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Cinema Paradiso by James Luxford

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A darker reimagining of the classic fairy tale, with Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”) playing the beautiful princess, cast into the woods by her wicked stepmother (Charlize Theron) to be killed by a hired huntsman (Chris Hemsworth).  However, when he learns of the stepmother’s plans, he takes pity on Snow White and helps her fight back.  A spirited and interesting take on the fairy tale, with shades of “Lord of The Rings” and some solid performances from Theron and Hemsworth (although Stewart struggles by comparison).  Light weight at times but thoroughly entertaining.

3 stars

TOP CAT (1st June)

A modern take on the classic cartoon, with ‘TC’ (voiced by Jason Harris) and the gang facing trouble when their nemesis, Officer Dibble, is replaced by a new police chief whom intends to shut down his schemes for good.  A dreadful cartoon misadventure, with the animation looking positively amateur compared to a lot of modern equivalents.  Likely to entertain only very small children, there are far more entertaining prospects coming out this year from Pixar and co.

1 Star.

RED TAILS (8th June)

A multi-faceted cast lead this rousing action-drama, a rare departure for producer George Lucas (his first non-“Star Wars” or “Indiana Jones” film in nearly twenty years).  The story tells the tale of The Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black air force servicemen who rose above prejudice to become icons of the Second World War.  Cuba Gooding Jr., Terence Howard and Brit actor David Oyelowo star in a visually spectacular, but ultimately quite corny and over-energetic ‘boy’s own’ adventure. It’s a worthy tale to tell, but perhaps more depth should have been used.

3 Stars


Will Ferrell does funny once again, albeit in an entirely different language (Spanish) in this comedy movie shot and told in the style of a soap-opera-esque ‘telenovella’.  Ferrell plays Armando, a dim-witted son of a ranch owner whose troubles appear to be over when his brother (Diego Luna) arrives promising to pay off their debts, however the brother is not all he seems and soon the whole family find themselves drawing the ire of a drug lord.  A clever idea, but one that stretched over an entire film runs out of steam quite fast.

2 Stars.

James Luxford
About James Luxford (39 Articles)
Film journalist - all views my own