Adrian Noble has more Olivier award nominations to his name than there are scenes in his new film – Mrs Lowry & Son – set outside the former character’s bedroom. To wit, Noble is best known as being among the RSC’s longest-serving executives and for producing acclaimed hits right from The Winter’s Tale to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He is, in other words, a master of stagecraft.
So, one wonders, why did he not insist on taking Martin Hesford’s inherently theatrical script in that direction?
Continue reading Lowry would be ‘dead chuffed’ with my film | Adrian Noble Interview
The leap from school textbook alternative to all-star, big screen bonanza is about as impressive as they come in the world of non-fiction. Dating back to the nineties, Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories books have spawned magazines, plays, proms, video games, theme parks and two BAFTA winning television series to gain renown as a British institution. It’s an empire even the Romans would be proud of – thus making said ancient civilisation an apt starting point for the franchise’s new cinematic lease of life. Whilst Rotten Romans does little to convince that narrative structure is the future of the franchise, its winning cast and good nature carrying things through. More laughs would have been welcome all the same.
Continue reading Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans | Review
It takes all of twenty-five minutes for the phrase ‘fake news’ to rear its ugly head in Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim sobering new documentary for Netflix. By this point in the film, a conspiratorial tone has already established humanity to be doomed, corrupted and likely on the fast track to thinly veiled authoritarianism. But it is our willing acceptance of such a fate that horrifies. It’s our fault. In the words of Dr. David Carroll, one of three de facto narrators here: ‘We were so in love with the gift of this free connectivity that no one bothered to read the terms and conditions.’ Fake news? No, this is an all too real project of fear.
Continue reading The Great Hack | Review
Six weeks, no school.
While we’re loath to suggest anyone should lock their children in a dark, quiet room everyday for the entirety of the Summer holidays, a trip to the cinema could well save parents from some very long afternoons.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of six upcoming films to keep the kids busy during the Summer holidays.
For an hour and a half at least.
Continue reading 6 films for the Summer holidays
It’s nigh on impossible to judge Disney’s new Lion King, a film as stupendously impressive as it is colossally lazy. The question of whether it is enjoyable in its own right or simply from the benefit of its predecessor’s memory may well never find resolution in the viewing. While there’s no denying the technical skill underlying the production – which unites computer generated imagery with virtual reality technology so as to take breaths as they have not been taken since Avatar – a derivative script by Jeff Nathanson steals scene after scene from the original, with little room for fresh perspective. The result is less emotionally engaged than before and only just about as rousing.
Continue reading The Lion King | Review
Coming seven years after the last, this fourth Men in Black outing is a lot more fun than you’ve heard but no less deprived of necessity or smarts. Beyond the all new ensemble and switched focal location, not so much has changed with the franchise, which once originated with the Malibu/Marvel comic book series of Lowell Cunningham. Inherent cast charisma is still vital in papering over the slacks and cracks that pester the series’ plots and characters, whilst inventive visuals remain valuable in maintaining basic aesthetic engagement. Here, a Phantom Menace tone pervades and Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray kind of gets away it.
Continue reading Men in Black: International | Review
From Michael Dowse, erstwhile director of The F Word, Stuber is more promising than it gives itself credit for. Aside from its likeable leads, the film boasts a bonafide decent conceit. This is the story of an Uber driver – Kumail Nanjiani’s Stu – who finds himself engulfed by the hunt for a slippery underworld drug lord when LAPD detective Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) hitches a ride. Sadly, an early wrong turn in the film’s navigation misses the opportunity. What follows is a trip over reliant on B roads and over extended by roundabouts. It is small mercy that Dowse’s passengers do, at least, seem committed to ensuring a fun ride.
Continue reading Stuber | Review