The 50 Word Film Reviews blog has earned me a massive £6 - oh yeaahhh! I just need to make another £54 before I can make a withdrawal from Google!
Cabin in the Woods (2012) Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran
Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker. Dir: Drew
teens head to an isolated cabin for a holiday, while men in a bunker wait for
the action to unfold. Both celebrates and parodies genre conventions, while
insisting on their constant re-evaluation and renewal. It never forgets to be
scary and successfully plays with your expectations and your sympathies.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalbán, Natalie
Trundy, Hair Rhodes. Dir: J. Lee Thompson.
apes’ baby is now 20; he arrives in the city to find evolving apes are now a
slave class. The first planned sequel develops the ongoing story in a more
satisfying way, even if script’s patchy and rushes along. Having an experienced
director pays off with a stunning climax.
Marley (2012) Dir: Kevin McDonald
life of Bob Marley, as told by his family and friends. First family-endorsed
Marley documentary explores the life of an extraordinary talent and the popular,
social and political impact of his music, without indulging in hagiography.
Startling footage, great tunes, and real characters make it hard to improve
Ordet (1955) Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Cay Kristiansen,
Preben Lerdorff Rye. Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer.
father’s faith is tested by two less devout sons and another who believes he is
Jesus. Strange but compelling drama about the nature of faith, shot with almost
ghostly grace. Characters are brilliantly observed, totally natural in their
lack of hysteria. Writing’s sharp, thoughtful and surprising – a real one-off.
The Avengers (2012) Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris
Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie
Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson. Dir: Joss Whedon.
team of heroes assembles to fight an alien threat. Hangs together surprisingly
well, and manages to give almost everyone worthwhile material (except for
Jackson). But as with other Marvel movies, the threat’s bland and too pondersome
to get worked up about. Yet with so much talent involved, hard not to enjoy.
Bringing Up Baby (1938) Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Charles Ruggles, Walter
Catlett, May Robson, Fritz Feld. Dir: Howard Hawks.
palaeontologist’s life is turned upside down by a debutant who happens to have a
leopard. All-time classic comedy, with a snappy and outlandish script, which
yields all kinds of riches. Only a double act as good as Grant and Hepburn could
pull off the breakneck speed of it. Superb.
Performance (1968) Edward Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, Michèle Breton,
John Bindon. Dir: Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg.
gangster hides in the home of a musician, who has an unexpected effect on him.
Experimental film about identity which uses creative cutting and visuals to show
Fox’s character unfurl, stripping away the roles he plays. Little grating, but
intriguing, with alluring moments and a surprising turn from
The Deer Hunter (1978) Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John
Cazale, Meryl Streep. Dir: Michael Cimino.
friends party and hunt before shipping out to Vietnam, where events transform
their lives. Powerful epic-length portrait of sheltered lives transformed by
absolute horror. Beautifully shot, with sympathetic, believable characters,
great performances and knife-edge terror. Thematically though, it’s muddled,
occasionally style-over-substance, and lots of work for a war-is-hell message.
is a writer for better and for worse. I got in above my station writing for M&S, but was credit crunched down to writing about sex toys, Viagra and herpes meds. I’m now taking a step back towards legitimacy by writing for JML Direct. I’m awkward and don’t like much.