This text is replaced by the Flash movie.


Cinema DVD Book TV Other


Compliance, Side Effects, Jack The Giant Slayer


April 2013

View Original Article

James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson
Hot from his Olympics opening ceremony, in which he somehow gelled the Industrial Revolution, NHS nursing, Voldemort and Kenneth Branagh into a tantalising whole, Danny Boyle gets back to film-making with this lean, mean hypno-thriller. McAvoy stars as an art auctioneer who is involved in stealing a $25 million Goya painting but is unable to tell his heist-mates (led by Cassel) its whereabouts following a blow to the head. To unlock his memory the gang recruits Dawson’s hot hypnotherapist, setting in motion the only narrative in film history in which a shaved vagina is a crucial plot device. With its contortionist twists, shifting alliances and woozy, brain-teasing visuals, Trance plays like the grown-up cousin to Shallow Grave, Boyle’s career-making debut. McAvoy is a busy boy: he has London cop thriller Welcome to the Punch out this month, too. It’s also slick, stylish and shallow but missing Boyle’s brilliance, so if you only pick one McAvoy outing, choose Trance.

Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy
Based on a real incident, this harrowing drama focuses on a frazzled fast-food manager (Dowd) who is manipulated into doing terrible things when a man calls up the restaurant claiming to be a cop and accuses one of her young employees (Walker) of theft. Piling titillation upon sexual humiliation, Compliance eventually turns ridiculous, but until it reaches that point it’s intense, provocative viewing, with Dowd riveting as the plausibly complicit Sandra.

Side Effects
Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law
We love films that yank the rug out from under you, and Steven Soderbergh’s stylish Hollywood farewell (the Magic Mike director insists he’s retiring) does exactly that. What begins as a cautionary tale about America’s addiction to mood-altering pharmacology turns midway into a battle-of-the-wits thriller between a suicidal sleepwalker (Mara) and her deluded psychiatrist (Law). The suspense fizzles rather than sizzles towards the end but Mara and Law are on seductive form.

Jack The Giant Slayer
Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci
Riffing on the old English folk tale, this ramped-up Hollywood makeover casts rising star Hoult as the naive lad who unleashes a race of clouddwelling giants with that damned beanstalk. There are duelling nobles, a princess in peril, pigs in a blanket and Hoult acting more London hipster than medieval farm boy. But it’s the giants that rule: they’re grotesque and genuinely frightening, although, disappointingly, they never once utter the phrase, ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!’.

Home | Interviews & Features | Reviews | Videos | CV/Bio | Contact | Sitemap