As brilliant, difficult, uncomfortable, and awe-inspiring as you’ve heard, Slave is a cinema landmark, a towering achievement, and a deserving Oscar winner. Undoubtedly guaranteed to be tagged an “important” film, this - like Schindler’s List twenty years earlier - shines a light on a time and place and unflinchingly makes one consider the horrors within. Tensely directed by McQueen, it is as rivetting as any blockbuster but far more intelligent, never shying away from the brutality or offering easy answers. Acting plaudits go to Nyong’o, Fassbender, but especially Ejiofor, who anchors the film with a deep and soulful central performance.
Assuming this was the standard sort of buddy comedy Favreau and Vaughn have popularised in the nearly twenty years since the film’s release, I was pleasantly surprised by Swingers. The cast are great, especially Favreau are the insecure and not 100% likeable lead. The script is hilarious, fast-paced and witty, although feeling very “90s navel-gazing”. Peppered with film references, it gets away with it because the characters live their lives through movies; it’s knowingly self-referential and even self-deprecating. Liman’s unshowy direction really lifts the film, making a frothy comedy seem like a vérité slice of life. Overall, rather good.
Guilty by omission: here are ten films that I couldn’t include in my Top 100 last week, because I just don’t think I remember them vividly enough to give an honest appraisal. There are many more than I haven’t seen at all (maybe I’ll do another Top Ten about that someday); but these, at least, I have seen, once or twice, in the dim and distant.
100-Word Reviews: The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography
Stephen Fry, 2010
In this follow-up to Moab is my Washpot, Fry’s gift with language is evident, as sentences soulful and serene slip from his keyboard, delighting with their wordplay and humorous use of profanity. The imagery he conjures up is likewise enchanting. Although not short on celebrity anecdote, Fry also pours his soul onto the page, inviting both scorn and sympathy. It is somewhat pleasing to realise that one’s creative insecurities are shared even by the very successful. Perhaps Fry overdoes the apologies and reiterates points too many times; but overall, like its predecessor, the book is terrific, moving, and a success.
i have a feeling a lot of people wont like this direction for her mask, but i wanted to keep it simple, avoiding the domino mask for now being i feel its more Bat-family oriented. I dont believe she’s under the bat group yet at this point, though, I could be wrong. Here’s hoping DC will use this design down the road.
I’m on record with my love for Stephanie Brown, so it was delightful to see her back in Batman last week. I also want to go on record and say that I love this new costume, masterfully combining her old Spoiler and Batgirl duds.
A sumptuous and gorgeous animated feast, Kells sheds light on an oft-forgotten corner of history, and cleverly melds the fantastical with the factual. This is both in terms of plot – faerie Aisling contrasting with the real history of the monastery – but also in terms of imagery – such as the Vikings becoming giant, monstrous demons. This is conveyed through delightful art, part Genndy Tartakovsky, part Studio Ghibli, part classic Celtic art and design. A story told largely visually, this is a phenomenal success, moving and inspiring, dark and beautiful. A minor masterpiece, and a must-see.
This style of programming stands or falls on its presenter, and therefore a review tends to focus on their positives and negatives. As a follower of Charlie Brooker since his TV Go Home and PC Zone days, I can call myself a big fan, and an admirer of his style. His journey through the last twelve months is typically witty and acerbic, with sideways looks at people and events that ring both true and hilarious. Brooker’s skill is with conjuring imagery that is original, vivid, occasionally obscene but usually bang-on. Once again, he doesn’t disappoint.
BAFTA-winning director, producer, and writer, whose work you can often see gracing the bits between the programmes on CITV. The inane content of this blog reflects the author's own opinions and isn't necessarily the corporate position of ITV, which probably doesn't care about that time Bruce Wayne was sent to the Stone Age.