Saturday, December 15, 2018

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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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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