Sunday, February 17, 2019

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A Private War Review

Transfixing, uncompromisingly visceral and tonally raw, Heineman’s A Private War is a powerfully traumatic memoir. There comes a time we all need a little reminder exactly what it takes for reporters to report from the war-ravaged countries of our world, to deliver the news of heartbreaking atrocities some would rather keep quiet. Matthew Heineman’s latest delves into that very subject...

All Is True Review

Engulfed in bitter sadness and sweet sentimentality which, at times, loses itself to overwhelming grief. For anyone familiar with Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow, another of Elton’s dalliance with the Bard, William Shakespeare, although also written by him, All Is True is the opposite side of the theatrical spectrum. A sombre and touching affair that teeters between fact and fiction in...

Boy Erased Review

Joel Edgerton delivers a wake-up call to those blinded by their faith with a gentle gut-punch. The second film within 6 months to address gay conversion therapy, the first being The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased is his next step into his filmmaking career. It’s a film where its focus lays on the misguided beliefs of Christian parents...

Green Book Review

A charming road trip which is truly affecting. Farrelly's has delivered a touchingly tender bromance story in the face of adversity. Controversies aside, Peter Farrelly's latest is not quite the hard-hitting film you would expect from a based on a real-life story set amongst the racial tensions of 60’s America. Instead, he uses this opportunity to offer a feel-good drama...

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Review

A fitting end to the much-loved series deliciously visual spectacular with an emotional arc of dog like proportions. After nine years of Dean DeBlois’s dalliance with the world of animated Human and Dragon relationships, we’ve landed at the end of this heart-warming journey. Its final flight is a deliciously visual spectacular but lacks the human connection that made it endearing. Under the...

Vice Review

Filled to the brim with eye-opening power plays delivered with excellence.  It’s a Vice that just kept on giving with frequently witty scenarios and liberal intelligence. In his latest, director Adam McKay takes a leaf out of his own structural efforts from The Big Short and planted them seamlessly into his latest ‘biographical’ move. He delves into the world of...

Monsters and Men Review

Sombre, gritty, timely and full of understated indignation but lacks a gratifying conclusion. It’s a horrifying fact that we are only well acquainted to hearing and seeing on our news feeds more often than we should. First time director Reinaldo Marcus Green has added his voice to the rising amount of films in which we see trigger happy police brutality...

Beautiful Boy Review

Chalamet’s powerful performance make this dizzying picture a horrifying realisation of parental anguish. The subject of drug addiction depicted in film, more often than not, usually takes the viewer on a trippy ride of euphoria but director, Felix Van Groeningen takes a different route basing his latest on the memoirs of a Father dealing with a son on Crystal meth...

Stan & Ollie Review

A touchingly poignant journey focusing on the twilight years of the legendary comedy duo. Iconic comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were once the darlings of Hollywood but money issue’s and contract negotiations became a contributing factor to their strained relationship. Director John S. Baird respectfully focuses not on the highs of the career, but the dwindling twilight years...

The Upside Review

An enjoyable life-affirming movie that stays true to the heart of the original film, reiterating there’s more to Hart’s acting abilities than his Calamity Jane skit. With the increasing popularity of the remake, reboot or whatever you want to call it, there’s a certain uncertainty in whether the poor filmmakers who take on the task can do the original justice, or create something almost resembling...

The Favourite Review

Olivia Colman puts in an award-winning performance in this hilarious bat-shit crazy picture which is by far Lanthimos at his uninhabited finest. Not one to stick to the norm, Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos follow’s up the cold and muted territory of The Killing of a Sacred Deer with a step back in time to the Royal Court of Queen Anne. A...

Mary Poppins Returns Review

If you are going to wait long enough for a sequel, over fifty years will just about do it. Disney has dug deep into their vaults to recreate some classic on-screen magic, bringing its 1964 favourite live-action/animation hybrid, Mary Poppins, back to life with eye-popping colour and emotive storytelling all whilst maintaining its loyalty to its original. Set some 20...

Mortal Engines Review

Dystopian YA novel adaptations seem to be a trend that will not go away, The Hunger Games set a precedent that most fail to live up to and as each year passes the imagination disintegrates into dust. The latest that falls into that category comes from the Lord of the Ring’s Peter Jackson and first time director Christian Rivers...

Spider-man: Into The Spider-Verse Review

All we needed was another Spider-Man movie... or so we thought. After losing count on how many time’s Peter Parker stories can be told for the modern audience, The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller have injected a delightful originality to the animated story of Miles Morales’s incarnation of Spidey that could have spouted the same old origin...

Sorry To Bother You Review

Just five months after the US release of Boot’s Riley’s brash anti-capitalist Sorry To Bother You it has finally arrived in the UK. Due to the weariness from overseas distributors this film has been a long time coming, whatever the reason you wish to believe, once seen, it’s not hard to understand why this completely surreal, marmite movie took...

White Boy Rick Review

’71 Filmmaker, Yann Demange returns with only his second feature with what, on paper, could only be seen as make believe but the reality, this 80’s set crime drama of a teenager used and subsequently let down by the FBI is taken right out of real life. Demange has created two sides to this coin not just with the...

Ralph Breaks The Internet Review

Five years after Ralph wrecked all animations in its path, Disney has returned the muscular meathead head and his best friend Vanellope for an overstuffed exploration inside the internet with smile-inducing humour and heart with a dash of social relevance. John C. Reilly returns as the voice of bad-guy turned good, Ralph, along with Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope. Where Ralph is...

Creed II Review

With Ryan Coogler missing from returning to directing duties as he took time to travel to Black Panther’s Wakanda. The follow up to 2015’s re-emergence into the world of Rocky and Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, took on a new director in Steven Caple Jr for a valiant bout of brute, heart and family ties that doesn’t quite get in...

The Christmas Chronicles Review

Christmas is well and truly on its way.... if you weren’t aware, Netflix will certainly remind you with the slurry of festive fare. Whilst, most are slushy mush that doesn’t even have the energy to entertain your lazy Sunday afternoons, its latest unwittingly Sexy Santa Kurt Russell is about to shake up your dull ol’ sprouts. The story centres on...

The Girl in the Spider’s Web Review

Claire Foy has swapped her Crown as Netflix’s Queen Elizabeth II to become one of the many faces of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. She’s a rampaging femme fatale whose latest mission becomes a whole lot more personal when she is forced to face her bleak and painful childhood in this stripped back, revenge fest. After seven years without Salander, the...

Fantastic Beasts: The Crime of Grindelwald Review

J.K. Rowling returns to her ‘magical’ world of Fantastic Beasts and Wizards with David Yates at the helm for the second film in the five-part franchise flamed in a vortex of scene building and explanation but not much action. We have to call for a deduction of house points for this wizarding episode. Trying to wade through the muddy swamp...

Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) Review

Suicide isn’t usually a laughing matter but for his feature film directorial debut, writer and director Tom Edmunds delves into the subject with a respectful nod and light-hearted dark humour full of quintessentially British problems. William (Aneurin Barnard) is a struggling writer, essentially cut off from the world, lonely and failing to see the purpose of his life. Having made...

The Grinch Review

It’s an age-old story that just keeps coming back to the silver screen. From the makers behind Despicable Me and The Minions, Illumination brings to life the green misery guts for a third screen outing. The first came in 1966 as a TV special but in 2000 Jim Carrey stole Christmas as the lonely miser. This year’s Christmas treat...

Wildlife Review

Packing up his acting shoes to make his directorial debut, Okja’s Paul Dano partner’s up with his real life other half, Zoe Kazan for the tragic 1950’s family drama Wildlife. Co-writing the screenplay with Kazan (an adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel) for a delicate and complex insight, focusing on the breakdown of the family unit through the eyes of...

Widows Review

Acclaimed director, Steve McQueen may have had a five-year hiatus from the silver screen but his stylised eye for a gripping drama has in no way waned. Bringing together a crackling cast for his Lynda La Plante remake of Widow’s and setting it in a modern-day America makes for an explosive heist that will knock you flat on your...

Overlord Review

For a while, this JJ Abrams produced, Julius Avery directed, ‘zombie’ WWII gorefest was thought to be part of the Cloverfield universe, thankfully records were put straight and that particular universe should be pleased for it. There is little to rejoice over here, cheap, tacky and historically incorrect (poetic licence being its core excuse) but it comes with a...

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Marred by creative differences and challenges, Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody has taken a few knocks to its iconic status. More a respectful nod to the Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, than a band biopic, the anthem epic soaring renditions and the frivolous birth of iconic songs play out like a playful puppy than hard-hitting, in-depth drama. This one is unashamedly...

The Hate U Give Review

It’s a subject all too common in our world headlines, young black men and women being slain down by maverick cops with a trigger happy finger. Filmmaker and Notorious director, George Tillman Jr. adapts Angie Thomas’s 2017 bestselling YA novel, The Hate U Give, with a knockout gut punch that resonates with poignant tenacity, a sobering reality and a blistering performance from Amandla Stenberg. Stenberg takes on the role of the conflicted Starr. Living in a predominately black community; drug dealers are scattered on each corner with the youth thinking they have no other choice...

An Evening with Beverly Luff Lynn Review

Bizarre is quite an understatement for filmmaker Jim Hosking’s An Evening with Beverly Luff Lynn. The Greasy Strangler director has made insane his comfort zone, giving frat boy humour an edge of credibility with his latest which quite frankly takes bizarre originality and bewilderment to new levels. The story focuses on Lulu (Aubrey Plaza), a coffee shop worker, married to...

Smallfoot Review

There is a lesson to be learnt in Warner Animation’s newest cutesy animal caper, well not just one, but at least two that the youngest of audiences can take away with them. On the one hand, it delivers the message of diversity in communities, one in which we need to accept those who are different to us despite what...

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A Private War Review

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