Teen movies have not exactly had the best of reputations in the past. Sure, there are some genuinely brilliant ones like Mean Girls or Clueless, but for every great teen movie there seems to about a dozen bad ones. The one we’re looking at today firmly fits into that category, as it’s a remake of an already not very highly regarded French film, and it stars Miley Cyrus. Now I don’t know about you, but when I first read that I rolled my eyes so hard they flew out of my skull. However, I’m never one for pre-judging, and I try to go into everything unbiased. So is LOL the push Miley Cyrus’ career needs to get her accepted as an actress by the mainstream public?
For a franchise that latterly revolves around huge international heists and globe-spanning adventures it’s sometimes easy to forget that The Fast and the Furious started as a simple street racing film. Proving an unqualified success, it is now one of the longest-running and multi-parted film franchises that continue to draw people into cinemas with the promise of high-octane action, car chases and soap opera melodrama.
Directed by Don Scardino, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a magic-based comedy that pokes gentle fun at the old-style Vegas magicians as well as the modern stunt artists. In Las Vegas, magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are successful headliners, who appear to have lost the passion for magic. After the arrival of growing global superstar Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) whose unique form of magic involves self-abuse on a dramatic scale, the old school pairing split-up and go their separate ways. Having hit rock bottom, Burt goes to do a show in a retirement home and stumbles upon legendary magician Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin) and with the help of former assistant-turned-magician Jane (Olivia Wilde) they attempt to win back their audience.
Arguably the greatest American literary work, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz-age love tale The Great Gatsby has seen four previous film adaptations all of which failed to capture the essence of the famous novella. These bring us to director Baz Luhrmann and his attempts brings his undoubted eye for style and excess to this latest version, reuniting with Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time since he’s imaginative take on Romeo + Juliet.
There are elements of misfit horror thrillers that are strangely comforting. Sure the outsider has a tough time at school/college/home and never quite fits within the cookie-cutter mould of normality, but eventually, after some dramatic changes to their life they’ll find their niche, they home, their comfort. Excision is not that kind of film. At all.
“From the makers of Ice Age” blazoned the poster for Blue Sky’s new animated film Epic and much like their previous global box office success, this is a mixed bag in terms of quality. Following the success of Brave, it is to no surprise that lesser quality incarnations would follow. What Epic does have going for it are its visuals. Lush, rich and mesmerising to look at, if there’s a better looking animated film in 2013 I’ll be surprised. Sadly as anyone who has grown up watching animated films will tell you, looks fade. It won’t be long before this level of technology seems ordinary and the legacy of films like Epic relies on the depth of character and strength of story-telling. This is where it all falls apart.
Apparently turning 21 entails a shaggy-dog story of misadventures including tampon-scoffing, runaway balls and concluding your alcoholic enlightenment with a circumcision by teddy bear. 21 & Over screams, or rather drunkenly hollers, ‘live life to the fullest!’
The Fast & Furious films have to be one of the more interesting franchise stories. Blowing out the gate with the mediocre original before going off the boil with two pretty terrible sequels, it was given the breath of life by director Justin Lin and with the best instalment of the lot Fast & Furious 5. It became a global money-spinner, and thus with the melodrama turned up, the overly macho series rolls coolly into its London-based sixth episode, Fast & Furious 6.
Timing they say, is everything. Imagine director and co-writer Mike Cahill’s reaction when he found out that his bold, low-fi science fiction drama Another Earth was to be released mere weeks after Lars von Trier‘s similarly themed Melancholia. You wait for a neat, original idea for ages and then the same one appears in two films in two weeks. Even more frustrating for Cahill and his lead star and other co-writer Brit Marling is that theirs is the lesser of the two films. That’s not to say that it’s bad though, far from it in fact.
Dead Man Down revolves around Victor (Colin Farrell), a bodyguard for a vicious kingpin named Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who has been receiving various letters with parts of pictures, notes, and various other threats, and is slowly closing in on them. Victor must unravel the secret of who is threatening his boss, why, and how it connects to a mysterious woman (Noomi Rapace), who has taken an unusual interest in him.