Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Alone In Berlin

By Angie Raphael

2.5 stars 

Director/co-writer Vincent Perez could have provided a unique perspective into life in Germany during World War Two with his adaptation of Hans Fallada’s novel, which is based on a true story. But instead, Alone In Berlin was mostly boring and devoid of tension or suspense. The story is about Otto (Brendan Gleeson) and Anna Quangel (Emma Thompson), who learn their only son has been killed on the battlefield and decide to defy the Nazi regime by leaving anonymous postcards in public places. But as they become more daring with their resistance, Gestapo inspector Escherich (Daniel Bruhl) starts hunting them down. Thompson, Gleeson and Bruhl are so talented but are given little to work with and cannot save this film. Alone In Berlin is not terrible, it is just nothing particularly new or memorable. 

Monday, 27 February 2017


By Angie Raphael

4 stars

Comic book superheroes have been around for a long time, but arguably none have more perfectly embraced and portrayed individuality and multiculturalism than the X-Men series. While the films have been inconsistent in their success, the character of Wolverine has always been beloved – and is my personal favourite superhero. In Logan, Hugh Jackman portrays the tortured anti-hero for the last time and gives a memorable performance. Logan is set in the future with a weaker and more vulnerable Wolverine and elderly Professor X (Patrick Stewart) living quietly in isolation until one day they meet a mysterious young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), who is on the run and needs their help. Laura is so animalistic and Keen wonderfully complements Jackman with her raw performance.

Director/co-writer James Mangold has made this film brutal and graphic in its violence, which is finally an appropriate depiction of Wolverine's rage and savagery. Logan also has a western feel to it and even references the 1953 classic, Shane, which shares a few similarities in its themes. The film also humorously mentions the comics and it actually ties in well with the plot. Although it is set in the future, Logan does not look particularly futuristic. There are some technological advancements, but not enough. The film is also a little long at more than two hours, but it is gripping enough and emotional. If you have never liked this genre, Logan will not necessarily change your mind. But if you are a fan of Wolverine, you will probably agree Logan is a fitting end to the franchise of films spearheaded by Jackman.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Patriots Day

Jackie Raphael

3.5 stars

Based on the true events that occurred in April 2013, Patriot's Day tells the story of the bombs that went off during the popular Boston Marathon and the impact it had on the city. Real footage is beautifully edited into the film and there are interviews with the victims at the end, which really adds to the emotional story. However, the film is a little too long and tries too hard in parts. For example, there is a love story for each character to create sympathy from the audience. Nonetheless, Patriots Day was definitely worth making, focusing on the strength of humankind rather than the brutality of terrorism. The casting was great, with some actors matching the appearances of the real-life victims quite well. Mark Wahlberg was particularly strong in his role as a police officer who witnessed the bombing, and Kevin Bacon was great, as always, playing Special Agent Richard DesLauriers. Patriots Day captures a piece of history and shares it with audiences through a positive message of hope and love.