Friday, April 23, 2021

Movie Reviews

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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...

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...