Advertisements
    Advertisements
  • Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

  • Advertisements

Non-Review Review: Side Effects

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

On one level, Side Effects is a deliciously pulpy medical thriller, with the kind of zig-zagging twisty plot that you’d expect from a Michael Crichton novel. It’s more than satisfying on these terms, almost serving as a feature-length pilot for an imaginary medical drama starring Jude Law. After all, with House off the air, there’s a clear gap in the market for a smooth English actor playing the lead in an unconventional medical drama. If he is sarcastic, all the better. While the genius of the early years of House came from mashing up the medical subgenre with the police procedural to produce a then-unique hybrid, Scott Z. Burns instead blends the medical drama with a decidedly more trashy and sordid thriller to provide a satisfyingly twisty drama.

However, on another level, Side Effects teases issues that are far more interesting than the movie it eventually becomes. It’s very frustrating when your red herrings feel like they’d produce a more thoughtful or insightful piece of cinema than the final story. Side Effects broaches topics that mainstream cinema hasn’t really engaged with, and the opening scenes flirt with the idea of providing an entirely different film. It’s not always fair to judge a film for what it isn’t, but the problem is that Side Effects sets up a much more tempting and intriguing look at medicine than we get with the final product.

Love isn't the only drug...

Love isn’t the only drug…

Continue reading

Advertisements

Non-Review Review: The Informant!

The Informant! has some tricky subject matter to cover. Its subject, Mark Whitacre, remains a controversial figure in the history of corporate law enforcement up to (and probably well beyond) the present day. It’s a complex history, one which involves the most high-profile FBI investigation into price-fixing at major American companies, but which involves a very complicated central figure. I’m hesitant to go into too much detail as – although I’m not sure you can “spoil” a true story – I don’t want to ruin the experience of watching the film for anyone, but it’s a very fascinating example of corporate whistleblowing.

You'll be on the edge of your seat...

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is one of the “big” blockbusters which defined the nineties. It’s easily recognisable and has thoroughly entrenched itself deep in popular culture – along with Independence Day or Terminator 2. Also, like the two aforementioned films, it’s actually quite good. Of course, coming from director Stephen Spielberg, the man who invented blockbuster cinema with Jaws, can’t hurt. 

I call him "Rex"...

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Congo

The problem with Congo is simply that it’s not entirely certain whether it wants to be taken seriously (even a little bit) or simply wants to veer off into a camp B-movie-style “killer apes” flick. Unfortunately, it never rally picks a definitive approach, and fluctuates between the two – making it difficult to take seriously during its action scenes and yet hard to accept the camp humour when it’s offered. It’s not a terrible film, but it’s a hevily-flawed one. I can’t help but get the impression that the movie might have been better accepted had it gone for a more fitting title like “Attack of the Killer Apes of King Solomon’s Mines!”

Not everything is better with monkeys...

Continue reading