Neil Fox on film: The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Taken 2

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Emma ‘Hermione’ Watson takes her first post Potter steps and, not suprisingly, her progress is somewhere between the clumsy and awkward progress of Rupert ‘Ron’ Grint and the braver, more interesting strides of Daniel ‘Harry’ Radcliffe.

The most surprising aspect of this teen coming of age dramedy is Watson’s accent, which is superb, much like the rest of the film.

The flaw in this adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s beloved book is that it’s written and directed by, er, Stephen Chbosky, which renders it both cinematically unambitious and too guarded as a text.

It’s a nice story of a freshman taken under the wing of two seniors and having his eyes opened to the world but it never gets beyond nice, which is a shame. Further proof, though, that Watson is a good pro and an engaging presence.

Taken 2

The Liam Neeson revenge yarn Taken was a surprise hit and a great thriller but it’s important to remember that it was essentially exploitation cinema – a simply plotted, linear assault B-movie.

A sequel that took the same ingredients, and added a tiny percentage of new stuff was inevitable, so Neeson and his ‘special set of skills’ are back, this time saving his daughter and his wife from the family of one of the men he killed in the original.

Simple set up, lots of close combat and bone crunching chases. It’s not rocket science, but it does its job really well.

Sinister

Another horror movie about a spooky house with a secret involving dead kids. When will there be a new idea in mainstream horror? Not yet, this Ethan Hawke starring predictable yawn fest informs us.

The Knot

Don’t waste your time with this supposed rom-com, written by the increasingly abhorrent Noel Clarke writes guest reviewer Alison Devlin

It’s set in the here and now, but Clarke fails to grasp the progress of mankind regarding love, marriage, friendship, different cultures, races and sexual preferences. If he manages not to offend at least one person in the cinema during each showing, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.

There’s tasteless humour, derivative storytelling, bad characters, an insulting and inaccurate view of the younger generation as well as some horrific racial profiling.

Jeremy (Matthew McNulty) and his fiancée Alex (Talulah Riley) are embarking on their wedding day. With idiotic friends such as Peter (Clarke) and Julie (Susannah Fielding) surrounding them, it’s no wonder things go terribly wrong.

Pick of the unpleasantness has to be when one of the clueless characters drops the wedding rings into the recently-used toilet.

This scene sums up the whole film. It feels like a metaphor, that it’s really crass Clarke gleefully admitting to you that he is shoving the audience face-first into what he’s produced – this is 92 minutes you’ll never get back.