Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson

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Detroit Review

Extraordinary

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to tell a true story from half a century ago, finding unnerving present-day resonance in the details. Using exhaustive research, they recount the events surrounding the Detroit riots for the first time, with characters who feel achingly real. It's so impeccably assembled that it carries a strong punch to the gut.

It kicked off in July 1967 when white police raided a peaceful party, brutally arresting the blacks in attendance. People hit the streets in protest, and the officials cracked down. Caught up in this, aspiring Motown singer Larry (Algee Smith) and his pal Fred (Jacob Latimore) take refuge in the Algiers Motel, where they meet some other men (including Anthony Mackie and Jason Mitchell) and two white girls (Hannah Murray and Kaitlyn Dever). Thinking they heard shots fired, local cop Krauss (Will Poulter) and his partners (Jack Reynor and Ben O'Toole) charge in, lining everyone up and menacing them brutally. Caught in the middle, security guard Melvin (John Boyega) tries to diffuse the situation without further aggravating these viciously bigoted policemen.

The film opens with a lucid prologue tracing the roots of America's racial tensions in the continued segregation between inner-cities and suburbs, creating a police state with whites marginalising blacks. Bigelow's direction and Boal's script then recount events journalistically, throwing the audience right into the situation without character back-stories. This makes everything feel urgent and dangerous, a situation in which absolutely anything can happen. So when it leads to murder, we're deeply horrified.

Continue reading: Detroit Review

John Carter Review


Excellent
While trailers make this look like an effects-heavy sci-fi mess, the film is actually a rollicking adventure firmly centred on characters rather than the creatures or action. It's an involving, strikingly well-made action drama.

At the end of the American Civil War, John Carter (Kitsch) is in Arizona looking for gold when a strange artefact in a cave transports him to Mars, known locally as Barsoom. Getting used to the lower gravity is one thing, but he's soon captured by green, 15-foot-tall Tharks, who have four limbs plus tusks on the sides of their faces. He earns the respect of leader Tars Tarkas (Dafoe), but when he rescues Helium's Princess Dejah (Collins), he ends up in the middle of the war between red human kingdoms Helium and Zodanga.

Continue reading: John Carter Review

Troy Review


Good
"War is young men dying and old men talking," bellows one Greek leader following a mighty clash in Troy. He might as well be talking about the movie itself. Director Wolfgang Petersen heaps handfuls of clashing titans together with dry speeches on historic nobility. He ends up with a handsome yet long-winded restaging of the war waged between Greece and the warriors of Troy over the hand of lovely Helen (Diane Kruger, a nondescript mixture of Leelee Sobieski and Natalie Portman).

Troy leaves the talking to its triumvirate of Hollywood royalty - Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, and Peter O'Toole. The dying is left up to the chiseled and marketable studs - Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, and Brad Pitt. Whenever a member of the veteran trio interacts with a member of the other on screen, it creates a mismatch of talent not even a Trojan Horse could overcome.

Continue reading: Troy Review

War Of The Worlds (2005) Review


Extraordinary
Almost a century before Hollywood perfected the endless repackaging of its stories across multiple media, H.G. Wells created War of the Worlds, which freaked out audiences as a magazine series, a novel, a panic-inducing radio play, a movie, and ultimately a stage musical.

And so it is that in the terrorism-edgy mid-'00s, Steven Spielberg has resurrecteds War of the Worlds - again - and created the greatest alien invasion movie ever.

Continue reading: War Of The Worlds (2005) Review

Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quick Links

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Colin Wilson Movies

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

John Carter Movie Review

John Carter Movie Review

While trailers make this look like an effects-heavy sci-fi mess, the film is actually a...

Troy Movie Review

Troy Movie Review

"War is young men dying and old men talking," bellows one Greek leader following a...

War of the Worlds (2005) Movie Review

War of the Worlds (2005) Movie Review

Almost a century before Hollywood perfected the endless repackaging of its stories across multiple media,...

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