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Non-Review Review: Contraband

Contraband is a thoroughly enjoyable little thriller, albeit one with several significant flaws. Indeed, “thorough” seems to be quite the word to apply to this smuggling caper, as director Baltasar Kormákur and writer Aaron Guzikowski seem intent to wring every possible thrill from the basic plot. While it can lead to some seemingly disjointed tangents, it ensures that there is always something happening, even if it feels like the movie never really develops its core ideas. Still, it’s a solid thriller with a wonderful cast and an interesting enough central premise.

It'll counterfeit right in...

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Non-Review Review: The Good Doctor

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

Much like its protagonist, there’s something not quite right about The Good Doctor. It’s undoubtedly fascinating, as a young doctor makes a series of questionable moral decisions that lead to a variety of uncomfortable situations, but there’s no real internal life to the movie. You can see what is happening, and you realise the consequences, but the script and Orlando Bloom’s headlining performance never allow you to immerse yourself in the title character. You know what Dr. Martin Ploeck is doing, and perhaps you can intuit a reason, but he never seems tangible. That is perhaps the most significant flaw with the movie. Then, of course, there’s also the third act.

Window of opportunity...

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Non-Review Review: Extract

I’m honestly not quite sure what to make of Extract. Ironically for a movie about a factor producing flavour additives, the movie seems lack a flavour of its own. Is Mike Judge’s effort a quirky and eccentric anything-goes laugh-out-loud fest, or is it a more conventional cookie-cutter comedy? The film seems to fluctuate between the two extremes, at times playing incredible safe and yet occasionally swinging for the fences, adding to a vaguely disjointed feeling to the whole thing.

Meeting of the bored...

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Non-Review Review: Spider-Man II

This is a post as part of “Raimi-fest”, the event being organised by the always wonderful Bryce over at Things That Don’t Suck.

Aside from Nolan’s two superb Batman movies, Spider-Man II was the only other comic book superhero movie to make my top fifty films of the last decade. There’s a reason for that. Part of it is the fact that the movie helped define what the second film in a superhero franchise should really look like, but a larger part of it is that this film represents the moment at which Sam Raimi seemed most at home with his beloved central character – and I think that genuine enthusiasm on the part of the director really shines through over the course of the film.

I reckon Spider-Man polls highly among superhero fans...

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Non-Review Review: I Love You, Man

There’s a lot of potantial here. Guys and their friends typically relate differently than girls and their friends. And nothing interferes with a wedding quite like a guy and his best friend – even if both the marriage and the relationship with the best friend are a great idea. The problem is that I Love You, Man doesn’t go anywhere with its interesting notion and it insists upon tackling the question of how the sexes relate in the most immature way possible. This is the bromantic equivalent of Sleepless in Seattle rather than Chasing Amy or (500) Days of Summer.

A scooter made for two...

A scooter made for two...

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