Combining auteur filmmaking Terence Malick with powerhouse performers Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman should, in theory, have resulted in cinematic fireworks. Instead, Knight of Cups is a damp squib, its arresting visuals an artistic smokescreen for a barely-there narrative that is unoriginal, insipid and downright alarming in its treatment of women.
Gangster Number One
It wasn’t just the oppressive heat that was generating a buzz in the screening room; there was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air, even among the most hardened critics. Teaming as it does the remarkable acting talents of Johnny Depp and Christian Bale together with the impressive directorial weight of Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider, Ali), Public Enemies was a serious contender for movie of the year before even a minute had unspooled on screen. To live up to this level of extreme expectation the film needed to go way beyond great – it needed to be perfect.
Long bot summer…
Reading the Internet buzz about Terminator Salvation – which, if you’re a film fan of any degree, has been impossible to ignore – it seems that the movie has been inviting popular enthusiasm but critical apathy. McG’s bold, brash addition to the seminal sci-fi franchise is one of those films that appeals to the masses, but leaves the professional reviewers cold; that it’s both described as a ‘confused, humourless grind’ by Anthony Lane of the New Yorker and an ‘awesome movie’ by filmgoer Philip P on reviews website Metacritic highlights this massive gulf. Of course, it’s all a matter of opinion, and in the opinion of this reviewer Terminator Salvation is neither a grind nor awesome. Instead, as a bombastic big-budget blockbuster it does exactly what it says on the tin