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Win! Bourne Legacy T-Shirts!

Courtesy of our friends at Universal Pictures Ireland, we have five T-shirts to give away to celebrate the release of The Bourne Legacy on 13th August 2012. The film is the fourth in the “Bourne” series, and sees Jeremy Renner starring as another Treadstone agent dealing with the consequences of Jason Bourne’s activity. It’s being directed by Tony Gilroy, who directed Michael Clayton and wrote all three Bourne films, and it has one heck of a cast assembled. It looks to be a very interesting take on the story – rather than trying to carry on or continue the story from the first three, it looks like The Bourne Legacy takes place “around” those films, its own narrative that overlaps and intercepts at points.

Thanks to Universal Pictures Ireland, we have five T-shirts to give away for the film. To enter the competition, just fill in the form below.

Click to enlarge…

Note: All entrants must be based in the Republic of Ireland. You must provide a valid address and phone number so that you can be contacted if you win. Your details will not be used for any other purpose.

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Non-Review Review: The Five-Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement is the best romantic comedy of 2012 so far. Reuniting the talents of Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the film manages to offer a refreshingly frank and honest perspective of romantic relationships. The interactions feel more organic, the third act crisis is rooted in something more primal and relevant than some idle miscommunication and the resolution isn’t based on the notion that people can inexplicably change. Like Segel and Stoller’s superb Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement is predicated on the assumption that love must mean accepting and embracing your partner for who they are, rather than what you want them to be. It’s a little depressing that this moral feels almost subversive in this day-and-age of formulaic and generic romantic comedies, but there’s no denying that The Five-Year Engagement is head-and-shoulders above most of its competitors.

They’ll get married this year… in a pig’s eye…

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New Bourne Legacy Trailer

Hey, here’s the new trailer for The Bourne Legacy. It’s the latest film in the Bourne series (the original trilogy consisting of The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremecy and The Bourne Ultimatum). Matt Damon isn’t returning, but the new film will focus on Jeremy Renner, who seems to be having quite a year. The supporting cast is suitably impressive, with David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Albert Finney and Scott Glenn all returning – while adding Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz and Oscar Isaac. (Personally, I’m also actually quite geeked to see Stacey Keach, Željko Ivanek and Corey Stoll playing supporting roles as well.)

Hope you enjoy.

I have to say, I’m intrigued at the approach they’re taking – it looks like this film is being structured as a sort of a “side-quel” to the Bourne series, exploring events from another angle. While it’s very clearly an attempt to get the “Bourne” brand out there, I think it’s a pretty cool way of playing with narrative – it seems structured more intricately than a simple reboot, sequel, prequel or remake.

One of the things I’ve found really fascinating about 2012 as a year in mainstream cinema is the way that the studios have been playing with narrative links. Prometheus wasn’t a direct prequel to Alien, more like a spiritual predecessor. The Avengers isn’t a direct sequel to any of the Marvel films, but rather a composite of story threads flowing from each one. I know people decry the rise of franchise cinema (as if that’s something new), but I thing there’s some interesting stuff going on here. I don’t know quite how it’ll work out, but I am intrigued by the approach.

Non-Review Review: We Bought a Zoo

The biggest problem facing We Bought a Zoo is that it can’t ever decide how serious a family drama it wants to be. It follows a family recovering from the loss of their mother by purchasing a zoo and attempting to renovate it, and it never finds a healthy balance between the shamelessly upbeat montage-set-to-classic-pop “live your crazy dreams!” feel-good fun and the heavier subject of a family finding piece. The result is a movie that often feels a little toosweet and a little too earnest at the same time, and never manages to mix the two tones with a great deal of success.

Not quite out of the park...

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My Best of 2011: True Grit & The Art of Modesty…

It’s that time of the year. To celebrate 2011, and the countdown to 2012, I’m going to count down my own twelve favourite films of the year, one a day until New Year’s Eve. I’m also going to talk a bit about how or why I chose them, and perhaps what makes this list “my” best of 2011, rather than any list claiming to be objective.

True Grit is number eight. Check out my original review here.

Collective consensus is a funny thing. It pops up quite quickly and quietly, in the strangest sorts of places and the strangest sort of way. The Coen Brothers are respected filmmakers, to say the least. Even when a project of their doesn’t quite come off as smoothly as one might expect, it’s still compelling viewing. However, as with any other directors, there are greater films and there are lesser films. And there are those that sit in the middle. True Grit, for most critics, seems to sit firmly in the middle.

But not for me.

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My Best of 2011: The Adjustment Bureau & True Romance

It’s that time of the year. To celebrate 2011, and the countdown to 2012, I’m going to count down my own twelve favourite films of the year, one a day until New Year’s Eve. I’m also going to talk a bit about how or why I chose them, and perhaps what makes this list “my” best of 2011, rather than any list claiming to be objective.

The Adjustment Bureau is number nine. Check out my original review here.

I think this is probably the first truly surprising choice of my own personal countdown. After all, the film debuted to generally positive reviews, but hardly the most exceptional critical feedback. It wasn’t loved and it wasn’t hated, but it was fairly quickly forgotten. I suspect that I will be one of very few people to include the title in my end-of-year best-of list. Still, I loved The Adjustment Bureau. And I think that’s strangely appropriate, because I’d argue that The Adjustment Bureau is perhaps the purest cinematic love story that we’ve seen in quite some time.

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Non-Review Review: Happy Feet II

Happy Feet II is perfectly functional kids entertainment. It has enough set pieces to keep the audience ticking over, lovely animation and a timely environmental message underneath the fuzz. It is a little bit too inconsistent to hold the attention of older audience members, as the plot struggles to find a focus, with the movie often seeming like a stew brewed from a variety of different ideas. The result is often satisfying enough in small chunks, but it doesn’t impress enough overall to make a lasting impression. Although a younger, perhaps more idealistic, viewer at the screening did describe it as “the bestest experience in united history.”

The pitter-patter of little Happy Feet...

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