Reviews

Film Review: Spencer is an unconventional tale of tragedy, reinforced by a mesmeric Kristen Stewart

January 20, 2022

In the opening moments of Pablo Larraín‘s Spencer, his subject – Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart, beyond impressive) – hopes to maintain any shred of autonomy she can through a lifestyle she knows has wildly altered her reality.  Late to a family Christmas celebratory weekend – the film focuses on December 24th-26th in the early 1990’s, […]

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Film Review: Nightmare Alley is an intoxicatingly beautiful and haunting noir thriller from Guillermo del Toro

January 19, 2022

So intoxicatingly beautiful is Guillermo del Toro‘s haunting Nightmare Alley that its sheer aesthetic pleasures alone are enough to forgive the narrative sins it commits along the way. Far from the unnerving horror film the trailers would have you believe, del Toro’s adaptation of William Lindsay Greshem‘s 1946 novel – first made into a feature […]

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Film Review: The Last Thing Mary Saw is a horror-leaning drama that opts for tension over indulgent gore

January 19, 2022

Religious principles and the notion of intolerance run thematically rampant in The Last Thing Mary Saw, a horror-leaning drama film that announces first time filmmaker Edoardo Vitaletti as an intriguing mind to keep our radar on. Opting for tension and unease rather than overt gore, Mary… is an 1843 set period chiller that opens on […]

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Film Review: The 355 masks its genre simplicities with a willing cast and an escapism attitude

January 14, 2022

Whilst there’s nothing remotely original about The 355, that certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of fun to be had with this slice of pure escapism fluff that manages to mask its simplicities with a willing cast and a scrappy, can-do attitude. Outside of directing, Simon Kinberg has a rather enviable resume.  He served as […]

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Film Review: Scream is a joyous and violently unpredictable film that honours the spirit of the original series

January 12, 2022

In 1996, when horror was a bad word and the slasher subsect had been relegated to bargain bins and a straight-to-VHS lifespan, genre maestro Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes) and a (then) relatively unknown Kevin Williamson dared to defy the conventions by creating a film that played into the […]

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Film Review: King Richard is a winning biopic that transcends genre expectation

January 11, 2022

As much as King Richard has all the trappings of a biopic – and a sports drama, for that matter – it’s a testament to everyone involved that it manages to entirely transcend expectation and feel like something that’s so much more. It’s easy to wax lyrical about the fact that we’re getting a film […]

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Film Review: The Tender Bar is well-meaning, yet mediocre storytelling that shines brightest through Ben Affleck’s gentle performance

January 7, 2022

The Tender Bar is very much the type of film we’ve seen before, and, unfortunately for George Clooney‘s well-meaning dramedy, it’s been done better than what this narrative ultimately presents. A coming-of-age story where the protagonist overcomes his or her personal and professional struggles to achieve ultimate success, all the while guided by a wise […]

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Film Review: The King’s Man adds a surprising emotionality to a series built on exaggerated violence and humour

January 6, 2022

At a time when sequels are delighting in a certain sense of nostalgia – looking no further than the latest iterations of Spider-Man, The Matrix, Ghostbusters, and the forthcoming Scream as immediate examples – you have to at least hand it to director Matthew Vaughn for opting out of such a proven trend for The […]

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Film Review: The Addams Family 2 is a little too safe for a property built on creeps, kooks and ooks

January 6, 2022

Whatever creepiness, kookiness and all together ookiness that has been evoked by previous incarnations of The Addams Family is sadly nowhere to be seen in this safe-playing sequel, one that manages to bury any of the morbid humour and likeability we’d expect from the usually reliable pens of Dan Hernandez (Pokemon: Detective Pikachu), Benji Samit […]

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Film Review: The entertainingly perverse House of Gucci shows the comedy and drama behind the depravity of greed

January 5, 2022

House of Gucci is the second 2021 film from acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott. The first was the medieval drama The Last Duel, which was about a true story involving a woman who was fighting for her voice to be heard after being sexually abused in a tyrannically and patriarchal society. The second is about a […]

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Film Review: Red Rocket is a bleak, uncomfortable comedy heightened by the career-redefining turn of Simon Rex

January 4, 2022

When we are first introduced to Red Rocket‘s lead subject – washed-up porn star Mikey (Simon Rex) – writer/director Sean Baker frames him in such a manner that alludes to him being one of those scrappy anti-heroes whose undeniable charm is enough for us to forgive his indiscretions. And indeed, Mikey is that (in a […]

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Interview: Nick Kroll on enjoying the free rein of voicing Uncle Fester in The Addams Family 2

January 3, 2022

Despite his prolific status within comedy, chances are you’re likely to recognise Nick Kroll‘s voice before seeing him in person.  Biding his time between family fare – just this last month he was heard as Gunter in the animated Sing 2 – and more adult aimed comedy – if you’ve laughed at either Coach Steve, […]

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Film Review: The Tragedy of Macbeth is a razor-sharp adaptation of the famous Scottish play

January 2, 2022

The Tragedy of Macbeth is the latest film from Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers; best known for their works that are singular in vision, unique in meshing genres and humorous in their own idiosyncrasies. For his latest film, he is working solo for what is the umpteenth adaptation of the titular Shakespearean play. Many […]

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Film Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife heavily winks to fans of the original in its bid to conjure up nostalgia

December 30, 2021

There’s a lot of DNA shared between Jason Reitman‘s Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the 1984 original that his father, Ivan Reitman, helmed to fruition.  But it’s not just a familial bond that links the respective films, with several portions of the film’s plot and its character line-up clearly based off what came those near-four decades prior.  […]

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Film Review: Delicious will sate audiences with its sumptuous and heart-warming tale

December 27, 2021

Many of us have probably never contemplated a world where restaurants didn’t exist. The French film, Delicious traces the origins of those humble establishments with a heart-warming story involving French nobility. The result is a visual feast that will warm the cockles and sate the appetite just like a fine Christmas dinner. Éric Besnard directs […]

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Film Review: Licorice Pizza is joyously subversive look on nostalgia; led by a star-making performance by Alana Haim

December 27, 2021

Set in 1973 San Fernando Valley, California. Licorice Pizza tells the story of Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a TV show actor and high schooler who is smitten with the school photographer/volunteer Alana Kane (Alana Haim). The two are aware of the elephant in the room in terms of them being together; being the vast 10-year […]

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Film Review: The Worst Person in the World finds the soothing comfort in one’s own discomforting outlook

December 24, 2021

As much as The Worst Person in the World adheres to many of the standard ingredients of the “romantic comedy”, to refer to Joachim Trier‘s as one would be doing it a massive disservice. Detailed over 12 chapters (and both a prologue and epilogue), the film gives us a look into a certain period of […]

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Film Review: The Matrix Resurrections toes the line between familiarity and freshness as it reconsiders reality

December 22, 2021

Few movies from 1999 can boast as much as The Matrix.  A groundbreaking effort, both in terms of its special effects and its allegoric mentality, The Wachowski‘s post-apocalyptic, philosophical action film pushed the boundaries of modern cinema, exceeding audience expectation in the process. Maintaining a cultural relevance in the decades since essentially allows such a […]

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Film Review: Being the Ricardos is a narratively disjointed, though enjoyably acted biopic about the unmatched Lucille Ball

December 21, 2021

Much was said about Being the Ricardos before it even screened for critics, with the fact that stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem were somewhat controversial casting choices to play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.  Neither looks considerably like the legendary comedic performers, which left a certain sour taste in the mouths of those wondering […]

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Film Review: Sing 2 is a harmless, uplifting family outing that wins over with its charm and soundtrack

December 20, 2021

For better or worse, Illumination will always be known as the studio that gave an extended life to Minions.  Originally something of a throwaway gag to provide easy laughs within the Despicable Me films, they took on a force of their own and seemed to pull focus from any other studio property.  One such charmer […]

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Film Review: West Side Story is the most alive Steven Spielberg has felt as a director in over a decade

December 19, 2021

Even for a filmmaker of Steven Spielberg‘s stature, it’s safe to say that taking on a property such as West Side Story would still be a daunting task.  The 1961 cinematic adaptation of the 1957 Broadway production was awarded 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, and has remained something of a cultural criterion in the decades […]

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Film Review: The Novice is unrelenting in its depiction of striving for physical perfection

December 16, 2021

Though presented in the guise of a character drama, The Novice is very much a psychological thriller detailing the compulsive, obsessive need one can hone in their attempt to perfect their field of interest.  For the central figure in Lauren Hadaway‘s dark effort, Alex Dall (Isabelle Fuhrman, dedicating herself wholeheartedly to the role, both physically […]

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Film Review: Spider-Man: No Way Home is an emotional and extravagant sequel that pays specific service to its devoted fanbase

December 15, 2021

Arguably 2021’s most anticipated film – and safely the most anticipated Spider-Man title in the history of the character, thus far – Spider-Man: No Way Home is the epitome of the sweeping superhero epic.  Already a release that comes with an unreasonably high set of expectations (the are they or aren’t they debate surrounding the […]

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Film Review: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City struggles to stay alive as it rests on horror cliches

December 9, 2021

Whilst I completely understand wanting to re-visit a fruitful series such as Resident Evil, one that pulled in significant coin despite being critically slaughtered, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City hardly makes such a trip worthwhile. For starters, Milla Jovovich, patron saint of these entirely disposable films, hasn’t been brought back.  Yes, it being a […]

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Film Review: Dear Evan Hansen; Return to sender or a letter worth reading?

December 9, 2021

Despite the fact that it’s a narrative known to the many that witnessed its theatre run since 2015, when the synopsis was revealed for the filmic adaptation of Steven Levenson‘s Dear Evan Hansen there was considerable shock and near-instant backlash.  The notion of an emotionally disturbed teenager’s ultimate suicide being used as a plotting hook […]

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Film Review: The French Dispatch is Wes Anderson at his self-effacing and extravagant best

December 9, 2021

The French Dispatch tells a series of stories through a framework of a newspaper publication known as The French Dispatch. The framework begins with the death of Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray), the editor of said publication and we follow the stories of the final farewell issue; which consists of three major articles, a minor […]

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Film Review: The Protege is a serviceable action film elevated by its cast

December 7, 2021

New Zealand-born director Martin Campbell is no slouch when it comes to the action genre.  Sure, there was the stumble that was the thorn in Ryan Reynolds’ side, Green Lantern, and Beyond Borders, despite suitable work from both Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen, was a boring misstep, but having reinvigorated the Bond films at times […]

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Film Review: Benedetta is a blasphemous, confronting farce from director Paul Verhoeven

December 4, 2021

If there’s one thing director Paul Verhoeven loves to do, it’s poke the bear.  As he has so gleefully outraged audiences and critics across his career, his latest exploitive project – the “based on a true story” nunsploitation drama(?) Benedetta – could easily be dismissed as blasphemous, but there’s also an alarming sincerity to his […]

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Film Review: The Card Counter deals a hand that benefits the house more than the player

December 2, 2021

Kenny Rogers so famously told us “You gotta know when to fold ’em”, and in The Card Counter writer/director Paul Schrader seems unsure as to which hand he wants to confidently play.  It’s not that this film is poorly made, nor is his commitment to the representation of desolation anything other than pure, but it’s […]

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Film Review: Dune merges its blockbuster aesthetic with a desolate mentality.

December 2, 2021

Despite reading Frank Herbert‘s 1965 novel many moons ago and viewing David Lynch’s bizarre 1984 adaptation during my youth, Dune was still a title that felt foreign to me when entering the theatre to bare witness to Denis Villeneuve‘s much-discussed imagining.  Sure, I can clearly see the inspiration this operatic story had on the science-fiction […]

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