The Dark Knight (2008) Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Echhart, Maggie Gyllenhal. Dir: Christopher Nolan
Batman and DA Dent’s crusade against the mob is disrupted by the Joker. It’s lengthy and the continuing Batman beats Joker, Joker pulls rug from under him, plot is a little wearying. But it’s powerful and gripping, with top notch performances and fascinating themes of good and evil , order and chaos.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008) Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Seth McFarlane. Dir: Guillemo Del Toro
Hellboy must stop an elf prince who’s trying to awaken an invincible army. The anti-thesis of the Dark Knight – shallow, two-dimensional and showy. The old characters motives are frequently questionable, the new characters barely drawn out, and the plot feels like it was made up as they went along.
Donnie Brasco (1997) Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Micheal Madson, Anne Heche. Dir Mike Newell
An undercover FBI agent struggles to stay detached from his new life amongst the mob. Solid gangster thriller that shows the mob without glamour. Pacino excellent as the lifelong, slightly pathetic gangster, and Depp on top form as the cop who crosses the line and struggles to find his way back.
Oliver Twist (1947) Alec Guinness, Robert Newton, Francis L Sullivan, John Howard Davies. Dir: David Lean
Dicken’s classic tale of an orphan caught who escapes and orphanage and joins a gang of pick-pockets. Stylistic and dynamic, every shot is perfectly framed, the action always exciting, and the dark smokey streets perfectly echoing the period. A tour-de-force on both sides of the camera.
The Vengeance of She (1968) John Richardson, Olinka Berova, Edward Judd, Colin Blakely. Dir: Cliff Owen
The sequel to Hammer’s She, the now immortal ... discovers the reincarnation of his former love. Being blonde and attractive is not enough to encourage the audience into caring what happens to a character. It’s also very dull, which never helps.