LONE SURVIVOR (M18)
This film is not at all what I expected.
I assumed it would be propaganda, but it is not. Not really.
Based on a true story, it is about a group of Navy seals - Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch - who free some prisoners while on a mission in the Afghanistan mountains.
The prisoners then alert the Taleban, and our heroes end up having to flee from dozens of bearded dudes with guns.
I thought Lone Survivor would end up looking like a recruitment film for the US military, but anyone who actually wants to become a soldier after watching this is BONKERS.
It is basically just a bunch of guys running through the woods getting shot at again and again.
It is heart-pumping, sure, but also terrifying and pointless.
I'd rather not be shot, thanks.
- Jason Johnson
A CASE OF YOU (NC16)
Justin Long should stop playing a dork, no matter how good he is at making them adorable.
He is at it again, this time as insecure writer Sam, struggling to make a living from movie novelisations.
He is single and eager for some luuurve. Sounds familiar?
His love interest comes in the form of flighty barista Birdie, played by Evan Rachel Woods in a departure from her usually dark, brooding roles.
So what does Sam do to get her attention? Instead of getting to know her and being himself, he tries to reinvent himself into Birdie's dream guy, based on her Facebook page.
You would know how the movie ends by now, as there is nothing truly original - no thanks to Long, who also makes his debut here as a screenwriter.
- Joanne Soh
WINTER'S TALE (NC16)
I cannot believe I am now one of those guys who complains about a movie not being as good as the book.
I adored the novel Winter's Tale in the 80s, and this film adaptation falls way short.
The story is set in the early 20th century and also the present day.
It is about a thief, Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), who falls for a beautiful dying girl, Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay) while robbing her father's house.
Can he save her life with a miracle? Not if his nemesis, the demonic gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), has anything to say about it.
I think my biggest disappointment with the film is Peter's magic horse. In the book, the horse is AMAZING.
Here, it's just a dumb-looking steed swathed in bad CGI - which is kind of indicative of the whole endeavour.
- Jason Johnson