#529 – Avengers Assemble

Action

It was a long time in the coming, but Avengers Assemble doesn’t disappoint. It’s exactly what you wanted. There’s an added richness brought to the whole affair with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Mark Ruffalo’s Dr. Banner thanks mainly to quality over-acting by the former and just quality acting by the latter. In fact the scene’s with the Hulk are probably the best in the film – punching the leviathan? Brilliant! Junior’s Stark is as entertaining as ever and the effects are on the money. Whedon knows what works and has therefore kept the script light but punchy and bursting with quips, the whole thing bounds a long like an excited puppy. “No hard feelings Point Break, you’ve got a mean swing.”

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#528 – Act Of Valor

Action

In an effort to create authenticity the film makers behind Act Of Valor have become victims of their own friendly fire. A contrived plot and use of real soldiers actually makes the whole affair precisely the opposite of the reality they were striving to show. To convey the plight of a modern soldier fighting the axis of terror either make a documentary like Our War or commit to the bleak truths of the experience in a fiction the way Generation Kill did.

#526 – Running Scared

Thriller

In recent months I’ve become intrigued by the concept of a ‘Paul Walker Movie’ and in continuing this mild obsession watched Running Scared. Set in the time frame of a single night we watch Walker’s goon chase down a gun gone walkabout. It feels like a flick made in the late 90s in the wake of Tarantino (think Go), and you know what? I like that. It’s brash, deals firmly in archetypes, plus the script could do with a rewrite or two, but overall it delivers with a modicum of flare.

#524 – Timeline

Action

Watching Timeline I wondered how the cast it has was coerced into appearing. The answer lay in the credits (and that it was made in 2003), it was directed by Richard Donner and based on a story by Michael Crichton! Shocking. This flick is the perfect example of why William Goldman said “Nobody knows anything.”

#523 – The Losers

Action

Entertaining is a credit too far for The Losers, however it isn’t entirely deplorable either. As far as action films that butcher source material for a quick buck go it holds it’s own. Jason Patric’s version of an arch nemesis saves things a little and Saldana adds some sass (even if it is done cliché by painful cliché), but you know for a fact co-star Idris Elba leaves this by-the-numbers romp off his CV.

#521 – The Woman In Black

Horror

My favourite moment in The Woman In Black is when Dan wields a tomahawk. It’s cool and misguided, which I like. As for the rest of the film it’s solid. It leaps in the interest stakes when Hinds is on screen – he’s supremely watchable and great credit to Radcliffe who never falls too far behind the standard set by his co-star. Is it scary? Yes. There are jumps and plenty of creepy fare framed with canted angles. This is a very good ghost story, just like the play it was based on.