It’s no great revelation to say that biopics, by their nature, are fundamentally flawed. Unless somebody’s life follows a perfect three-act structure, unless the subjects really are two-dimensional models of greatness, and unless any number of indiscretions or inaccuracies can be overlooked without raising too many eyebrows, then biopics tend to fall into the viewing equivalent of the uncanny valley. While all of these still apply to Legend, the film makes up for it with one brilliantly simple decision: to treat the Krays like completely ridiculous, larger-than-life, cartoonish characters of fiction. And it’s probably safe to say that they are so much more fun that way.
Now look. You might have seen some pictures of Tom Hardy and a puppy. And yes, it's all very cute and everything, but I'd like it if we could just get past that and focus on what is after all a very atmospheric crime thriller that makes good use of AWWWW LOOK AT ITS WIDDLE FACE
I've always considered the post-film discussion as much a part of the movie-going experience as the actual movie: the initial splurge of reactions, the best bits, the rubbish bits, the standout moments. Inception, with its pre-credits wobbly ambiguity, practically invites a discourse on its finer points, and those discussions are still ongoing today. I consider this to be the best blockbuster of the decade so far and one of the most rewarding works of science-fiction in modern memory. More movies need to be like Inception - Ali.
Claustrocore fans have had it good at this year's London Film Festival. Whether it's Robert Redford single-handedly taking on the Indian Ocean in All Is Lost, or Elijah Wood trapped at his piano by a crazed gunman in the unintentionally hilarious and brilliantly terrible Grand Piano, those of us who like being stuck in one location with one actor for the best part of a film have been well served by the BFI. The daddy of them all, though, takes place nowhere more thrilling than in a car on the M6 and M1, and the man in the driving seat is future Road Warrior Tom Hardy. That's right guys - it's Mad Max: Beyond Toddington. *takes rest of day off*
A period drama set during the Depression? Based on a popular, critically-acclaimed novel? Starring an ensemble cast of superb acting talent? Well surely nothing can stop this awards-garnering juggernaut from winning... wait, is that Shia LaBeouf? (*sharp intake of breath*)
Me, I've always been a fan of Christopher Nolan more than I have Batman. Don't get me wrong, I was wowed by the reinvention of Batman Begins and the wallop of The Dark Knight, but I'll always choose the sleight-of-hand of The Prestige or the cerebral jolt of Inception given the choice. The Dark Knight Rises is a stunning piece of work, gigantic in scale with hugely ambitious themes, but Nolan's contribution to the Batman legacy – and indeed the superhero genre as a whole – is to make these films more about the men behind the masks than the heroes they portray: the guys who make the magic happen.