Steve Jobs

During the preparations leading up to the public unveiling of three products – the Mackintosh in 1984, NeXT Computer in 1988 and iMac in 1998 – business “composer” Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) deals with the same handful of people and problems, including his friend and marketing associate Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), co-Apple-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), engineer Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), Apple CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) and Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterstone), Steve’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his potential daughter Lisa.
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Slumdog Millionaire

Jamal grew up in the slums of Mombai, orphaned at an early age and left with nothing in life but his older brother Salim and childhood friend Latika, from whom Jamal would soon become separated. Yet, somehow, Jamal has grown up and found himself on the television gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and even more bizarrely, this barely-educated street rat – currently working as a chai wallah, or tea boy, at a call centre – is doing extremely well, and is a mere single question away from the maximum prize. How did he get so far? And can he make it to the end?  slumdog-millionaire-original Continue reading

Sunshine

In the not too distant future, the Sun is dying and a team of American and Japanese scientists and astronauts are dragging a bomb with a mass equivalent to Manhattan Island through space in an attempt to reignite it. The crew aboard the Icarus II, comprising of a “Hey, it’s that guy” cast including Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh and Mark Strong, predictably encounter setbacks on their mission to save the Earth, but everything is handles with a keen eye and a steady hand by director Danny Boyle, for the first two thirds at least, as tempers fray, fists sly and lives are lost for the sake of the mission. Alas, the final reel, when the film switches from interesting, character driven sci-fi to frenetic horror slasher, is where the charm is lost. If only Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland had paid more attention to a fitting finale than to designing space suits that are trying far too hard to be iconic.

Choose life 6/10

Shallow Grave

When their new flatmate is found dead in his room with a suitcase full of money under his bed, best friends Juliet (Kerry Fox), David (Christopher Eccleston) and Alex (Ewan McGregor) decide to keep the money and bury the body in the woods, in the eponymous less than permanent resting place, only to find there are others on the trail of the recently deceased. Danny Boyle’s debut picture shows promise for both the director and his young leads, but the plot is too straightforward and loses its way during one of the trio’s mid film meltdown, and the ending isn’t as clever as it needs to be. The blackly comic tone (“You’re a doctor, you kill people every day”) and some interesting and imaginative shots –a robbery from the point of view of a cash machine – almost make this worthwhile, but it is only really noteworthy as a stepping stone from which Boyle would go on to become one of the better British filmmakers of recent years.
Choose life 6/10