Cosmopolis (2012)

Ostensibly a film about a man wanting a haircut, Cosmopolis doesn’t take long to start screaming about globalization, depersonalisation, wealth disparities, ego, boredom and above all…rats. Adapted from Don Delillo’s achingly prescient novel of 2003 (set in 2000), Cronenberg has remained faithful, almost too faithful, to the underground text. Crafting a film that keeps it’s distance firmly behind a glass partition, airless and tight, operating outside of any attempt at realism. Delillo’s view of New York from inside of a limousine, born from an idea of where limousines go at night, paints a modern world of creeping between edifices, cold souls and unnecessary pain. Crossing Manhatten during a Presidential visit, a Muslim rapper’s funeral and an increasingly violent anti-capitalist riot, self made multi-billionaire Eric Packer purposefully destroys his fortune and his empire through a series of encounters with employees and repeated moments with his new wife who he has yet to consummate his relationship with. Played like a Beckettian nightmare, Cosmopolis spirals downwards to an open conclusion about mankinds eventual doom.

Cosmoplolis is laugh out loud po-faced, serious to the point of incredulity, only when an acceptance of “oh…this film isn’t even fucking kidding a little bit” levels is reached does a thoroughly enjoyable and deeply motivated film emerge. The amount of people exiting the theatre early at EBFS’s (opening night) screening were a testament to how many people won’t be able to grant that concession.

There is a streak of and a comparison to 1999’s Fight Club, a defiantly pre-millenial novel and film, to be made. Both are films of “unfilmable” novels, both feature self destructive anti-heroes and both feel nihilistic and viciously against globalization. However, whereas Fight Club‘s dogma of self destruction birthed a self aware, Nietzschean super man, Cosmopolis‘ Eric Packer’s self appointed doom brings just a man, alone and finally content with his lot.

Huge swathes of the dialogue from the novel are spouted verbatim, aloof and without shame. In the novel, these non-committal exchanges emphasised the gulf between us in the modern world, on screen they have a tendency to (pardon our french) make everyone seem like dicks, or at least, like over reaching sixth formers, proud to have read Russian literature.

Pattinson simpers and sneers his way to an impressive performance, wearing a gradually depleting suit to remarkable effect. Cronenberg made no bones about Pattinson not being his first choice (or the lucrative marketing opportunity of the casting) but appears to have emerged with a perfect Eric Packer, suave, confident and wolfish. The supporting cast deliver sporadically, Matthieu Almaric enjoys being a cream pie bomber, Samatha Morton cooly delivers economic theory whilst the limousine is under attack and Paul Giamatti has all his darkness on display as a disgruntled ex-employee of Packers. Whereas Juliette Binnoche pantomime dames her way through sex and Jay Barachul basically drinks orange juice and falls asleep with little to do.

The confines of the limousine are purposefully restrictive to the mood, cramping already uncomfortable conversations to the point of asphyxiation, creating a mood of painful self awareness. The glass bubble of a limousine hosts the films more expansive moments of realisation, almost as if Packer and his guests are viewing the dystopia outside for the first time and enlightening us, almost as a service. However the film bursts (comparitively) to life when Packer is forced outside into restaurants, theatres and finally an almost Delicattessan like apartment containing the narrative strand (Paul Giamatti) to end it all.

Cosmopolis is an unwieldy beast, containing elements of Alphaville, The Swimmer, Fight Club and maybe Wall Street whilst remaining defiantly unique, comfortable in it’s pretentions and fully aware of it’s very divisive nature. Apocalypse Now springs to mind as the further down the river you go the stranger this film gets; as the bad acid eats it’s way through to the gut and punches and punches and punches our society into oblivion.

Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus was always going to struggle to avoid collapsing under the weight of expectations. Although the collapse isn’t total or fast, by the end it has definitely been brought to its knees, groaning, without (appropriately enough) enough air in its lungs to breathe (or scream). The budget has forced a kind of “Blockbuster compliance” on Prometheus; set pieces occur when necessary, exposition is delivered on cue, titillation and gore spoonfed in enough quantities to keep the audience interested if not totally involved.

Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Naomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a series of cave paintings which have a unifying motif of an apparent constellation and appear to suggest life on Earth was seeded by extra-terrestrials. Tenuously, with the help of the shadowy Weyland Corporation, a multi billion dollar mission to the one planet in the system that may support life begins and The Prometheus is launched, to once again steal fire from the gods… how portentous. During the two year voyage the seventeen strong crew are in hypersleep, tended to by David (Michael Fassbender, excellently channeling Peter O’Toole), an out and proud android who may, or may not have a hidden agenda. The crew is a classic ragtag bunch of grimy, sarcastic, moaning mercs headed by a salty seadog pilot, Janek (Idris Elba) a Captain Ahab in space if you will and Merdith Vickers (Charlize Theron) who fills the cold hearted company executive roll to a T, exuding contempt. Upon arrival on the planet, a mysterious structure is found and Dr Shaw and Holloway, along with the crew, begin exploring. Predictably, things start to go wrong almost immediately and briefly that same thrill of the original Alien is rediscovered, cold horror stalking corridors.

Well written for the most part, excellently acted by a strong cast and directed efficiently by a man who definitely knows what he is doing. Prometheus has many things going for it (not least intrigue) but the lack of subtext howls like the void of space. There is nothing to get your teeth into, no heart nor soul and no entrails to pour through searching for meaning. The film moves along, inoffensively and dramatically correct, but ends up saying nothing at all, which in a genre with Stalker, two Solaris’, 2001 and Blade Runner is practically a crime.

However, there is one area that Prometheus has the edge on it’s counterparts. It is eye-achingly, brain fryingly beautiful to look at. Starscapes, sets, costumes and landscapes are painted and framed by masters which creates an entirely immersive world that constantly overwhelms the senses. This almost military-like “shock and awe” tactic would distract any half-hearted critic…

Prometheus is a pick and mix tapestry of previous works in what amounts to a relatively small genre. The “finding god” nature of the mission recalls Sunshine‘s disparate band of scientists travelling to the Sun and with the blasted landscapes pondered over, the broken down old man sitting in an empty room and the occasional symphony of sirens on the soundtrack, 2001 is never far from the mind. The film most alluded to, somewhat obviously, is Alien. The key scenes from that 30 year old film are replicated here with twists that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. The “chestburster” scene is paid homage to excellently but many others just fall flat causing a desire for originality or just to be able to see Alien for the first time again.

The problem with discovering the origins of the “Xenomorph” is not totally addressed, the curtain is pulled back and the mystery of one of the more terrifying creatures cinema has produced just vanishes. Not even two AVP films managed that (mainly because, disgusted, we never watched them). However, there is a dubious pleasure in discovering that the proto-aliens on display here are all phallic and vaginal, penetrative and repulsive. Tentacles, orifices and teeth snap, slobber and lunge, splashing surgical body horror around liberally.

In the end it is strange that a film purporting to attempt to explain our existence feels so lifeless and unhuman. Its pleasures are to be found on the surface, hoodwinking you with it’s beauty whilst ultimately, a vacuous soul lies turgidly underneath. Whilst Alien showed humanity at its most desperate and terrified, being stalked by a living breathing nightmare, Prometheus shows humanity as the nightmare and offers little sympathy…

The Hunger Games (2012)

Firstly, EBFS is assured by someone who HAS ploughed through Suzanne Collins trilogy of futuristic, murderous teenagers that this adaptation is a faithful representation of the novel. Faithful in spirit definitely, some minor characters and plotlines have been jettisoned for obvious reasons and that seems fair and reasonable. Secondly, this is a review of the rated 12 version that we have been “granted”  here in the UK. So, whilst a bigger portion of the novel’s fans might be able to see it up on the screen we are left with a film, about 12-18 year olds murdering each other for the delight of a dilettante society ruled by a totalitarian government, which lacks spine. And guts. And even blood.

Jennifer Lawrence, with more than a hint of a young Juliette Lewis (Not Cape Fear young, a bit after that), is Katniss Everdeen, a tomboyish hunter stuck way out in District 12 (looks like Nebraska) scraping a living for her younger sister and mother. When her sister is selected for The 74th annual Hunger Games, an X-factor style show with less tears where 24 kids go into an arena and only one emerges, Katniss volunteers to take her place to save her. Her sister being well, less tomboyish.

Exposition is kept to a few lines that function as the titles and a brief, public information film voiceover from President Snow. Everything else about  future America is revealed piecemeal, this is relatively complex world building here and it works well enough, although it did lead to this reviewer briefly believing that although the human race was still semi-reliant on coal, it had mastered the tricky craft of creating dogs out of nothing.

The targets are big but the aim is true. The Hunger Games effectively lampoons reality television. There is nothing of the scabrous wit or dark comedy of Network here, just a gentle but firm aura of disapproval of those running the game and those enjoying the broadcasts, but not, interestingly of several people who work for the show who must be as part of the problem as anyone. Both Cinna (Lenny Kravitz, looking normal) as a stylist and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson, looking quite normal), a former winner, are off the hook for taking company money as they are presented sympathetically. Haymitch is almost the comic relief in a po-faced film played in no way for laughs. Seneca (Wes “dancing bag” Bentley, looking bearded and insane) and Caeser (Stanley Tucci, Oh my god) as producer and presenter respectively get the bad guy roles and thoroughly enjoy them, camping up the Roman angle to a sneeringly, obtuse level. The main evil in The Hunger Games, however, belongs to President Snow (Donald Sutherland, looking like a poodle pilgrim) who seems to spend an absurd amount of time bothering with a television show when, presumably, he also has a fragmented, two tier society to oversee.

By the time the clever ending (a highlight, with a nod to A Clockwork Orange) comes around the persuasive acting of the leads and the immersive structure of this particular future have won out over the nagging issues and overlong running time to provide a decently entertaining few hours with enough surprises to make even the most hardened sci-fi fans interest a little piqued. So, we’re left with a smart, well made, driven, action film that isn’t making as big a point as the pile of money it’s rolling around in. We can’t help thinking that teens killing each other in an arena has been done better before………BATTLE ROYALE, BATTLE ROYALE, BATTLE ROYALE. Sorry. Fear the sequels.

Doomsday (2008)

Setting out to prove that it is impossible to make a decent film if the script stunk in the first place Doomsday is a dog of a film. Derivative to the point of cheating, If a film constanty reminds the viewer of other films that are much better and one of those films is Matrix: Reloaded then that film has lost. Totally. Probably pitched as Braveheart meets Mad Max with Lara Croft, this got the studio executives masturbating furiously and allowed Neil Marshall time to sneak off and make the damn thing.

After the original, deliciously schlocky Dog Soldiers and the knife edge, taut as a wire The Descent it’s difficult to see what attracted Neil Marshall to Doomsday, but given that he wrote it it seems to be a case of the blind leading the blind in an ever decreasing circle. Sealing off Scotland because of the reaper virus outbreak then having a special ops team try and make it into Glasgow twenty years later to find a cure isn’t a bad idea, it’s just executed poorly. Really poorly. Throw a brick at any post apocalyptic movie of the last forty years and you’ll hit an idea that has been bastardized here, including Stalker. Seriously.

Assembling a brilliant sounding cast for this slight, B-Movie fare (Hoskins, McDowell, Lester, Siddig, Pertwee) then cramming their mouths full of clunky, almost entirely expositionary dialogue seems cruel. Then sticking Rhona Mitra next to them to point out the obvious is tantamount to torture. Forcing them to endure a punked up, kilted, post apocalyptic, cannibal rave is grounds for a UN Intervention. The cast want scenery to chew and hams to eat but they’re given scraps, lines that Lucas would balk at.

Films like this exist to sell a lie. Not a plausable concept to begin with, the structure had better be airtight or people will not follow you. Like a spoof, a tongue in cheek horror had better stick to it’s own rules or it’s in serious trouble. Doomsday falls apart from the off. Continuity errors and impossibilities creep in and break the fourth wall so fast it’s stillborn. Never given a chance to breathe, Doomsday drowns in a puddle of yellow liquid that it produced itself. Not content to be solely a bad film, Doomsday then becomes a company shill…..

Who allowed the extended scene in which a Jaguar glides around picturesque corners in the highlands that could be lifted out and used for a commercial with no cuts or changes whatsoever? It makes the Volksvagen that features prominently in Knocked Up look low key and realistically placed. Films should not be shop windows, but if they have to be they could have the fucking decency to look embarressed about it.

With an ending that doesn’t make sense (or be good or bad), a restricted zone that looks more picturesque than the crammed metropolitan hellhole we’re supposed to be rooting for (Stalker..see?) and a directionless sense of momentum that seems bent on getting us nowhere Doomsday is shitty, self destructive moviemaking. A real shame from one of cinema’s good guys. Sorry Neil.

Real Steel (2011)

Hugh Jackman is Charlie Kenton; an ex-boxer down on his luck. He’s also a dead-beat dad, who ran out on his partner leaving her to raise their only child. Well, joke’s on him… She’s dead now and the law wants him to look after his kid, Max (Dakota Goyo). So, he does what any right-minded person does, he sells Max to his deceased partner’s sister. Joke’s on him again… He’s going to have to look after Max for three months, whilst the sister-in-law, in an act of serious fucked-uppity, goes to Tuscany…

This sounding like a family-orientated picture to you yet? No? Did I mention Jackman trains robots?! That’s right. Robots! Big, burly, 8-foot robots that beat ten shades of shit out of each other. However, because of his desire to constantly prove himself, Charlie finds himself going through them on a daily basis; putting them forward for matches they have no chance of winning. Whilst rooting for parts in a dump, Max and Charlie comes across a G2 model called Atom. Soon, with the help of a boy’s love (and a lot of technological know-how; love will only get you so far), Atom starts making his way into the big leagues.

The plot is a no-brainer. I wrote myself a list of cliches I expected to surface and was happy to be able to tick every single one of them off. Montage – CHECK. Slow-mo punching – CHECK. Father learning a valuable life lesson through his son – CHECK! However, a sub-plot involving Atom’s potential for sentient thinking goes nowhere, and I struggled to work out why so much emphasis was put on it.

Whilst Jackman is always dependable, the sole star of this piece is, unfortunately, Goyo. A child star since year dot, he is an insufferable mess of raised eyebrows and shit-eating grins mistaken for impish charm. They’re our heroes, so who are they up against? Well, there’s also no real antagonist. The one we’re eventually provided, in the form of prize robot fighter Zeus, is only made out to be a baddy by Goyo calling them out and yelling at them like a girl in the third act. Up until then it was just a robot that was a better fighter than anyone else. We’re hardly talking Ivan Drago. However, come Goyo’s little hissy fit, Zeus and his trainers become the worse thing since the Holocaust and the movie asks us to willing boo and hiss in the right places during the final climatic. The fact Zeus’s trainers are the only foreign characters in the whole film makes the whole affair feel a bit jingoistic.

All in all, this should be a contender for this year’s Razzies. However, it’s so gosh-darn charming it’s hard to      be mad at it for too long. The SFX are solid and, backed by a soundtrack including such child-friendly fare as Eminem and Limp Bizkit, the fights are pretty thrilling. There’s no fear of Real Steel causing any ripples at the Oscars, but as a Sunday afternoon film to keep the kiddies quiet, it’s probably the real deal.

And yes, I’m ending my review with that pun.

The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) (2011)

Ace surgeon, Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), has spent half a dozen years holed up in his home/surgery developing, what he claims, is a skin that cannot burn. Aside from a few colleagues he talks to at work functions and presentations, he spends the majority of his time with his maid, Marilia, and a woman called Vera (Elena Anaya). The latter he keeps locked in a room next his bedroom and on whom he conducts his skin experiments. To say anymore would do the film no real justice.The Skin I Live In is macabre melodrama that reaches out to sci-fi with one hand and strokes the cheek of horror with the other. And, like the previous sentence, it’s a little bit pretentious. Only a bit mind.

The film is broken up into three definable acts. The first comes across as a hurricane of information. People shout, point, run in and out rooms, get raped, shout some more, get shot and then finish off the day shouting. It does what it was in doubt intended to do; grab you by the throat and encourage you to pay attention. The second act is a slower affair detailing the events that led to all the shouting, shooting and pointing. Like coming off the motorway onto a residential street, the change of gear is noticeable and somewhat jarring, but before long Banderas becomes brooding and psychotic and your throat is grabbed again. The final and shortest act can be seen as a bit of a let down. Vera’s story ends in such an understated manner that you feel a little bit cheated. Oh yes, there’s more shouting and pointing, but it doesn’t last very long.

Opening with Anaya performing yoga, Pedro Almodóvar ensures that his leads are immaculate and that each scene they’re in is equally beautiful. The beauty of the photography reflecting  Ledgard’s quest for perfection, whilst, like Vera, hiding the layers of revenge and violence beneath. The Skin I Live In is not an easy film to watch from a moralistic point of view. With the exception of Roberto Álamo as Marilia’s demented son, no one is entirely good or bad. Banderas, himself, goes from sympathetic to repulsive to sympathetic a number of times, whilst the reveal of Vera’s backstory will have you pondering which side you’re on long after the film has finished.

Overall, The Skin I Live In is one of the last great films of 2011 and 2012 will hopefully see it get some more recognition.

Apollo 18 (2011)

Apollo 18 gives a unique spin on the officially cancelled Apollo 18 mission in 1973. In this AU turn of events, three of NASA’s finest are blasted off to the moon on a top secret mission to collect rocks. Same shit, different day for these veterans. That is until they stumble across the body of a cosmonaut laying at the bottom of a crater and then it all goes to Hell… Woooooo! Well, I think that’s what they were trying to do.

What tries to be Paranormal Activity in space, just comes across as Pigs in Space. At only 80 minutes this film shouldn’t drag by as slowly as it does. There is zero tension as the cliches stand on top of each other to create a pyramid of exhausting extraterrestrial poop.

Whilst it is true that not showing the threat straight can work in a horror film (Thank you Jaws), it only works if the threat is genuinely scary. The antagonists in this effort are as terrifying as Vince Vaughn in the remake of Psycho and, whilst this maybe a strange thing to say about a horror movie, they are completely unbelievable. Unless, of course, you find solid aggregates with legs believable and terrifying. In which case, you’re going to love this and, for that, I pity you.

The saddest part about this whole sorry affair is that Bert Ulrich, NASA’s liaison for multimedia, actually took the time and effort to release a statement pointing out Apollo 18‘s lack of authenticity saying that it should not be viewed as a documentary… Well, thanks for that Bert. Glad we got that covered.

Apollo 18 is no threat to anybody in the lost/found footage arena. Even the Asylum’s 8213 Gacy House made some attempt to be scary even if it was through the use of John Wayne Gacy’s ghost… And quite frankly, come the film’s dénouement, I was praying for a sodomising ghost.

Watch at your peril.

2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)

Sequels, so Goldman says, are whores movies. Films made, in the most, for the express purpose of making money. Films that milk a love for the original, often made with less money, less care and a great deal less respect for the audience.

Nine years after David Bowman took his extraordinary voyage to Jupiter three Americans hitch a ride on a Russian Vessel to attempt a joint mission (HaHa, it’s more 80’s than Red Dawn) to find out what happened. What foolows is not good, not good at all.

Going into 2010 with an open mind, with an attempt to view it without thinking of the gigantic elephant in the room, is rendered impossible by the opening minutes. We are told via classic 80’s computer text the details of the Discovery mission to Jupiter documented 15 years earlier in a film that garnered more than a little acclaim. 2010 migh as well start with a big shot saying “WATCH 2001”.

Watching 2001 is the last thing this film’s makers would want you to do. Whilst 2001 is presented with such care and skill as to make it seem effortless, 2010 is clunky, narrow minded, badly shot, hurried yet ponderous and shot through with such a tv episode feel, such a “gee guys, if we only work together” simplicity that an advert break wouldn’t have been out of place. Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren and John Lithgow all have bags over their heads as they deliver dialogue that falls flat from their tongues. None of them look proud. HAL is restarted and in a rubbish presaging of Terminator 2 is now used for good rather than evil. Allowing a computer some redeption is not a concept that should’ve got past the drawing board. HAL is left innocent and childlike in confusion over his murderous actions, this is film assassination on a grand scale.

Making a sequel is one thing, making a sequel that actively undermines the original is quite another. 2010 attempts to interpret and explain the wonderfully unexplainable 2001.Example; In the original David Bowman’s last transmission is “My God, it’s full of stars” as he falls toward the monolith, In 2010, a manned probe sent out to the monolith see’s the same thing except so do we, portrayed with awful special effects that make the unknowable monoliths semm cheap and tawdry. Removing mystery from the mysterious is hard to forgive in horror sequels, done here it’s criminal.

The original is big enough, intelligent enough and timeless enough to survive this kind of corpse fucking but it shouldn’t ever have had to. No-one involved can possibly have thought what they were doing was noble or even artistic. 2001 portrayed the evolution of man and hinted at the next step, 2010 portrays a bunch a squabbling cosmonauts attempting to solve the cold war in space. Such petty, human divisions were unworthy for the original so why bring them up here. It’s a film made about the future that is very much still set in the eighties. 2001 transcends interpretation whilst 2010 tries to catch and bolt down the ephemereal.

Peter Hyams, the director, was rewarded for this by getting the jobs to direct Timecop and End of Days. EBFS wholeheartedly agrres with this level of karmic punishment and can’t wait to see Michael Bay helming a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding starring David Spade.

Attack the Block (2011)

Attack the Block follows a group of youths (or yoof) who, after a successful mugging, witness an alien crashlanding to Earth which they promptly kill and parade around their estate like a badge of honour. Whilst celebrating their victory with the local drug dealer (Nick Frost) in his top storey flat, they witness another alien landing. Sensing an opportunity to make money, the newly christened alien hunters go in search of potential spoils.

Attack the Block suffers from unfair comparisons to Shaun of the Dead; British comedian puts together scary movie that’s got the potential to translate across the pond. But this really is a lazy comparison. This is a stronger, more confident piece of work. Director/writer Joe Cornish throws his balls to the wall and provides us with an sci-fi action movie that just happens to take to place in SAAAAAAAAAF LAAAAANDON. The set pieces are impressive and Cornish proves that he is more than capable of the being the next big thing. A battle between Team Chav and Team ET set within the confines of a living room, showing that you don’t have to go large scale to literally go large scale.

Rather than provide us with a cheeky chappy spouting numerous pop-references, Attack the Block‘s protagonists are introduced as the kind of children that keep the Daily Mail awake at night. They skulk around masked in hoodies and balaclavas talking in thick accents and dialects. With the aforementioned mugging, they are not the people we usually cheer on and yet, Cornish manages to make us care about them once the claret starts to flow. This is in no small part down to the actors who play our group of chavs. Led by John Boyega as alpha-male Moses, the gang are incredibly believable. Showing street smarts and naivety in every snarl from their lips. The only chink in the armour is Nick Frost, whose indelible, doe eyed chunky monkey routine is growing a bit stale.

Attack of the Block’s director/writer, Joe Cornish was one half of the duo, Adam and Joe, who, in the late 90s, gave us this:

This has nothing to do with the review, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to both relive my youth and give you an idea of what we at EBFS dance to at Christmas.

Attack the Block is more believable than Kidulthood and Adulthood put together and for that reason alone, it should be seen.

Cowboys and Aliens (2011)

Cowboys and Aliens follows Daniel Craig, who wakes in the middle of desert, injured, with no memory of who he is and a metal bracelet strapped to his wrist. Immediately attacked by bounty hunters, he kills them, steals their clothes and strolls to the nearest town. It’d all be very James Bond, if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re in the 1800’s. Arriving in town, after 20 minutes of more exposition, everyone is attacked by aliens, who lasso various town members, including Harrison Ford’s son and Sam Rockwell’s wife. Realising that his bracelet is a weapon, Daniel Craig leads a posse to hunt down the hogtying bastards.

Whilst Craig is solid, never having to extend his repertoire beyond smoldering, it’s Harrison Ford who stands. Playing his wealthy and influential cattleman in the way one would imagine Han Solo would have turned out if he hadn’t got involved with those bloody rebels. He acts as the voice of the audience highlighting the absurdity of what’s going on around him. Faced with knowledge from Olivia Wilde that the invaders are here for gold from them tharr hills, Ford cries ‘What are they going to do? Buy something?’.

It all sounds a bit daft and, in other hands, it possibly could have been, but director, Jon Favreau, insures that everything is played deadly serious. Too serious one could argue. Whilst the film is no doubt entertaining, it could have done with maybe a just a few nodding winks to the camera to let the audience know everyone is in on the joke. Favreau has shown from his Iron Man input that he is capable of mixing action and the comedic quite well, so it’s a shame it’s not shown here. With a few more lines from Ford, this wouldn’t seem so po faced.

Direction wise, Favreau is dependable, ensuring that we never see the aliens for longer then a few seconds. Well, until the end when it becomes a massive explosion of CGI and the movie starts to resemble an XBOX game. The fact that Favreau stuck to his guns (ha! a pun) and didn’t shoot the film in 3D is commendable. 3D has a long way to go to prove that it isn’t a flash in the pan. And no, you can’t mention Avatar. It’s not even fun 3D, it’s just Sam Worthington reenacting Who Framed Roger Rabbit with giant blue people. I’m drifting….

In summary, Cowboys and Aliens is a fun film if not entirely memorable. The mash up of genres feels a bit like stunt marketing and I’m sure we’re opening the floodgates to a series of cheap knock offs… Ninjas vs Crocodiles anyone?