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Non-Review Review: The Call

The Call is one-half knock-off of the underseen and underrated Cellular, a delightfully pulpy high-concept thriller which perhaps felt a little bit too similar to Phone Booth. The Call is also one-half knock-off of Silence of the Lambs, with the second half of the film in particular feeling like one of those psycho killer thrillers that were oh-so-popular in the mid- to late-nineties, but which became less popular in the post-CSI era. The Call has a delightfully ropey central premise, a high-concept for the mobile age, straining all manner of credibility and suspension of disbelief.

However, the problem lies in the execution. The Call wallows in heightened melodrama, struggling to sustain its central premise by trying to make us “feel” for the central characters in the most coy and manipulative of manners. Director Brad Anderson’s intrusive style doesn’t help matters too, seemingly unsure whether he’s making an action movie, a psychological horror or a high-concept thriller, and so instead tries to mash the three genres together with limited success.

Holding the line...

Holding the line…

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Boy, Is My Face Yellow: The Cloud Atlas Yellow-Face Non-Issue

Damn you, international release schedule! I really wanted to to weigh in on the whole Cloud Atlas “yellow face” controversy that was raging at the end of 2012, but thought it best to wait until I had actually seen the film to offer comment. That just seems like common sense, even if Spike Lee clearly doesn’t agree. Of course, by the time that Cloud Atlas was released in the UK and Ireland, the storm in a teacup had passed, but I still think it’s worth commenting upon.

cloudatlas4

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Watch! Tribute to 50 Years of Bond…

It’s no secret that I am a massive James Bond fan. After all, Skyfall was one of my favourite movies of 2012. So when I found this tribute to fifty years of the secret agent – set to Adele’s wonderful Oscar-winning theme song – I had to share it. Check it out below and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Non-Review Review: Cloud Atlas

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Cloud Atlas is a bold, imaginative, creative, frustrating, original, inventive, exhausting and ambitious piece of work. It’s a film that really forces the audience to collaborate, to try to force the pieces of story on the screen to fit together into a structure that is both rewarding and unique. Coming out of the film – which has been dubbed “the most expensive indie movie of all time” – I was left with the impression that Cloud Atlas is a film where everybody is going to hold a slightly different perception of what the film is, and what it’s about. I can very honestly say that Cloud Atlas is quite unlike any other film I have ever seen, and that sense of experimentation and the sheer skill to force the narrative into a shape that makes some sort of sense, unique to almost each viewer, is one massive accomplishment.

Sweet music...

Sweet music…

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Non-Review Review: Movie 43

For a collection of comedy sketches assembled together from a bunch of different writers, directors and actors, Movie 43 is pretty consistent in quality and tone. Sadly, in the worst possible way. It’s consistently and awkwardly unfunny, substituting rude words and crude references to male and female anatomy for jokes or witticism. You know you’re in trouble when the sketch that comes closest to fulfilling the promise of the movie – the lure of crass, immature and ridiculously low-brow comedy – is directed by Brett Ratner. Even then, it’s hardly anything to write home about. Ratner’s sequence is the best part of the film, but it’s hardly anything especially memorable.

Don't worry, Mister Gere. In a year, nobody will remember this.

Don’t worry, Mister Gere. In a year, nobody will remember this.

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Five Minute Cloud Atlas International Trailer

This is really something. The five-minute look at Cloud Atlas, which certainly looks to be one of the most ambitious movies of the year, is here. It looks wonderfully impressive – with an epic scope that seems to span all of time and space, stories interlocked and connected. Directed by Tom Tykwer, and the Wachowski siblings, it looks like a visual feast. I have to say, this just got bumped up the must-see list. Check out the international trailer, below.

Berry Your Head in Shame: Watching The White Dwarf Stars In Slow Motion…

Speedman is a dying star. A white dwarf headed for a black hole. That’s physics. It’s inevitable.

– Les Grossman, Tropic Thunder

Fame is like anything else. It’s like money or luck. It comes and it goes. Still, as the poster for Halle Berry’s latest film, Dark Tide, arrive, it’s hard not to feel a little bit sorry for those performers who have watched their fame and popularity slip out from underneath them.

Halle Berry won an Oscar for Monster’s Ball. She played one of the few James Bond characters to be considered for a spin-off, appearing in Die Another Day. She got a considerable pay increase for showing her breasts in Swordfish. She headlined one of the very few female-centric superhero films, the dire Catwoman. Not all of those were good films. In fact, being harsh, I’d argue that one of them was a good film, and the rest were significantly flawed, if not outright terrible. Still, it’s quite sad to see the former Oscar-winner relegated to appearing in the latest film from the director of Blue Crush and Into the Blue.

She did make some Berry questionable choices...

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