Reviews

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      Goon (6/10)


        I can’t say Seann William Scott is an actor who would attract me to watch a movie – his highlights are a set of silly roles in well-below-mediocre movies like Dude Where’s My Car, American Loser, and of course the American Pie franchise.

        But I did watch Goon, with Scott in the titular role. He plays Doug Glatt, a nice-but-dim bouncer who hasn’t found his ‘thing’ yet, unlike his loudmouthed rude and crude best friend Pat, or his doctor brother.


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      No Escape (6/10)


        Texan engineer Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) moves with his wife (Lake Bell) and two young daughters to an unnamed Asian country (ahum… Thailand) to start an expat job at a water plant to help improve water quality in the region. They are clearly inexperienced travellers but luckily they meet a jovial businessman (Pierce Brosnan) on the plane who helps them on their way. When Jack strolls around town the next day looking for a newspaper, he all of a sudden finds himself in the middle of a rebellion. He manages to find his way back to the hotel which turns out to also be under attack by the same rebels. He transforms from clueless expat to man-on-a-mission to keep his family safe in a world spiralling rapidly out of control…


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      The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (5/10)


        Guy Ritchie based this spy movie on the original 60s TV show, but other than most modern remakes he didn’t transplant the concept to today – it is still set in the 1960s. And it is an ‘origins’ story – ie how U.N.C.L.E. (Unified Network Command for Law and Enforcement) came about. So far so good.

        But the storyline…the acting… the cinematography… bah humbug…


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      Self/less (6/10)


        Self/less is the story of Damian (Ben Kingsley), an older real estate magnate with billions in the bank who is dying of cancer when he finds out about ‘shedding’. A procedure where for a mere $250m, a company Phoenix Biogenics Corporation will be able to transfer his consciousness from his dying body to a brand-spanking new lab-grown one, which would give him a new lease of life.


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      Super 8 (6/10)


        It is 1979, and in small town America a group of young adolescents spend their summer making a Super 8 short film to submit for a competition. As they shoot a scene in their zombie film at the local train station, they witness a real train crash, and discover a large number of curious metallic objects in the wreckage. Amidst the chaos they are warned by an injured high school teacher at the scene that all is not what it seems, and to keep silent about the crash.


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      Spectre (6/10)


        The James Bond franchise is now 53 years old and is in its 24th movie and sixth actor. With such a weight of history it is hard for the film makers to be too bold: they have a rigid set of expectations to meet and a $300 million budget to recoup.


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      The Gift (7/10)


        When married couple Simon and Robyn move back to Simon’s childhood town, they go shopping for their new house and bump into Gordo, a guy Simon used to go to school with even if Simon can only vaguely place Gordo. Soon after, a small gift arrives at their house, and Gordo later shows up in person with another gift to welcome them back to the neighbourhood.


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      Youth (7/10)


        The latest movie of Paolo Sorrentino was shot by the same director of photography as his previous movie La Grande Belezza. And the movie is (mostly) beautifully shot indeed. Set in an exclusive sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel observe the other guests as well as their own lives and the follies of their youth, most of which they are too old for to accurately remember.


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      Notes on a Scandal (9/10)


        In this small-scale drama, Judi Dench both narrates and stars as Barbara Coveet, a teacher reaching the end of here career in a rough London comprehensive school. A stone is thrown into the calm pool of the teacher’s common room in the form of the beautiful Sheba (Cate Blanchett), a new and inexperienced art teacher. While the male teachers sniff around the already married Sheba, Barbara shows her kindness and befriends her.


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      Southpaw (6/10)


        Jake Gyllenhaal plays Billy Hope, a boxer raised in an orphanage in Hell’s Kitchen where he met his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams). The movie starts when Billy is on top of the world as reigning boxing champion living a lavish lifestyle.

        Maureen has always been the loving and sensible one, making the decisions for the family. She is starting to get worried that the boxing is beginning to get Billy punch-drunk and wants him to slow down before he becomes a permanently dribbling mess.


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