The Greatest Showman (Cinema Review)

PG – 105mins – 2017


 

THE PRINCE OF HUMBUG

Eight years in the making, this original musical ring-mastered by Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman and directed by first-timer Michael Gracey is a spectacular if haphazard showpiece which often struggles to marry song and story with a true feeling of authenticity. Ironically for a film about a purveyor of hoaxes, The Greatest Showman has been criticised for taking giant liberties with its biographing of circus founder P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and his unconventional star attractions.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Cinema Review)

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15 – 92mins – 1987


 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY

As part of a season celebrating the beloved films of John Hughes, last month Cinema City in Norwich screened this classic seasonal comedy – now 30 years old – from the iconic, late American filmmaker. While many make this Thanksgiving-set heart-warmer an annual tradition, this was only my second-ever viewing, and to see it on the big screen with a room of fans who laughed along uproariously to every gag like they were seeing it anew really enchanted me. My second viewing will NOT be my last.

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Willie Dynamite (Blu-ray Review)

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15 – 102mins – 1974


DIG IT?

“Seven women in the palm of his hand…”

I open-handedly own up to the fact that I laughed when the check disc for Arrow Video’s recent high-definition restoration of this forgotten Blaxploitation classic turned up in the post unannounced. I’d never heard of amoral pimp Willie D, so my expectations were low for a film to rival Shaft, Super Fly or Sweet Sweetback.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Cinema Review)

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12A – 133mins – 2016 – 3D


 

TEXTBOOK WIZARDING

Just a handful of years after Daniel Radcliffe folded away his full moon specs, JK Rowling dips her toe back into her ever-popular Wizarding World with this prequel saga kickstarter, purportedly the first of five big screen adventures. With a screenplay penned by herself and with Potter #5-#8 alumni David Yates back in the director’s chair, Potterites had much to be optimistic about.

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ELF: Buddy’s Musical Christmas (TV Review)

Doctor Strange (Cinema Review)

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12A – 115mins – 2016 – 3D


 

THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION

“Leave behind everything you thought you knew…”

A career-ending car accident sees astonishing-but-arrogant New York neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Black Mass Cumberbatch) traverse the globe in search of revolutionary and non-traditional healing techniques to cure his damaged hands. In Kathmandu, Nepal he is introduced to The Ancient One (Tilda Trainwreck Swinton), a master of the mystic arts who harnesses the desperate doctor’s spiritual powers to unleash his full potential.

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Florence Foster Jenkins (DVD Review)

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PG – 101mins – 2016


 

SONGS IN THE KEY OF SHITE

“It’s very droll, I do declare.”

Boasting formidably prestigious star power (Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant), a consistently-assured director (Stephen Philomena Frears) and garnering near-universal critical acclaim for its “hilarious” and “poignant” portrayal of the human spirit (so says The Observer), I thought I was in safe hands with this biopic of the “inspirational” woman dubbed the worst opera singer of all time.

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