Feb 012012
 

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Too many films, too little time! Check out our brief thoughts on 3 films currently in cinemas.

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This film epitomises the term ‘a slow burn’. A beautifully shot film which follows Gary Oldman as he is tasked with finding the mole within the upper echelons of MI6. Oldman is supported by his right-hand man, played marvelously by Benedict Cumberbatch in this complicated unravelling of lies and deceit. The ensemble cast is incredible and contains a number of great performances from the likes of Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong. The world created in the film is picture-perfect Cold War era Britain, and the muted tones really add to the depressing grey feeling. The atmospheric (and Academy Award nominated) score completes the package. Tinker Tailor isn’t for everyone though. You need to concentrate and be happy with words as weapons rather than big gun fights or chase scenes. A more thrilling film cannot be found in cinemas currently.

 

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The Descendants

George Clooney plays a Hawaiian lawyer and land baron whose wife ends up in a coma after a boating accident. Clooney, the “second parent” is forced to take care of his daughters and deal with some serious and seriously dark family matters. The stars of the film are the two daughters played by Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller. They both react to their mother’s situation and related fallout in a completely believable and raw way. Nic Krause adds some much-needed comic relief as Woodley’s seemingly bumbling friend. The film plods along at the same pace as the Hawaiian music which plays in the background during a large percentage of the film. While beautifully shot and well-written, the film often fails to connect. The slow pace and the way Clooney’s character treats his wife’s condition and his actions while she is in the coma seem shallow and unrealistic. A nice film that is just missing…. something that is hard to pin down.

 

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The Muppets

If you want a truly family film which will put a smile on the faces of all (big and small), then this is the film for you. An absolutely delightful tale of The Muppets’ fight to keep their studio from being claimed by an evil oil baron, and to be relevant again in the pop culture world. From catchy new songs, to wonderful nostalgic songs – you will be singing, you will be smiling, you will not be able to get them out of your head. If the Muppets themselves don’t amuse you enough, then the great cameos will. My personal favourite is Jim Pearson – keep an eye out for him! New Zealanders should also look out for a muppet named ‘Lew Zealand’. The feel good film of the summer!

Note: portions of these snap reviews were first posted on my tumblr

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