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captain america

One of Marvel’s cleverest achievements was the sly way they brought their most problematic figure, Captain America, to the screen by turning the jingoistic flag waver into a representative of the country’s lost ideals.

A scene from Son of Saul

The winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language is a Holocaust film. It’s also objectively, indisputably, as-clear-as-the-nose-on-your-face a brilliant piece of film making.

Louder Than Bombs

This small scale American indie offers a variation on the can-of-worms drama about the dysfunctional family meeting up at a funeral.

Bastille Day

There are a number of arguments against Idris Elba being the next Bond and let’s not pretend being black isn’t one of them.

Paris

WIN tickets to Lady In The Van at Curzon

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Lady In The Van starring Dame Maggie Smith.

The Curzon in Clevedon is providing audiences with a second chance to watch Dame Maggie Smith at her absolute comedy best this week.

Batman v Superman

Within the opening ten minutes ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ shows all the classic traits of a superhero movie: massive visual effects, explosions left right and centre, civilians in danger running across the street and a sense of desperation mirrored by the doom-impending soundtrack.

A scene from Brand New Testament

The premise of this Belgian comedy is basically that of the song, “What if God was one of us/ just a slob like one of us.”

Alan Rickman in Eye in the Sky. Picture: Keith Bernstein

One of George W Bush’s many failings was his propensity for starting wars - Iraq/ Afghanistan/ On Terror - that didn’t produce good war films.

Africa
Bagheera voiced by Ben Kingsley and Neel Sethi as Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Picture: Disney Entreprises

Even for Disney, two talking animal films in a month seems excessive.

A still from I Am Belfast

A new film by a former presenter of Moviedrome, the Sunday night ‘80s/’90s BBC2 cult movie strand, is not an exciting prospect.

Robin Williams stars in Boulevard, his last on-screen appearance

In Boulevard, Robin Williams plays a dissatisfied, unhappy man living a lie, who feels like he’s wasted his life.

Midnight Special. Picture: Ben Rothstein

Our critic wonders if he’s missing something after watching tale of a child with supernatural powers

United States
Tatsuya Nakadai as Lord Hidetora in Akira Kurosawa's Ran (1985). Photo courtesy of Rialto Pictures.

The Seven Samurai aside, I could never quite get the lauding of Kurosawa, but the idea that the best way to adapt King Lear is to cut down on the yap and greatly increase the number of gee-gees was clearly a stroke of genius.

Japan
Eddie the Eagle

*****

Brilliantly British, Eddie The Eagle - one of 2016’s biggest crowd pleaders - will have you smiling and willing him on as an underdog the whole way through.

Germany
A still from Victoria

At the end of two-and-a-quarter hours, the first name to appear in the credits is that of the cameraman.

Grimsby

Sacha Baren Cohen’s latest foray into film is a laugh-a-minute rollercoaster ride taking in comedy and action.

Taron Egerton, left, stars as Eddie the Eagle alongside Hugh Jackman, right. Picture: Larry Horricks

If there is one thing the British excel at, it is plucky underdog stories. So it was inevitable that one day there would be an Eddie Edwards film, the man who after less than a year in the sport competed in the ski jump in the 1988 Winter Olympics. That it would feature Hugh Jackman was much less so.

A scene from The Club

It’s a film about Catholic priests so, as you’d expect, it’s full of graphic sex talk.

Rozzi Nicholson-Lailey and Rob Angell star in The Railway Children. Picture: Anthony Robling

Don’t worry: it is not a remake, your treasured memories of Jenny Agutter waving her red knickers are not about to be denigrated and despoiled.

London
Zootropolis.©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Strange as it may seem, for around a decade Disney were at the back of the animation field.

Batman v Superman

They said of Superman: The Movie, you’ll believe a man can fly. Of Batman v Superman they’ll say you’ll believe that Man Of Steel wasn’t so bad after all.

John Goodman stars alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane. Picture: Michele K. Short/Paramount

“Please, no spoilers,” the man from Paramount requested of reviewers as we went in and that seems entirely reasonable.

New York
Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) leads his Roman soldiers during the zealot battle in Risen. Picture: Rosie Collins

One of the best things about movies these days is that they are a lot less violent than they used to be.

Tom Hiddleston and Elisabeth Moss star in High Rise

High Rise is yesterday’s dystopian vision today.

Next To Her

Asaf Korman’s claustrophobic film about a woman whose life revolves around caring for her severely mentally challenged younger sister Gaby (Ivgy) in a cluttered noisy flat, offers an unadorned view of the world, one without thrills or sentiment.

Kung Fu Panda

Dreamworks animation may not have the class or invention of Pixar or Disney, but they rarely fail to deliver fun.

David Thewlis voices Michael Stone and Jennifer Jason Leigh voices Lisa in the animated stop-motion film, ANOMALISA, by Paramount Pictures

Kaufman uses stop motion to tell this simple story of a one night stand and it proves an effective way to evoke life’s joy and sorrow of living.

Truth

The UK release of Truth, a film about TV journalists losing their careers while trying to investigate how strings were pulled to get the young George W. Bush out of serving in Vietnam, has two big things going against it.

United Kingdom
LHF_DAY_20_CR_0154.NEF
London has Fallen

Flying a US President (Eckhart) into London for the state funeral of the British PM would always be a risky assignment.

United States
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Coen Bros – audience. Audience – Coen Bros. It’s never been an easy relationship.

Film Review: Deadpool

Friday, March 4, 2016
Deadpool

It’s been a good ol’ while since I enjoyed myself at the cinema as much as I did when I saw Deadpool. The film has shot to the top of the box office on both sides of the Atlantic, which is no mean feat considering that it’s so profane and bloody.

The cast of A Bigger Splash. Picture: Paolo Roversi

This exploration of the souring of ‘60s hedonism is an exercise in bougeois film-making, though Michael Joyce can’t help but enjoy it.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith star in Columbia Pictures' Concussion. Picture: Melinda Sue Gordon

But for recent events, Will Smith’s latest has all the hallmarks of a failed Oscar pleader, says Michael Joyce.

Deadpool. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Its decision to break the fourth wall could backfire, but Marvel’s latest is a welcome apology for 2015’s awful Fantastic Four, says Michael Joyce.

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