Monday, 29 October 2012


My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighbourhood. This is my street. This is my life. I am 42 years old, and in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don't know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already.

Sorry wrong film....

Skyfall has had a pretty torrid time making it's way to our screens. First MGM run into heaps of financial shit at the end of 2010, then they declare bankruptcy and leave the film in purgatory, then they come out of bankruptcy and aim for Bond to get a universal release date on November 9th 2012 and then here in the UK, we got it on the 26th October. And breath.

To say people were doubtful about the film's context would be an understatement too; I recall the laughter and mocking when the title was released, plus many thought Sam Mendes would create a more dialogue-driven Bond film rather than one laden with action and thrills. Turns out he did both.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Skyfall is it's balance; this is a fantastically exciting, gripping and edgy film that's as equally sentimental to 007's past as well as being wholly original and current. It's flashy but not cheesy, explosive but grounded and smart but not patronising. Mendes' 50th anniversary outing is quite frankly brilliant.

It's beautifully crafted and handled with Mendes pulling out some of his finest camerawork to date. The stalking sequence in Shanghai is utterly absorbing and elegant with it uses of neon lighting which splits the darkness in two as 007 lingers around corners and blends into the night. It's fucking awesome to be honest.  

I won't evaluate the plot because you've already seen it but I will relay this information; Skyfall is a great film on it's own merits and a damn near-perfect Bond picture. It's a highlight of the year and has certainly eased the pain of those bruises left by the assault that was Quantum of Solace...    

Sadly this babe doesn't make a cameo though. Who else was thinking Bond girl?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Every film critic dreams of their first 'proper' review quote used on a film poster or trailer; it's a thing that finally means somewhere out there, distributors recognise you, actually give a shit what you say about their movies, that you are helping the acceleration of the film project in question. Today this happened to me. Whilst browsing YouTube and trailer sites, I came across the new international trailer for my favourite film of 2012, Rust and Bone, a film which I have reviewed twice for Filmoria - once at Cannes and the other a matter of days ago at London Film Festival.

Whilst watching the trailer, I stopped, rewound and lent deep into my iPad screen. Fuck me, I've been quoted. I actually had to double-check that my eyes didn't deceive me but no, my words are there alongside other critics from massive global publications.

I'm obviously thrilled - I've been placed on a film I love so dearly, a movie I want people to embrace, but I'm just as pleased for the site. Filmoria is a wonderful place to work for with some fantastic contributors who all deserve to share this quote with me and to have their words placed on trailers and posters too. The site is worthy of praise and recognition so it would mean a huge deal to me if you readers could do two things: 

1. See Rust and Bone - it's a masterpiece.

2. Visit FILMORIA and view the work of all the brilliant film critics I have the pleasure to work alongside. 

This is a team effort and something that has made me so grateful. Sorry to sound like I'm giving an X Factor sob-story...

Here's the trailer too. Enjoy!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

(500) Days of Ruby...

2012 has been a fantastic year for American indie and arthouse cinema; just some of the releases include Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Perks of Being a Wallflower and now joining this shining list is Ruby Sparks - a brilliantly funny, charming and engaging comedy-drama that illuminates the screen with passion and intelligence.

Beautifully performed, wonderfully scripted and handled with delicately able hands, this is a complete package tied with a silver lining bow. Paul Dano provides a demanding and frequently side-splitting performance whilst Zoe Kazan is blissfully dominates the picture with charming and engrossing energy as his 'dream' woman Ruby.

Ruby Sparks is a fantastical, magical and loving romantic feature and yet another film that I've got to find space for on my top 10 list this year....