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Non-Review Review: Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil is a film where ambition seems to outpace ability. A wonderfully surreal blend of cop action movie with exorcism horror, the movie manages to score a few clever juxtapositions – even if it never seems to decide whether it’s gloweringly serious or wryly ironic. While Deliver Us From Evil never finds the right balance of po-faced gravitas and witty self-awareness, it is a surprisingly enjoyable ride.

After all, it is very hard to hate a film where a demonic presence seeks to establish itself upon the world using the music of The Doors as a recurring motif.

The writing's on the wall...

The writing’s on the wall…

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Non-Review Review: Hanna

A special thanks to the guys over at movies.ie for sneaking us into an advanced preview screening.

If ever there was an odd choice for an early summer release, I think Hanna is it. Directed by Joe Wright (the guy who brought you Atonement) and starring an Oscar bait cast including Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett (with solid support from Jason Flemyng and Olivia Williams), Hanna is the story of a teenage assassin set loose upon the world after a life spent in the wilderness. If that cocktail doesn’t sound crazy enough, Wright sets the movie as a fairy tale.

What’s genuinely astounding is how frequently these elements compliment each other, even if there are a few moments where they seem at odds.

Joe Wright takes a shot at directing an action film...

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Non-Review Review: Funny People

Funny People is the very definition of “self-indulgent”. It’s a series of comedians from both the big leagues – movie stars – and the smaller circles – the improv stand-up circuit – reflecting on how difficult life is for an entertainer. Be it the generalisation that showbiz types are all cynical and disconnected to the point of being anhedonic, or the observation that fame and success typically come with a high personal cost. Of course, coming from director Judd Atapow – who carved out his earlier career with comedies centred on everyman (okay, maybe “slacker”) types like Knocked-Up or The Forty-Year-Old Virgin – a film about the types of circles that he moved in was a risky venture, one which would definitely represent a move away from the “common man” appeal of his earlier films. And at least those films had the gift of brevity.

My girlfriend would like you all to know that apparently I wear shirts like this...

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Non-Review Review: Hulk

Ang Lee directing a superhero movie? He’s certainly a strange choice to handle the first big screen adaptation of Marvel’s iconic green monster to the big screen, but arguably a smart one. Hulk is at its best when it hints at the psychological melodrama playing out behind its lead character, but suffers greatly from the fact that it is apparently really uncertain about its source material or what it wants to be. It’s weird to see a movie so wonderfully risky in one sense, but so utterly bland in others. Hulk is an experiment, but sadly isn’t consistent enough to be a successful one.

"Hulk Splash!"

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Non-Review Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

It’s certainly an interesting concept: it’s the story of a love out of sync – of two individuals who live their lives at different speeds. Claire falls in love with a strange man she met in a meadow when she was growing up – only he hasn’t aged a day. That’s because he’s a time traveler. So, as you can imagine, that throws up more than the usual boundries to romance. In fairness, the movie seems aware of the myriad of possibilities suggested by its premise, but the truth is that it does little more than exploit them for melodrama. Cheap, heavy-handed melodrama.

Stuck in a movie I can't get out of...

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Non-Review Review: Star Trek

I finally caved. I went to see Star Trek and I dragged my girlfriend along for the ride. I was cautious, hearing two separate opinions about the film: the mainstream media’s orgasmic delight at being offered a premium piece of geekdom for their visual pleasure and my work colleagues’ enjoyment of the film, but lament that ‘it just wasn’t Star Trek’. Who was right? Well, they both were.

Like the Enterprise itself, the new Star Trek is a carefully constructed engine that takes a while to build up momentum, but has a phenomenal top speed

Like the Enterprise itself, the new Star Trek is a carefully constructed engine that takes a while to build up momentum, but has a phenomenal top speed

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