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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Roundup for 11 March 2016

Loads of things out this week, almost all of which I've seen. Check out my full review of the Young Messiah below but here are my extremely short thoughts on four other films. Knight of Cups I missed and I have no earthly idea what Safe Bet is but a) the latter wasn't shown to the press and b) I've long given up on Terence Malick's waffling, self-important and indulgent films, but, hey, I'm sure it looks great.

Zoolander 2. A definite disappointment this, but it's nowhere near as bad as some have suggested. It's amiable and just about funny enough to get a pass from me but it doesn't have the quotability of the first one and the smart-dumbness has largely been replaced with dumb-dumbness. Not something to rush out and see, then, but check it out on TV in a few months with lowered expectations and you'll most probably enjoy yourself. Unless you hated the first one, of course, then you'd have to be as dumb as Derek Zoolander to watch its sequel. (5/10)

Triple 9. Proof that a great cast does not a great movie make, Triple 9 has all the ingredients for a top-notch crime drama but its murky characterization and utterly opaque scripting of a fairly straightforward plot adds up to a film that is absolutely impossible to care about, let alone even remotely enjoy. It aims for a mix of Michael Mann and the Wire but barely even ends up better than Mann's latest, the quite awful Blackhat. (4/10)

The Other Side of the Door. Fairly rote horror that is notable only for its Indian setting and generally quite solid performances. Everything else is very much par for the course for modern horror but as it's forgettable, rather than actively bad, it still manages to score above par as a modern horror flick. Yay? (5/10)

Eye in the Sky. By a thousand miles, the best film of the week. What we have here is a taught, tight thriller about the realities and morals of modern warfare that has little action but plenty of suspense; all funneled through moments of Dr-Stragelove-like humour (you almost expect someone to say: "Gentlemen, you can't fight here This is the war room") and killer performances from, among others, Helen Mirren and the late and thoroughly great Alan Rickman in what appears to be his final live-action role ever. (8/10)

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