Saturday Apr 19
TheatricalThe Woman in Black (2012)
10/02/2012 | Nikki Baughan

Having relaunched in 2010 with the promise of delivering solid horror films for a modern audience, the output from the rebooted Hammer Films has been something of a mixed bag. While its inaugural release, remake Let Me In, was received with great fanfare, subsequent films The R [ ... ]


TheatricalMan on a Ledge (2012)
03/02/2012 | Nikki Baughan

For his feature debut, Danish filmmaker Asger Leth follows his 2006 documentary Ghosts of Cite Soleil (co-directed with Milos Loncarevic) with something entirely different; a high concept action thriller that is about as Hollywood as they come. That’s to say that everything is [ ... ]


More Theatrical Reviews

The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)

Theatrical

Fixin' a-holes...

With 2002’s Bowling For Columbine, film-maker Michael Moore ushered in the age of the documentary as genuine big-screen entertainment. That, along with his subsequent docs, showcased his winning blend of determined approach, affable personality and easy-to-digest information. Armed with these attributes, he managed to both confront the big issues of the day and present the facts in a way that resonated with audiences and meant big bucks at the box office. Although Moore may no longer be the voice of the people he once was, there are plenty of film-makers following in his footsteps; Morgan ‘Supersize Me’ Spurlock is one documentarian who has followed the Moore formula for success, and now the unlikely figures of the Yes Men are set to ruffle some big business feathers and win over fans in the process.

The Yes Men are Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, two seemingly ordinary guys who, dissatisfied at the way in which big business and big government are exerting their influence without consequence, have decided to take action. Determined to go one step further in their pursuit of truth, justice and democracy, they are not content with simply asking awkward questions, but put themselves in the eye of the storm by posing as spokespeople from the very companies they despise and then making wild statements in public forums.

Indeed, the first glimpse we have of the pair in action is when Andy goes in front of a TV audience of millions on BBC Worldwide, pretending to be a spokesman from Dow Chemicals. Not only that, he offers millions of dollars to the Indian victims of the 1984 Bhopal disaster, in which the Union Carbide pesticide plant exploded killing many people and affecting thousands to this day. His announcement knocked several million dollars off the share price of Dow, and caused huge media interest in both Bhopal and the Yes Men. Deciding to turn their attentions to the Bush administration, the duo then descend on New Orleans with promises of dramatic government-funded recovery after Hurricane Katrina…

On merely reading about the Yes Men’s exploits, it would be easy to think they are a couple of charlatans out for publicity at all costs, unthinking about what potential damage their wild claims may cause. Indeed, initially watching Andy’s promises of compensation to the Bhopal victims – a financial claim he has no authority to be making, and a humanitarian promise he cannot keep – makes for uncomfortable viewing. But the success of this documentary lies in the fact that Andy and Mike take great pains to follow up their stunts, whether it be travelling to Bhopal or coming clean to the victims of Katrina, in order to see what effect their efforts have on those people who really matter. And, somewhat surprisingly, everyone they speak to (on camera, at least) applauds their behaviour, thanking them for bringing forgotten pockets of human suffering back to the public consciousness.

Along the way, the Yes Men also interview various big business executives, whose often shocking views about the benefits of capitalism at all costs contrast sharply with images of those displaced by disasters that could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the greed of a few (yes, even Katrina). And the Yes Men’s appearances at various conventions with ridiculous products they claim will help advance the economy, including a computer programme that puts an actual monetary value on human life, really have to be seen to be believed.

It remains unclear, however, just how much impact the Yes Men will have on the corporations they target – that Dow’s stock price returned to normal levels just two years after their BBC stunt was uncovered proves there’s still a long way to go before individual action can really fix the world. But, as a means of drawing attention to issues that really do need to be firmly ingrained in the public consciousness, The Yes Men Change the World is an entertaining, amusing and deeply worthwhile documentary.

4 stars

ROLL CREDITS...
Stars, Directors & Screenplay Andy Bichlbaum & Mike Bonanno
Certificate 12A
Distributor Dogwoof
Running Time 1hr 27mins
Opens August 7

On Thursday August 11, there will be a special 20-cinema simultaneous screening across the UK complete with a Q&A with the Yes Men from The Showroom in Sheffield courtesy of Sheffield Doc/Fest, Dogwoof and Picturehouse Cinemas. For more information go to www.theyessmenfixtheworld.com




Theatrical Reviews Archive

The Woman in Black (2012)
Orphan (2009)
Night at the Museum 2 (2009)
Man on a Ledge (2012)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Star Trek (2009)
Tormented (2009)
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Black Swan (2010)
Coraline (2009)
Adam (2009)
Aliens in the Attic (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Summer Scars (2007)
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Red Riding Hood (2011)
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
Blind Loves (2008)
Moon (2009)
Angels & Demons (2009)
Cherry Blossoms (2008)
Helen (2008)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Delta (2008)
Dorian Gray (2009)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Bottle Shock (2008)
Brüno (2009)
Watchmen (2009)
Hereafter (2010)
The Disappeared (2008)
Just Another Love Story (2007)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Afghan Star (2008)
Fireflies in the Garden (2009)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Anything For Her (2008)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last House on the Left (2009)
Sunshine Cleaning (2009)
Heartless (2009)
New Town Killers (2008)
Frozen River (2008)
Zombieland (2009)
500 Days of Summer
Frozen (2010)
The Expendables (2010)
Predators (2010)
Year One (2009)
The Scouting Book For Boys (2009)
Knight and Day (2010)
Public Enemies (2009)
This Is It (2009)
Awaydays (2009)
Hierro (2009)
Tetro (2009)
The Road (2009)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009): Review & Clips
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Source Code (2011)
Robin Hood (2010)
Machete (2010)
Fuck (2005)
The Unborn (2009)
The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans (2009)
2012 (2009)
Shutter Island (2010)
Cemetery Junction (2010)
The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)
Lebanon (2009)
Not Quite Hollywood (2008)
Submarine (2011)
Drive Angry 3D (2011)

Highlights

Airborne

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British actress Kimberly Jaraj shares her diary from the set of upcoming airplane thriller Airborne...

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

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Director Rob Marshall, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush talk Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides...

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Shadow

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As his visceral horror Shadow comes to DVD, we sit down for an exclusive chat with Italian director Federico Zampaglione

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Movie Highlight

The Woman in Black

Having relaunched in 2010 with the promise of delivering solid horror films for a modern audience, the output from the rebooted Hammer Films has been something of a mixed bag. While its inaugural release, remake Let Me In, was received with great fanfare, subsequent films The Resident and Wake Wood have been less successful. So with its first big release, The Woman in Black, Hammer has much to prove – and has piled on the pressure by choosing to adapt a story that’s not only a bestselling novel but also a long running West End play.

An additional challenge is that tale is so effective because of its simplicity; there are no big set pieces for a filmmaker to hide behind. So it’s reassuring to see that, while some elements of Susan Hill’s story have been tweaked to give it more of a cinematic scope, the narrative runs fairly true. At its heart is young lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) who, still reeling from the death of his wife in childbirth four years previously, is sent to a remote village in order to organise the paperwork at the isolated Eel Marsh House. On his arrival he finds the locals most unwelcoming, believing that anyone disturbing the peace at the house brings tragedy to the village. Although initially sceptical, Kipps soon discovers that the mansion holds horrifying secrets, and that one of its former occupants is determined to exact terrifying revenge…

READ FULL REVIEW:  The Woman in Black

DVD Highlight

The Walking Dead

The living dead have been a mainstay of horror cinema for decades. Now they maraud onto the small screen in Frank Darabont’s adaptation of the graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

Brit favourite Andrew Lincoln (This LifeTeachers) adopts a convincing drawl to take on the role of sheriff Rick Grimes, who wakes from a coma to find the local residents have become flesh-eating ghouls. While the initial set-up is reminiscent of 28 Days Later, these zombies are not Danny Boyle’s fast moving monsters, but the lumbering breed of tradition. That doesn’t dilute their impact; as Rick teams up with other survivors, the zombies are relentless in their pursuit and the tension builds to unbearable levels.

READ FULL REVIEW: The Walking Dead

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