It’s easy to read about Elizabeth Taylor’s death from a long time illness, culminating in heart failure and think ‘oh, Michael Jackson’s friend died’, yet this attitude disregards a long, and illustrious career in which the pearl of Hollywood won two Oscars for Best Actress, a BAFTA, and was nominates a further three times.
Picture the scene: It’s 10.30pm on a Saturday night and I am surrounded by glitter, false eyelashes and the distinct smell of hairspray; as a marvelously glamorous sequin-clad drag queen takes to the stage, welcomed by the rejoicing roar of an eclectic crowd of bourgeoisie zombies and blood-splattered doctors. One might be excused for assuming that what I am describing is a nightmarish Halloween night on Canal Street, that, however, is not the case.
Taking its inspiration from Marks’ 1996 autobiography of the same name, Mr Nice is unsurprisingly reverential and seems reluctant to ask any real questions of its protagonist. Most crucially, by presenting Marks as ‘Mr Nice’, the film fails to explore the moral dilemma inherent to his profession. Instead, Rose’s script opts for a rather shallow pro-legalisation, pro-Marks stance which ultimately suggests, to quote one glib piece of dialogue, that ‘it’s the law that’s wrong’.
Zuckerberg came up with the notion at Harvard and launched the primitive website from his dorm room. Weird to think; that something that has become a scarily large part of everyday life for 500 million people, was started in what a lot of first years are experiencing now: a room where old beer cans used as ashtrays are literally heavy with cigarette butts, where old orange skins cling to the bottom of waste paper baskets and where blackish grime and bits of indefinable matter stick to an unwashed bowl on your desk. Maybe it’s different at Harvard, but it’s still a fairly novel (if disgusting) notion.
‘Anatomically correct blow up sex doll’ and ‘heart rending tearjerker’ aren’t usually phrases that appear in the same sentence. This film, however, somehow manages to seamlessly entwine the two and sit them together as naturally as emos and Twilight.
Withnail has such an incredible life; ‘Look at him’, you think, ‘He’s having such a good time’. There really is no better advert out there for chain-smoking alcoholism than Withnail. An inadvisable drinking game states that the players must match Withnail drink for drink. It’s impossible. In the course of the film he drinks nine glasses of red wine, six glasses of sherry, one pint of cider, one pint of beer, two shots of gin, thirteen whiskeys and a shot of lighter fluid.
Michael Bay spent so long working on the optical madness that is Transformers 2 that he forgot to develop his storyline or characters. The end result is CGI on steroids and very little else. It’s always a bad sign when you feel genuinely embarrassed for the actors in the film for having their names permanently besmirched by such an atrocity. The cast and crew behind this film would probably be happy if there was a nuclear holocaust, something to wipe out civilization, as this would finally erase their shame.
You would be hard pressed to find a worse reason to remake a film than Gus Van Sant did in his revival of the classic horror flick Psycho. Remakes generally find their way into cinemas on the back of huge film studios believing that there is potential in bringing the originals to a new generation. Inept scriptwriters and shoddy directors generate millions at the box office with the slightest effort, as seen with recent shambolic revivals such as Clash of the Titans.
The original 1930s King Kong is an hour and a half, and even that feels like it’s dragging in some places. It’s a very thin concept; a giant monkey on an island. You certainly wouldn’t have thought that it needs to be three hours. Apparently Peter ‘I’m not going to edit any of my films’ Jackson thought otherwise.
Many of you out there will believe, as I do, that awarding a piece of work three stars is highly frustrating. This magic number is inoffensive, uninspiring and tells the reader nothing of the subject matter. However, The Town may just be the exception; it conjures up enough brilliant moments and frustrating plot devices to be truly worthy of an average review.
5. Lord of the Rings – ‘I’m no man’
So says Elf-girl Eowyn as she thrusts her blade in the Witch King’s face. I tend to think that the Witch King, when he said that ‘no man could kill him’, meant Man: the race and not Man: a male. Either he didn’t recognise female prowess or he didn’t foresee being stabbed in the head when he made this claim.
It reminded me of Brick in that she spends most of the film finding things out. Just going door to door, piecing stuff together. The gruff, mumbling neighbours she demands information from have an untrustworthy air about them, but despite feeling like a borderline horror, it’s more of a slow-moving dramatic detective movie. There isn’t really anything like it.