Review – Hampstead

Hampstead, directed by Joel Hopkins, is a film that feels… hollow. I never found myself being able to fully invest in the story of this film and I think a lot of that has to do with how it presents its story and who within that story is given the primary focus. I was expecting something sweet, small and comforting, but instead what I got was something that failed to ever elicit any meaningful emotion from me. But why was that the case? Well let’s get explore that question and some other ones in this review, shall we? Read more

Review – Gifted

Gifted, directed by Marc Webb, is a heartfelt, heart-warming and pure in how lovely it is. At the core of this film is a wonderful little character that goes by the name of, Mary. The film is built around her and it primarily succeeds because of her – though there are some other great elements to the film. So it’s a shame that the shining light of joy that is, Mary, sometimes gets lost in the rest of the film. Now what she gets lost in is still engaging and important to the overall story, but I still couldn’t help but notice her absence sometimes. But I can get into that and much more in the fuller review, so let’s get to that. Read more

Review – Churchill

Churchill, directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, is a wonderfully sincere, emotionally powerful look at one of the many interesting times in Churchill’s life. First and foremost this is a character driven film and it does a tremendous job of exploring its primary character with a sense of heart and honesty. As a lover of history, I found this film to be informative, humorous and most importantly, powerful. And so let’s talk about those qualities (plus many more) in the fuller review. On to it we go. Read more

Review – The Salesman

The Salesman, written and directed by, Asghar Farhadi, is another absolutely engrossing, yet simply made film. Real feeling characters who are full of the intricacies that make them wholly engaging to watch. A story that is slowly fed to you so that you can better understand and settle into both its inner workings and the people who make up its various parts, and an overall simplicity that means the necessities of the film get all the attention. Farhadi as both a writer and a director is someone who understands how to tell engaging stories and how to fill those stories with people who are fascinating and layered. I could go on rambling, but I’m eager to finish up this intro and get onto the full review, because I have much to say about this film, so let’s get to it. Read more

Review – The Mummy

The Mummy, directed by Alex Kurtzman, is a film that is the epitome of bland. You are given a story that is delivered in a dull, lazy way, and you are offered characters that are lacking depth or any hint of a reason to care about them. It doesn’t take long for this film to lose its way, but once it does, oh boy is it a difficult one to make it through. Don’t expect anything positive when I talk about, The Mummy (other films, like the original with Brendan Frasier, sure, I might talk about them nicely) but my review of this film will probably resemble a public humiliation, so get your out-of-date veg ready and warm-up your throwing arm, cause this is going to get messy. Read more

Review – Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, is a film that absolutely succeeds at establishing, and then fully developing, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, as a character. It also achieves something I was not expecting; and that was a character relationship that truly transcended everything else in the film. But of course the film is not without problems, and I think those problems might sadly hold the film back from being something more than just another superhero movie. Through my review, we can hopefully explore more of what it is that makes the film stumble but also shine, so let’s get to it. Read more

Review – War Machine

War Machine, written and directed by David Michôd, is a film that approaches its main topic in a tonally surprising way. It then also evolves its tone in a way that doesn’t usually work out well, but in War Machine, it actually elevates the effect of the overall film, and helps it to surprise you with a few emotional gut punches that you don’t see coming. And then there is of course the very interesting performance from, Brad Pitt – a performance that I think will divide opinion. But let’s dispense with the intro and the sweeping statements and actually get into the more detailed review. So let’s get to it. Read more

Review – Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

*This review will contain minor spoilers for, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge*

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, further proves that this franchise of films has well and truly had its day. It contains a laughably weak story that only becomes more uninteresting as the film goes on, and a host of characters who you don’t care about, and very much over-stay their welcome. This is a film that is unnecessary, tedious, and by the end, something you just want to be over. Let’s get onto the review – one that won’t be to kind, but that unfortunately can’t be avoided. Read more

Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, directed by Guy Ritchie, is a film that does not skimp on style. A quick, witty editing style, music that elevates every moment it is a part of, and action that is exciting to watch; King Arthur is undoubtedly a well-made film, from a cinematic standpoint. However the film has the big issue of being all style and no substance. With characters that lack individuality and a story that is predictable; the film undoubtedly struggles to offer anything new or narratively memorable. And so that leaves me to wonder: Is the film’s bombastic, fun, exciting and rewarding to look at style, enough to make this summer blockbuster experience, one worth seeing? Well, let’s find out through this review, shall we. Read more

Review – Miss Sloane

Miss Sloane, directed by John Madden, is a film that offers both a powerhouse performance by, Jessica Chastain and a powerhouse of a character; one that dominates every scene she is in, and has your full attention at all times (quite deservingly). And then beyond that it also has a tightly woven narrative that keeps you engaged in a subject that isn’t always the easiest to make compelling on-screen. There are many complexities to discuss within, Miss Sloane so let’s dispense with the introduction and get onto the review. Read more

Review – Alien: Covenant

*This review contains minor spoilers for Alien: Covenant.*

Alien: Covenant, directed by Ridley Scott, suffers from quite a few of the same issues that plagued its predecessor, Prometheus. But, it also overcomes some of the failings, and to an extent, offers a little of what some were probably hoping for from Prometheus. However, I don’t think it is enough – or maybe it is, I don’t know yet. The best way to figure it out is to write all my thoughts out in this review; almost like a therapy session. So let’s move on from the intro and get on with the main review. Read more

Review – Tramps

Tramps, written and directed by Adam Leon, is a very small, very simple film. In fact it’s perhaps a little too small and simple for its own good – at times. It is in the films leads that this film shines, and through their new, fast developing relationship that I found the most enjoyment. Beyond that it is a very bare bones affair, which isn’t actually an overall negative, but it certainly is an issue that causes the film to stumble and not fully complete what it sets out to do. But let’s wrap-up this intro and get on with the review itself, and see what it is that Tramps has to offer. Read more

Review – In the Shadow of Iris

In the Shadow of Iris, directed by Jalil Lespert, is a film that at first feels meandering and without a clear direction; a film that felt like it was going down a pretty predictable path and wasn’t going to add up to much. Those were my initial thoughts as I watched this film, but boy did that completely change by the end. In the Shadow of Iris is filled with unexpected twists, well-woven, juicy characters, and an overall feeling that is intoxicating. So let’s dispense with the introduction and slip into the fuller, more exploratory review. Read more

Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, written and directed by James Gunn, once again delivers some of the most fun and rewarding character interactions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, structurally the film is not your normal affair, and despite it really working for me, I do feel that some audiences will struggle with the slower, less direct pace of the film. But one of the biggest questions that everyone probably has, is does the film out-do its predecessor? Well let’s get into the fuller review itself and see if we can answer that question, while also exploring the many offerings of Vol. 2. Read more

Review – The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending, directed by Ritesh Batra, is a film that struggles with its pacing; some of the film can feel slow and meandering – but it’s all worth it. The growth of the main character; how the story is slowly fed to you over the course of the film; how it all comes together in a satisfying package. ‘The Sense of an Ending’ is a film that some will struggle with, but if you give it a chance, you will find something sweet and rewarding at the end of it all. But let’s dispense with the intro and get on with the main review itself. Read more

Review – Sand Castle

Sand Castle, directed by Fernando Coimbra, is a pretty basic war film. It has a simple, small story and apart from its main protagonist, it doesn’t boast characters of much note. But, it is a film that does do a good job of telling that simple, small story, and it is able to hold your attention throughout. But is it enough? Is Sand Castle a film worth your time? Well let’s get onto the full review and find out. Read more

Review – The Void

The Void, written and directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, is a film that is clearly inspired by, and attempts to be like, the low-budget horror films that were so prevalent in the 80’s. Now while it does achieve some of the elements, it sadly isn’t really able to capture the charm or the fun that made those types of film so popular and memorable. There is just something missing; something that unfortunately leaves the film unable to make an impact. But let’s move into the full review and breakdown what it is that doesn’t work in The Void. Read more

Review – The Handmaiden (Director’s Cut)

*This review will contain spoilers for, The Handmaiden. I usually avoid any and all spoilers, but with this film it is just too difficult to write a review and not go into greater detail about particular plot points or character revelations. So be warned, if you haven’t seen the film, this review will spoil some major elements of the expansive story.*  

The Handmaiden, directed by Chan-wook Park, is an exquisitely constructed piece of cinema. Every aspect of it seems so meticulously handled; each part of the intricate story is weaved in such a way that you can’t, and don’t, ever want to avert your attention. And then each character is continually evolving; causing you to completely re-map your initial assumptions of them. Quite often would this film make me wholly redefine everything I first assumed of it, and that is an incredible film watching experience to be a part of. This is one of those films where I don’t feel I have the writing ability to properly give it its due, but I’m going to try, and so on with the review. Read more

Review – Raw

Raw, written and directed by Julia Ducournau, is not a film for those with a weak stomach, nor a weak sensibility. With viscerally overwhelming sounds, images, ideas etc. Raw is able to pull you into something you are understandably reluctant to watch. But this is one of those situations where you want to look away but find yourself unable too. Its concept is disturbing, but it’s melding of that concept with things that every teenager experiences, makes it something that is utterly watchable. There’s much to get into with this film, so let’s finish with the intro and get to the meat of this review. Read more

Review – City of Tiny Lights

City of Tiny Lights, directed by Pete Travis, does not deliver a unique or original story by any stretch of the matter, but what it does do is offer up a lead character that you are interested in, and soon fully invested in, and thus you can’t help but want to be a part of his story. And it is his personal story, the past that is now resurfacing, that makes this film as compelling as it is. So there is of course more to be said about this film and this review in its fuller form is the best way to do that – so let’s get on with it, shall we? Read more