Skyfall

Neither the Bond we’ve been waiting for nor a complete Quantum of Solace, Skyfall does as Casino Royale did: promises a remodel but delivers more of the same. Craig continues to be surly and unengaging while the script is sentimental, camp and overly referential but Bardem has fun, arsing about.

 

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Celeste and Jesse Forever

C&JF is a charming, uncompromising and often hilarious break-up-com. You can feel the passion Jones has for this self-penned project but that doesn’t prevent the sometimes vulgar contemporary detail from feeling superfluous. Still, it’s great to see characters drink, smoke, swear and act like douchebags, as people actually sometimes do.

Tinker Tailor... mis-steps twice with a ridiculous CGI-enhanced confrontation between a spy and an animal, pretentiously designed to convey something of his method, but instead drawing a guffaw. It is better when lingering on the craggy faces of the men against garish 70s backdrops. In those moments it’s truly classy.

Pilgrim Hill

What ought to have been the quietly devastating tragedy of an Irish bachelor-farmer is impeded by sporadic addresses to camera which force Jimmy to articulate his feelings in a way no Irishman ever would. Almost ignoring the bleak countryside, the director would do better to show more and tell less.

 

 

Sinister

Sinister comes with all the elements familiar to fans of Paranormal Activity and Insidious but is less ridiculous than the latter and, though it’s heavily dependent on its soundtrack, manages at least two good scares. Hawke fares better than Exposition Wife while The Wire‘s Ziggy adds some welcome comedy flavour.

The Woman In Black

Daniel Radcliffe is handsomely competent in this Hammer adaption that critics described, accurately, as a “ghost train” movie; all predictably-timed pre-watershed jumps, with nothing lingering. So it lacks the teeth of director Watkins’ Eden Lake – but if it wins him a bigger budget for his next, so be it.

Taken 2

Either completely misunderstanding or disregarding that what made Taken a success was its startling brutality, Taken 2 is not just bloodlessly unexciting, but takes edited-for-kids to whole new actually-what-the-fuck-is-going-on levels. It’s in keeping for a film that so relies on shots of a mosque to inspire fear in its audience.