Review: Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (2011)

When conservative fisheries expert Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) receives an unexpected request from legal representative Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), he finds himself embroiled in a wealthy sheikh’s ludicrous dream of introducing salmon fishing into the Yemen. After the project receives backing from the British government as a way of diverting attention away from their latest blunder in the Middle-East, Fred slowly finds the faith needed to turn a dream into a reality.

Adapted from Paul Torday’s acclaimed novel, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy employs neat tactics to ensure the narrative plays out at a believable, tempered Continue reading “Review: Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (2011)”

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Review: The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (2012)

Labelled a fool by the pirate consortium, Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) enters the world famous Pirate of the Year awards in a bid to prove to his crew and his rival captains – Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven), Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry) – that there’s more to him than meets the eye. After a false start, the crew cross paths with scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant) who makes a discovery that’s sure to cement the Pirate Captain’s win.

Made by the creative team responsible for Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run and last year’s CGI holiday fare Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Continue reading “Review: The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (2012)”

Review: The Cabin In The Woods (2011)

Five unsuspecting college friends – Dana (Kristen Connolly), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams) and Marty (Fran Kranz) – head off to a ramshackle cabin in the woods for a weekend of alcohol-fuelled frolics. However, when Dana stumbles upon a cellar filled with thousand-year-old trinkets and relics, all hell breaks loose as she inadvertently seals their fate.

Both a reverential love letter to and parody of the oft-told cabin in the woods scenario, The Cabin In The Woods takes the expectations derived from an easily Continue reading “Review: The Cabin In The Woods (2011)”

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: The Kid With A Bike (2011)

Disregarded by his father (Jérémie Renier) for no apparent reason, Cyril (Thomas Doret) longs for a normal childhood and to escape the children’s home he’s been placed in. He sees a new opportunity when he happens upon friendly mother figure Samantha (Cécilie De France), who agrees to take care of him on weekends, but his turbulent past leaves him unsure how to handle his emotions and new found security.

Slight, yes, but that’s what makes The Kid With A Bike such a tender, heart-warming and true-to-life depiction of the innocence of childhood and one child’s Continue reading “Review: The Kid With A Bike (2011)”

Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)

When best friends Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) realise that they’re out of their policing depth even as park officers, the former high-school enemies are assigned to a newly revived undercover division on 21 Jump Street, spearheaded by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube).  The death of a careless teenager, Billiam (Johnny Simmons), reveals the spread of a new drug at the local school, prompting Schmidt and Jenko back to class as “teenagers”, to infiltrate and put an end to the drug ring before anyone else is hurt.

Taking its name and supposedly many of the sensibilities from the cult 1980’s TV series, 21 Jump Street is every bit as hysterical, crude, action-packed and self- Continue reading “Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)”

Review: Trishna (2011)

While in India managing a hotel, Jay (Riz Ahmed) meets Trishna (Freida Pinto), a soft-spoken, hard-working young woman living in one of the country’s poorest areas. In a bid to spend more time with her, and improve her situation, Jay invites Trishna to work at his hotel. As they spend more and more time together, their feelings develop and the opportunity to relocate to Mumbai becomes irresistible. However, when Jay’s father (Roshan Seth) suffers a heart attack and they’re forced back to where they started, they discover that their relationship isn’t exactly as it appears.

Adapted from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Trishna sees the well known story relocated. The changes accentuate not only the novel’s main theme – Continue reading “Review: Trishna (2011)”

Review: Bel Ami (2012)

Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) is a peasant. Finding himself in Paris, he’s taken under the wing of old friend Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister), who lands him employment as a political writer and introduces him to three high society ladies: his wife Madeleine Forestier (Uma Thurman), Virginie Walters (Kristen Scott Thomas) and Clotilde De Marelle (Christina Ricci). Through means of seduction, betrayal and deception, Georges slowly rises from poverty to wealth, but it all comes at a price.

The concept of one man’s elevation to wealth and power through any means necessary is a fascinating one, and, perhaps with a screenwriter more attuned Continue reading “Review: Bel Ami (2012)”

Review: Hush (2008)

As Zakes (Will Ash) and Beth (Christine Bottomley) speed along the M1 late at night, stopping at various service stations to allow him to put posters up, they catch a glimpse of a naked woman in the back of a lorry that stops suddenly in front of them. After an argument about what they’ve seen, bringing to a head their tumultuous relationship, Beth mysteriously vanishes. Believing her disappearance has something to do with the lorry, Zakes embarks on a chase to save the one he loves.

Although the narrative is fairly derivative, Hush is rooted in its ability to create an overwhelming sense of unease, rather than relying on cheap tricks Continue reading “Review: Hush (2008)”

Review: John Carter (2012)

Ex-Civil War Captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is on the run, looking for a quiet life. Upon being forcibly re-enlisted, he finds himself caught in the crossfire of a skirmish somewhere in the desert of Virginia. Looking for cover, he stumbles upon a strange cave, and before he knows what’s happening he is somehow transported to Mars – known locally as “Barsoom”. Confused, disorientated and struggling to control his strength in such low gravity, Carter makes his escape from the four-armed, insect like “Thark” aboriginal warriors who found and claimed him, only to be set upon by Deja Thoris (Lynn Collins), Princess of Continue reading “Review: John Carter (2012)”