Tag Archives: Christopher Nolan

Interstellar review

I tried. I honestly tried. I never meant to see Interstellar, because I already knew that I would hate it – and, more to the point, I already knew why I would hate it. That said, it’s comparatively lukewarm reception does indicate something of a turning point in Christopher Nolan’s career, and perhaps makes this a good moment to recap my reasoning.

lincoln-steven-spielberg-daniel-day-lewis

Grouchy, yet lovable

Part of the film’s fundamental awkwardness may be down to the fact that it was originally intended as a Stephen Spielberg movie, broken fragments of which are still visible. John Lithgow is awkwardly cast as a stock Spielberg type – a salt-of-the-earth, blue-collar love-bundle. Good old, grouchy-yet-lovable gramps is supposed to project a homely warmth, serving as a stable, loving core for Murphy’s family, but this is totally at odds with Lithgow’s signature style of effete, uppity aloofness. “It’s unnatural to eat popcorn at a ballgame. I wanna hotdog,” he grouches at one point, sounding for all the world like a man who’s never tasted either.

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Review – ‘Gotham’ (2014)

Fox’s new Batman-ish TV show Gotham just might be the most enjoyable thing on television right now, to a certain type of viewer. If you are the kind of person who slows down as they pass accidents on the motorway, or laughs at YouTube videos of parkour mishaps, this should be the TV event of your century. The giddy schadenfreude of watching as its creators make almost every decision that could be made wrong even wronger – twice – makes Gotham more than just a scientifically fascinating case study in failure. It’s a genuine joy to behold from beginning to end, and although I know it makes me a bad person I just can’t look away.

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Bradshaw Watch Classic – ‘Memento’ (2000), ‘Insomnia’ (2002), ‘Batman Begins’ (2005)

Staff photo, ©The Guardian

There are several reasons why we at Flickbook have made a regular feature out of attacking the film criticism of Peter Bradshaw. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and I’m really proud of that photo-shopped staff photo of his face. Sadly, the main reason is that it’s also entirely, unavoidably justified. His reviews currently being published in The Guardian are so utterly devoid of insight or effort that it would be a dereliction of duty not to sarcastically categorise their faults on a semi-regular basis.

I say “currently” because the other day I happened to read a review he wrote back in 2001, and was horrified to discover that it was actually “a review”. Could it be that Peter Bradshaw really was once a coherent, witty, insightful critic? Has his rise to eminence amongst British reviewers merely stunted a genuine talent? In the interests of scientific discovery, from here on every Bradshaw review we pick apart will be balanced by a sincere look at one of his “Bradshaw Classic” pieces. Hopefully, somewhere, we can determine where it all went so horribly wrong.

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Second take: the costume design of Lindy Hemming

It’s a strange thing about film being such a collaborative medium; there are as many different ways to watch a film as there were people who played a role in making it. When ITV screened Dancing Queen the other week, they did so because it starred the sadly departed Rik Mayall – it was part of a series originally meant to showcase the man himself, following the enormous popularity of Bottom. In fact it’s a pretty awful showcase for Mayall himself, who is cast in the role of a more-or-less ordinary human man – as opposed to the manic, perverse, vicious, cowardly, but somehow sympathetic creatures he played so brilliantly in his best-loved work.

What Dancing Queen does showcase well are a few oddly striking costumes worn by Helena Bonham Carter. She plays the “Julia Roberts” role in a half-hearted attempt to re-tread Pretty Woman, with a streak of Withnail & I carnage, in the form of a rather cobbled-together 90’s TV movie. Her character’s wardrobe stands out though, seeming to give her more of a personality than anything in the script. A quick look on IMDB revealed the reason, and the true star of the show – renowned costume designer Lindy Hemming.

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New Batman game – definitely not for kids

Ahead of their next and final Batman game, Rocksteady have shown us their new Batmobile in action! It’s sleek, it’s fast and – as Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims has pointed out – it’s absolutely bristling with lethal weapons, which begs the question of exactly whose Batman we’re talking about here. Hilariously, the trailer begins with a stern warning that the clip “MAY CONTAIN CONTENT INAPPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN”, which could pretty much serve as a motto for the modern-day superhero industry as a whole.

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Doubletake: Darkman vs. Batman Begins

The first in our series of suggestively exact-ish scene parallels.

“Because It Matters, Damn It”®

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ trailer or, The Only Good Reason to See ‘Harry Potter VIII’

So, this happened:

Really more of an extended teaser, featuring only some 32 seconds of footage from the upcoming film crudely pieced together with clips from the first two – on first viewing you might suspect it’s a fan-made forgery.  Yet, somehow, I can’t pretend not to be as shamefully excited as the rest of the cretins out there.

OMG, I say – for it is the new Batman movie.

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