5 items from 2014
Series 8's winning streak continues with a Frank Cottrell Boyce-penned episode that has a great deal to say...
In The Forest Of The Night brings to an end a run of four Doctor Who series 8 episodes from writers who'd never penned an adventure for the show before before. On the basis of all four stories they came up with, every one of them should be warmly welcomed back in the future.
This latest comes from Frank Cottrell Boyce, whose extensive and hugely impressive writing career to date has taken him from Coronation Street and the wonderful, wonderful Millions, through to Welcome To Sarajevo and Code 46. And it would be fair to say that by the time he sat down to write In The Forest Of The Night, he had plenty of things he wanted to say. To his credit, he's squeezed a great many of them into a 45 minute Doctor Who adventure. »
“Fat noses have no place in the Hindi film industry,” Om Puri is fond of saying. “But it is not so in the West — otherwise Anthony Quinn would have never been an actor.” Puri certainly nose — make that knows — of what he speaks. When he was starting out as a film actor in the 1970s, his own mighty, bulbous proboscis seemed as sure an impediment to stardom as the pockmarked face that surrounded it, the vestige of a childhood bout of smallpox that nearly killed him (as it did six of his seven siblings). Yet that very face — weathered and wise, a face of experience — has gone on to become one of the most recognizable in Indian cinema and a familiar presence on movie screens around the world, too.
Now it is front and center in the new Disney/DreamWorks movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” in which Puri stars as Papa, »
- Scott Foundas
Almost entirely ignores the amazing aspect of this true story that makes it worth telling, and even the very good performances point us in another direction than the intended one. I’m “biast” (pro): like the cast; enjoy stories about WWII
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The Railway Man starts out like a sweet little romance, when Colin Firth meets Nicole Kidman, somewhere near Edinburgh in 1980, on a train he’s only on because his encyclopedic knowledge of train schedules is allowing him to compensate for an unexpected delay in his travel plans. “I’m not a trainspotter,” he assures her — and us — not that most prototypical of British nerds; “I’m a railway enthusiast.” Later, he is able to contrive a second meeting with her because of his, yes, trainspotting superpower. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Dissatisfaction: Burger Launches the Next Ya Dystopia to Unwieldy Lengths
Director Neil Burger joins genre courting/sci-fi alum Andrew Niccol’s dip into the abscessed pool of the Ya cash cow with Divergent, an adaptation of the first in a series of novels by Veronica Roth. A little of this, a little of that, and you’ve got a veritable mash up recent adolescent themed portraits of the future grim in the vein of (the already derivative) Hunger Games trilogy, and even Ender’s Game. Things don’t get better, only increasingly worse, an adage fitting for not only post apocalyptic Western dystopias but the rigidly formulaic and repetitive narratives that are now distended and stretched to epic proportion. Rising star Shailene Woodley gets outfitted with her own treatment of Chosen One Syndrome and delivers a serviceable performance that’s hampered by a ceaselessly workmanlike set-up that obviously thinks its »
- Nicholas Bell
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 9 Jan 2014 - 06:25
We head back a decade to look at a few films that deserve more attention. Here’s our list of 25 underappreciated movies of 2004...
Think back to 2004, and you might dredge up hazy memories of the computer-generated fairytale sequel Shrek 2, Alfonso’s Harry Potter installment, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, or maybe Mel Gibson’s phenomenally successful Passion Of The Christ.
It’s rather less likely that you’ll remember some of the films on this list. You’re probably aware of the drill by now: we’ve gone back into our distant, beer-addled memories to find 25 of the less commonly-lauded movies from the year 2004.
Some of them did reasonably well at the time, but appear to have been forgotten since (especially the one eclipsed by its own internet meme), while others were coolly received by the public or critics (and sometimes »
5 items from 2014
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