Film: The Call

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2013, Directed by Brad Anderson, written by Richard D’Ovidio, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin

Third Act Syndrome. I’m starting to wonder wonder whether there’s been some kind of contagious outbreak in old Tinseltown that’s in desperate need of medical attention, such is the number of current Hollywood screenwriters managing to undo all the good work of the first hour with a dodgy final thirty. The Call suffers from one of the most viscous cases of Third Act Syndrome documented thus far, introducing a twist that trivialises the film and beggars belief. Continue reading

Film: Looper

The cast/crew bit: written/directed by Rian Johnson, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis & Emily Blunt

The ten-word synopsis: 2044: a futuristic assassin has to assassinate his future self.

We are living in a post-Inception world. Ever since Christopher Nolan not just got the backing to make possibly the most ambitious film of the last ten years, but also made it a success, studios have been clamouring to find ‘the next Inception’. Last year we saw the likes of The Adjustment Bureau and we’ve only just been hit by Total Recall, which was a pretty desperate attempt to cash in on the sudden interest in smart action movies. Neither of these matched either the box-office or critical success of the Nolan film, with the dream-bending masterwork looking further and further out of reach. Not so much anymore. Rian Johnsons’ Looper is the first of the new breed of smart sci-fi thrillers to not only match Inception blow-for-blow, but to also surpass it with a few sneaky hits of its own. Continue reading

Film: Premium Rush

The cast/crew bit: directed by David Koepp, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon and Dania Ramerez

The ten-word synopsis: Bike messenger must deliver a valuable package whilst being chased

For my money, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the best actor in America right now. He’s versatile, he’s likeable and he’s engaging. He seems to live and breath as each character, adding an believability that very few actors of his stature can craft without seeping into essentially ‘being Joseph Gordon-Levitt’. While he successfully negotiates that trap in Premium Rush, it would have been far too much for him to ask to turn New York bike messenger Wiley into the kind of believable, human character we’ve seen from Gordon-Levitt in the past. Continue reading