Reviews

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      The Jungle Book (7/10)


        Remaking a classic is always risky. It’s inevitable that people will compare the new version with the original, and often find the original better: if the original wasn’t any good it probably wouldn’t have been a classic to begin with, and some rose-tinted nostalgia may also come into play.

        The new Jungle Book puts the original story in a new cover, in more ways than one.
        Firstly, it is not an animation but a live action movie. Secondly, the atmosphere is decidedly darker throughout.


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      The Shallows (5/10)


        Who would have thought that surfing on your own on a strange beach in a foreign land in shark infested waters could possibly go wrong? A medical student (Blake Lively) thinking of giving up her studies is on vacation in Mexico (the film was actually filmed in Australia) and heads off to a secluded beach that has a personal connection for her. After the only other two local surfers leave she decides to stay in the water, and quickly discovers who is top of the food chain in the area.


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      Criminal (5/10)


        When CIA agent Bill Pope gets killed on assignment, an experimental technology is used to transplant his memories to someone else to try and find ‘The Dutchman’. The recipient of Bill’s memories is convict Jericho Stewart, a violent criminal with limited self control and no stop-button. He is however a very suitable candidate for the procedure, as his violent character is due to a brain disorder which has left part of his brain unused his entire life, making it an ideal bit of grey matter to transplant these memories into. As the memories start to trickle into Jericho’s awareness, they also start to influence his personality.


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      Demolition (5/10)


        Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his wife in a car accident in the opening scene of Demolition. As his once seemingly perfect life falls apart, his behaviour becomes more and more erratic. Davis has started writing complaint letters to a vending machine company since one of their machines malfunctioned in the ICU where his wife died. In these letters he discloses personal information – irrelevant for the complaint at hand, but piquing the interest of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts). Karen tracks him down and they connect.


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      Colonia (6/10)


        The Colonia Dignidad (‘Colony of Dignity’) was a religious cult in Chile, led from 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a fugutive from Germany following accusations of child molestation. The Colonia Dignidad was shrouded in secrecy, with up to 300 residents living in the colony behind barbed wire, working mainly as farmers, and never allowed to leave the colony. Whilst trying to portray an image of peace and order to the outside world, over the years it has become clear that the colony suffered daily incidents of torture, (child) rape, and other forms of physical and mental abuse as a means of ‘spiritual growth’.


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      Jewtopia (1/10)


        Christian (Ivan Sergei) wants to marry a Jewish girl so he doesn’t have to make any decisions about anything anymore for the rest of his life; except Chris isn’t Jewish himself, so he asks for the help of his Jewish friend Adam Lipschitz (Joel David Moore) to learn The Ways of The Jew so he can bag himself that Jewish girl (Jennifer Love Hewitt).


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      Independence Day: Resurgence (4/10)


        It is twenty years since the aliens attacked our planet and were defeated by a cunning combination of Jeff Goldblum, a heroic pilot and the invaders’ dazzling inability naivety about the basic concept of a computer firewall. It turns out that a distress call was sent out into deep space and now they’re back, presumably having fully assimilated the sacred text “PC Security for Dummies”. The human race has been busy in the interim…


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      Race (6/10)


        After watching the fun Eddie the Eagle the other day, I thought I’d give another Olympic biopic a go. The story of Jesse Owens is one of the rise of an impressive athlete who had to endure and fight racism at home in the US to make it to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 1936 may have been before WWII, but the nazi regime was already well established including their Racial Cleansing policies.


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      Eddie the Eagle (7/10)


        This movie about how a little boy with big ambitions became Eddie the Eagle may be light fare but it is also admirably successful in what it aims to be: an underdog-comes-out-on-top feel-good movie.

        Eddie (Taron Egerton) has had a dream from a very young age: to compete in the Olympics. It took him decades of hard work to get there. You might expect that hard work to be about someone becoming a world class athlete at their chosen sport – but no that’s not Eddie. He’s not really an athlete at all, and he isn’t committed to a specific sport to shine in either – yet he will achieve his Olympic Dreams.


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      Midnight Special (7/10)


        A seemingly estranged father (Michael Shannon) appears to kidnap his own son from what turns out to be a cult and takes him on the road… But why? And where are they going? And why was the boy revered by this cult?

        The details slowly emerge as the chase progresses and we learn more about the boy, Alton, and certain powers he seems to posess. But we never quite understand them, and the director (Jeff Nichols) keeps playing with the audience’s understanding of what may be going on.


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