Month: February 2014

Michael Bay should stop making films. Full stop.

Michael Bay is a filmmaker who has received a vast amount of criticism from cinema-goers and critics over the years. Personally, I feel Michael Bay is given far too much money to make his films, as his ‘blockbusters’ always seem to turn out very disappointing results on the screen. I don’t understand the psychology behind film executives that continue to fund him. Is their belief that the more money thrown at him, the better his films will become? This may seem like an outright attack on Michael Bay, but I am simply demonstrating how Michael Bay fails to deliver any films of quality despite being overindulgently funded. Out of the twenty films he has either directed or produced, only two of them have scored above 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, therefore it is safe to conclude that the majority of them are rotten if not worse. However, one cannot be too critical of Bay given his accolades, as he is the recipient of five MTV Movie Awards and four nominations for Worst Director at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Clearly, he is about as well-decorated as an igloo.

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Dallas Buyers Club – It Missed the Mark

DBC

When I stepped out of BFI Southbank after seeing a (somewhat) advanced screening of Dallas Buyers Club, I knew I’d just seen a very important film. I think the first words out of my mouth were to describe it as ‘Breaking Bad with a conscience’, in the most affectionate way possible. However, for reasons I hope to explain, it didn’t quite impact me in a way I believe it could have. Despite beautifully dense direction and a consistent charmingly dark tone, the film’s ensemble appears muted at times, despite its avant-guard subject material. As it stands, Dallas Buyers Club is a well-crafted film, with a moving narrative and brilliant social commentary, but its only truly extraordinary quality lies in Matthew McConaughey’s transfixing performance as bull-rider turned pharmacist Ron Woodroof.

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Robocop (2014) – Shinier, but not Super

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After 2012’s gutless revival of Total Recall, it seemed only reasonable to expect a fair amount of fan backlash when the reboot of Paul Verhoeven’s other ultra-violent action classic, Robocop, was announced. With a PG-13 rating and a new suit more akin to a high-tech Batman outfit than the original’s clunky grey number, there were fears that the modern version would botch the memory of the cult favourite. In a way, these worries have been proved prescient, with Jose Padilha’s effort having less in common with the satirical and blackly funny 1987 original than it does with, say, Halo or other such futuristic shooter games. This ‘tin man’ may have a heart, but it is short on brains.

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Inside Llewyn Davis – He’s Just a bit of a Git

Llewyn

Inside Llewyn Davis’ is a film that explores Greenwich Village in 1961 and follows the struggling career of musician Llewyn Davis. With Bob Dylan about to explode into music, we instead witness Llewyn go from couch to couch whilst also enduring the wrath of Carey Mulligan. At least he has a cat to keep him company (for the most part). This latest release from the Coen Brothers stands apart from their previous pictures such as ‘No Country for Old Men‘ and ‘True Grit‘, in the sense that it isn’t filled with action and eye-patches but rather with a story that never quite takes off.

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Jack’s 20 Most Anticipated Films of 2014

After a spectacular 2013 for film, it’s time to look forward to the year ahead at cinemas, and 2014 looks absolutely fantastic, from some of the most interesting blockbusters in years, safe but exciting sequels and excellent indie fare. Some of my favourite directors have projects in the works (new Christopher Nolan! new Paul Thomas Anderson!) as well as some relatively untested film-makers attempting to show just what they can do. It’s a very exciting time. Just a note, some of these films may eventually miss out on a 2014 release, but are currently slated to arrive in the next 12 months in the UK. Also, I have already seen the majority of the films being released in January/February this year thanks to screeners, so the fact that 12 Years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street etc. aren’t here isn’t a testament to me not being excited for them.

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Andrew’s Top Ten Films of 2013

Awards season approaches. Oscar predictions pile up. Top ten lists emerge from every corner of the internet. I figure now is as good a time as any to share my personal favorite films of 2013. I didn’t come close to seeing all the films I wanted to this year, missing American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, and Her to name a few (I will be seeing these films in the coming weeks as they finally get released in the UK). However, I feel this list does an excellent job at summarising my favorite theatrical experiences of the last calendar year. 2013 seems to be universally praised as a marvelous year for cinema, and I think the scope of films represented on my list speaks to that opinion. I loved every film on this list for a variety of reasons, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.

My list is based on US release dates, just to add extra confusion into the mix.

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