The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

Derailed…

In the press notes for Tony Scott’s garish remake of the 1974 heist classic The Taking of Pelham 123 – itself adapted from the novel by John Godey – screenwriter Brian Helgeland states that his version gets under the skin of its central characters far more than either the original film or novel. To suggest that your adaptation may be better that its source is a bold statement indeed, and it’s immediately clear that Helgeland is way overstating the achievement of the film in character development. For while Denzel Washington’s performance showcases his usual, dependable breadth of human emotion, Travolta’s characterisation is about as deep and meaningful as a box of bricks.

Continue reading

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

A whole lot of bot…

If you showed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to the pioneers of the motion picture, those visionaries who first thought to splice images together to make them come alive, they would most likely be overcome with shock. It’s a testament to how far cinematic technology has come that modern audiences take such spectacle for granted – to the extent that the mind begins to wander and we begin hypothesising about how early cinema-goers would react to the film that is still playing on screen in front of us. Ok, so that might be just me, but the fact remains that, however awesome the visuals might be, Transformers 2 ‘aint got a whole lot of soul. And, despite all that technology, soul still remains the heart of great cinema.

Continue reading