Out Now – 24th October 2014

The Book of Life

Fury
Fury certainly passes the time and provides plenty of spectacle though not on a scale we haven’t already seen before. It’s hard to know what the film is trying to say and what it has to offer that is not just treading old ground. If we can all agree that war is unpleasant then you can probably give this one a miss.” So says I.

Love, Rosie
Can a pair who have been best friends since they were five fall in love? Probably. Romantic comedy with enough swear to warrant a 15 certificate.

The Book of Life
Gorgeous looking family animated film about the Mexican Day of the Dead. Call me crazy but this looks absolutely charming.

This Is Where I Leave You
Here at the cinema. Moderately OK looking adult comedy drama with an ensemble cast including Bateman, Fonda, Fey, Driver, and Byrne. Expect to chuckle and then feel emotions.

The Babadook
“The Babadook is a well crafted, lovingly designed, and properly acted horror film that will have you checking out the shadows on your way home. With Hollywood failing to bring much to the horror table it took an Australian film to remind everyone why they are scared of the dark again.” So says I.

Serena
Period drama starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper more likely to win Razzies than Oscars. Dare you go to see how bad it really is? I’m not sure I will.

Jimi: All Is By My Side
André Benjamin (née 3000) stars as Jimi Hendrix in a biopic covering his time in London. FUN FACT: The film failed to get the music rights to any of Hendrix’s songs.

Night Train to Lisbon
Jeremy Irons goes on a night train to Lisbon.

Time Is Illmatic
If you have heard of the artist Nas and his album Illmatic then you are far better suited to see this film than me.

The Way He Looks
Brazilian drama about a gay blind teenager falling in love. Prepare to swoon.

The Knife That Killed Me
“For something completely different and to support a pioneering piece of British filmmaking then The Knife That Killed Me is worth checking out. Directors (and co-writers) Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer have made a carefully crafted film with a fresh approach. It might take you as little while to get settled in but your effort will be rewarded.” So says I.

Zabriskie Point
Sexy 70s drama about America in the 60s.

Bogowie
“The biopic focuses on the early career of cardio surgeon Zbigniew Religa”. Since you asked.

Fury – LFF Review

Fury

It is April 1945 and allied troops are slowly making their way across Germany. The crew of one tank find themselves one man down and rookie soldier Norman (Logan Lerman) joins as assistant driver. Norman is a former office clerk and wholly unprepared for battle. Reluctantly taking on new blood into their tank Fury are Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), Bible (Shia LeBeouf), and the unpleasant duo consisting of Coon-Ass (Jon Bernthal) and Gordo (Michael Peña). The job of Fury and its occupants are to move in convoy from village to village evacuating Germans who surrender and killing those that fight back.

Initially Norman is not accepted by his fellow soldiers. His reluctance to kill and desire to surrender or die make him a liability but through the toughest of love his team attempt to turn Norman into a real soldier. Each soldier treats Norman with utter contempt but as they are bonded together through the horrors of war mutual respect is found. As Fury and company moves from village to village the tanks come under attack as our band of brothers is truly put to the test and Norman is given a baptism of fire.

Fury 2

As war films go Fury is perfectly acceptable but little more. The action scenes are suitable bloody, muddy, and violent as heads, limbs, and other extremities are shot off and numerous soldiers set on fire. Capturing the brutality of war is Fury‘s strongpoint and it does so with gusto, loud noises, and nerve-shredding frenzy. What threatens to weaken the action is the fact that our lead cast are always inside the tank during battles; while explosions and carnage rage outside the five main characters are mostly sitting and shouting. The final battle aside the inside of Fury always felt relatively safe, particularly in comparison to the war zone in the fields outside.

Writer/director David Ayers may have done well at making war seem like a bad thing but he does less well when it comes to making the characters feel like real people. Each of the five is a different caricature and yet their personalities still struggle to maintain consistency. In what seems to be an attempt to add layers of complexity to the characters they all have occasional flashes where they change their attitude completely. This normally takes the form of an unpleasant type suddenly being nice to Norman as if keen to let the audience know that they aren’t all bad really. The dialogue is riddled with clichés, patriotism, and variations on the “war is hell” theme. Despite solid performances, even from Shia LaBeouf, the script lack enough authenticity for the actors to come across as anything but actors.

Fury certainly passes the time and provides plenty of spectacle though not on a scale we haven’t already seen before. It’s hard to know what the film is trying to say and what it has to offer that is not just treading old ground. If we can all agree that war is unpleasant then you can probably give this one a miss.

Fury has a UK release date of 22nd October 2014.

BFI LFF 2014

Out Now – 20th April 2012

There are a grand total of eighteen films out today so I have limited myself to trying to summarise each in exactly ten words*. Wish me luck.

Gone
Amanda Seyfried faces former kidnapper/serial killer after sister’s disappearance.

Lockout
Riot in space prison, President’s daughter taken hostage. Guy Pearce!?

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Romantic comedy drama genuinely involving salmon fishing in the Yemen.

Transit (limited release)
Family bond while on the run from violent bank robbers.

Town of Runners (limited release)
Documentary following young runners in Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji.

Beauty (Skoonheid) (limited release)
Apathetic man has his life unravelled by unexpected sexual awakening.

Grave Encounters (limited release)
Found footage horror featuring reality TV show gone supernaturally wrong.

Elles** (limited release)
Prostitution funds student’s studies. Take the escort in your life.

Breathing (limited release)
Teen leaves prison and battles with guilt in Austrian drama.

Marley (limited release)
People talk about Bob Marley. Musician, activist and womaniser. Legend.

Vicky Donor*** (limited release)
Bollywood film about sperm donation. Stranger things have happened, allegedly.

The Bad and the Beautiful (limited release)
Re-release of early Hollywood film about early Hollywood. How meta.

Fury (limited release)
Avengers‘ Nick Fury stars in Fury not as Nick Fury.

Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (limited release)
Dark romantic comedy from Canada with drug smuggler as lead.

Oliver Sherman (limited release)
Unstable veteran invades the life of man who saved his.

Elfie Hopkins (limited release)
Double Winstone starring horror. Teen detective investigates mysterious new neighbours.

The Divide (limited release)
Nuclear attack! Survivors in basement fight amongst themselves. Typical humans.

Hollywoo**** (Cine Lumiere only)
French dubbing actress convinces American actress not to quit show.

*I cheated using asterisks.
**Sexy French film of the week.
***Only included to make the list of films seem even more ridiculously long.
****Ten words was not enough to explain this one properly