Review – A Way Out

A Way Out, developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts (EA) offers the chance to share a couch with your buddy and work your way through a narratively driven experience (something that’s rare these days) and I’m glad I had the company of my friend (his name is Ross, in case you’re interested) next to me, because our shared dislike of the game and subsequent joking and bantering about it, was the only thing that pushed us to see it through to the end. There are certainly some interesting technical aspects to the game (how it handles its cooperative story, visually), but much of, A Way Out feels like busy work, rather than an engaging experience. So let’s get this review underway and see if this game is worth your time or money. Read more

Review – The Outsider

The Outsider, directed by Martin Zandvliet, had plenty of elements that could have made it a compelling, thrilling film. But due the film failing to pay any meaningful attention to its main character (plus a stony performance from Jared Leto) it quickly results in a film and an experience that feels hollow and without anything worthy to grapple with mentally. It isn’t a badly made film from a technical standpoint, but The Outsider leaves much to be desired from a narrative standpoint. Let’s make our way into the review and see if there’s anything that makes this film worth your time. Read more

Review – Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider, directed by Roar Uthaug, is a serviceable action-adventure film. However, if you have ever seen a film (or even played a video game) that is similar in structure, then you will more-or-less have experienced this film already. There is nothing particularly remarkable or memorable about it; only that it is entertaining enough in its offerings that you won’t be bored. So, is Tomb Raider a video game movie adaption you should make the time to see? Well, let’s find out in my review, shall we. Read more

Review – Annihilation

Annihilation, written and directed by Alex Garland, had a hypnotic effect on me. I was pulled into this film and enveloped by everything it was giving to me. The experience only deepened as it went on and I became more and more consumed by the film and its questions, its main character, it’s… everything. I haven’t had an experience like it in some time. It’s difficult to explain. I may struggle to talk coherently about, Annihilation but I’m going to try. Let’s get to the review. Read more

Review – You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here, written and directed by Lynne Ramsay, is at times a quietly tense, brutal film, and other times an explosively intense experience. I was held in place by this film, which totally consumed by attention and my intrigue. It’s dark look at the world was both alluring and distressing, and at its core was a character who was expertly developed through the visual medium of film. I know it won’t be for everyone – there are hurdles that some audience goers won’t want to vault over – but for those that are interested, this is a film that will stay with you. Let’s jump into my review and explore what this film has to offer. Read more

Review – Game Night

Game Night, directed by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, has an infectiously entertaining premise that only gets more enjoyable as it goes on. Now, was this a film that had me won over all of the time? No. There were certainly points to this film that didn’t work for me. But I entered this film with a particular frame of mind and it ended up serving both me and the film well. But will it be the same situation for you? Is Game Night worth seeing? Well, let’s find out by jumping into my review and seeing what it has to offer. Read more

Review – Mute

Mute, co-written and directed by Duncan Jones, is a horrendously unpleasant mess. There seemed to be an onslaught of ideas that Jones had for this film and rather than choose the best ones, he just forced them all in and hoped they’d gel with one another. Instead what you get is a film that feels off-balance and directionless from the beginning and throughout. This now marks the third major Netflix film (the other two being, Bright and The Cloverfield Paradox) where I have found myself desperately wanting it to end. Much like watching Mute, reviewing it is going to be a chore, as I will struggle to find anything positive to say about it. Let’s get to the public execution… uh I mean, review. Read more

Review – I, Tonya

I, Tonya, directed by Craig Gillespie, offers a brutal window into the life of Tonya Harding and will undoubtedly shock you. But it’s also a film that feels very rough around the edges. Things feel slapped together in a haphazard, sloppy way, and there is a lack of consistency to much of the presentation. In that mess though, are some truly outstanding performances. Performances that wowed me and are certainly career bests for a fair few of the actors. So, does the messy delivery of the film result in an experience that I would not recommend having, or is there still enough incredible talent on show that you should make the effort to see, I, Tonya? Well, let’s explore those questions and more in my review, shall we? Read more

The 2018 Oscars – Best Picture Nominations: Watched, Reviewed and Ranked

This year’s best picture category has some incredible films – seriously, this is such a strong year. I’ve been doing this for a long time; seeing every film nominated for best picture, reviewing them and then ranking them, and 2018 is the year in which I have had the most difficulty trying to rank the films (I’ve reordered my list over a dozen times; never feeling fully confident in my ranking of them). I could easily and happily give six of the films on this list the top spot. They all in different ways and for different reasons deserve the number 1 spot. So, it has been really challenging for me to try to figure out an order that saw nearly every film landing in the right spot on the list.

I think I’ve finally done it… I think I’m now comfortable with where each film has landed on the list. But I know that because of how good so many of these films are, that many people will ultimately disagree with my ranking. I want you to know that it pains me to have to give some of these films lower rankings – but what would be the point in listing them if I was just going to give most of them the top spot. So, let’s get past this rambling section where I try to justify my ranking, and get on with the reason you clicked on this piece in the first place. Here is my ranking of the best picture nominations. Read more