Film Friday… week 91

The Amazing Spider-Man

After his parents are killed in a plane crash, geeky Peter Parker (Andre Garfield) is raised by his aunt and uncle (Sally Field and Martin Sheen). When Peter comes across some of his father’s mysterious genetics research, he decides to get in touch with his former colleague, Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). While in Connors’ impressive lab, Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered spider and finds himself in possession of powers including super-human strength, speed and agility. When his uncle is killed during a robbery, Peter seeks revenge under the masked alter-ego of Spider-Man, catching not only the attention of the girl he fancies (Emma Stone) but also her policeman father (Denis Leary). At the same time Dr Connors is doing experiments of his own, ones that will put him directly on a collision course with Spider-Man, who will soon realise that with great power comes great responsibility. I expected to hate this. I couldn’t bear the previous Spider-Man trilogy but this reimagining comes with bucket loads of heart and Andrew Garfield plays Parker/Spider-Man with  both strength and vulnerability. Overall I thought it was pretty amazing. 4/5

The dance-off was about to begin and Spider-Man was battle ready


After he loses his job and his girlfriend leaves him, John (Bill Murray) convinces his friend, Russell (Harold Ramis) that they should join the army “for a bit of an adventure”. Like you do. On arrival John realises that the army isn’t anywhere as fun as he was expecting… quelle surprise, so he embarks on a programme of rebellion against their commanding officer, Sgt Hulka (Warren Oates). Eventually John, Russell and the rest of their squad end up in Czechoslovakia in some kind of modified camper van taking on Russian soldiers. By this point the plot had gotten so ridiculous that I couldn’t be arsed to try and make sense of it. Bill Murray is great but this film is not. Best left in the bad 80’s pile. 1.5/5

“Ooh I can mash potato… I can do the twist…”

In Bruges

Hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendon Gleeson) are decamped to Bruges by their mysterious boss (Ralph Fiennes) after a job goes wrong. Despite the “fairytale” environment of the city, Ray is less than thrilled with their surroundings even when he meets a charming French girl (Clemence Poesy) who doesn’t seem to mind his extremely literal way of seeing the world. More and more of the past becomes evident as the story unfolds, changing the meaning of previous events after they’ve happened. There’s something quite special about this quirky, often violent thriller and you’re likely to be left scratching your head and needing a second watch. 4/5

“No, I will not come to your stag do and pretend to be Harry Potter!”


After landing a job at an exclusive college, Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons) takes lodgings with widow, Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffiths). Finding himself inexorably drawn to her twelve year old daughter, Dolores (Dominique Swain), he marries Charlotte to be close to her. When Charlotte dies, Humbert finds himself with almost unfettered access to “Lolita”, who appears to return his inappropriate affections. As Humbert wrestles with the conflict between his desires and his conscience, he and Lolita travel across the US pretending to be father and daughter, but someone is following them. I found this film both confusing and disturbing considering the subject matter. Irons and Swain are both excellent but it’s not for the faint of heart. 3/5

“And that’s how you apply lipstick, got it?”

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