Review

Dual is a blend of deadpan satire and high concept sci-fi that mainly succeeds off Karen Gillan’s fascinating performance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

With its mix of deadpan satire and high concept sci-fi – comparisons to Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2015 dystopian black comedy The Lobster feel imminent – Dual may be an off-putting experiment to many who can’t readily accept Riley Stearns‘ mentality.  It certainly helps that the film is headlined by the wonderful Karen Gillan though, delivering two […]

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Summering is an appealing, if safe, drama about the bonds of female adolescence: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Comparisons to Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming-of-age drama Stand By Me will be inevitable when discussing James Ponsoldt‘s Summering; the Sundance fixture returning to the festival following his last effort, the critically mauled 2017 Tom Hanks vehicle The Circle, the first of his filmography to not screen at the festival.  The dark elements, thematic inclinations, and […]

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Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is an intelligent sex-positive comedy headlined by a career-best Emma Thompson: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 23, 2022

Whilst there’s no surprise revealed in the fact that Emma Thompson truly deserves to be considered one of the greatest living actresses working today, it’s always appreciated when a performance solidifies such a statement.  And in the deliriously charming and strikingly emotional Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, Thompson turns in career-best work that leans […]

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Watcher is a formulaic, but no less tension-filled thriller carried by a striking Maika Monroe: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 22, 2022

A thriller that both leans into the formulaic mentality of the genre whilst simultaneously hoping to combat it, Watcher, from director Chloe Okuno (V/H/S/ 94), is a dread-filled effort that plays on the terrors of voyeurism. Gorgeously shot, though consistently lingering with uncertainty, Watcher lays focus on Julia (Maika Monroe, always a welcome presence in […]

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Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World is a shallow drama that lacks true satirical bite: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 22, 2022

There are flashes of an interesting film present within Jesse Eisenberg‘s directorial debut When You Finish Saving the World, it’s just a shame that the satirical flourishes and occasional nuances teased throughout aren’t devoted enough to to be deemed an overall success.  The film’s closing 20 minutes leans into the emotional gut-punch Eisenberg clearly hopes […]

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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: 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: 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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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: 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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Halo Infinite Multiplayer Review – Hail to the Chief

December 21, 2021

Previous Halo games have always served as a single-player experience for me. While I did attempt to get into it in the previous title Halo: Guardians, There were way too many other MMO games at that time that had my attention. After a bit of a dry spell this year, I jumped into Halo Infinite […]

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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: 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 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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Film Review: Cry Macho is a meandering drama that suffers from a lack of urgency

November 26, 2021

Though it’s undeniable what a powerhouse actor and director Clint Eastwood is – he won the Best Director and Best Picture Academy Award twice, for those keeping score – Cry Macho is proof that he’s losing his touch. His fourth film in three years – following 15:17 To Paris, The Mule, and Richard Jewell – […]

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Film Review: The Boss Baby: Family Business commits to its ludicrous premise and enjoys playing with its narrative insanity

November 25, 2021

I think it’s a fair assumption to state that not many people expected Tom McGrath‘s 2017 effort The Boss Baby to clear the half a billion dollars it did at the global box office.  It was a bizarre comedy that entirely banked on its central premise – a baby that spoke like an entitled adult […]

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Film Review: Best Sellers is a safe, easy read lightly boosted by the odd-couple pairing of Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza

November 25, 2021

Look, I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s precisely what one will do with Best Sellers, a cliched dramedy that nudges every narrative beat you expect, only mildly saved by the odd-couple pairing of Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza; his cantankerousness at odds with her more manic downtrodden-ness. […]

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I’m An Electric Lampshade is a docu-narrative that delightfully blurs the lines between what’s fact and what’s fiction: Los Angeles International Film Festival Review

November 22, 2021

Billed as a docu-narrative, indicating that both fact and fiction will be blended throughout, I’m An Electric Lampshade is a bizarre take on the age-old “It’s never too late to follow your dreams” tale, focusing on the unlikeliest of pop star wannabes. Doug McCorkle is the most basic of nondescript American men.  60-years-old, with the […]

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Film Review: Last Night In Soho is a demented, musical-inspired trip that delights in nightmarish nostalgia

November 16, 2021

A gorgeously rendered, lovingly crafted, maybe slightly messy, giallo tribute drenched in 1960’s London culture, Last Night In Soho is the type of film one wishes to dissect and divulge in intimate detail.  But that would entirely undo any service to writer/director Edgar Wright, who has implored audiences the globe over to keep their mouths […]

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