THE IMITATION GAME

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Benedict Cumberbatch leads the frontier of 2015 cinema as mathematician and granddaddy of computers, Alan Turing. The film ticks all the boxes in translating Turing’s story to the big screen, but in the process, never really takes any risks and feels weighted down in trying to make us empathise with Turing’s position through overdramatised sequences that feel far too familiar and frankly, out of place in an adaptation of a true story. The film feeds information to the audience in a far too convenient and manipulative manner, and I just feel as though we never really get to see into the mind of Turing, instead always being kept at a distance, which is why the effort to empathise ultimately fails. What results is brief history lesson and a saccharine taste left in the mouth.

B-

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FAVOURITE FILMS OF 2014

We’ve hit the new year. Suffice to say, 2014 was a big year for film. I thought 2013 would be hard to beat, but nothing makes me happier than to know that incredible films are still being created and seen around the world to this day.

TOP TEN OF 2014 (in alphabetical order):

  • BIRDMAN
  • BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR
  • BOYHOOD
  • HER
  • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  • INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
  • LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
  • SNOWPIERCER
  • THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA
  • WHIPLASH

IF TOP 15’s WERE A THING:

  • FORCE MAJEURE
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • THE GREAT BEAUTY
  • NEBRASKA
  • NIGHTCRAWLER

What are the links between the films chosen in the Top 15, if there are any? We have a few coming-of-age films (Boyhood, Blue, Kaguya, Whiplash); stories about family (Boyhood, Like Father, Dragon, Force Majeure, Nebraska); ego (Birdman, Llewyn Davis, Force Majeure, Great Beauty, Nightcrawler); and love (all of them).

Here’s a syllogism to represent my findings:

They’ll use this in film schools one day.

BIG HERO 6

Directed by Don Hall & Chris Williams

Big Hero 6 was an utter delight to behold. The hi-tech world of San Fransokyo is visually stunning, and beautifully anchored by the relationships that form the story. I’m 21 years old now, but something about seeing an young asian protagonist (that isn’t Mulan) in a Disney film made me giddy inside. Disney’s on a hot-streak at the moment.

B+

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

Directed by Peter Jackson

Capping off his second trilogy, Peter Jackson could honestly be worse for wear. It’s always an achievement to translate such a rich world to the big screen, and you can see the efforts of his team have paid off: which is why it feels like a shame when the film falls into shockingly cliched dialogue and events which ultimately takes the audience out of the magic. Legolas can’t be that flawless, surely. In the end, The Hobbit is the movie series we now have, but probably didn’t need.

B-