dystopia

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler crawls over the line where news eats itself, not just blurring the report and the reporter but selling a kind of news that is self-creating, like reality television, with hapless unpaid actors forced to play out scenarios of some network

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Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler crawls over the line where news eats itself, not just blurring the report and the reporter but selling a kind of news that is self-creating, like reality television, with hapless unpaid actors forced to play out scenarios of some network

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Ghost In The Shell

In this remake of the 1995 anime, a story about semi-outlaw cyber cops chasing a rogue entity that has evolved out of the internet has been dispensed with for an episode of Find My Family, with lashings of chop socky in leather

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Ghost In The Shell

In this remake of the 1995 anime, a story about semi-outlaw cyber cops chasing a rogue entity that has evolved out of the internet has been dispensed with for an episode of Find My Family, with lashings of chop socky in leather

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One feels like a heroine’s journey has been extracted from something originally conceived for an ensemble cast, leaving us with not quite enough of either. There are too many characters, talking so much about what they’re doing we don’t know what they’re doing.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One feels like a heroine’s journey has been extracted from something originally conceived for an ensemble cast, leaving us with not quite enough of either. There are too many characters, talking so much about what they’re doing we don’t know what they’re doing.

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Westworld (1973)

Michael “high concept” Crichton directs the film of his own screenplay (no novel this time). It becomes very clear where the idea for The Terminator came from as we watch Yuul Brynner reincarnate his The Magnificent Seven character in the form

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Westworld (1973)

Michael “high concept” Crichton directs the film of his own screenplay (no novel this time). It becomes very clear where the idea for The Terminator came from as we watch Yuul Brynner reincarnate his The Magnificent Seven character in the form

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Captain Fantastic

Drop-out survivalists are forced to re-enter mainstream society when a tragedy strikes. They’re like a family of doomsday preppers with a positive, if fortress, mentality and leanings toward Mao and Chomsky rather than the NRA (was this written in the 70s?). The

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Captain Fantastic

Drop-out survivalists are forced to re-enter mainstream society when a tragedy strikes. They’re like a family of doomsday preppers with a positive, if fortress, mentality and leanings toward Mao and Chomsky rather than the NRA (was this written in the 70s?). The

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Sicario

As Sicario overplays its quest to underplay itself, we arrive at a confused portrait of profound dysfunction. That may be an appropriate angle to take on another of America’s unwinnable wars (in this case the drugs and border war with Mexico),

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Sicario

As Sicario overplays its quest to underplay itself, we arrive at a confused portrait of profound dysfunction. That may be an appropriate angle to take on another of America’s unwinnable wars (in this case the drugs and border war with Mexico),

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For the first ten minutes or so there is nagging despair, even mourning. It feels like an awkward Star Wars themed high school reunion in a room littered with lifeless artefacts, with Disney and JJ Abrams strutting around bragging “lookit all

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For the first ten minutes or so there is nagging despair, even mourning. It feels like an awkward Star Wars themed high school reunion in a room littered with lifeless artefacts, with Disney and JJ Abrams strutting around bragging “lookit all

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Tomorrowland

Conflict being the essence of drama and all that, it’s not easy to pull an entertainment out of a pleasant scenario, unless it’s one under threat. In this case the utopian promise of Tomorrowland is in danger of never arriving. We’re presented with a rampant

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Tomorrowland

Conflict being the essence of drama and all that, it’s not easy to pull an entertainment out of a pleasant scenario, unless it’s one under threat. In this case the utopian promise of Tomorrowland is in danger of never arriving. We’re presented with a rampant

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The Big Sleep (1946)

 Forty-something private detective Humphrey Bogart finds himself on the case in the City of Available Young Women, chasing tails and kicking arses. The biggest mistake you could make with this putative noir classic is rewinding to try and work out

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The Big Sleep (1946)

 Forty-something private detective Humphrey Bogart finds himself on the case in the City of Available Young Women, chasing tails and kicking arses. The biggest mistake you could make with this putative noir classic is rewinding to try and work out

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Maps To The Stars

David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars presents a tragedy of corruption and inbreeding in high places, in this case the homes of Hollywood’s B-list. When cycles of abuse collide, incipient violence erupts and death steps in to clean up the entangling mess. A link isn’t entirely

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Maps To The Stars

David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars presents a tragedy of corruption and inbreeding in high places, in this case the homes of Hollywood’s B-list. When cycles of abuse collide, incipient violence erupts and death steps in to clean up the entangling mess. A link isn’t entirely

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Noah

God gets a bad rap in Noah, as Darren Aronofsky tries to construe a story that makes no physical, psychological or moral sense. A brood of hapless humans is disgorged out onto what looks like a barren coalfield with no recourse

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Noah

God gets a bad rap in Noah, as Darren Aronofsky tries to construe a story that makes no physical, psychological or moral sense. A brood of hapless humans is disgorged out onto what looks like a barren coalfield with no recourse

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Spring Breakers

Four american college girls on spring break take time out from underdressing and pouring alcohol inside and outside their bodies to engage in bouts of organised and and disorganised crime. In the latter half of the film they team up with

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Spring Breakers

Four american college girls on spring break take time out from underdressing and pouring alcohol inside and outside their bodies to engage in bouts of organised and and disorganised crime. In the latter half of the film they team up with

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The Purge

Extrapolated a few degrees sideways into a parallel future, America has undergone some kind of reboot. The ‘new founding fathers’ have reclaimed the night for freedom, the expression of which is an annual holiday where law and order are suspended

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The Purge

Extrapolated a few degrees sideways into a parallel future, America has undergone some kind of reboot. The ‘new founding fathers’ have reclaimed the night for freedom, the expression of which is an annual holiday where law and order are suspended

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Les Miserables

With every line sung rather than spoken and much of it internal monologue rather than dialogue, Les Miserables and musicals like it redraw the rules of what is cinematically permissible. Melodrama flourishes while realism diminishes in value almost entirely. In

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Les Miserables

With every line sung rather than spoken and much of it internal monologue rather than dialogue, Les Miserables and musicals like it redraw the rules of what is cinematically permissible. Melodrama flourishes while realism diminishes in value almost entirely. In

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Killing Them Softly

Director Andrew Dominick does a creditable job treading some very familiar territory, as weary hit man Brad Pitt tidies up the aftermath of a poker robbery.  The right people die and the ledger is balanced. Pitt’s reaper manages to intrigue with

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Killing Them Softly

Director Andrew Dominick does a creditable job treading some very familiar territory, as weary hit man Brad Pitt tidies up the aftermath of a poker robbery.  The right people die and the ledger is balanced. Pitt’s reaper manages to intrigue with

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Cloud Atlas

This three hour omnibus interweaves six stories, some of which we may have been told before as The Island or Phantom of the Opera or One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s not clear whether the stories are linked by

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Cloud Atlas

This three hour omnibus interweaves six stories, some of which we may have been told before as The Island or Phantom of the Opera or One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s not clear whether the stories are linked by

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Cosmopolis

A one percent It boy accompanied by intermittent aides and associates takes a stretch limo across Manhattan as the wave of financial speculation he’s been riding begins to break. Cosmopolis is a road movie in a traffic jam. Most of

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Cosmopolis

A one percent It boy accompanied by intermittent aides and associates takes a stretch limo across Manhattan as the wave of financial speculation he’s been riding begins to break. Cosmopolis is a road movie in a traffic jam. Most of

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Lockout

This could have been a lot better. The trailer makes it look pretty funny, and it is, but something went wrong from script to screen. Most obvious among its oopses are the hamfisted digital effects. Highly ambitious action set pieces

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Lockout

This could have been a lot better. The trailer makes it look pretty funny, and it is, but something went wrong from script to screen. Most obvious among its oopses are the hamfisted digital effects. Highly ambitious action set pieces

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Attack The Block

Ewokish chavs on bicycles save their corner of the world from something toothy and belligerent out of Ben10.  Like many movies about wayward youth it resolves with the protagonists’ reintegration into society, but in doing so discounts any special vision

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Attack The Block

Ewokish chavs on bicycles save their corner of the world from something toothy and belligerent out of Ben10.  Like many movies about wayward youth it resolves with the protagonists’ reintegration into society, but in doing so discounts any special vision

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Wake In Fright (1971)

A changing of the guard in Australian thespianism, featuring Jack Thompson in his first cinema role and Chips Rafferty in his last. It’s a great swan song by Rafferty, upsidedowning everything he’d done before. But Wake In Fright goes much

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Wake In Fright (1971)

A changing of the guard in Australian thespianism, featuring Jack Thompson in his first cinema role and Chips Rafferty in his last. It’s a great swan song by Rafferty, upsidedowning everything he’d done before. But Wake In Fright goes much

/ One Comment