CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: The Great Wall & Trespass Against Us

The Great Wall

2 Stars (2 / 5)
To misquote the film’s tagline, “Three years, $150 million to make, what were they hoping to prove?”.

Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is at best a misguided curiosity – people kept trooping in and out of my screening like it was a visitor’s ward.…

Jason Bourne AKA The Bourne Variations AKA Bourne… Again?

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

After almost a decade off the grid, Jason Bourne has returned in a film titled, somewhat unimaginatively, Jason Bourne.

No identities, supremacies, ultimatums, or legacies; just the man himself, played once again by Matt Damon. With Paul Greengrass back directing, too, it’s almost like he never went away.…

The Martian: by far the best film to maroon Matt Damon in space

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Are the 2010s the decade that made space travel cool again?

Gravity swept the Academy Awards back in 2013, Interstellar reminded us of the potential wonders of the universe in a way that no one had arguably done since Kubrick – Marvel even got in on the action with Guardians of the Galaxy.…

Elysium is a gritty, high-in-the-sky moral fable

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

It’s probably premature on the strength of one film to call a filmmaker a genius.

Orson Welles might have earned that plaudit based on Citizen Kane or maybe Jean-Luc Goddard for A Bout De Souffle, Rob Reiner for This Is Spinal Tap, Pajit Ray for Pather Panchali, or Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs.…

Behind the Candelabra seeks the flesh behind the fabric and gold leaf

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Has any superstar disappeared from the public consciousness as fully as Liberace?

The man once known as the world’s greatest entertainer, Elvis before there was an Elvis, is now, twenty-five years after his death, all but unknown to the current generation.

Bourne Legacy ultimately has nowhere to run

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

I’ll admit to having been been dismissive of this addition to the Bourne series when it appeared in cinemas last year.

For one thing, Paul Greengrass, director of Bourne’s Supremacy and Ultimatum, had handed over control of the franchise, and perhaps more dramatically, Matt Damon, Jason Bourne himself, would not be returning.…