This atmospheric period romance about the love affair between poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) has Jane Campion stamped all over it. It is visually absolutely beautiful and captures a lot of the little details of early 19th century life which takes it beyond just being about the borderline desperateness with which Keats and Brawne desire each other. On the flip side it moves at the speed of a snail over a mile of salt and if you’re not really into period romance you’ll want to stick a needle in your eye.
I didn’t watch this in 3D as it was so heavily touted but I can’t say I’m massively upset about that since most of the stomach-churningly, disgustingly graphic. If you like gross make sure you keep an eye open for the burped up penis scene (yes really). I won’t bother telling you about the storyline because really it’s barely relevant… there are big piranhas. They want to eat everyone. That’s about it. What makes this film absolutely brilliant is that both the script and its stars are aware that it’s a load of shlock so it’s played so tongue in cheek that it ends up being a glorious guilty pleasure. Special props to Jerry O’Connell who plays a slimy porn director with almost tangible relish. Must see.
A young girl (Abigail Breslin) seeks medical emancipation from her parents in order to prevent them from forcing her to donate a kidney to her sister (Sofia Vassilieva) who is dying from leukaemia. There is no question that this film is moving but it lacks the intensity and gentle character development that made the original book so good. It also suffers from some pretty chronic miscasting. The kids are great but Cameron Diaz plays the girls’ mother with one note of vicious rage, while Alec Baldwin does a bland bloated turn as lawyer, Campbell Alexander and Jason Patric is superfluous as their father. You’re sure to end up with a tear in your eye but do yourself a favour and read the book instead. It’s much better.
A ragtag bunch of Roman soldiers get stuck behind Pict lines and must fight their way back to the front where the rest of their legion is waiting. Everyone in this movie is a dickhead. The Romans are dickheads to the Picts and to each other. The Picts are dickheads to the Romans and anyone who is a little weird so it’s hard not to hope that they all just get massacred in a stylish way and be done with it. If you’re into this kind of swords and sandals and what is the meaning of life stuff you’ll probably love it. If, like me, you know you’d probably have been burned as a witch in 117 AD and been relieved about it because a life before soap and hairbrushes just wouldn’t have been worth living anyway… you might want to give it a skip.