Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Cinema Review)

12A – 137mins – 2017 – 3D


 

TEMPORAL SPACE AGENT

Based on Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières’ pulp comic book series Valérian and Laureline which lasted a monumental 44 years from 1966-2010, it is clear that acclaimed director Luc Besson sees this epic science fiction adaptation as his grandiose Avatar moment. Intricately designed and packed full of more CGI than all three Star Wars prequels combined, sadly this is less a return to his The Fifth Element success and more a John Carter-sized flop.

… Keep Scuttling!

Maggie’s Plan (DVD Review)

Image result for maggie's plan

15 – 95mins – 2015


QUAKER OATS

Indie queen Greta Gerwig is perfectly cast as vibrantly independent but controlling thirty-something Maggie in director Rachel Miller’s adaptation of Karen Rinaldi’s short story. An emboldened intellect determined to have a child despite having never managed to hold down a relationship that lasted beyond half a year, Maggie strikes up a complicated friendship with married anthropology professor and father-of-two John (Ethan Regression Hawke). Complicated because it soon blossoms into more than just a friendship at the same time Maggie is attempting artificial insemination…

… Keep Scuttling!

Regression (DVD Review)

15 – 101mins – 2015


IN SATAN’S NAME

Troubled and teary, Hogwarts alumni Emma Watson swaps fantasy and wands for terrifying real world worries as 17 year old abuse victim Angela Gray in this dour and humourless psychological drama. Inspired by disturbing actual events, this thriller was written, directed and produced by famed Spanish auteur Alejandro Amenábar, best known for spirited Nicole Kidman chiller The Others (2001).

Mired in darkness, noir-ish shadows and persistent rainfall throughout, Detective Bruce Kenner (a weary and agitated Ethan Hawke) leads a small town police investigation into the repressed memories of satanic cult members accused of horrific crimes in a God-fearing 1990 Minnesota, thanks to the revolutionary – but questionable – techniques of renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (a reliably level-headed David Thewlis).

With shades of spookiness courtesy of some nightmarish and disorientating dream sequences, Regression is competently plotted and makes for occasionally uneasy viewing (if hardly revolutionary given such comparable recent fare as Backtrack and Dark Places). Sadly, Amenábar’s grim tone and washed out palette are let down tremendously by a real damp squib of an “is that it?!” ending which fails to deliver a satisfying sting to this (forked) tale.

CR@B Verdict: 2 stars