Alexander and the Very, Very, Very, Very Long Title is based on a 32 page picture book by Judith Viorst about a young boy who feels trampled by the world and feels that his personal misfortunes are neither recognised nor understood by his family. In a moment of sly retribution, he wishes the worst possible day on his parents and siblings in a desperate attempt to have them understand his plight. Read more >>

 



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Watchmen

Like Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Watchmen distils the spirit of its source material rather than literally translating it in the style of Robert Rodriguez' Sin City. Much of the detail from the source material is necessarily discarded (some regrettably so - the subplot of Rorschach's alter ego and the death of Hollis Mason, for example) but, as a whole it holds together very well. Those unfamiliar with the source material will find nothing untoward here unlike, say, the Harry Potter films where the plot gaps are enormous. The film evens manages to pull off the near impossible by presenting an alternative ending which is more elegant than the original.

Director, Zack Snyder, displays a penchant for comedy and visual flair in presenting a great opening montage that provides a brief recent history of this alternative universe and sets up the story to follow. He also employs an interesting and provocative use of songs which are almost always inappropriately tagged to incongruous scenes (ballads over fight sequences, for instance) and could easily have become cliché but somehow they work, coming over instead as comical and ironic and further reinforcing that this alternative reality is slightly out of kilter with our own. There's a lot of apparent depth here, it's like several movies in one. Many of the characters are of sufficient complexity that they could have featured in a simpler (and much lesser) movie of their own. Let's hope that the franchise is not cheapened by a succession of inferior ‘origin story’ sequels.

Performances are all adequate for their roles although Matthew Goode seems a little miscast as Adrian Veidt, lacking the apparent body mass that would be credibly required to perform the feats of strength that he does, but this is a minor point. The film belongs to Jackie Earle Haley, however. His performance of Rorschach is spot on - he's only a little fella but, boy, can he kick arse! And improves even further when his alter ego is revealed, shifting the film up another gear when it was already cruising along at a decent clip. Criticism of Malin Akerman is unfounded; her purpose is to stand there and look pretty and bed the heroes, as the script requires, a role she performs quite nicely, thank you very much.While the structure of the plot may be a little multi-stranded to be neatly cohesive, there's more than enough interest in the various plot strands throughout and the result is a comic book… oops, sorry…’graphic novel’ adaptation which surpasses Zack Snyder's previous (and rather woeful) 300; indeed it's one of the best ever made.
Stuart Jamieson
official website

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible,
No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander and the Very, Very, Very, Very Long Title is based on a 32 page picture book by Judith Viorst about a young boy who feels trampled by the world and feels that his personal misfortunes are neither recognised nor understood by his family. In a moment of sly retribution, he wishes the worst possible day on his parents and siblings in a desperate attempt to have them understand his plight.
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Nightcrawler
Human suffering makes good entertainment. If you can package it all up neatly.
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The Dark Horse
If Jake the Muss were a Dalai Lama he might resemble Genesis 'Gen' Potini - a pacificst Maori born to a life of gang violence.
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Interstellar
It's the near future and ‘Mission Control’ has been taken down (presumably by a computer virus) and a blight is destroying our food crops. Read more >>

Whiplash
Every now and then a film comes along that reorganizes your mind in regards to the obtainable level of acting performance.
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My Mistress
When does interest cross into obsession?
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Fury

"Ideals are peaceful - history is violent."
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Gone Girl
The primal questions of marriage comprise the underlying theme of David Fincher's Gone Girl and shine a light on an uncomfortable and confronting truth: that marriage is inherently beset with elements of emotional manipulation. Read more >>

Dracula Untold
As a literary figure gets adopted into a film character, filmmakers take some extreme liberties. Nowhere has this been more prevalent that with the character known as Dracula.
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The Little Death

There are many things to commend filmmaker Josh Lawson for in regards to The Little Death.
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