“Well, that’s 90 minutes of my life I won’t get back again.”

Ironically this is the opening line of Alex Barrett’s directorial debut “Life Just Is.”  Ironic, because that was exactly my feelings as I thankfully exited the cinema on the movie’s debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival an hour ago.  It’s trying to be a Hal Hartleyesque slice of modern London Life.  It’s trying to reflect the ebb and flow of post University existence amongst a group of token flatmates and pals (a la This Life)>

I mean really; A black guy, a gay guy, an existentialist “nutter”, a pretty posh girl and a Northern Irish lass that doesn’t have to confidence to exist and is going to hell and back in a relationship with her new and much older boyfriend.  Does that tick enough boxes?

I say it’s trying to be these things, but all it is trying.  It’s turgid, tormenting, tumescant tosh.

Really it is.

Pretentious doesn’t even begin to describe how, err, pretentious this movie is.

The acting is at times naturalistic but more often than not simply wooden.

The camera work is so slow that on occasions you wonder if you’re actually watching the rushes.

There are many scenes of Tom (Nathaniel Martello-White) walking to work so slowly that you wonder if he’s actually disabled only to realise he has to walk that slowly so that the dolly can keep up with him.

Avoid this boring self-indulgent claptrap at all costs.

You need to enjoy this

A very interesting take on one of Joy Division’s best songs with a cracking video to boot.

He’s South Africa’s break out hip hop artist apparently.  Not come across him before.  But this looks like a game changer.


“In space nobody can hear you scream” proclaimed the poster for Alien.

Even before you stepped into the cinema back in 1979 you knew, you’d read, you’d heard that you were going to be wincing with fear and disgust.  When John Hurt’s chest was ripped open by a baby monster you did scream.  It was, and still is, a monumental movie.

Fast forward 33 years and the “cinema event of the year” arrives with reel after reel of preview film but little in the way of proper reviews.  No talk about what the content was.  I feared it was a studio ploy.  Keeping the film away from the critics because it wasn’t that good.  And then, right at the last minute the reviews appeared.  “Hmmm”  that was the general consensus.  So I went to my local multiplex in a state of anxiety.  Could it possibly live up to the hype?

Right let’s get one thing out of the way right from the off.  3D does not make movies better, arguably the opposite, as directors strive to create set ups that allow them to show off the technique.  The only 3D movie I’ve seen that even remotely benefits from the exercise is Avatar.  Prometheus just doesn’t need it.

By now you’ll know the basic premise of the movie.  Say what they like, but it IS a prequal to Alien and the obsession Ridley Scott has with the creation of man, religion, Darwinism and all such borders on the insane.  It makes for some laboured moments and overblown plotting.  The movie overall is too long (a common mistake these days) and lacks both pace, at times, and screams.

This simply does not scare you like Alien did, but apart from those criticisms it is a fine theatical experience.  It looks astounding, it has good central performances from Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender and adequate back up from the rest (although Kate Dickie is hopelessly miscast).

It’s a good film.  Just not a patch on Alien.  There’s an obvious sequal standing in the wings but I guess we’ll have to see how this fares at the box office before taking the plunge because this ain’t a cheap exercise ($120m – which incidentally is only half what Avengers Assembled cost)