Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
it’s dark, and to do it justice the makers needed to make it R-rated [and] they’ve done just that. So here we have a very faithful adaptation of the graphic novel… but it’s a bit short, so there’s a 28-minute prologue stuck on the front. Designed to ameliorate some of the issues people have with the original book, it’s actually only made things worse, containing brand-new controversial elements all of its own. Oh dear.Read more here.
The great Michael Mann, who once helmed genre-defining crime movies with expertly-directed sequences, here delivers a movie that looks like an amateur cheapie by a film student who’s watched too many Paul Greengrass movies without learning anything meaningful from them.Read more here.
Guiding us through this, the film’s heart in every respect, is Saoirse Ronan’s leading performance. I will watch Ronan in essentially anything at this point, both because she seems to choose good material and because, even when she doesn’t, she’s great in it. This is probably her first really mature performance, convincing as a somewhat shy young woman who makes her way out into the world, in the process realising all the confidence she should have in herself.Read more here.
Neill Blomkamp seems to be on M. Night Shyamalan’s career path: a massively-praised Oscar-nominated breakthrough genre movie, followed by a series of increasingly maligned follow-ups.Read more here.
After years producing movies in the Taken stable, Luc Besson directs one himself. Unfortunately it’s a poor effort — not a bad movie, exactly, but a deeply silly one.Read more here.
this is an exciting and enjoyable fantasy adventure, best commended for its inventive, well-realised visuals and colourful design, which when it really clicks can be quite incredible. I suppose that might not be enough to overcome a familiar plot for some viewers, but it eases the way in this particular example.Read more here.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
It’s easy to dismiss films like this as twee vehicles chasing the so-called ‘grey pound’, but, in this instance at least, that would do it a disservice. When a film is as amusing and emotional as this one, while also exploring an increasingly relevant aspect of life... then its audience should reach far wider than the age bracket of its principal characters.Read more here.
Also, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
M:i-2, as we used to call it, is pretty much everyone’s least-favourite Mission movie, a place only cemented by the two excellent instalments that have been released during this blog’s lifetime. To be honest, I’ve never really been sure why. It’s very much a John Woo movie, all overblown action and melodramatic stakes, and I’d be tempted to say that turns people off were it not for the love Face/Off receives. Personally I like his styleRead more here.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
These days there are plenty of musicals appearing on the big screen, and they’re often contending for the top gongs come awards season. This wasn’t the case back in 2001 — Moulin Rouge, divisive as it is, changed all that. Baz Luhrmann’s injection of modern MTV style gave the genre a kick up the arse, which isn’t necessarily to the taste of classic musical fans but certainly brought the genre renewed mainstream attention.Read more here.
More next Sunday.