Film Review: American Assassin

Posted on:

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!

Posted on:

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

Posted on:

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: Mother!

Posted on:

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 […]

> > Read More...

Film Review: It

Posted on:

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 […]

> > Read More...

Film Review: Detroit

Posted on:

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

Posted on:

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

Posted on:

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

Posted on:

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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Film Review: Dunkirk

Posted on:

Victory Deferred 

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s war movie is a real palate cleanser in an era of CG saturation and post-Saving Private Ryan realist violence. That’s not to decry Spielberg’s approach to recreating the theatre of World War II. Then it seemed like a necessary corrective to decades of heightened, bloodless depictions of warfare, divorced from the inhumane brutality […]

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Film Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

Posted on:

Going Ape 

WFTPOTA

Warning: This review contains minor plot spoilers. You may wish to stroke these apes before reading on. War for the Planet of the Apes is a sumptuous conclusion to the trilogy that began, without much promise, with a story centred on James Franco’s improbable neuroscientist and John Lithgow’s Alzheimer’s disease. Who knew then that once […]

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Film Review: Spider-Man – Homecoming

Posted on:

Brand Ambassador

SMHC

Warning: This review contains a plot spoiler. Marvel’s great wheeze, when looking for a reliable method for churning out four hits a year, has been to ransack the movie archives for tried and tested templates that can be adapted to the relevant comic book. The recent Doctor Strange channelled Inception, Guardians of the Galaxy reworked […]

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