Sunday, October 21, 2018

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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...

First Man Review

Filmmaker, Damien Chazelle’s last three films have been nothing short of glorious. The man behind the frenzied drumming sensation of Whiplash, and most recently the dancing delight of La La Land, teams up again with his leading man Ryan Gosling. Together they deliver a visually stunning, stoic and sobering biopic on Neil Armstrong. This isn’t all spacewalks and moon...

Johnny English Strikes Again Review

There comes a time when filmmakers and studio’s alike need to make that decision, enough is enough. The latest comes from Rowan Atkinson’s haphazard calamity spy, Johnny English in the third film in the franchise. What we have here – yet again – is Mr Bean dressed up in an abundance of confidence, a flash suit with as much...

A Star is Born Review

Now on its fourth remake, A Star is Born heads into a new generation with Bradley Cooper not just at the helm of this gut-wrenchingly emotional and epic version but also having a hand in co-writing the script and taking a rough and mentally damaged role. The history of this story goes as far back as 1937, it later...

Mile 22 Review

Mark Wahlberg and filmmaker, Peter Berg have previously made an explosive pair with their four collaborations, especially on both Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day. The difference here lies in the fact that Mile 22 is a frivolous bit of fun for the action duo, whereas the others were based on real-life stories of heroic and heartfelt actions, Mile 22...

The Children Act Review

For the second time this year, Ian McEwan has seen his novels adapted for cinema; the first coming in On Chesil Beach and now, in a similar fashion, McEwan’s The Children Act. The latter is an intelligent film which pokes at intimacy, love and furthermore, legal and moral responsibilities; and does so with understated elegance and grace typically depicted from the wealthy characters cinema feeds its audiences. The story centres on Fiona Maye — played by the ever-reliable Emma Thompson —, a brilliantly intelligent judge who is both feared and respected...

BlacKkklansman Review

Renowned filmmaker, Spike Lee is back with full force. Never one to shy away from racial issues, Lee tackles a watered-down true story of Ron Stallworth, the African American detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 70’s with Blackklansman. Falling fiercely at an appropriate time where open racism is undoubtedly on the rise, it’s a timely reminder that civilisation really hasn’t evolved from its blind stupidity. Infused with comedy and sometimes questionable actions of the US...

Christopher Robin Review

It’s not even a year since Goodbye Christopher Robin hit our screens and Disney has seen fit to transport us on another Winnie the Pooh adventure with Christopher Robin. Whilst the former focused on Pooh writer A.A. Milne, allowing us a unique glimpse of the man’s creative mind and brief relationship with his son; the latter ferries us on a charming yet mediocre visit of an adult Christopher...

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Review

With the school holidays forced upon stressed-out parents, there truly is no better movie to bond over with your little darlings. Teen Titans Go! To The Movies – a feature-length movie spawned from the animated Cartoon Network series – is naturally silliness personified which instantly connects with both adults and the kids it’s aimed at. An active part of the cinematic DC universe, this is one route that finally works its fun magic. Whilst the rest of the DC superhero...

Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

We may have barely just had the devastating Avengers: Infinity War but its tiniest superhero is back to typically break a few balls. By all means, this film is all about The Wasp while Ant-Man eagerly takes a well-deserved backseat. The title is misleading, where you are undoubtedly led to assume that Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp is the faithful sidekick, in fact, its Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man who fills this job nicely and the film is all the better for it. The film is sandwiched between Avengers: Civil War and Infinity War, Scott Laing (Paul...

Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review

There is absolutely no doubt as to why Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible is the strongest franchise Hollywood has to offer. In a world where CGI rules the roost, Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie perform their high aerial stunts in the real world. Delivering a thrilling ride proving every mission they undertake is certainly possible whilst not scrimping on its entertainment value. Events escalate no sooner as the picture opens; Ethan (Cruise) and his merry men, Simon Pegg’s Benji and the man-made wall,...

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again Review

Long-awaited sequels seem to be the special of the month. 10 long years after Mamma Mia hit our screens; the Abba musical is back and promises to be just as big a hit as its original big screen adaptation. Filled to the brim with a number of Abba bangers and the return of the original cast; be prepared for...

Skyscraper Review

The world’s tallest building, a towering inferno, and Dwayne Johnson’s relentless fight to save his family. What more could you want from a Friday night mind-numbing popcorn movie? Rawson Marshall Thurber’s venture into the vertigo-inducing thriller delivers just that, but there is a sense of déjà vu here and not even Johnson’s charisma can spark a flame of excitement into this CGI blaze. Johnson’s Will Sawyer is a former Soldier and FBI hostage...

Incredibles 2 Review

It’s been 14 years loyal fans of the Pixar superhero caper have had to wait for the Incredibles sequel.  In a time when superhero movies are ten a penny and the looming sequel curse hangs heavy over its head; can its charm and appeal still hold up? With Brad Bird back at the helm, the family animated feature deservedly...

Uncle Drew Review

There is a crucial issue with releasing films that mostly appeal to American audiences into the UK market; an issue that stands grounded very much within the core of Charles Stone III Uncle Drew is its cultural content. Don’t get it twisted; I’m referring to the particular subject of the film, Basketball and not the ethnicity of the cast. Based on a character from...

Whitney Review

Just a year after Nick Broomfield delivered his heart-breaking documentary on the tragic life of the legendary singer Whitney Houston, comes another to pierce the hearts of loyal fans all over again. In Broomfield’s portrait, we witnessed the raw and honest rise and fall of the voice that broke the mould. Lacking the support of the Houston family, Broomfield’s creation was just a little rough around the edges; Kevin McDonald’s own...

Leave No Trace Review

It’s been eight years since director Debra Granik presented Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. With only two documentaries in that time, the filmmaker embarks on a delicately emotional feature with Leave No Trace; an adaptation of the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock. Going back to nature and the fundamentals of parenthood, Granik produces a nuanced story of self-imposed homelessness; where one army vet Father’s love to protect his daughter from...

Adrift Review

Director Baltasar Kormákur, better known for helming the action comedy 2 Guns, ventures into the depths of the deep blue sea with Adrift. The tragic true life story of free spirit Tami Oldham’s fight for survival adrift a shipwrecked boat for 41 days. No straightforward tale of survival, the film is a heartbreaking mish-mash tale of love and survival...

Overboard Review

Like it or loathe it, remakes are here to stay for the foreseeable future. The latest in an extensive line of unoriginal ideas come from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Robert Greenberg and Bob Fisher in the form of the 1987 romcom classic Overboard. Where the original provided the natural spark of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell fusing the chemistry in the first; this remake with its...

Studio 54 Review

In the late seventies, amongst the Manhattan elite comprising of mostly celebrities, the number one nightclub to be associated with was Studio 54. At its height, the hedonistic disco inferno was the place to be. Even to this day, those that were lucky enough to be let through the front doors of a former CBS TV Studio, dreamily cloud over in the excess of their memories of...

The Rape of Recy Taylor Review

American history is shrouded in hateful racist issues, for years many minorities were subjected to brutality that is off-the-charts unfathomable. Yet, in 2018, the so-called great, progressive nation is seeing a revival in its narrow thinking bubbling to the surface like an acidic bail. Nancy Buirski’s documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor, couldn’t be any timelier as the director...

Tully Review

Post-natal depression is no laughing matter. Even in 2018 we hardly hear the cries of those mothers finding it a struggle to cope with day to day life after the birth of their bundle of joy. It’s a struggle many men dismiss as poppy-cock (as experienced from a fellow male critic at this particular screening); as they turn a blind eye to carry on with their conventional lives without the upheaval to their...

A Wrinkle in Time Review

A Wrinkle in Time Review

Ava DuVernay has been making waves in the cinematic universe since wowing audiences with her outstanding directional abilities since she graced us with the stirring Selma. Her next move was the powerful documentary on African American inmates, 13. Now crossing over the line from reality into a Disney fantasy world, DuVernay takes on the adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time with a visual power to blow the mind, but the story falls...

You Were Never Really Here Review

Since 2017’s Cannes film festival, acclaimed director Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here has bounced off the lips of many a cinephile with riotous respect. It’s a psycho-drama that evokes the splendour of Martin Scorsese’ Taxi Driver with a broodingly paced plot, relying heavily on suggestion than any real brutality and an eerily haunting and atmospheric score from...

The Shape of Water Review

There is no disputing Guillermo del Toro’s worth as an extraordinary filmmaker. From Pan’s Labyrinth to Hell Boy bringing fantasy to life with a beating heart. In his latest fairytale for adults he teams, a mute cleaner with her ideal mysterious partner of a human-shaped creature of the sea, the beauty and wonder of his layered creation is a story of a...

Black Panther Review

Since Ryan Coogler burst onto the scene with his debut, Fruitvale Station he has set the precedence in his affecting and hard-hitting storytelling; cementing his name as one to watch in delivering films that communicate to audiences who have rarely been given the chance to shine. It’s been a long time coming but Coogler’s POC cinematic revolution is finally upon us in Marvel’s Black Panther. Not just a celebration of black excellence in an arena...

Roman J Israel Esq Review

It’s hard to fathom Dan Gilroy’s awkwardly titled Roman J Israel Esq. is only his second stint as director, his first coming from the intense drama stylings of Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The writer/director has kept to the intellectual script that’s doused in a characterisation study, bringing in another A-list name in Denzel Washington and extracting, as he did with Gyllenhaal, a career best with...

Phantom Thread Review

It’s almost criminal that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is Daniel Day-Lewis’s swansong. The award winning actor has taken method to levels of extremity and immersed himself into character after character with a passionate realism that embroils audiences to his pictures. In his final bow, Lewis brings to life Reynolds Woodcock’s 1950’s style and grace with an artist’s flair of confidence and disdain; giving a master class in believability in...

Journey’s End Review

RC’ Sheriff’s poignant war story has been adapted for the stage and film on numerous occasions over the years. In Saul Dibbs latest adaptation for the big screen, we are engulfed in a deeply affecting era of hope and despair on a personal and emotionally charged level. Stripping back to just the essentials and delving deep into the souls of those forced onto the front...

Early Man Review

Wallace and Gromit creators, Aardman and stalwart Nick Park come together yet again for a new claymation adventure with Early Man. This time the stop-motion geniuses take us on a historical tour to the Stoneage. Where our basic ancestors lacked the brain capacity of a pea but are still pitted against the European Bronze age creators in a battle of the beautiful game, Football. Jumping firmly on the 2018...

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Smallfoot Review

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