From this week I am doing star ratings out of five at the end of each review.
A group of medical students decide to experiment with life after death, by taking it in turns to die under controlled circumstances and then bring each other back to life. They soon realise that they are bringing back more than just themselves from “the other side”, leading them to spend more and more time dead to try and find a way to escape their demons. The premise here is good and it has a cracking brat pack cast, including Julia Roberts, Kieffer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon, but the overly sentimental resolution didn’t work for me and it hasn’t aged very well. Probably worth a watch but don’t expect anything special. 2/5
Nate, an aging musician, fallen on hard times (Mickey Rourke), rescues Lily, a winged woman (Megan Fox) from the carney who is exploiting her (Rhys Ifans). Unfortunately for her, his intention post-rescue, is to sell her off to uber-pimp, Harry Shannon (Bill Murray). While he is setting up the deal, the two fall in love, but for some bonkers reason, Nate still decides to sell Lily on, potentially losing her forever. To be honest with you, we couldn’t really figure out what the fuck was going on here. There were plot holes big enough to drive a bus through and it looked like the film had been edited very quickly, very badly. There’s a surprise twist at the end that explains some of the odd happenings but the chances of you making it that far are quite slim. If that wasn’t enough, the sex scene between Nate and Lily (what the hell is wrong with Mickey Rourke’s fingernails??) made me vom in my mouth a little. Bad, bad, bad! 1/5
This biopic charts the rise and fall of teen girl-punk band, The Runaways, of whom legendary rocker, Joan Jett (played here by a surprisingly good Kristen Stewart) was a founding member. The film focuses mostly on the relationship between Jett and front woman, Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and Currie’s eventually destruction. To some extent this is your typical tale of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, but it’s unusual to see it from the female perspective. It benefits from using actresses who are close in age to what the real Joan and Cherie were, making the obvious exploitation factor that much more raw. It suffers a bit from pacing problems but it’s still a good watch, especially if you’re a Joan Jett fan. 3/5
In this reboot of the traditional Snow White fairytale, a widower king is tricked out of his life and his kingdom by a bitter, twisted sorceress (Charlize Theron, making ample use of the crazy eyes acting technique). The new Queen swiftly imprisons the king’s daughter, Snow White (Raffey Cassidy/Kristen Stewart) and spends her time sucking the youth out of the local villagers. When Snow White makes a daring escape, the Queen sets her creepy brother (Sam Spruell) and a bereaved huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) after her but it’s not long before the huntsman is won over by Snow White’s inner and outer beauty. There’s a lot to love about this film. The sets are gorgeous, the dwarves are brilliant and Snow White sidesteps the typical fairytale stereotype by being brave, tough and willing to fight for what she believes in. On the other hand, the pacing is a bit wonky and a lot of the set pieces and concepts feel like they’ve been lovingly copied from other film, which doesn’t make it bad necessarily. It just kind of feels like you’ve seen it all before. 3/5