Neil Fox on film: Chronicle, Jack And Jill, Man On A Ledge and more

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Chronicle

From nowhere, in a form that is often rightly derided – the found footage film – comes this teen sci-fi that is far more interesting and entertaining than anyone could have hoped for.

Chronicle tells the story of three teen friends who make a discovery that leads to them gaining superpowers. The film is an exciting exploration of the moral quandary that poses.

Some great ideas and good performances, coupled with a great look, surround a film that at heart questions the most frequently held desire of teenagers – to get the world and to get it now. Cautionary and entertaining hokum cinema.

Jack And Jill

Even I can no longer stand up for Adam Sandler and his intention to create a career that’s more of a train wreck than Eddie Murphy’s. This is intolerable, crude, offensive and utterly unfunny. Seriously, who thought Sandler in drag was a good idea? Wait, he did, hence why it got made. Awfulness squared.

Man On A Ledge

This star-studded thriller plummets to its death thanks to an overly inflated sense of importance.

If it had kept its tongue in its cheek it could have been a schlocky delight instead of the earnest mess it is.

Sam Worthington is going to jump, unless he can convince Elizabeth Banks’ police psychologist of his innocence.

However, while he is doing this the most elaborate diamond heist of all time is being committed. Two thrillers, barely in one.

Young Adult

If you loved Up In The Air and Thank You For Smoking and liked Juno, you may not be ready for the new Jason Reitman film.

It’s a departure of tone, even as it reunites him with Diablo Cody, Juno’s Oscar-winning screenwriter.

Charlize Theron plays a dysfunctional woman, mildly successful, who returns to her small town to try and convince her (married) ex to get back with her.

She wreaks a trail of emotional destruction that includes her only real friend.

Theron is remarkable as much as she is unlikeable, and therein lies the problem.

It’s not that she is so repulsive, but that the film only knows one tone. It’s unbearable and tests the patience, but in flashes it’s superb. Darkly funny and full of heartache, just a lack of empathy lets it down.

Carnage

This adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s play has an amazing cast and makes excellent use of its limited location. It’s a stagey, restricted film that feels like director Roman Polanski at his most playful and selfish.

But it’s incredibly funny, has some interesting moral levels and features four combative, fearless performances from brilliant actors.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

I don’t know what to say about this. Clearly a joke? And what is it with that title? Tween text speak gone mad?

The Rock takes his girlfriend’s son on an adventure to find the boys’ grandfather (Michael Caine) feared missing on a mysterious, naturally inverted island. They find him and more than they bargained for in this insult to Jules Verne’s memory.