Long day’s journey…
The works of novelist Cormac McCarthy are proving to be something of a gold-mine for modern filmmakers. Back in 2000, actor-turned-director Billy Bob Thornton took on McCarthy’s Western All the Pretty Horses, and in 2007 the Coen Brothers found Oscar glory with their take on his thriller No Country For Old Men. Following in their footsteps is Australian director John Hillcoat, who breathes cinematic life into McCarthy’s unique Armageddon fable, The Road.
Annie, she ‘aint…
It’s a cinematic rule of thumb that having children play major roles in a horror movie makes the film about 50 per cent more scary than it would otherwise have been; would such works as The Bad Seed, The Exorcist or even The Omen have become such classics without their pint-sized protagonists? Young Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra certainly understands this and uses it well and truly to his advantage in Orphan, a horror film that’s successful enough to forgive Collet-Serra’s his 2005 travesty House of Wax.
Anyone who’s seen one or both of the Transformers movies may think they know what to expect from this latest collaboration between toy giants Hasbro and movie studio Paramount Pictures. So, then, it may come as something as a surprise to say that GI Joe is far more enjoyable than either of Michael Bay’s head-splitters. True, it’s utter action fantasy aimed squarely at kids and anyone who remembers playing soldiers in their back garden – the boys playfighting at the front of the screening I attended were clearly having an absolute ball – but if you take it in the spirit it’s intended there’s fun to be had.