Saturday, April 20, 2019

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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...

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...

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...

On The Basis of Sex Review

This is in no way groundbreaking stuff but it does rile up frustration on behalf of women everywhere with a clenched fist. Deep Impact’s Mimi Leder follows the trend in the latest biopic that turns real-life struggles of women at the front line of fundamentally crucial work into a fascinating introduction to modern history. We’ve recently seen it in ‘A Private...

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...

Five Feet Apart Review

Commendably highlights the issues of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, you’ll learn a thing or two about this illness as well as be sappily charmed. If there is one guarantee you could take from any teen romance where terminal illness is the villain of the piece, it’s the emotional rollercoaster any filmmaker is going to embed in its very foundations, take Josh Boone’s...

Captain Marvel Review

captain marvel review

A no-nonsense, punchy and fierce introduction to Captain Marvel - Who runs the world? GIRLS! Finally, The MCU has followed Warner Bros DC lead with delivering its first female lead superhero film despite the dummy throwing of certain fanboys for this particular comic book adaptation. Leading the charge with our own real-life feminist hero in Brie Larson, a woman who...

Benjamin Review

Through all its Shoreditch hipster pretention there is a fine balancing act of witty inelegance. For those of us who can remember as far back as 2000, Simon Amstell presenting on Popworld was a staple diet for any youth. Amstell, after years on the circuit, is finally making his feature debut in which he brings his trademark awkwardness and bumbling stammer into...

What Men Want Review

Except for ticking the right diversity boxes and a few funny moments, this isn't even what women want let alone what men want. In the wake of our current climate, the gender flip movie is becoming ever more prevalent. The latest in this unoriginal trend, What Men Want, takes Mel Gibson’s 2000 What Women Want in which, after an accident...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Cold Pursuit Review

Overacted and at times and patronising in it’s over explanation of its own jokes teeters on the edge of its enjoyability for the popcorn munchers. So much for Liam Neeson retiring from his bread and butter action film, the foot in mouth actor returns to the fold in a remake of the black comedy, In Order of Disappearance.  It’s kept...

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...

Us Review

Freakishly fun but ultimately clunky and frightening, Lupita Nyong'o is a complete a badass. After the stand-out success of Get Out, audiences have been waiting with bated breath to experience what else lies in Jordan Peele’s arsenal and his latest Us proves the actor turned director was not a one-hit wonder. A thinking person’s horror that doesn’t flow as smoothly...

At Eternity’s Gate Review

Dafoe is mesmerising as Van Gogh; Schnabel delivers some masterful strokes the emptiness can become quite deafening. Vincent Van Gogh, an eccentric, bold and sensitive human being is the perfect subject for any film interpretation of his life. That’s why in the space of two years we’ve had not one but two films circling the twilight years of the artist....

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...

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