Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Director: David Fincher Stars: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer ***originally written 30 December 2011*** If David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo achieves anything that Niels Arden Oplev’s movie doesn’t, it will hopefully be selling the idea to the rest of Hollywood that there is an audience for thoughtful, intelligent adult-orientated cinema again. …

Review: The Thing

Director: Matthijs van Hejningen Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ulrich Thomsen, Joel Edgerton ***originally written 2 December 2011*** Welcome to a cave of forgotten nightmares. When news first broke a couple of years ago that there was going to be a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing (it’s official title – and one that it’s going …

Review: The Rum Diary

Director: Bruce Robinson Stars: Johnny Depp, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard ***originally written 28 November 2011*** I apologise in advance that this review is for the most part built as a comparison to two other larger cultural icons. The Rum Diary arrives laden with a curious amount of so-called ‘counter-culture’ expectation thanks to the creative minds …

Review: The Ides Of March

Director: George Clooney Stars: Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood ***originally written 4 November 2011*** Poor George Clooney. Having been gift-wrapped A-list status in the mid-to-late nineties, The Most Charming Man In Hollywood has made concerted efforts not to waste the opportunity. Constantly favouring smaller, quirkier projects rather than the typical superstar vehicles, he …

Review: Melancholia

Director: Lars Von Trier Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland ***originally written 17 October 2011*** Kirsten Dunst plays Justine, and she has just been wed to Michael (Alexander Skarsgard). They’re an altogether unfairly beautiful couple, and their wedding reception has been planned lovingly by Justine’s sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and heavily financed by Claire’s …

Review: Drive

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks ***originally written 9 October 2011*** I know nothing about cars. Really, despite God knows how many cumulative hours of Top Gear, nothing has stuck. Even my housemate Tom knows how to approach me on the subject of cars. This brief conversation happened just yesterday: …

Review: The Guard

Director: John Michael McDonagh Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong ***originally written 12 September 2011*** The Guard doesn’t appear to have had a lot of publicity, or perhaps I’ve just not been in the right places to see it. But there doesn’t appear to have been much buzz about it. Mentioning to several people …

Review: Arrietty

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi ***originally written 17 August 2011*** I’ve never read The Borrowers. Never seen the movie starring John Goodman from 1997. So I came to Arrietty, the latest film from the wonderful Studio Ghibli, with no real expectations of any kind concerning the source material. This was, to me, just the latest work from …

Review: Super 8

Director: J.J. Abrams Stars: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney ***originally written 10 August 2011*** J.J. Abrams likes secrets. From the marketing strategy of Cloverfield, to the entire bait-the-audience storytelling of Lost (and we’ll come back to Lost later), Abrams knows that what interests the audience the most is often what they either don’t know, …

Review: Super

Director: James Gunn Stars: Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler, Elliot Page ***originally written 3 August 2011*** I wanted to see Super at the cinema. I read about it in last month's Empire, it sounded good, I made a point of looking out for it. Then it turned up on DVD *immediately* with, it seems, no cinema …