Nicolas Winding Refn’s hotly anticipated follow up to his commercially successful Drive is anything but. The Danish filmmaker may envelope audiences within a similar hyper-stylised world of neon-noir, but where Drive remains grounded (comparatively at least) Only God Forgives is unmercifully excessive, extremely challenging and deeply disturbing. But, despite everything it does to distance the viewer, it remains strangely compelling. Continue reading Only God Forgives Review
A film of two halves
Derek Cianfrance’s follow up to his emotionally gripping Blue Valentine had fans immediately excited after it was revealed that the American filmmaker would be reuniting with Ryan Gosling. Much like the Golden Globe-nominated performance he previously provided in Cianfrance’s anti-romantic Sundance-hit, the Hollywood heartthrob is the driving force behind this ambitious project. Sadly, he’s also the only memorable part of it.
After beginning his career with two polarizing comedies, the entertaining Zombieland and shameful 30 Minutes or Less, American director Ruben Fleischer departs from familiar ground and delves into the underground mob scene for his third feature. However, in tackling the crime genre the emerging filmmaker shows his naivety and inexperience with a derivative crowd-pleaser that is so focussed on borrowing ideas from previous classics that it fails to establish its own identity.
As another year draws to a close, we can reflect on 2012 and recognise it as a fantastic year for film, with audiences supporting cinemas in terrific numbers. The staggering box-office success of Avengers Assemble, Skyfall and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II has laid the foundations for a revival of the cinema industry. To follow a year as saga-concluding, record-breaking and Bond-resurrecting as 2012 will be a tough task, but 2013 is abundant with enticing films capable of doing so. 2013 is a year of returning franchise pieces (The Hangover Part III, Fast and Furious 6 and Paranormal Activity 5), Hollywood remakes (Oldboy, Evil Dead and Carrie) and 3D re-releases (Monsters Inc, Jurassic Park and Independence Day). Here are my thirteen most anticipated films for the fast approaching ’13.