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adventure | John McDonald

adventure

In the Heart of the Sea

December 4, 2015

Ron Howard is the kind of old-fashioned director Hollywood loves. He is happy to work with trash such as The Da Vinci Code (2006), but able to rise to the occasion when given a more challenging assignment such as Apollo 13 (1995) or Frost/Nixon (2008). The skill is to make the trash seem a little … More


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

November 26, 2015

After four gruelling installments the lucrative Hunger Games franchise has finally ground to a halt. Just as The Hobbit had to be extruded into a trilogy, with the entire third part based on only a few pages of the actual book, so too has Suzanne Collins’s young adult series been stretched beyond the point of … More


Spectre

November 12, 2015

Each new James Bond movie arrives like a cinematic tsunami. You know it’s coming, and that it’s completely unstoppable. If all the critics in the world decided that Spectre was rubbish it would make very little impression on the box office. A Bond film, regardless of its merits and demerits, is a ‘Must See’. I … More


How to Change the World

September 19, 2015

There are some big egos and life-changing traumas on display in How to Change the World, a documentary about the early years of Greenpeace, which focuses on the group’s first leader, the late Robert Hunter. For the most part Jerry Rothwell’s film celebrates the idealism, and surprising successes, of a group of young people who … More


A Walk in the Woods

September 5, 2015

If they made a movie of your life, which actor should play you? In this old game it’s almost obligatory to say: “Brad Pitt” while friends offer less flattering suggestions. Not so long ago a chap might have suggested: “Robert Redford”, and received an equally derisive response. Travel writer, Bill Bryson, is in the flattering … More


Terminator Genisys

July 11, 2015

If Sophie Barthes expects viewers to be already familiar with the story of Madame Bovary, the producers of Terminator Genisys seem to expect audiences to be intimately acquainted with every aspect of a franchise that began as far back as 1984. I’m reliably informed this new film skips the third and fourth sequels, and relates … More


Jurassic World

June 27, 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd may have induced feelings of melancholy, but I felt grief stricken upon reading that Jurassic World had broken all box office records in its first weekend. The revenue is now over a billion dollars, and rising, which speaks volumes about the state of popular cinema. Just because Jurassic World is … More


Mad Max: Fury Road

May 23, 2015

Last week I got off a plane from Europe and within a few hours found myself at the movies waiting for the jet lag to kick in. I need not have worried because there is never a moment’s respite in Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s like absorbing a triple expresso on an intravenous drip. Some … More


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

January 10, 2015

If Mr. Turner finds a director at the top of his game, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the work of a mad scientist defeated by a monstrous machine of his own devising. This third and final installment of the Hobbit trilogy, following on from the hugely popular Lord of the Rings … More


Exodus: Gods and Kings

December 20, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings was always going to be a spectacle on a grand scale but the challenge for director, Ridley Scott, was how to deal with the larger-than-life characters of Moses, the Pharaoh Ramses, and err.. God. He has made some bold choices, not the least being the casting of 11-year-old Isaac Andrews as … More