Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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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...

Coco Review

Disney team up yet again with Pixar for their latest cultural offering with a tremendous amount of heart and vibrancy. Director Lee Unkrich’s vision of spectacular colour embodies the Disney template spicing up the picture with humour, sprinkling with a melancholic learning experience of cultural traditions and grief and filling its very core with catchy musical tinklings - especially with a touching ditto...

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...

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...

Goosebumps Review – Just One Long Average Teen Fantasy Chase Movie.

In Goosebumps we get to see the monsters created by author R.L. Stine in his book series brought to life for the big screen, full of scary monsters and an evil ventriloquist dummy that seems to take its inspiration from the 1945 movie Dead of Night. That’s not the only movie reference which may seem familiar with any of the...

Bitter Harvest Review

When retelling important parts of world history we are almost, most certainly, presented with a slightly skewed version, one of bias, surrounding the truth of events that played out and always what we are lead to believe happened. Bitter Harvest, which centres around Joseph Stalin’s 1930’s ‘genocidal’ policies, is placed firmly into that mould. Part love story, part political hammering...

Chicken Review – Beautifully Gut Wrenching.

Every now and again British Independent films produce a beautiful little gem that needs to be shouted about from the rooftops, and in Chicken, we have just that. Low budget but huge on heart and exceptional performances from its virtually unknown cast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1e-d57_7kg The feature length directorial debut for Joe Stephenson, Chicken is already causing a stir and has had the...

The Book of Henry Review

Six months into 2017 and the Razzies look set to have a clear winner for worst movie of 2017 come award season; The Book of Henry more than deserves the title for its trudging baffling plot which spirals into a detached and directional cesspit of incoherent confusion. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was yet another child genius movie, and...

Mojave Review – Anti-Climatic and humdrum, it’s a far cry from a worthy Thriller.

Writer and Director William Monahan may be best known for his award-winning screenplay The Departed, Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies but Mojave is a far cry from his best work on the big screen, even the brilliant Oscar Isaac couldn’t save this one from being anything but fairly average. Mojave tells the story of Superstar Tom (Garrett Hedlund),...

An Entanglement Review

Unlike feature films, plays, concerts etc., short films aren't necessarily viewed as an entertainment medium for the casual viewer. With films like An Entanglement, it's a shame that short films aren't particularly mainstream enough to be seen by a large number of people. At just 16 minutes long, the short film starring Shiri Appleby (unREAL) features just 3 characters and...

The Purge Election Year Review

There is certainly one thing that The Purge Election Year will do and have the series of films die-hard fans whooping for delight in yet another blood-spattered offering in a genre that quite frankly needs a bomb up its backside to make them worthwhile watching again. It’s the same old story for The Purge Election Year as it brings nothing...

The Greatest Showman Review

Musicals are not to the taste of many, but in The Greatest Showman, we get a grand old Christmas, feel-good fare of cheesy entertainment. A showcase, as such, for the singing and dancing talents of one Hugh Jackman doused with a number of catchy and foot tapping numbers designed to put a grin on your face. It’s these attributes that drown out any form of a strong dramatical...

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...

Chi-Raq Review

It’s been a fair few years since Spike Lee has created anything of any note; a filmmaker who is known for his controversial social and political stance brings his filmmaking prowess in what is probably his finest piece of work in some time with Chi-Raq. Films don’t come much sexier, politically fierce and layered with feminism as much as Lee’s...

All the Money in the World Review

If you are not already aware of Ridley Scott’s, based on a true story, All The Money in the World about the kidnapping of Oil Tycoon and Billionaire J.P. Getty’s grandson, have you been living under a rock? When news emerged of the original leading man, Kevin Spacey’s sexual harassment allegations, Scott quickly went to work on erasing all traces of Spacey from the movie. Recasting the role of J.P. Getty with the veteran actor,...

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,...

Live By Night DVD Review

Ben Affleck’s rollercoaster career has hit the heights and plumbed the depths.  So where does his gangster flick, Live By Night, fit in? Related: The Films of Zoe Saldana Nearly five years ago, Ben Affleck was riding high on the success of his Iran hostage thriller, Argo.  It went down well with critics and audiences and there was more to come...

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...

Demolition Review – An emotionless melodrama which fails to connect to its audience.

With Demolition we hope for the same kind of drama and script as Director Jean –Marc Vallee’s Oscar Nominated Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. What we get is a trip into the abyss, filled with nothingness making you feel empty and cheated, leaving nothing but disappointment. From the very onset, Demolition tries way too hard on the melodrama front, almost...

13 Hours Review – Michael Bay’s Big Brash Bold Statement of Explosive Action Doesn’t Quite Fuel the Political Fire.

With the official credit reading as 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Director Michael Bay takes a slight change in direction in this true story of six elite ex-military special op’s men. That is of course until we come across the massive big budget explosions and action sequences. Michael Bay, who is best known for his Transformers series has...

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Review

In Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, director Ang Lee tries something radically different. But why make a film that nobody can see in the way he intends?  When the latest film from a director like Ang Lee gets a limited distribution, the immediate question is “why?”  Especially when you know that Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk got the thumbs down...

Get Out Review

It’s not easy piecing together a thrilling horror which has very rarely been seen before, one that will have audiences beguiled by its mixture of humour, horror, political statements and a barrel load of suspense. Jordan Peele, in his directorial debut with Get Out, has broken out of his comedy corner and rustled up a dish of fresh, fun yet...

Indignation Review

Indignation is the feature film debut of the vastly experienced producer and film executive James Schamus -who has been a mainstay of cinema for the past two decades. He is an award-winning screenwriter who has collaborated frequently with cinematic great Ang Lee on films such as Brokeback Mountain, Lust, Caution and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The kind of impressive pedigree...

Born to be Blue Review

Born to be Blue adds its name to this year’s expanding list of biopics with a difference. This time looking at a period in the life of Jazz musician Chet Baker played here by an exceptional Ethan Hawke. It's Hawke’s performance that uplifts this story from what can be a very slow almost humdrum of a film. Following in slightly...

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...

Robinson Crusoe Review – 3D Animation at its best.

Robinson Crusoe has had an animation make-over to bring to life the classic age-old story.  This time, it’s the animals of the island that tell this tale, with the aid of vibrant and eye-popping 3D – the kids are going to love this. This version of the shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe however, isn’t told from his viewpoint but those of the...

Going in Style Review

In Going In Style, a trio of A-list pensioners decide to rob a bank.  But can the film get away with it? There’s a moment in Zach Braff’s Going In Style where would-be bank robbers Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are watching Dog Day Afternoon on TV.  It’s armchair research for them, but for the audience, it’s a...

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...

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...

Sing Review

American animation film production company, Illumination Entertainment, made a name for itself back in 2010 with break-out film, Despicable Me. Since then, it’s profited on the popularity of the sideline stars, the Minions, and produced a sequel, a spin-off, plus other adventures away from that universe, including this summer's The Secret Life of Pets. Their seventh film in six years comes...

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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...

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