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Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Posted by Ali Gray at 16:00 on 26 Jan 2015
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Imagine an alternate universe, one in which producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson decided to reboot 007 using not the ruthless thuggery of Timothy Dalton or the brutish charm of Sean Connery as the Bond blueprint, instead opting to use the far-fetched, OTT antics of Roger Moore as the template. Ludicrous gadgets. Comic-book acting. Tongue rammed in cheek so deep all dialogue is in danger of being spoken with a lisp. Congratulations! You've just stumbled on the formula that could well have led to the creation of Kingsman: The Secret Service (it could've, if you didn't already know it was based on the book by Mark Millar).

Review: Big Hero 6

Posted by TheShiznit.co.uk at 23:55 on 25 Jan 2015
Big Hero 6
If you want an example of how our relationship with technology has accelerated at a terrifying rate, show a young millennial the first Toy Story movie, which turns 20 years old this year. Made in 1995, the first fully CG-animated movie was a cinematic landmark yet it was still, tellingly, a tale of simple toys and derring do. That millennial you roped in (I won't asked questions how) will now look at Toy Story and turn their nose up at the relatively rudimentary visuals; they're much more likely to get their kicks from a movie like Big Hero 6, a breathlessly exciting, migraine-inducingly busy animation that must have surely pushed the Disney render farms to meltdown. Purely from a technological standpoint, it makes Toy Story look like a Punch & Judy show.

The 7 saddest details on the IMDb page for John Travolta's new movie

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:15 on 25 Jan 2015
The 7 saddest details on the IMDb page for John Travolta's new movie
John Travolta is doing great, thanks for asking internet! Why, here are some details on his latest project, Gummy Bear 3D The Movie, an animated adaptation of a German internet meme! It looks like a fun-filled romp for all the family and also A PIT OF DESPAIR, WEEP ALL YE WHO VIEW THIS IMDB PAGE.

Review: A Most Violent Year

Posted by Ed Williamson at 09:30 on 23 Jan 2015
A Most Violent Year
How to make it in America: fairly well-worn ground for films, and yet still they keep coming. This immigrant's tale from JC Chandor is more than that, though. A largely non-violent study of how the (mostly) law-abiding react when faced with violence, and of whether turning the other cheek is a workable - or even desirable - strategy.

11 ways Clint Eastwood's American Sniper embellished the truth

Posted by Ali Gray at 22:40 on 21 Jan 2015
11 ways Clint Eastwood's American Sniper embellished the truth
Clint Eastwood's military biopic American Sniper tore through cinemas in the red states last week to break January box-office records, making military supporters fire their guns in the air in celebration. However, questions remain over the movie's accuracy, following accusations that the movie's subject, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, was a fantasist (he claimed he shot and killed two carjackers and that police covered it up, and that he picked off looters during Hurricane Katrina; neither incidents were ever confirmed). Eastwood's movie makes no mention of these events, so what other inconvenient truths does the movie ignore?

Opinion piece: Why the Academy are racist for snubbing Selma

Posted by Steve The Intern at 13:00 on 18 Jan 2015
Opinion piece: Why the Academy are racist for snubbing Selma
Guests of the Academy - overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male - took their seats at the opulent Dolby Theater in California to witness the announcement of the nominations for the 77th Oscars. When they were over, they continued chewing on their steaks and clinking their champagne glasses, oblivious to the racism hanging heavy in the air: Ava DuVernay's astonishing drama Selma, a biopic of Martin Luther King, had been snubbed - proof positive once and for all that the Academy is institutionally racist.

Review: Testament Of Youth

Posted by Matt Looker at 21:00 on 16 Jan 2015
Testament Of Youth
Vera Brittain's Testament Of Youth is considered to be one of the most important war memoirs ever published, a tragic real-life tale of love, loss and the atrocities of war. Its depiction of the impact of World War I on the women left behind as their men joined the army, not to mention the middle classes in general, is taught in schools both as a vital historical document and as a valuable piece of feminist literature. So bear with me while I try to criticise this film without sounding like a cynical, sexist Nazi.

If 2015's Oscar-nominated movie posters told the truth

Posted by Ali Gray, Matt Looker, Ed Williamson, Luke Whiston, Becky Mather at 14:00 on 15 Jan 2015
If 2015's Oscar-nominated movie posters told the truth
Shut up everyone, the Oscar nominations have been announced! No one cares about your new haircut, Janice! As is customary around these parts, it's impossible for us to comment on a news item without making some sort of crudely Photoshopped picture, so we decided to make new posters for the nominees that tell you what you can really expect.

Review: American Sniper

Posted by Ed Williamson at 11:15 on 13 Jan 2015
American Sniper
Oh, great. This should help smooth things out. While I wouldn't support the action, I'm surprised to have heard no calls to postpone the release of American Sniper. Here's a portrait, entirely unshaded by grey, of a US Navy SEAL who claims more confirmed kills than any other sniper in US military history, all of them in Iraq. There are interesting questions about the morality of this, given how many more lives he likely saved, about the effect it had on him, and about the implications of American occupation in the Middle East. Clint Eastwood isn't terribly interested in asking them, though. While this is an effective and very watchable war movie, it's as uncomplicated as it gets.

Review: Whiplash

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:00 on 11 Jan 2015
Sometimes a joke hits too close to the mark, and so it is I cannot ever listen to jazz music without thinking of The Fast Show sketch, Jazz Club, with its bowl-cutted host Louis Balfour introducing chin-stroker acts in straight trousers with names like Charlie ''The Bulb'' Robeson and Soylent Green. That's an entire musical genre desolated, for all time - an entire section of HMV I'll never trouble. But perhaps there is a saviour for jazz; not a musician, but a director, Damien Chazelle - a man who's probably too young to even remember The Fast Show, let alone the old duffers who made jazz insufferable in the first place. Trumpets please!
Out this week
+Big Hero 6 (PG)
Our review
+Kingsman: The Secret Service (15)
Our review
+Inherent Vice (15)
+Trash (15)