January 2014

Simon Fairbanks

Simon Fairbanks

Writer

Simon graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Masters in English Literature. He was a regular writer for Redbrick Film during his student days and has been writing for Intuition Online since 2010. His favourite film is Jurassic Park (and always will be) and he is obsessed with Doctor Who, The West Wing and all things Ghibli. He hates the Oscars, likes the BAFTAs and loves the Empire Awards. You can find a collection of his film reviews from 2012 on his website www.thebigfairbanski.com. 

Simon is a member of the Birmingham Writers' Group and regularly writes short fiction. He is currently taking part in the X-Factor-style writing competition, Ten To One. You can read his entries and vote for his character each month at the Ten To One Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TenToOneNovel

Twitter: @simonfairbanks, @bigfairbanski, @TenToOneNovel

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Don Jon



Don Jon provides further proof that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most diverse talents in Hollywood. Not only has he become a big name in both the indie scene (Brick, 500 Days of Summer) and the Nolanverse (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) but he has now proven himself as a talented writer and director.

JGL has certainly taken some risks with his chosen debut. Don Jon is a story centred around Jon, a womanising gym-goer who has an addiction to internet porn. It explores the reasons why real girls will never live up to the online fantasies available at only a few clicks of the mouse.

JGL plays the titular Jon, casting himself against type. It is a testament both to his writing and acting that Jon conveys any likability whatsoever. After all, he is a sleazy meathead who rates girls out of ten with his friends and he opens the film with a detailed narration about his internet porn ritual.

However, he infuses his unsympathetic protagonist with so many character beats that the audience will begin to feel some affection for him: he goes to Church every week to confess his sins, he obediently recites his Hail Marys, he regularly has dinner with his family and he takes great pride in cleaning his apartment. It brings warmth to a character who spends the majority of the film objectifying women and masturbating.

The leading ladies are equally impressive and well-cast. Scarlett Johansson subtly manoeuvres her character from the perfect woman to a manipulative siren. Meanwhile, Julianne Moore plays a depressed oddball widower who presents an opportunity of redemption for Jon’s online obsession.

A film about porn addiction was a huge gamble but it addresses an issue that is increasingly relevant due to commercialised, pocket internet devices but rarely discussed. What better way...

Thor: The Dark World

The latest installment in the gargantuan Avengers franchise sees the action return to Asgard. Have Thor and Loki kissed and made up yet? Simon explores.

The Small Screen: Firefly

Cancelled without even getting to finish its first season, Firefly left a huge cult following in its wake. Simon takes us on a quick trip down memory lane.

About Time

As a new film which uses a number of tried and tested techniques, Simon investigates whether About Time brings anything new and worthwhile to the table

The Small Screen: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Avengers franchise makes the jump to television, can it possibly live up to the massive success of its big screen predecessors?

Kick-Ass 2

Once a new franchise has shown its hand in the first film, its Ace in the hole can become a lot less surprising

The Small Screen: Luther

Simon takes us on a retrospective of the far-fetched but hyper-cool British crime drama Luther, which recently wrapped up its third and final series.

Cinema Etiquette

Simon brings us his personal rules on how not to ruin the cinema-going experience for other people.

Guilty Pleasures: Bring It On

In our new series which examines those films you'd never normally admit to loving, Simon confesses his love for this turn-of-the-century high school cheerleading comedy.

Welcome to the Punch

Simon is captured by this stylish British thriller starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong.

Why I Love: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

In the first 'Why I Love' this month, Simon tells us about this eye-popping third film from Edgar Wright, probably one of the most quotable films of the last few years.

Jack Reacher

Simon is impressed with this Tom Cruise-starring film, based on the bestselling series of novels - but is Cruise tall enough to play the famously hulking protagonist, and does it even matter?

Argo

One of life's great mysteries is: 'Why do people hate Ben Affleck so much?' With this inventive and exotic effort, Simon Fairbanks is convinced that Mr Affleck's ability as a director is unmistakeable.

Skyfall

It's finally here. The 23rd film in the James Bond franchise - Daniel Craig's third outing as 007 - has arrived, and Simon Fairbanks was there to review it.

Dredd

Simon Fairbanks checks out this gritty reboot centring on the comic book hero, that comes seventeen years after the disappointing Sylvester Stallone vehicle. But the question is: does Judge Dredd take off his helmet?

Headhunters

Simon Fairbanks is suitably impressed with this film adaptation of the best selling Jo Nesbo novel. As brilliant as fellow 'Scandi Crime' thrillers from Steig Larsson, Headhunters forges its own path.

John Carter

One of Pixar's finest visionaries, Andrew Stanton, makes his first move into live action with an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter

Chronicle

This sleeper hit manages to breathe life into the superhero genre through its use of 'found footage'and has become a firm favourite with Simon Fairbanks.

War Horse

Despite positive reviews and an Oscar nomination for Best Film, Simon Fairbanks maintains that despite Spielberg's usual brand of excellence, Hollywood isn't ready to pull off a horse in the lead role.

Misson Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise returns for the fourth instalment of this absurd but amusing franchise, Simon Fairbanks explains.

Immortals

Henry Cavill is the only saving grace in film that certainly won't live for ever in Simon Fairbanks' memory.

Midnight in Paris

Has Woody Allen finally returned to form? Simon Fairbanks certainly thinks he's on his way.

Scream 4

Eleven years on and the franchise is just as good, argues Simon Fairbanks

Sucker Punch

Unfortunately, the trailer for Zack Snyder's latest offering is better than the actual feature

Top Ten: Western Animations

The best in animation from the Western world catches Simon Fairbanks' attention this month

Silence is Golden

Simon Fairbanks finds himself seduced by silent cinema at the Flatpack Festival

Top Ten: Career Comebacks

This month's Top Ten... features those actors who've managed to bring back their careers from the brink

Top Ten: Oscar Fails

A topical look at the Academy Awards which didn't end up with the right people

Top Ten: Bromances

In honour of the fast approaching Valentines Day, Simon Fairbanks gets all choked up over the strongest and most enduring bromances

Top Ten: Reasons to be Excited About 2011

Viking gods, Disney's take on Rapunzel and Daniel Craig fighting aliens in a cowboy hat - just some of the reasons to look forward to the year ahead

Rare Exports

A five star review for the scariest Christmas film in a long time

Top Ten: Underrated Christmas Films

This month's Top Ten... guides you through those slightly undervalued Christmas films which are worth another look

Top Ten: Movie Explosions

This new feature introduces you to 'top ten' cinematic moments each month, starting off with explosions, to get you in the mood for bonfire night