In praise of small cinemas and a review

Malvern Theatres entrance

[An old post, rescued from the Drafts folder.]

Last Friday I watched Iron Man 3 (verdict: meh) at my local multiplex. Comfy seats. Huge screen. Lots of choice. 3D.

This is not my preferred cinema, however, and not just because it’s expensive. Most weeks I go to the (much smaller) cinema at Malvern Theatres. Here’s why: Continue reading


X-Men: Days Of Future Past Review


So, I went to go see the new X-Men film the other day, and as is the expected course of events, I’m due to review it. But in the spirit of originality, I thought I’d make this review a little different. When I thought back to my tepid feelings towards this film upon entering, and my outright enthusiasm for it at exit, I realised that the old me was missing some vital appreciation of Wolverine and co.

I got hold of Ellen Page, who’s going by the name ‘Kitty Pryde’ of late. She agreed that by harnessing my regenerative genes, she could send me back in time to four weeks ago, thus allowing me to discuss the film with myself – to see how my pre and post opinions differ on the topic of Bryan Singer’s latest mutant mash-up. Savvy? Good. Here goes. [Cue Huey Lewis and The News]

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The Greatest of the Great Gatsby

In honor of the new movie, I’m posting here my favorite quotes from this, my favorite of all American novels. If you have other nominations, post them in the comments.

I was rather literary in college—one year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials
for the ‘Yale News’—and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the ‘well-rounded man.’

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The first thing that is immediately obvious about the new Bond movie is that it is not a sequel. I guess maybe this should not be a surprise, given that most Bond movies have always stood on their own, but after Quantum of Solace picked up where Casino Royale left off, you might be excused for believing that story line would continue into this movie as well. But no. The second thing that becomes immediately obvious is that this is a very different Bond from any we have seen before. Continue reading

Movie Review: Looper

Rian Johnson’s Looper is a multi-layered action-sci-fi-drama that delivers strong performances and a compelling, if somewhat brutal, cinematic experience.

Looper takes place in a dystopian near future.  In 2044, poverty and crime are rampant, and control of everything has been taken over by gangsters.  Time travel doesn’t exist yet, but it will three decades later, and it will be highly illegal, not well understood, and only used by criminals.  Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)  is so-called “looper,” an very specialized assasin (executioner, really) whose job it is to go to a pre-established location at a given time, and execute hog-tied, gagged and hooded persons that are zapped back from 30-years in the future as soon as they arrive in the present.  The looper then disposes of the body and collects his reward, bars of silver that are sent back with the person to be executed.  At some point, every looper knows that the crime bosses in the future may decide to “close the loop” by sending the looper’s future self back to be killed.  For this special killing, the looper is rewarded in gold bars and released from any further obligations or duties.  All of this is revealed in the movie’s first few minutes–much of it through voice-over exposition–so when Joe find himself staring at his future self (Bruce Willis), it’s not at all a  surprise, but entirely expected.  (If you’ve seen the Looper trailer, you know this is coming, but this is really all premise, not spoiler.)  But, when it does happen, something’s gone awry. Old Joe isn’t bound, gagged and hooded as expected, and this gives him just enough time to cold-cock his younger self, escape his fate, and begin pursuit of his own future-changing agenda in the past/present.  Mayhem, needless to say, ensues.

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The Dark Knight Rises

I saw this movie last night with my daughter and really liked it. Rather than write a traditional review, however, I thought I would just start a discussion on it using the things I liked and didn’t like about it, and some things I was surprised about.