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  • 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' Movie Review
    is touching moments of truth about mortality as told from the teenage perspective What does it mean when someone who s not even left school behind is staring death in the face And more specifically what does that mean for those who have grown to care about them The film poses these questions in a way that s grown up and forthright while still being relatable to those who are and once were the age of the main characters It s got lovely performances at the heart of it Mann plays Gregg with all the amiable likeability of an 80s John Hughes character if this movie had been made back then he would have been played by John Cusack or Matthew Broderick Although he s not in it as much as the title might suggests Cyler as best friend Earl provides the sparky outlandish yin to Mann s more laid back yang Then there s Cooke who injects a real sense of humanity and authenticity to a potentially trite Manic Pixie Dream Girl character There have been complaints that the film is too much about Greg while the so called Dying Girl and particularly Earl are afterthoughts in comparison I don t agree It s living up to the title in so far as Me takes first place and indeed centre stage Not that it ignores how terrible the disease is on the girl who gets it becoming the object of obligated sympathy from everyone around her but the film is primarily about how it relates to Gregg It almost acts as a cinematic coping mechanism told through the prism of the helpless on looker And while it s not as much of an outright weepy as something like The Fault In Our Stars it still packs a commendable emotional punch Directed with real visual flourish by Alfonso Gomez Rejon The Town That Dreaded Sundown remake in a way that seems to tip its hat to the perfectionist stylings of Wes Anderson and set to a beautiful score by Brian Eno and Nico Muhly Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the epitome of the more than meets the eye teen movie It has just enough quirky touches to give it personality while at the same time sidestepping the potential idiosyncratic trappings that drag down other films of this ilk It has a real feeling of warmth and sincerity that s very appealing and a sharp sense of wit to get its points across alfonso gomez rejon connie britton featured jesse andrews me and earl and the dying girl movie reviews new releases nick offerman olivia cooke rj cyler thomas mann About the Author I m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 7 years of experience writing for various different websites In addition to my running editing and writing for Thoughts On Film I am also the freelance Film TV editor for Scotland based student magazine website Scotcampus I have a passion for all types of cinema

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl-movie-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • 'Sinister 2' Movie Review
    off as copycatting the first one rather than putting any sort of unique directorial stamp on it It relies far too heavily on the murder reels themselves the first one had only a handful and skilfully used them at just the right moments building tension so that you dreaded every time Hawke sat down to view the next one Here it just uses them as a sort of horror safety net with neither the atmosphere nor inventiveness within the reels themselves to back that up It also takes a bizarre and unexpected swerve in the last third that takes a leaf out of Children of the Corn s book that just feels confusing and like it comes from a different film Then there s the lead actor Hawke helped elevate what could have been a clichéd obsessed writer figure into something substantial and empathetic But as much as Ransone is a likeable presence TV fans may recognise him from season 2 of The Wire he isn t the type of actor who can carry a whole film like this What was before some welcome comedic relief now takes centre stage clunky exposition included and it s rather unconvincing and ineffective when he s supposed to be our anchor throughout the spook goings on Lastly and this may be the film s worst sin is that it moves forward with a pretty cool horror mythology but often negates what we know already jumping neatly into the same category as the awful The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death in that respect Now of course a sequel particularly in this most crowded of genres should be able to try something different and or expand on the established mythos But there s a difference between revealing more and just breaking rules for example our camera viewpoint for some of the murderous events just shouldn t be possible within this particular world as it was first presented It s at the very least unfair to the audience who have come back for more and at worst detrimental and confusing to a narrative that s already hindered by clichés and thin character development Sinister 2 is far from the worst example of this kind of modern supernatural bumps in the night horror it s not The Gallows that s for sure It has decent performances for the material particularly Shannyn Sossamon as a mother often too distracted trying to keep custody of her two sons to really notice the supernatural events plaguing their lives and the general concept of the villainous boogeyman Bughuul remains unnerving and fascinating in equal measure But it s ultimately bland and forgettable and that just should not have been the case given the concept it had As it stands it s nothing that a decent straight to DVD horror couldn t best blumhouse featured movie reviews new releases sinister sinister 2 About the Author I m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 7 years of experience writing

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/sinister-2-movie-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie Review
    a point but you do wish it would just get on with things a bit more than it does Even the baddies threat of world destruction doesn t feel like that much of a big deal Outright thrills then are evidently far down this film s checklist of priorities instead far more interested in the overall style of the era in which it s set the suits the hair the make up the way people carry themselves If it was set in modern times it would be too busy taking selfies and posting them on Instagram to worry about much else It has personality and charm to spare in the style departmant thanks in no small part to the performances of the leads Cavill gets a chance to let loose in a way that any fans of the Christopher Reeve era of Superman would like to see him allowed to do as the Man of Steel while Hammer is a lot of fun as the yin to Cavill s slick spy yang if you can forgive the distractingly over the top Russian accent Their banter is easily the highlight of the film loaded as it is with plentiful supplies of innuendo and macho one upmanship Then there s Vikander as the professional and hintingly romantic object of the two men s mission It would be quicker to name the movies she isn t a part of these days when was the last time an actress shot to fame and so many major roles in such a short period of time and she fits perfectly into this slick and glossy 60s spy world She plays what could have been a trite predictable character with a nice sense of ambiguity so you re never quite sure whose side she s on and what she ll do next Even Hugh Grant whose persona that made him such a phenomenon in the 90s doesn t seem to have much of a place in today s cinema age shines in a small but crucial role Ultimately what we have with this simultaneous update and throwback of an old idea is an experience that s more style than substance more Paris fashion week than thrilling blockbuster no matter how many lacking action sequences it throws at you to convince its both in equal measure But the style is glamourous enough the interplay between the solidly capable cast charming enough and the tone entertainingly light hearted enough that it just about gets away with it all It s clearly setting things up in hope of a franchise and if it does here s hoping they give it a bit more oomph next time alicia vikander armie hammer featured guy ritchie henry cavill hugh grant movie reviews the man from uncle About the Author I m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 7 years of experience writing for various different websites In addition to my running editing and writing for Thoughts On Film I am also

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/the-man-from-uncle-movie-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • 'Hot Pursuit' Movie Review
    menstruation jokes Even the old handcuffed to the prisoner gag gets dragged out It s like director Anne Fletcher 27 Dresses The Guilt Trip and screenwriters David Feeney and John Quaintance don t realise just how many mis matched buddy movies there have been and are content with throwing the entire book of clichés at us and expecting us to chortle at them for the privilege The idea of pitting two opposite personalities against one another isn t exactly fresh but that s not the real issue there are plenty of comedies that still employ that conceit and manage to make it work No the issue here is just how relentlessly depressingly unfunny it manages to be despite it s best efforts of firing out so called jokes at a pretty consistent rate If you look closely at any given moment there s a tumbleweed blowing past Witherspoon has proved in the past with the likes of Legally Blonde that she can do comedy well and Vergara has won numerous deserving Emmys for her role on TV s Modern Family where good writing compliments the persona But they have a underdeveloped characters to work with here Witherspoon is little more than a strong Texan accent and a half baked height joke while Vergara simply takes her over the top Latin persona to shrill new heights They are extremely hard to like or care about spouting words that vaguely resemble jokes but woefully miss the target on just about every occasion It covers a lot of the same ground as Paul Feig s The Heat but there Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy had material with a little bite to it to work with this feels like a lifeless wimpier attempt at doing the same thing Even if a comedy lacks in the laugh department overall it at least gives you five or six decent giggles then it s just about done its job Unfortunately Hot Pursuit does nothing of the sort providing an obnoxious loud shockingly laugh free experience from beginning to end wasting the talents of its two leads who are clearly just there to pick up the hefty paycheque and setting what feels like a new record for most comedy cop movie clichés done in a non spoof movie It doesn t do anything to offend on a moral level but for those that expect comedies to be funny and that would be everyone it s equally unpleasant featured hot pursuit movie reviews new releases reese witherspoon sofia vergara About the Author I m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 7 years of experience writing for various different websites In addition to my running editing and writing for Thoughts On Film I am also the freelance Film TV editor for Scotland based student magazine website Scotcampus I have a passion for all types of cinema and have a particular love for foreign language film especially South Korean and Japanese cinema Favourite films include The Big Lebowski Pulp

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/hot-pursuit-movie-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Review
    modern gadgets and globe trotting adventuring Rogue Nation is a pleasingly old school film at heart It s the closest in spirit to the original 60s TV series since Brian De Palma s 1996 cinematic reboot and makes it feel more like a team effort than ever before Hunt is a world class secret agent one really does wonder who would win if he ever went up against Bond and Bourne but he s nothing without his team and the film always has that in the back of its mind if not right at the forefront And it s the camaraderie between the team that s part of why the film is so enjoyable each serving their own distinct purpose they re better drawn as characters than they ve ever been and Pegg s sardonic yet loveable computer expert Benji providing lots of welcome comic relief from the often breath taking action sequences Bringing Swedish stunner Ferguson into the mix is a brilliant move she more than holds her own against Cruise in the action sequences and rather refreshingly she s not just there as a piece of eye candy a stand out as much if not more for her brains and fighting skills as her beauty Sean Harris makes for a subtly menacing villain controlling things from behind the curtain like a terrorist Wizard of Oz although it would have been nice for him to come out to play a little more than he does Reuniting with his Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie he also wrote Cruise vehicles Valkyrie and Edge of Tomorrow there s a slick effortless to the action sequences that really help sell the more outlandish moments finding ways to make what would otherwise be been there done that sequences notably a showdown above an opera performance fresh and interesting to look at From the aforementioned plane sequence to a terrific car motorcycle chase through the old streets of Casablanca you re never short of eye popping how did they do that action It s a fairly convoluted plot wrapped inside a simplistic premise with enough twists and turns to make a Bourne screenwriter s head spin but lest we forget McQuarrie wrote one of the kings of keep you on your toes American cinema The Usual Suspects so he makes sure it never gets tied up in knots and most importantly always keeps things thoroughly compelling There are times when the plot verges on high farce namely when it brings a certain British political figurehead into the mix which can be a bit of a distraction from the action but it has charm to spare and thus just about gets away with it There a few other niggles to be had here and there when it comes to plot contrivances needed to things going quickly from A to B but it d be hard to complain about Rogue Nation in its entirety As an overall piece of summer blockbuster it delivers the goods and then

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/mission-impossible-rogue-nation-movie-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • 'The Gallows' Movie Review
    jaw droppingly free of any such scenes It comes to us from Blumhouse the same studio that has found success in recent years with the likes of Paranormal Activity Insidious Sinister and The Purge to name but a few all films that at least initially did something interesting with the horror genre and tapped into a certain type of fear that s kept audiences coming back for more This has no such special quality about it playing more as a badly made production line effort churned out to grab some quick cash from the Friday night crowd who just turn up and pay for anything that a happens to be on at the right time and b promises loud noises in the dark The found footage aspect certainly doesn t help either It s a style that has become so overused in the last few years that it induces groans upon the realisation that the film at hand is going to be employing it and it has to work damn hard from the offset to prove it s not going to be just the same as the rest But The Gallows is perfectly willing to just play in that sandbox employing a bag of tricks that are so stale that it might as well come with an out of date expiration label Perhaps worst of all the film tries to thrust this legend on us about this killer named Charlie who uses a noose to terrorize and kill his victims It s not admittedly the worst idea for a new horror creation as you could easily boil down the likes of Freddy Krueger Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers to the same simplified level But the proof is in the bloodied pudding with this sort of thing and The Gallows undercooked mythology simply isn t good enough and a frankly insulting cheap trick of an ending only amplifies just how ineffective and lacking in substance it is Is this what is supposed to pass for horror We know it doesn t The recent one two punch of unsettling horror greatness The Babadook and It Follows to name but a mere couple vehemently proves that The Gallows is nothing more than a shoddily made unoriginal mess of a horror that just hangs there dead and lifeless like the threatened victims of Charlie s not so scary noose We deserve better than this cassidy spilker featured movie reviews pfeifer ross reese houser ryan shoos the gallows About the Author I m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 7 years of experience writing for various different websites In addition to my running editing and writing for Thoughts On Film I am also the freelance Film TV editor for Scotland based student magazine website Scotcampus I have a passion for all types of cinema and have a particular love for foreign language film especially South Korean and Japanese cinema Favourite films include The Big Lebowski Pulp Fiction and 2001 A Space Odyssey Twitter

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/the-gallows-movie-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • 'Terminator Genisys' Review
    of the originals for support not so much hat tipping but rather pointing a giant foam finger shouting Remember that scene in a way that will leave new unfamiliar viewers cold At the same time as a modern blockbuster with all the new age CGI bells and whistles it merely blends into that most crowded of crowds This is undoubtedly a by product of the cinematic age in which we live where liquid metal is no longer ground breaking but nevertheless it does nothing to create any sort of memorable blockbuster experience Now that s not to say that the movie is completely worthless A major plus point is the performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger he said he d be back didn t he who by now has that character perfected down to an absolute tee and he seems to be the only truly self aware so to speak actor in the film His comic relief trying to blend in with an unsettling forced smile etc is a welcome break from an otherwise po faced instalment it s not quite at the level of Salvation on that front but there are moments that definitely come close Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor Emilia Clarke has a lot of beauty and screen presence and she can certainly hold her own in a male driven world as any Game of Thrones fans will know and she s solid here but doesn t get anywhere near to filling the considerable boots of Linda Hamilton Courtney continues to be a charisma vacuum of the highest order along with the A Good Day to Die Hard this is another fifth franchise instalment marred by his sheer presence and there are several other actors namely J K Simmons and South Korean superstar Byung hun Lee as this film s superfluous liquid T 1000 woefully underutilized in nothing roles The action sequences are fine perfectly watchable in the modern blockbuster sense but that s all they are and in an age where there are so many big movies like this coming out that just isn t enough There s no real flair in their direction or content and so it ends up just lurching from one ordinary set piece to another without a single one that will have you dying to talk about with friends afterwards While it s not the outright disaster that it had the potential to be and let s be honest that a lot of us were truly expecting Terminator Genisys is nevertheless another disappointing instalment in a once great franchise Where T2 in particular posed fascinating questions about everything from the logic of time travel to the responsibility of humans when it comes to creating technology which had you pondering long after the credits rolled this feels like it throws up questions that it doesn t know how to answer they are confusing rather than complex a distraction rather than a welcome challenge The film is just about passable fare if you re not

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/terminator-genisys-review/ (2016-04-26)
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  • EIFF 2015: 'Love & Mercy' Review
    of as much zest for life and music as he is ideas for how to create not just new songs but new techniques with which they can be arranged it s in this segment that the film gracefully explores that age old idea of the genius not being appreciated or understood in his time as he hears fragments of notes swirling around his head and spends hours upon hours trying to realise them in the studio much to the annoyance of almost everyone around him who just want to get on and do just more of the same Cusack has rarely been better as the older Brian and he has arguably the more difficult task of the two actors because he has to convey the weight of his mental illness that s built up throughout the years without proper care or as the title suggests love and mercy As I said there s a disparity in looks between the two actors but they re absolutely two halves of the one whole and are as convincing in the small details end credits footage of the real Wilson shows just how spot on the duo represent them in their respective performances as they are in the big emotions Those two might share the spotlight for most of it but there s also fantastic work from the supporting cast including Elizabeth Banks as spirited Cadillac saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter who becomes a rock onto which the older Brian can hold for support much to the chagrin of his unscrupulous therapist Dr Eugene Landy played with brilliant false pleasantry and underlying calculating coldness by Paul Giamatti Not to give too much away but Banks becomes somewhat of the crusading hero of the piece as she desperately tries to free her beloved Brian from the clutches of a man who s clearly only after his money and despicably using his mental illness as a means to hold the power You d think that the two distinct time periods both in terms of the actor playing the central figure and the individual plot strands would sit completely at odds with one another but it s quite the contrary It s a testament to the director that the film flows together as well as it does and that it manages to spin something new out of the well worn musical biopic formula one that should appeal as much to fans as those who only may have heard the frankly unavoidable songs in passing throughout the years The film builds a complex portrait of a legacy full of layered emotion tenderness and a genuine reverence for the music and musician that it chronicles bill pohlad elizabeth banks featured john cusack love mercy movie reviews oren moverman paul dano paul giamatti About the Author I m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 7 years of experience writing for various different websites In addition to my running editing and writing for Thoughts On Film I am also the freelance

    Original URL path: http://thoughtsonfilm.co.uk/movie-reviews/eiff-2015-love-and-mercy-review/ (2016-04-26)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2018-01-21