Film Review: Blonde

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Something's Got to Give

Prior to watching Blonde – Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ imagined life of Marilyn Monroe – I had no opinions on the late Norma Jeane. After seeing it I still don’t. Her onscreen persona – tits and teeth; a pouting, breathless ingénue; male fantasy personified – always signified to me, and I suspect […]

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Film Review: Jurassic World – Dominion

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Trevorrow and Trevorrow and Trevorrow 

To appreciate the impact of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, Jurassic Park – not his best work by some distance, one need only consider that the basic proposition; photorealistic dinosaurs hunting humans, has sustained five sequels, none of which, like the original film, was particularly good. But Spielberg’s movie had a USP backed by skilled direction […]

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Film Review: Top Gun – Maverick

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Part Deux

Top Gun: Maverick is the quintessence of redundant cinema. It tells a story that doesn’t need to be told, existing only to trade on the memory of a film that it essentially remakes. It’s a self-conscious and meticulously calibrated appropriation of a manner and style of filmmaking that is irrefutably passé. Yet, it charismatically manipulates. […]

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Film Review: Jurassic World – Dominion

Posted on:

Trevorrow and Trevorrow and Trevorrow 

To appreciate the impact of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, Jurassic Park – not his best work by some distance, one need only consider that the basic proposition; photorealistic dinosaurs hunting humans, has sustained five sequels, none of which, like the original film, was particularly good. But Spielberg’s movie had a USP backed by skilled direction […]

> > Read More...

Film Review: Top Gun – Maverick

Posted on:

Part Deux

Top Gun: Maverick is the quintessence of redundant cinema. It tells a story that doesn’t need to be told, existing only to trade on the memory of a film that it essentially remakes. It’s a self-conscious and meticulously calibrated appropriation of a manner and style of filmmaking that is irrefutably passé. Yet, it charismatically manipulates. […]

> > Read More...

Film Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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Mad about the Boys 

There’s an endearing scattiness to Marvel’s new Doctor Strange adventure. It’s not a friendly standalone. Though the movie spells it out for the uninitiated you’ll get more from the film’s in media res approach if you’ve seen Wandavision and other Marvel TV outings – but that’s how it is now; the MCU has branches on […]

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Film Review: The Batman

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R-Bats

Warning: This review alludes to plot elements. Do not investigate further until you’ve seen this title. Warner Bros’ insatiable hunger for Batman movies may seem the product of creative timidity and commercial cynicism, because it is, but it’s also nothing new. Think of the number of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, or versions of popular characters like […]

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Film Review: Scream (2022)

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Reslash

Being a sensitive flower, I wasn’t a horror fan in 1996 but Wes Craven’s Scream was the movie that changed my mind. It was a slasher for cinephiles – maybe all kinds of philes (we never know who we’re sitting next to do we?) that deconstructed the genre while celebrating it. Craven was the perfect […]

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Film Review: The Matrix Resurrections

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O' Come all Ye Sheeple

Perhaps it was inevitable that Hollywood’s push for reboots – its lust for reviving old and browning IP, would lead to some kind of pseudo-artistic backlash, but who’d have thought it would take the form of a legacy sequel no one wanted, made by a legacy director who, on this evidence, found the idea obnoxious? […]

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Film Review: Spider-Man – No Way Home

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Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends

Warning: This review contains spoilers and should not be read by anyone who hasn’t seen this title (in any universe). Let’s leave aside the fact this Avengers: Endgame modelled bunching of two decades worth of spider-flicks will be the only substantial box office smash of 2021. That’s terminal for what passed for the theatrical experience […]

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Film Review: West Side Story (2021)

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(Reprise) 

A remake of West Side Story, or something like it, has been on Steven Spielberg’s mind for decades. 1941 – the movie, not the year, was almost a first attempt at a musical. He opened Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with an all-singing, all-dancing number; perhaps a proof of concept for something bolder. […]

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Film Review: House of Gucci

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Handbags at Dawn

Warning: This review discusses the film’s ending. Following the unseen and unbalanced The Last Duel, Ridley Scott revisits his interest in morally ambiguous women under the dynastic cosh in an altogether different vehicle. House of Gucci is, at first glance, as distanced from Duel as a chic vintage handbag is from a knight’s lance. After […]

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