GFF15 Review: A Little Chaos (2014)

 

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Eighteen years after making his directorial debut with The Winter Guest, Alan Rickman returns behind the camera to direct A Little Chaos, a featherlight period drama. Madam Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet) is awarded the sought-after task of landscaping the land at Versailles – a prime position that brings her into contact with King Louis XIV (Rickman) and André Le Notre (Matthias Schoenarts), whom she develops a relationship with. Continue reading “GFF15 Review: A Little Chaos (2014)”

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Review: Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (2013)

Sea Of Monsters

Adapted from Rick Riordan’s popular novel series, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief proved to be a playful and speedy, if unremarkable, escapist adventure. Ultimately though, due to poor box office takings (it made a paltry $230M worldwide), a sequel seemed highly unlikely. Fast forward three years and, as if by magic, the son of Poseidon is back in action for Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, this time with new director Thor Freudenthal on board. Continue reading “Review: Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (2013)”

Review: Gambit (2012)

Art curator Harry Dean (Colin Firth) hatches a plan to manipulate his boss, cantankerous billionaire Lionel Shahbandar (Alan Rickman), into acquiring a fake Monet painting. Enlisting the help of rambunctious rodeo queen PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz) and talented painter and lifelong friend Major Wingate (Tom Courtenay), Harry’s plan seems foolproof. That is, however, until he starts to develop feelings for PJ, causing his plan to dissever in some unexpected and Continue reading “Review: Gambit (2012)”

Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

In a world torn apart by war, drought and famine, there lies Panem, a society split into a Capitol and twelve separate districts. To compensate for past rebellions, each district must annually offer up two “tributes” to take part in the Capitol’s “Hunger Games”: a televised fight to the death. When her sister is chosen as one of the “tributes”, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a strong-willed teenage girl, volunteers herself to take her sister’s place. Alongside her male counterpart Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a lowly baker’s boy, Katniss enters The Hunger Games, only for them to find themselves in a situation like no Continue reading “Review: The Hunger Games (2012)”

Review: Burlesque (2010)

Burlesque is a predictable and cliched musical drama from writer-director Steven Antin.

The film centres on Ali (Christina Aguilera), a small-town girl who moves to L.A. and finds her place singing and dancing in a burlesque club run by a former dancer, Tess (Cher).

Antin’s script is utterly brain dead from the offset, devoid of any life or real character development and too heavy on inane cliches and much-too-obvious stereotypes. The dialogue is as insipid as the actors fumbling to deliver them.

On the subject of acting, Aguilera, in her first feature-film appearance, is forgettable as the wannabe Ali, while supporting actors in the form of Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet and Kristen Bell are left underdeveloped, despite their attempts at injecting some much-needed life and humour into the deplorable attempts at drama.

The strength of the film, therein, lies in the musical and dance numbers. If nothing else, it proves Aguilera has a powerful set of lungs, and even allows Cher the chance to make a low-key comeback with a pair of performances that, surprisingly, evoke the most emotion out of the whole production.

All in all, if it’s mindless entertainment, music and show-stopping dance numbers you’re after, then Burlesque may just be for you. If, however, you’re looking for an engaging narrative and characters you can emote with, try elsewhere.