that it’s aimed at the female demographic rather than a male one. Keep in mind this isn’t a defense (it has many of the same weaknesses as those two films), but rather an observation – it’s something I’ve always found strange.

To have and to hold...

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Non-Review Review: Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is undoubtedly a well made film from a technical point of view. It stylishly evokes a collective memory of Depression-era America with a skilled romanticism, all beautifully staged and designed, scored with music clearly intended to tug at the heart-strings. However, despite the technical proficiency with which the film is crafted, it ends up feeling ultimately quite lifeless, and a little stale – like a mediocre circus, the movie is stylish and momentarily distracting, but it never manages to grasp its audience, or to engage.

He packed his trunk and said goodbye to the circus...

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