Now that everything is at least 140 minutes long, I applaud any film that does its thing for an hour and a half, gets the job done then fucks off home. The content of those 90 minutes is irrelevant really. It could be a dead goose for an hour then a man eating a Bounty for the rest. So well done, The Salvation, Danish western that you somehow are, for not hanging around too long. And for being generally all right in a forgettable sort of a way, too.
For how much longer can superhero films rule the box office? Everyone's waiting for comic-book movies to implode, and while it probably won't happen with one disastrous misfire that has a big Comic Sans 'Ker-dunk!' hanging overhead, this second Avengers assembly would seem like the logical start of a more gradual decline. After all, genre fatigue is already setting in, and The Avengers' USP - superhero all-stars teaming up for one mega-big movie - is no longer a fresh, never-before-seen idea. Just in terms of living up to the sheer excitement levels of its predecessors, Avengers: Age Of Ultron would already seem like a failure.
Because it can't all be about Star Wars.
A woman near me straight-up cried at this. Call me a burnt-out husk of a man with a tin heart if you will, but I couldn't see what at. Because musical involves the naked outpouring of expository emotion through song, there is a built-in conduit for stirring up this sort of feeling, and its largely comprising big orchestral numbers with powerful maintained high notes naturally raises forearm hairs and moistens eyes too. Where musical really succeeds is in having real heart behind the bombast, though, and there's not enough of it on show in The Last Five Years.
"Directed by the stunt coordinator of After Earth, here is a story about an implausibly named man who goes on a revenge rampage after criminals kill his dog. Starring The Lake House's Keanu Reeves." As sells go, this really could have gone either way.
"Hey girl, I made a surreal scary nonsense film because I’m a tortured, sensitive artist. Want to watch it with me? I think you’ll like it. It’s got loads of symbolism about, like, women and sex and monsters and theatre and street lighting. And there’s funny dancing in it. And lots of fake blood. And fire. And lots of bright colours. And a scene where Doctor Who cuts off someone’s lips with a pair of scissors. Want it see it, girl? Hey girl. Hey. HEY. Aww." (*Looks into the distance with sad, longing eyes while lifting up t-shirt to reveal chiselled abs*)
The sight of a middle-aged man in a trilby is hard to bear. Particularly when it isn't accompanied by what you judge to be any other changes in his regular attire: just a single hat, borne as a standard on the scalp, saying, Will this do? Am I cool again? The cycle of youth makes us all obsolete sooner or later, and it's hard to accept. And while there's a dignity to aspire to in Don Draper, defiantly immaculate in sports jacket and tie at a party full of hippies, can you blame a man for wanting to get back what he had when he can't pinpoint when he lost it?
Posted by Ali Gray
at 23:30 on 23 Mar 2015
For the first time since its inception in 2001, the Fast & Furious franchise was forced to hit the brakes. The unfortunate – but avoidable – death of Paul Walker in an automobile accident in November 2013 meant production on Part 7 skidded to a halt. Now, one year on from its planned release, Furious 7 rides into town after a respectful re-pimping – the muted colours on the poster suggests a star-studded funeral procession, but in actual fact, the latest instalment of The Franchise That Couldn't Slow Down is business as usual: cars, explosions, pecs (men), gussets (women), crap jokes and the most flagrant disrespect for physics since Sir Isaac Newton's naysayers suggested he stick his apple up his arse. You wouldn't call it a fitting tribute to Walker – I'm pretty sure the last thing his family needs to see is 250 cars exploding into fireballs – but you suspect it's what he, the fans and the studio would have wanted. So here we are. Amber turned to green. Let's go.
God forbid I should ever have kids, because according to the latest glut of teen movies (Hunger Games, Maze Runner et al) I'd be condemning them to a future where they have to compete in some kind of experimental death fight just to survive. And you can bet any money my offspring won't be 'The One' who can save humanity; knowing my luck they'd probably join the dark side just because they get the better outfits.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 23:00 on 01 Mar 2015
I reckon the best way to get the measure of a new horror film is to test how easy it is to replicate the scares in your own home. For example: to 'Blair Witch' someone is to stand motionless and in silence while facing a corner; to 'Body Snatch' someone is to point at them and scream; to pull a 'Paranormal Activity' is to stand next to someone as they sleep and watch them lose their shit when they wake up. The best horror movies tap into something dark and primitive that lurks in us all. It Follows is one such horror movie and contains a core DIY scare tactic that can be replicated by anyone at any time - one that can turn even a well-lit, friendly afternoon picnic into a pant-stained arena of terror.