January’s Oscar bait has given way to a more varied month:
Dallas Buyers Club: The true story of a homophobic Texan who discovers he is HIV positive. In looking for a way to prolong his own life he becomes an unlikely saviour for other sufferers. The always reliable Matthew McConaughey gives a career best performance and is a real contender for the best actor Oscar.
I, Frankenstein: Have you seen Underworld? Imagine the same story with werewolves and vampires replaced with gargoyles and demons, then drop Frankenstein’s now 200 year old monster into the story. Its as mad and sadly as bad as it sounds.
Robocop: remake of Paul Verhoeven’s satire on totalitarianism and consumerism lacks doesn’t do much wrong and has a few interesting things to say, but it lacks the heart and edge of the original. To make matters worse its 20 minutes longer than the original.
Lone Survivor: True story of four US Navy SEALs whose mission to take out a Taliban commander goes wrong. Reminiscent of and at times a brutal as Black Hawk Down. There is an interesting moral question at the centre of the film but is limited by the one sided political point of view.
The Monuments Men: True story of the a group of art experts and their race against time to save Europe’s art from the Nazis at the end of WWII. The likeable all star cast is on great form but the film is uneven and lacks direction.
Jack Strong: Polish cold war thriller based on the true story. A Polish army officer who spied for the west in soviet controlled Poland. Thoughtful and often tense thriller. It sadly won’t find the audience it would have if it was in English.
Her: Spike Jonze’s near future tale of a man who falls in love with an artificial intelligence computer operating system. Some good ideas but it feels a little cold and falls flat. The casting of a voice as distinctive as Scarlett Johansson is also very distracting.
Only Lovers Left Alive: Jim Jarmusch’s take on a vampire movie lacks action, horror and a plot, none of this matters. It leaves me asking the question, why hasn’t anyone cast Tom Hiddleston or Tilda Swinton as a vampire before?