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Showing posts from June, 2013

Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, that's just human nature.

World War Z (2013) (SPOILERS) Summer 2013 has proved unfortunately consistent in one key respect so far; movies have engrossed and enthralled for the first half-to-two-thirds of their running time, only to fizzle into narrative incoherence or disappointment during the final act; Oblivion , Star Trek , Man of Steel , now World War Z . Only Iron Man Three is left standing proud. It is never less than apparent that WWZ is no more than a string of well-executed set pieces; an increasingly familiar rendition of the apocalypse on an enormous scale, but with absolutely nothing new to say about it. But it’s still something of a miracle World War Z is as good as it is, given the turbulent production history and its director’s lack of distinction in the action department. Of course, summer action movies aren’t renowned for social or political commentary even if they are often ripe for discovering such (unintended) subtext. One could even argue that the zombie movie,

Not a very popular place with the brothers.

48 Hrs. (1982) As big screen debuts go, Eddie Murphy’s must be the one to beat. He arrives as a fully-formed star, and his performance as Reggie Hammond is deceptively confident. As the passing decades have proved, success on SNL is no guarantee of a sure-thing acting career. Murphy’s an instant natural, though. Yet he adopts a less out-and-out comic persona than in Beverly Hills Cop a couple of years later.  He’s able to fit seamlessly into Walter Hill’s supercharged cop action and isn’t at all out of place trading insults with “proper” actor Nick Nolte. Could you imagine Chevy Chase doing the same? It’s the banter, and unlikely chemistry, between Murphy and Nolte that ensure 48 Hrs. is still worth a look, but there's not much else to it. Credit where it’s due, though. This film launched the whole buddy cop movie cycle and established any number of careers, not just Murphy’s. Walter Hill’s career was beginning to take off, but 48 Hrs. gave it a huge sho

Courage is no match for an unfriendly shoe, Countess…

For Your Eyes Only (1981) You can’t fault Cubby Broccoli’s decision to tighten the purse strings following the enormous expense of Moonraker . That film paid off, but it wouldn’t make economic sense to make a habit of such profligacy. Nor were Michael G. Wilson and John Glen wrong in feeling that the series should put a brake on the fantasy; the science fiction trappings of that entry were pushing it even for a series renowned for excess in plotting and spectacle. But neither of these decisions needed to result in the stodgy, joyless affair that is For Your Eyes Only . Diamonds are Forever , on an obviously limited budget, managed to be one of the most distinctive Bond films, both in terms of script and visuals. No one seemed to realise that a stripped-down, grim-faced Roger Moore Bond is a bland Bond. Bond : He had no head for heights. It should be noted that many Bond aficionados hold FYEO in high esteem precisely because of the back-to-basics ethos