Sunday, February 17, 2013

Comic Book Villain of the Week

Make-Up Man
Not actually a man of make-up, but a make-up expect. His real name is unknown, as is, apparently, his real face. He changes his appearance periodically; no one has seen his real face in over ten years.

Yet despite his skills with make-up, he in fact uses life-like robots to commit his crimes. He comes to the attention of the dynamic duo after robbing a jewellery store. Batman discovers Make-Up Man’s hideout, where the two do battle with his robots and a flying mask. Despite his skill with make-up, Make-Up Man uses a plethora of masks too.

Considering his incredible skills with robots and his ability to make mask fly, it’s possible that his moniker might just be underselling his abilities just a wee bit. He appeared only once.


Saturday, February 09, 2013

January Film Highlights

Please visit the blog.

Jack Reacher (2012) Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall. Dir: Christopher McQuarrie.

Jack Reacher 50 Word Film Review

A sniper kills 5 at random, and in his defense, simply asks for a man called Jack Reacher. Reasonably entertaining, but not very original and with cheese around the edges. Reacher is a typical know-it-all jack-of-all trades hero, but not an especially engaging one. Still, there are decent suspense/action sequences.


Murder By Decree (1979) Christopher Plummer, James Mason, David Hemmings, Susan Clark, Frank Finlay, Anthony Quayle, Donald Sutherland. Dir: Bob Clark.

Murder By Decree 50 Word Film Review

Holmes and Watson are called to investigate Jack the Ripper. Holmes believing a psychic or getting over-emotional over a case? There are plenty of uncharacteristic elements, less an interpretation of Holmes, more a misunderstanding of what makes the character work. A wobbly series of clues, but looks very handsome.


Life of Pi (2012) Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Rafe Spall. Dir: Ang Lee.

Life of Pi 50 Word Film Review

When a boat carrying zoo animals sinks, a boy survivor is trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger. Simply gorgeous – proof that CGI and even 3D can be genuinely beautiful if used gracefully. An inspiring adaptation that has just the right balance of feel-good magic and darkness and danger.


Magic (1978) Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter, David Ogden Stiers. Dir: Richard Attenborough.

Magic 50 Word Film Review

A ventriloquist rekindles and old romance and considers leaving showbiz, but what will his dummy think? The old mad ventriloquist/sinister dummy story; not desperately original, but it’s done well; the script is good, it’s briskly paced, well directed and scored. But the crowning touch is Hopkins, whose intensity is electrifying.


The Impossible (2012) Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast. Dir: J.A. Bayona.

The Impossible 50 Word Film Review
A holidaying family are caught up in the Asian tsunami and must fight for their survival. At its best when at its starkest, but when it attempts the life-affirming and melodramatic, it arteface is revealed. Tsunami sequences are terrifying, but does seem to suggest white tourists were worst affected.


Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson, Todd Field. Dir: Stanley Kubrick.

Eyes Wide Shut 50 Word Film Review

When his wife confesses to fantasising about other men, a doctor goes on a dark journey of sexual discovery. Kubrick’s last is refreshingly character focused, which makes his signature detail and grandeur rather unnecessary - a simple story lengthy and overblown. Certainly intriguing and seductive, if a touch anti-climactic.


Rear Window (1954) James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock.

Rear Window 50 Word Film Review

A wheel-chair bound photographer suspects a neighbour of murder after spying on him from his window. One of the Hitchcock’s best; a superbly staged suspense thriller, that delivers not just edge-of-the-seat entertainment but one that works on multiple levels, exploring voyeurism, commitment and the nature of cinema. Ingenious, near perfect.


Slade Flame (1975) Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Don Powell, Jim Lea, Tom Conti, Alan Lake. Dir: Richard Loncraine.

Slade in Flame 50 Word Film Review

New band Flame could be huge, with the right management… Considering Slade were amongst the most up-beat 70s acts, this is surprisingly grim, taking place in shabby clubs and crumbling suburbs, the band pawns of moneymen with little affection for them beyond profitability. Rough, but interesting piece of its time.