Fury Road – review by Dan McGinn

Earlier this year, several newspapers had stories about Britain’s first proper 4D cinema. The Mirror and the Daily Mail were among those that reported Cineworld in Milton Keynes will offer audiences 3D visuals but will enhance their film going experience by spraying them with water, shaking their seats and recreating the scent of explosions and coffee. God help…

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ reviewed by Dan McGinn

A couple of weeks ago, Joss Whedon was asked by the Guardian if the plethora of superhero blockbusters – 25 scheduled for the next five years – marked the death of cinema. Not surprisingly, the director said no, insisting it merely represented a new cinematic paradigm. Whedon added: “To me, the Reagan era seemed to…

Battle Hardened

      The Second World War movie has evolved since the star-studded extravaganzas of the 1950s and 60s about deeds of daring do. Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Cross of Iron’ in 1977, Samuel Fuller’s ‘The Big Red One’ in 1980 and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in 1998 did not pull their punches in their depictions…

Disappearing Act

      There is a phrase my wife and I often use about TV shows, movies and books whose plots go terribly awry. “It’s a bit Scooby Doo,” is our equivalent of “jumping the shark”. ‘Homeland’ and ‘Lost’ are good examples of TV dramas that went a bit Scooby Doo after promising first seasons.…

Survival Act

    Three years ago, a BBC World Service survey of 11,000 people in 23 countries claimed unemployment was the world’s fastest growing concern. While corruption and poverty ranked highest in the poll, 18% of people identified joblessness as their main worry – six times higher than the level recorded in 2009. Unemployment preoccupied people…

Britain’s got cliché

    Simon Cowell. He’s the man whose given us Robson & Jerome, Mr Blobby, Il Divo and One Direction. He’s the man who has also made millions out of so so TV talent shows like ‘X Factor’ and ‘Britain/America/Australia Has Got talent’. And he has done this by becoming a household name with his…

Oh no, she isn’t (oh yes, she is)…

    Hollywood loves reinvention. One minute, JJ Abrams is rebooting the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, the next minute he’s at it with ‘Star Wars’. Indiana Jones is rumoured to be the next in line for a revamp. Robert Pattison and Bradley Cooper are both being linked to the role of the famous fedora-wearing archaeologist. Fairytales…

The regeneration game

    In 1994, some bright spark in Paramount Pictures had the idea of bringing the original ‘Star Trek’ cast together with the cast of the TV spin-off ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. David Carson’s ‘Star Trek: Generations’ brought William Shatner’s Captain Kirk together with Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean Luc Picard in what represented the…

American giggle, oh?

    When people look back on the career of John Turturro, they cannot deny he has been one of the finest character actors to grace the screen over the past 30 years. His career has been rooted in independent US cinema – rarely has he ventured into the mainstream. Turturro has worked with some…

Monster mash

  About four years ago, a young director from Warwickshire made a hugely impressive monster movie on a budget of just $500,000. Gareth Edwards’ ‘Monsters’ was a ‘Heart of Darkness’ style tale about a photojournalist escorting his boss’s daughter back to the US through a region of north Mexico after it had been quarantined because of…

Monkey Business

    In 1963, the celebrated author Gore Vidal revisited the Tarzan novels that had entertained him in his youth. Vidal re-read 22 books in the series and declared in an article for Esquire magazine that Edgar Rice Burroughs was an uneven writer. However, he conceded he was one of the best authors for describing…

The Faithful and The Departed

    In 1953, Alfred Hitchcock adapted a French play, ‘Nos Deux Consciences’ by Paul Anthelme Bourde for the cinema. It became ‘I Confess’ with Montgomery Clift as a Catholic priest in Quebec City who hears the confession of a man who has killed a lawyer during a robbery. Father Logan soon becomes a suspect during…

Bird Brained

    With the World Cup fast approaching and the Rio Olympics in 2016, it’s seems the world is about to go nuts about Brazil. Not one to miss an opportunity to cash in, Hollywood has duly responded. ‘Rio 2’ flew into cinemas last week from 20th Century Fox’s computer animation arm, Blue Sky Studios…

Five Star Service

    At various stages, if you wanted a quirky movie, you could rely on David Lynch, Tim Burton and the Coen Brothers. But now it seems if you want a quirky movie, you have to turn to Texan, Wes Anderson. Like Lynch, Burton and the Coens before him, Anderson is one of those filmmakers…