Calibre, written and directed by Matt Palmer, is not only a strong directorial debut from Mr Palmer, but also offers something I haven’t experienced in quite some time; a Netflix original film that is actually good and worth talking about. The film is small in scope, simple in concept and really well executed. I found myself pulled in by the friendly characters and subsequently gripped by the inciting incident that sets in motion actions and outcomes that shocked me and had me fully attentive right up until the very end. Anyway, let’s stop waffling on with this introduction and get to the actual review, and see what it is about this Netflix original that makes it worth talking about in a positive manner, shall we. Read more
Sicario 2: Soldado, directed by Stefano Sollima, makes some very daring choices from the beginning and throughout. For a multitude of reasons, I can see this film upsetting people, but for me, it was a bold film that stuck to its vision and delivered a solid sequel to what was a great film (Sicario). I didn’t think it possible to follow Denis Villeneuve’s unflinching vision with the first one, but Sollima makes a worthy attempt at doing so. He doesn’t completely nail it, but still, his time, and more importantly our time, was not wasted. So let’s make our way into the main review and see how this sequel shapes up, in better detail. Read more
Like a lot of people, the original Jurassic Park is one of my favourite films. If I were to ever make a top 10 list, it would surely be on it. I have such fond memories when I was a wee lad of watching the film and obsessing over every bit of it. But I think we can all admit that after Jurassic Park, things haven’t been… great in the franchise. In this piece, I want to talk about why a franchise I once loved and adored is now one I no longer want to share in… and why that’s okay. Read more
Hereditary, written and directed by Ari Aster, is an odd one – and I mean that in both good ways and bad ways. This film is NOT what I was expecting. The trailers showed to me a particular type of film and particular type of expected experience, and I got the complete opposite. But that’s not where the issues with the film lay for me (I actually found that particular aspect to actually be one of my favourite things about the film, but I’ll touch upon that more soon). My issue lay with the fact that this film felt… confused. There are severe tonal issues and the film didn’t always feel like it had a handle on what it wanted to be. This is going to be an interesting review to write (and hopefully read) as I’m conflicted on how I properly feel about Hereditary. So, let’s make our way into the review and see what it is about this film that leaves me feeling such a way. Read more
Journey’s End, directed by Saul Dibb, is an incredibly intense and incredibly poignant film that from its opening scene had me completely gripped by its story and its characters. The exploration and handling of the characters in this film is extremely moving. You become a part of a story that will see you brought down into a place that you can’t imagine being in. You explore characters who are irrevocably broken. And if you’re like me, you will be infinitely moved by it. I’m eager to move on from this introduction and get to the main review, so let’s get to it. Read more
I wanted to do something a little different this week. I had the pleasure of being able to go see Stanley Kubrick’s, sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey in the cinema and once it had finished and I was leaving said cinema, I had the urge to write (ramble) about the film a little bit. This won’t be a review, because at this point, far smarter and more well-spoken people have explored all that this film has to offer. Instead, I’m just wanting to gush about the film for a wee bit and also talk about one of the best directors in cinema’s history. So, if you’ll please indulge me for a little bit, I’m going to explore 2001: A Space Odyssey. Read more
Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, is certainly a fun summer blockbuster film. However, in the context of Star Wars, it feels largely unnecessary. There were certainly points in this film where I was wowed by the action and was fully engaged in the fun of it all, but there were still those moments where I wanted to do nothing more but plunge my head into my hands and try not to let my eyes roll fully out of my head. I’m conflicted when it comes to this film, but hopefully my review will help to clear up how I feel, while also letting you know if this is a film worth your time. So, let’s get on with the review. Read more
The Square, written and directed by Ruben Östlund, was a film that continually surprised me. Scenes almost never played out how I expected them to and were continually filled with opposing elements that would only strengthen the outcome of what was trying to be achieved. A central message that, while being pushed a little too hard sometimes, is still successfully touched upon because of a main character whose journey that both compliments what the film is trying to say, while also being a meaningful journey that you want to be a part of. All this and more means there’s a lot that The Square tackles and I don’t know if I’ll get to talk about all of it, but to have the chance to talk about this film at all is something I’m eager (a little nervous) to do. So, let’s get to it. Read more
Cargo, directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, is yet another example that, while Netflix’s original TV output is more than reliable, its original movies leave A LOT to be desired. In Cargo, there seems to be a lack of drive – with Martin Freeman’s character feeling like he’s just wandering around the Australian outback looking for a plot. The film also places itself within a genre (the zombie genre) that is oversaturated and lacks originality – the latter being something that Cargo now adds to. I continue to do these reviews of Netflix films hoping… waiting for a really good one to come along. So, let’s make our way into another review, where I lament that lack of quality that is coming from one of the biggest streaming services out there. Read more
Deadpool 2, directed by David Leitch, as expected, is a continuously joyous ride full of laughs, actions and all out fun. Now, some of the issues that I had with the first Deadpool film persist; but a better understanding of what liberties they can take, and what budgetary constraints they have (under the guidance of a new, more experienced director), in my opinion, result in a more well-rounded, better constructed film. Deadpool 2 definitely has its faults, but they are faults that I feel can be easily overlooked, if you are happy to continue to accept the oddball world that this universe has established. So, let’s dive deeper into this film and see what it succeeds at, and what it doesn’t, shall we. Read more
Entebbe (or ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ for readers outside the UK), directed by José Padilha, could have very easily been simple and plain in its execution, but surprisingly ended up being an engaging film that held my interest throughout. I think in large part because of the reasonably large and well-developed set of characters that the film offers/explores; Entebbe was a film that I was eager to keep watching. It isn’t a film that necessarily does anything outstanding, but it does take a very simple story and make it into something more than what it could have been. So, let’s find our way into the review and see if this is a film worth your time, shall we. Read more
This review contains some minor SPOILERS!
I Kill Giants, directed by Anders Walter, was a film that I think needed to find some lighter moments in its character’s adventures, rather than being a film that emotionally beats you down to the point where you have nothing left to give. There is a powerful story in, I Kill Giants, but I think some creative decisions unfortunately led to this film not delivering on the poignant story / message that it was trying to explore. Let’s make our way into the review and see if there are any redeeming qualities that make this a film worth seeing. Read more
Tully, directed by Jason Reitman, is at all times an emotionally upfront film, that for me, delivered an uplifting tale through its honest portrayal of home life, and in the end was an experience that left a smile on my face. With a structurally tight script and a strong lead performance by Charlize Theron; Tully delivers a film that far exceeded my expectations. There are some elements to this film that I’m eager to talk about and explore so let’s get to that. On with the review. Read more
Kodachrome, directed by Mark Raso, never feels like it reaches its full potential but still manages to deliver a touching little film. This film struggles to fully develop its stories and never feels like it earns particular moments, but thanks to a great cast, who are offered some well-developed characters; there is still something quite lovely about this film. So, let’s make our way into the review and see if this is one of those indie Netflix films worth settling down and enjoying for the night. Read more
Warning! This review contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War!
Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, is absolutely a success in what Marvel set out to do 10 years ago. Now, a film of this magnitude; with the number of characters it was juggling, and the scope of the threat it is dealing with; means it of course falters in a few places – there are elements to this film that absolutely didn’t work for me. But in the context of the larger film; what it had to juggle; what it needed to accomplish; and the massive audience that it has to serve – especially after 10 years’ worth of well-loved films leading up to it. I think Marvel and the Russo brothers have accomplished what could have easily been a massive bin fire full of disappointment and broken dreams. Having said that though, there is one glaring issue to this film that could easily bring all those positive comments / feelings crumbling down. So, now I have to try to review this film in a coherent way; touching upon all the necessary little moments that need to be talked about. Wish me luck.
God of War, developed by Santa Monica Studio and published Sony, is a never-ending, seamlessly executed single player adventure of epic proportions. Sony continues their dominance with first-party, narratively driven single player experiences; with a game that will undoubtedly be remembered as one of this console generations standout games. There’s a lot to talk about (and I won’t get to touch on everything) and I’m eager to get to that talking, so let’s dispense with the introduction and get to reviewing God of War. Read more
Ghost Stories, written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, pulls you in with a familiar set of tales and then slowly weaves a narrative that will frighten you, amuse you and have you questioning everything that you’ve just watched. What I thought would be a simple little British horror film became something that left me wide-eyed and excited to write this review. I’ll have to dodge and weave through this one though, as I don’t want to step on any spoiler filled land mines. Let’s get to the review, shall we. Read more
Brigsby Bear, directed by Dave McCary, traverses a number of tones that end up causing a confusing feeling experience that at times is difficult to find a connection with. There is sincerity in the creativity within this film and there are moments that fill your heart with uplifting feelings. But there are also times where I sat with a furrowed brow, trying to understand what the intention of the scenes were and what type of film Brigsby Bear was trying to be. I shifted between liking this film and struggling to understand it, which made for a watching experience in which I never felt settled. I think (hope) breaking down how this film operates will help me figure out how I truly felt about it. So let’s get to it. Read more
Thoroughbreds, written and directed by Cory Finley, offers two main characters who continually fascinate you and have you forever questioning their motives and what they are really thinking. This was a film that at times felt rudderless. It knew where it wanted to be and knew the general direction for getting there, but there seemed to be a lack of a driving force to get them there in a stable, concicive way. But, there is still something to this film that pulls you and intrigues you. Something that resulted in me being at all times interested in seeing where it was going. This is one of those films that sticks around in your head long after it’s done. So let’s explore what Thoroughbreds gets right and what it doesn’t, and see if this is a film you should check out. Read more
A Quiet Place, co-written and directed by John Krasinski, holds you in the palm of its hand and toys with you whenever it feels like it. Sound – or the lack of it – plays a crucial role in this film and it is used to great effect. I can’t remember the last time I sat in a cinema that was so consumed by silence. The film is certainly light on story and characters, but what it does with them is effective in creating an atmosphere that is unrelenting, and an experience that grips you completely. Krasinski has certainly shown to me that he has a future in the horror genre, but before that becomes the case, let’s breakdown and explore, A Quiet Place. Read more