Broadsheet Movie Barometer



Scorchio: Legend (111 minutes, 18) Directed by Brian Helgeland. Starring Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Colin Morgan.

September is traditionally a fallow period on the movie calendar. The summer blockbusters have been and gone, but it’s still too early for the studios to release their contenders for awards season. So in all honesty, calling Legend the best movie of the week says more about the other new releases than it does about Brian Helgeland’s generic gangster flick. It’s only lifted from mediocrity through a phenomenal twin turn from Tom Hardy, playing both of the notorious Kray twins. As an actor with form playing unhinged criminals, Hardy is utterly mesmerising, but the rest of this by-the-numbers biopic lacks any of the surreal stylistic idiosyncrasies that made Bronson (2008) so compelling. In spite of the title, Legend doesn’t romanticise the Krays or excuse their psychotic behaviour, but it offers nothing that we haven’t seen before. You slag.

The Visit

Indian Summer: The Visit (94 minutes, 15A) Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Starring Kathryn Hahn, Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould.

M. Night Shyamalan finally allows us to laugh with him instead of at him, as he takes his bruised ego on the road to Damascus after a string of critical and commercial flops. A trip to their grandparents’ remote farm gets progressively weirder for Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and (no kidding) rappin’ T-Diamond Stylus (Ed Oxenbould) when granny starts projectile vomiting and wandering around in the buff with a kitchen knife. Old people – what would you do with them? Most of the scares are well signposted, and the found-footage device is an entirely unnecessary handicap. The two young leads are so annoying that you might find yourself willing Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) to just hurry up and eat the little blighters. Shyamalan can’t resist one of his trademark twists, but the payoff is more campfire urban myth than masterstroke. Nevertheless, The Visit is a modest, satisfying low-budget horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Irrational Man

Cloudy with a chance of rain: Irrational Man (95 minutes, 15A) Directed by Woody Allen. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey

Late period Woody Allen is like a family-sized box of Roses the day after Christmas. The purple ones are long gone and only the coffee cremes are left. Often the only way of distinguishing one of Allen’s films from the next is by the calibre of actors at his disposal. For this riff on Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951), Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone are proficient enough to pass off the director’s self-conscious dialogue as their own. Just about. Irrational Man is a safe rehashing of well-worn ideas. It’s one of the filmmaker’s annual placeholders and nothing more. But don’t worry; there’ll be another one along soon enough.

Scorch Trials

Storm warning: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (131 minutes, 15A) Directed by Wes Ball. Starring Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee.

The rudimentary plot of this sub-John Carpenter sci-fi sequel is easy to follow even if you sat the first one out. Whether you will want to is another matter entirely. Set in dystopian future (is there any other kind?), a bunch of kids are chased down by hordes of zombies and a sinister corporation with the same name as a popular alcopop. Some of the action sequences are impressive, but the problems start when the running stops. The young cast are largely interchangeable; as one character disappears, a new one pops up to take their place. Aidan Gillen turns up as a villain who can’t decide if he’s Irish or American. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a competent teen-lit adaption, but it’s overlong and instantly forgettable.

Mark will criticise movies for food. See for a closer look at some of this week’s new releases.

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32 thoughts on “Broadsheet Movie Barometer

    1. ReproBertie

      You must have been away last week when they said they’ll still do the trailer park posts but also a weekly “what’s opening this week” post which this is.

      1. Mark Ryall

        Clampers, this is just a weekly something in addition to the trailer parks. There are only so many trailers a guy can look at. Having said that, there is a very promising trailer for “Bikini Sex Car Wash” doing the rounds.

  1. Avon Barksdale

    I’m sure Hardys performance is stellar as always, but honestly, the world needed another Krays movie as much as it needed a Paul Bart sequel. I’ll wait for the torrent so I can whinge about it without having wasted money

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            What, thank you for your persona that you hate everything? Is that real or just part of your pity-generating obnoxiousness right-wing knobface act? It’s too weird and trolly even for me to engage with.

          2. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Well, except for this comment and perhaps replies to whenever you subcomment me, either as yourself or someone else. What is with that? Weird weird behaviour man.

        1. Mikeyfex

          I understand the objection alright. Was merely making an easy pun with feigned shock that the big J above didn’t like something.

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            My admirable was for your admirable pun! I enjoyed it. One day I will pun as good as you and Hoop do!

          2. Mikeyfex

            Hah, ok.

            (that’s initially what I thought but then Jonotti’s reply threw me)

            Keep at it. I’ve yet to find a door in life that puns can’t open.

          3. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Thanks Mikey – I think I just get the pun sweats thinking of something when I need to be more zen about it all.

    1. Mr. Camomile T

      Upon review of my previous comment, I acknowledge that it reads like clickbait. However, in this case, it’s worth clicking on the link instead of having me stumble through a cackhanded description of the movie poster in question.

      1. Mr. Camomile T

        I am giving my second post above a 2 star review, with 3 stars taken off for omitting the hyphen in ‘cack-handed’.

        1. Mr. Camomile T

          Please stop reading my comments. They are painfully self-conscious and their content can be of no value to you whatsoever.

  2. erm...

    Let’s talk about Aidan Gillen’s accent for a moment. Surely it deserves a post of its own? It’s fascinating/horrifying in equal measure. Is it deliberate? Is he trying to repress the American accent or the Irish accent? Does it sound as utterly bizarre to non-Irish folk? It’s the voice equivalent of watching your granny trying to connect to the wifi.

Comments are closed.

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