Film Review: The Ritual

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The Rafe Spall Project

Ritual

Warning: This review reveals the movie’s wholly predictable ending. Apparently The Ritual’s based on a novel by Adam Nevill, which is odd as it plays like a one-note horror premise; a half-remembered Blair Witch Project. To cap it all, there’s Rafe Spall, the argument against nepotism, whose presence in the lead generates a charismatic black […]

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Film Review: The Snowman

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Fixing a Hole

Snowman

There are cinematic oddities and there’s The Snowman, an adaptation of Norwegian scribbler Jo Nesbø’s airport lounge thriller, which we can infer from the finished product was a very troubled production indeed. You’re alert to the potential for a lost in translation celluloid calamity upon learning these are the serial killer hunting adventures of a […]

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Film Review: Blade Runner 2049

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Style and Substance 

BR2049

Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you’ve read it before seeing this title, please arrange to have the memory removed. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult sci-fi, is 35 years old. A small but vocal minority think it’s an empty vessel, but by common consent it’s a beautiful mood piece with a philosophical coda; a […]

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Film Review: The Snowman

Posted on:

Fixing a Hole

Snowman

There are cinematic oddities and there’s The Snowman, an adaptation of Norwegian scribbler Jo Nesbø’s airport lounge thriller, which we can infer from the finished product was a very troubled production indeed. You’re alert to the potential for a lost in translation celluloid calamity upon learning these are the serial killer hunting adventures of a […]

> > Read More...

Film Review: Blade Runner 2049

Posted on:

Style and Substance 

BR2049

Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you’ve read it before seeing this title, please arrange to have the memory removed. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult sci-fi, is 35 years old. A small but vocal minority think it’s an empty vessel, but by common consent it’s a beautiful mood piece with a philosophical coda; a […]

> > Read More...

Film Review: American Assassin

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Beached 

AA

Watching American Assassin gives you a dose of the mid-budget blues. You’ll be familiar with the condition. It’s that sense of frustration – wandering consciousness from lack of engagement with the wan material offered up in place of stylized thrills. It’s the sense the film’s ambitions exceeded the modest funding producers were able to achieve. […]

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Film Review: Mother!

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Hell is other people

Mother!

Warning: This review discusses aspects of the ending. Few movies that utilise a titular exclamation mark have earned such punctuation but for Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! it looks a lot like understatement. He’s created a gourmet horror movie – part domestic phantasmagoria, part riff on Rosemary’s Baby, all uncanny allegory. But an allegory about what? If […]

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Film Review: It

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Stranger Danger 

it

Warning: This review alludes to aspects of the plot. Don’t clown around and read on if you want to know naught. If you’ll allow a rare moment of self-reflection, and even if you won’t, it’s hard for this reviewer not to feel some affinity with the child heroes of It. The movie’s set in the […]

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Film Review: Detroit

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Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

Detroit

All historical dramas are about the present. The stories we choose to tell say something about the moment of the retelling, they reveal our cultural preoccupations – the stuff that keeps us up at night. The 1967 “Hotel Algiers incident” in which racist police officers responded to the firing of a starter pistol during the […]

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Film Review: Atomic Blonde

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The Communist Call

AB

Warning: This review contains a third act spoiler. Never read. In late ‘80s set Atomic Blonde, the camera pans to James McAvoy’s television and an MTV news anchor asking the big question, “sampling – is it art or plagiarism?”. Well, such mischievous archive sampling is typical of contemporary movies – self-reflexivity, in jokes, tongue in […]

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Film Review: Annabelle – Creation

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Toy Story 

AC

Warning: This reviews discusses the plot, such as it is. It’s hard to muster the enthusiasm to write about boilerplate horror, Annabelle: Creation, as this prequel to a prequel to The Conjuring is so derivative of the decade’s seemingly unkillable haunted house horrors, that there’s little left to say. David F. Sanberg, director of Lights […]

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Film Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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French Fancy

Valerian

Luc Besson, if you’re reading, which you are, it’s time to grow up. Your ambition and business acumen has always been greater than your talent, and that goes double when making long-gestating adaptations of your most cherished childhood ideas or pop cultural favourites. Understood? Now, if you can bare to, read on. Twenty years ago […]

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