Review: Bachelorette (2012)

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Retailed as a female-centric comedy in the vein of Bridesmaids, Bachelorette is in fact much darker: a deliciously acerbic and wickedly funny debut from skilled writer and director Leslye Headland, who found previous success as a playwright before transferring over to film. Arguably more in line with Mean Girls’ cattiness than the mainstream humour of Paul Feig’s aforementioned hit, Headland’s film is wilder, looser, franker, with a more free-wheeling tone – and it’s all the better for it. Continue reading “Review: Bachelorette (2012)”

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Review: Rise Of The Guardians (2012)

Rise Of The Guardians, DreamWorks Animation’s latest big-budget offering, is every bit as bold as it is visually dazzling, rich in depth and expansive in scope. When the evil Pitch Black (Jude Law) threatens to instil fear in every child, the immortal Guardians – North (Alec Baldwin), Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth (Isla Fisher), Sandman and new recruit Jack Frost (Chris Pine) – must band together to protect childhood innocence and optimism. Continue reading “Review: Rise Of The Guardians (2012)”

Review: Rango (2011)

Rango is a new computed animation film from the quintessential avant-guarde director Gore Verbinski.

The film centres on Rango, a chameleon and aspiring swashbuckling thespian, who finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.

John Logan’s script, while it deals with big issues, such as the lack of water in certain countries, works best as an intellectual character piece, and its through the compelling voice talent and extraordinary emotion capture that the film truly shows its grandeur.

The pacing is a delight, full of humour and fortitude, sometimes quiet and retrained, while others noisy and outlandish. It’s a film that, to its merit, dares to be in-your-face and to tell a very personal, sometimes restricted story.

The real accomplishment, though, is the visual style, which makes even the best animated 3D look feeble in comparison. Meticulous attention has clearly been paid to mise-en-scene, emotion detailing, and the inspired framing of individual shots. It’s truly fascinating to behold the surprises the filmmakers dispel throughout the film.

The voice cast, top-lined by an on-form Johnny Depp, each deliver inspired and witty performances. Isla Fisher, in particular, must be commended for her beguiling Western accent, much better than the Scottish accent attempted in last year’s disappointing Burke & Hare.

While the action can be violent, and the dialogue more intense than other animation films, Rango excels as an innovative, intelligent and witty piece of filmmaking. It may not be to everyone’s taste, or welcome a wide demographic, but it’s a feat to embrace, not discount.

The sheer imagination and heart is further accentuated by Hans Zimmer’s soaring score which, by reworking Ennio Morricone’s past scores, instills an exciting, sometimes comic aura that perfectly matches the tone of the film.

Rango is a quirky, delightfully unique and inspired piece of animation.