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Non-Review Review: Green Lantern

Green Lantern is solidly middle of the road as far as superhero movies go. Perhaps in a less crowded (and less high quality) summer action season it would seem a stronger contender, but the film really shows as Warner Brothers’ first major attempt to produce a big-budget superhero film not directly related to Superman or Batman. It’s perfectly functional, managing to do everything it sets out to in a relatively efficient manner, but there’s never really a sense that the film exists as anything more than a series of plot points that need be checked in order for the movie to cross the finish line. Given the potential of the source material, as well as its relatively unique nature amongst the slew of generic superheroes, a functioning and formulaic adventure can’t help but feel like a bit of a disappointment.

Hal Jordan: Space Cop? It has a nice ring to it...

Note: We also have an introduction to the Green Lantern mythos available, if you’re interested in checking it out.

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Non-Review Review: AntiTrust

In the real world, when you kill people, they die. For real!

– this movie is brought to you by the letter “o” for “open source” (and “obvious”)

You know, I think Microsoft’s PR department deserves a huge round of applause. Sure, they are still pretty universally regarded as a big evil corporation intent on global domination – using controversial business practices in order to stay on top of the computer software food chain. So there’s a lot of hate still out there. And yet, ten years on, it’s remarkable how far we’ve come since AntiTrust was released. There is a lot of hate on show here.

Hit a NURV?

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Non-Review Review: Short Cuts

Short Cuts is perhaps “the” big defining ensemble drama. Even those who haven’t seen it are familiar with Robert Altman’s epic three-hour twenty-two-character crisscrossing drama about life modern Los Angeles. It’s bold, ambitious and challenging. Personally, I prefer Altman’s skewering the studio system in The Player, there’s no denying that this big drama has its charms.

Altman casts a long shadow...

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Non-Review Review: Austin Powers – The Spy Who Shagged Me

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

I have to admit that I’m quite fond of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Perhaps it’s the way that the film vindicated its direct predecessor – although Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery did very well on video, the sequel made more money at the box office in its opening weekend than the original film did during its entire theatrical run. Sure, watching the film one can spot the cracks developing which would completely envelop the franchise when the third film, Austin Powers:  Goldmember, was released. However, while it’s probably not quite as good as the original, it’s still a damn entertaining film.

Time to put the franchise to bed...

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Non-Review Review: The Shawshank Redemption

I have to admit, I’ve always found The Shawshank Redemption a tad overhyped. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a masterfully made film with a fantastic cast and a fantastic score from a director at the very top of his game. Still, the movie’s never entirely won me over – perhaps because I can’t entirely buy into the parable of hope and redemption that is being spun. It’s very powerful stuff, but I can’t help but feel a little cheated with the fact that the movie asks us to believe that something good came of the pit of human suffering at Shawshank.

You can easily get board in Shawshank...

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Non-Review Review: The Player

I love The Player. I really do. When I was in college, I used to organise movie screenings – we’d show The Player once a year and it would always pack out. It was just one of those films that everybody had heard nothing but good things about, but never got a chance to see. Indeed, I would go so far as to say The Player, with all its wacky fourth-wall meta-ness, is my favourite Robert Altman film.

Who would want to kill this producer? Answers on the back of a postcard...

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