After reviewing over 100 movies last year I need a break, as I decide on the direction I am going to take my blog in 2011 here are shorter than usual reviews for the three new releases I have seen so far this year.
Season of the Witch
In the 14th century, after deserting the crusades a pair of disillusioned knights (Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman) are forced to transport a young women (Claire Foy) suspected of being a witch.
As you would expect for a movie of this type it is total hokum. In its defence Cage is unusually understated in his performance and the movie is generally good fun. Don’t expect Cage to pick up his second Oscar for this movie but equally it is far from the worst movie he has made. It isn’t going to get any great reviews but it but don’t be put off if you enjoyed movies like last years Solomon Kane, Black Death and Legion you will probably like this too.
Two Stars out of Five
The true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco) who had difficult choice after getting stuck between a rock and a hard place, literally!
Last years berried offers a more pure example of the concept of a man trapped alone, but 127 Hours is the superior film. Brilliantly framed by a split-screen credit sequence that explains Ralston’s outlook on life and place in society as well as demonstrating the apparent ease with which Danny Boyle can craft a film. The sometimes wooden James Franco is a revelation giving a fantastic performance in a difficult part. Had it come out last year (as it did in other countries) it would have made my top ten.
Four Stars out of Five
The Duke of York (Colin Firth) suffers from a debilitating stammer. Encouraged by his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) he visits every reputable speech therapist in London, when they fail he turns to unconventional Australian Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Following the death of his farther and the his elder brothers relationship with a married woman, history conspires to make him King. With the Second World War looming his power of speech become more important then ever.
Taking a less well know piece of history that was going on in the background of the far more public abdication Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) and the rise of Nazism in Europe makes for a very personal story but surprisingly an interesting and entertaining one. The great surprise is just how light and funny the movie is at times. It may be unashamed Oscar bait, but for once it is actually a movie that actually deserves the hype especially for its actors.
Five Stars out of Five