Alice once again returns to Wonderland and meets a lot of familiar faces. This time her biggest enemy is Time, quite literally. As the Blue Caterpillar reminds her, 'You've been gone too long, Alice there are matters that might benefit from your attention. Friends cannot be neglected.' Instead of falling down a rabbit hole, this time Alice gains entry to wonderland through a large mirror which takes her to a topsy-turvy universe which could only be associated with Wonderland. There appear to be a few differences between the book and the new film; whilst Lewis Carol's original version of the book was based six months after the original tale, the inclusion of Time might mean that Linda Woolverton's version make time travel much quicker in Wonderland. Again, Carol used many chess analogies in the book, at the moment its unknown how much this will play a part in the movie. The majority of the lead cast from Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland including Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Alice Through The Looking Glass was directed by James Bobbin who previously worked on the 2011 Muppets film and Muppets Most Wanted.
Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a quiet conversation than any number of death-defying stunts and explosions can muster. Not only does it offer some of the finest performances ever from treasured actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, but it also cements Andrew Haigh's reputation as an unusually perceptive writer-director after his surprise hit Weekend (2011) and his groundbreaking but misunderstood TV series Looking.
Rampling and Courtenay play Kate and Geoff, a childless couple living happily in rural England. A week before their 45th wedding anniversary party, Geoff is informed that the body of an old girlfriend has been discovered in a Swiss glacier more than 50 years after she accidentally fell to her death. Kate is startled that she never knew about Geoff's earlier love, and as she looks into his past she begins to suspect that maybe she was his consolation prize. Meanwhile, Geoff is also taken back to his earlier life, wondering about twists of fate and the choices he made. In other words, after a wonderful life together, Kate and Geoff are suddenly seeing fractures in the foundation of their marriage. And they're not sure what to do about it.
This is a movie that exists in silences, so audiences that prefer dramatic fireworks should probably look elsewhere. Rampling and Courtenay can pack more into a flickering glance than a long speech, so the thoroughly English way their characters approach this situation is utterly riveting. These are complex, fascinating people with full inner lives, still fiery and curious and open to what life has in store. And this new information forces them to redefine their world in ways they never expected. Haigh's sensitive, unflashy direction captures every telling detail perfectly, building subtle yet powerful suspense over the course of the week.
Continue reading: 45 Years Review
It doesn't matter how long or how happy a marriage is, all of them have the potential to be flaked with bitter feelings of jealousy and heartbreak. Kate and Geoff Mercer are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, and on the outside it seems they couldn't be happier as a couple. However, just days before their big celebration, Geoff receives a letter explaining how the body of his missing first love has finally been found, preserved in the glaciers of the Swiss Alps. He is forced to face feelings he had buried deep for so many years, while Kate finds herself inexorably consumed in a desperate competition with a dead woman, torn between feelings of sympathy for her husband, fear for her marriage and guilty for her feelings of resentment. The experience throws into question their romantic future, as they realise they must both shine a light on the dark shadow that has always stayed with them.
Continue: 45 Years Trailer
For a low-budget kids' movie, this British science-fiction adventure has an unusually sharp cast, decent effects and an energetic pace that helps to distract from the rather flimsy premise. So even if the story never quite builds a solid head of momentum, it holds the attention due to a dark-edged tone and some entertaining action sequences that give the terrific young actors a chance to shine.
It's set three years after robots invaded Earth, won the war in 11 days and locked all humans in their homes, using human collaborators to enforce this rule. In a seaside English town, the head collaborator is Smythe (Ben Kingsley), who spends much of his time pursuing hot single mother Kate (Gillian Anderson) and tormenting her teenage son Sean (Callan McAuliffe). Kate has taken in three orphaned kids: teen siblings Alexandra and Nathan (Ella Hunt and James Tarpey) and 10-year-old Connor (Milo Parker). And together these four young people figure out a way to short circuit their monitoring implants so they can leave their home. Sean is sure that his father (Steven Mackintosh) didn't die in the war, so he enlists the other three to help find him. And their search gets a boost when they stumble across a group of anarchic rebel veterans living the wild life in an abandoned hotel.
This partying hideout is a nicely raucous touch, even if its pungent innuendo essentially rules young children out of the audience. But this kind of blackly comical touch is more than welcome in a movie that's otherwise rather childish and earnest. Another nice touch is how the human collaborators are called the Volunteer Corps and identify themselves with Nazi-style armbands. And the robots' human-shaped mediator (Craig Garner) looks like a freaky demon-child. All of this helps overcome the film's strong sentimental streak, as well as some production values that are more in line with Doctor Who than a big-screen alien blockbuster.
Continue reading: Robot Overlords Review
When Earth is suddenly taken over by colossal robots from another planet, the citizens of Earth are ordered to stay within their homes as captives or risk a frightful and immediate death. Meanwhile, a young man named Sean Flynn is missing, and wanted by Robin Smythe and his team (who willfully serve the robot race) in connection with an alleged terrorist attack. Implanted in his head is a device that appears to respond to certain signals from the robots and he soon discovers that he has the power to control them. As the biggest threat to robot-kind he must be disposed of, but he is determined to restore freedom to mankind and sets out to build his own army to take back their planet.
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While this odd biopic is a real mess, it's not quite the cinematic disaster snootier critics claim it is. Essentially fan fiction, the script spins a story that has only the vaguest basis in fact, drawing much of its dialog from screenwriter Jeffreys' and book author Kate Snell's imaginations. And if what these people say to each other wasn't so laughably silly, the film's genuinely intriguing themes might have emerged with more force.
We pick up the story in 1995, after Diana (Watts) has been separated from Prince Charles for three years. She still hasn't moved on romantically, and spends most evenings alone in Kensington Palace, making beans on toast and quietly crying herself to sleep. So when she meets heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Andrews), she's relieved that he doesn't treat her like a princess. Over the next two years, their romance develops in secret because Hasnat is a very private man and Diana is the most famous woman on earth. Fed up with the intrusive paparazzi, Hasnat puts the brakes on their relationship. So Diana uses her friend Dodi Fayed (Anvar) to provide misleading headlines and spark Hasnat's jealousy.
Of course, we know their love is doomed for another key reason: the film is bookended by scenes in Paris on the fateful evening of 31 August 1997. But even if this romance has clearly been fictionalised, it offers some intriguing themes that catch our sympathies, mainly due to an understated performance from Watts that occasionally catches Diana with remarkable detail. So it's frustrating that Khan is portrayed as such an icy, uninteresting figure, which means that Andrews never generates any chemistry with Watts.
Continue reading: Diana Review
Princess Diana was most definitely one of the most famous and inspirational women in the world, known to all as the People's Princess. Never seduced by the lure of wealth, fame and royalty, she lived her life for others, but struggled deeply from her own personal troubles; her failed marriage to Prince Charles embroiled in affair scandals and subsequent divorce, the constant hounding of the press and her later romances. When she met heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, she fell deeply in love, feeling for the first time in years, like a real woman. But it was a relationship doomed to failure with further media attention forcing a rift between them. She could never escape the scrutiny of the media, even while she put all her efforts into her hands-on charity work.
Continue: Diana Trailer
Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist for Sweden's 'Millenium' magazine, a monthly publication that has a decent amount of readers. After publishing a shocking expos' on a billionaire businessman, he is sued for libel but loses the highly publicised case and is sentenced to three months in prison.
Continue: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer
The last one is the most appropriate for this: a picture which wastes a lot of raw acting talent and pretty photography on a boring, groaning-in-your-seat story which hinges on every cliché in the book.
Continue reading: Moll Flanders Review
A Welsh lad, young Taliesin (John-Paul Macleod) suddenly takes an interest in religion when his doddering neighbor and local kook Billy (Ian Bannen, Waking Ned Devine) miraculously heals a stooped woman's back by laying his hands upon her. A skeptical Taliesin is likewise healed of his ugly warts, thanks to Billy's powers (and, therefore, God's powers) -- or did they just go away on their own?
Continue reading: Taliesin Jones Review
The Vault lets loose its first unreleased material.
Here's what he thinks about the veteran filmmaker.
Ocean's two albums, ‘Blonde’ and ‘Endless’, both missed the Grammy deadline.
Alice once again returns to Wonderland and meets a lot of familiar faces. This time...
Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...
For a low-budget kids' movie, this British science-fiction adventure has an unusually sharp cast, decent...
When Earth is suddenly taken over by colossal robots from another planet, the citizens of...
While this odd biopic is a real mess, it's not quite the cinematic disaster snootier...
Princess Diana was most definitely one of the most famous and inspirational women in the...
Princess Diana was known across the world as the 'People's Princess'. Her beauty, dignity and...
Fincher brings a sleek, achingly cool vibe to this remake of the first novel in...
Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist for Sweden's 'Millenium' magazine, a monthly publication that has a...
In 1892, the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead; his death is ruled as...
In a sea of unnecessary remakes, this rehash of the 1981 comedy seems particularly ill-timed,...
This engaging, warm British comedy-drama not only features extremely vivid characters but also traces the...