With his first romantic-comedy, Daniel Radcliffe proves adept at delivering snappy dialogue and generating strong chemistry with his costars, so it's frustrating that the film is never remotely believable. Director Michael Dowse and writer Elan Mastai find some cleverly original angles on the genre, but never seem sure whether this is silly slapstick or darker black comedy. They also indulge in several appallingly corny plot points that would only happen like this if they were written by a screenwriter.
Radcliffe plays Wallace, a British guy living in Toronto. After a bad break-up he has dropped out of med school and let his life drift aimlessly, but now his best pal Allan (Adam Driver) is tired of his moping around. So he introduces Wallace to his cousin Chantry (Zoe Kazan), and the two hit it off. The problem is that Chantry has a lovely boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall), so just wants to be friends. Wallace is smitten but pretends that this is fine. And this causes a serious problem as they get to know each other over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Allan has his own fast-moving relationship with Nicole (Mackenzie Davis), and he urges Wallace to make a move when Ben is transferred to Dublin for six months. The question is whether Chantry feels the same way about him.
Dowse has always been good at finding the sharper edges of humour in any scene (see Fubar or Goon), but this film has a squishy sentimental centre that threatens to undo it at every turn. There are also several goofy moments that strain credibility, such as when Wallace and Chantry are forced to share a sleeping bag naked. Meanwhile, the characters are so perky that they're somewhat exhausting. The actors seem to be trying desperately to make us like them in every scene, and sometimes this works simply because they are genuinely engaging. But the best moments are when Radcliffe hesitates awkwardly or explores the darker side of his longing, or when Kazan reveals the doubt behind her super-cute eyes.
Continue reading: What If Review
Wallace has just about giving up on finding love and relationships. He's dropped out of medical school and seems quite happy to spend all of his time at home, barely venturing out of the apartment he shares with his promiscuous roommate Allen. When he is persuaded to attend a party, however, he meets Chantry; a girl determined to be friends with Wallace. While Wallace is rather taken by her initially, he is disappointed that she has a boyfriend but willing to make their special friendship work. Everyone around them is sceptical about their platonic relationship despite their insistence that men and women can indeed be just friends. Though the more they try and insist they are not falling in love, the less convinced they are making themselves. Feeling confused and guilty, Wallace and Chantry must look deep within themselves to puzzle out the meaning of their chemistry.
'What If' was originally named ‘The F Word’ and is a rom-com based on the T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi play 'Toothpaste and Cigars'. It has been directed by Michael Dowse ('Goon', 'Take Me Home Tonight', 'It's All Gone Pete Tong') and written by Elan Mastai ('Alone in the Dark', 'Fury', 'Sk8 Life'), and it has already won two awards with a further four nominations.
When Paul Potts, an opera singer, auditioned for the first series of 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2007, he blew everyone away with his incredibly powerful vocals. Going on to win the show was a surprise to no-one, and it was not just his soulful arias that moved audiences, but his own emotional life story. Growing up he was frequently bullied and found consolation only in that of operatic music. Later, he met his devoted wife Julie-Ann Cooper who relentlessly encouraged him to perform and attend an opera school in Italy. His lack of confidence in himself caused most other people not to believe in him, but he took a brave step in leaving his job as a shop manager and giving 'BGT' a good shot - a decision that would change his life beyond recognition forever.
Continue: One Chance Trailer
Adapted with sub-simian grace from the iconic Ray Bradbury story, the film puts us in the year 2055, where a Chicago firm called Time Safari takes wealthy, bored men back in time and hunt dinosaurs. The trick here is that Bradbury - prefiguring all the great time travel paradox stories and films to follow - realized one couldn't just do this without creating massive complications further down the time pipeline. So Time Safari has its hunters walk through the 65-million-year-old jungle on a pathway suspended above the ground, with the strict dictum not to touch anything, never step off the path and not to bring even the most microscopic thing back with them. And the dinosaur that they "hunt" (over and over again) has been selected for the fact that it's going to die anyway, bare seconds after the safari team shoots it. Thusly the time continuum remains unchanged and everybody's happy.
Continue reading: A Sound Of Thunder Review
The Ray Bradbury short story "A Sound of Thunder," an unnerving morality tale about modern man's arrogant disregard for nature, ends with time-traveling dinosaur hunters returning to the future to discover that by stepping on a single butterfly, they've altered history inexorably. The hunters become trapped in an alien world of their own making.
But the new movie "A Sound of Thunder" not only misses Bradbury's point entirely -- using his ending as a jumping-off point for an action-adventure attempt to fix the hunters' mistake -- it's also a catastrophe of bad acting, ludicrous science and conspicuously cheap special effects that can't even follow its own internal logic from one scene to the next.
Stoic, beer-and-cigarettes guy's guy Edward Burns ("15 Minutes") is unconvincing as a genetic scientist and utterly bland as an action hero who leads the hunting exhibitions for wealthy thrill-seekers to fund his research on wildlife cloning.
Continue reading: A Sound Of Thunder Review
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