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
Journeyman, written and directed by Paddy Considine, is not an easy watch. Not because it’s bad. Far from it. It’s because of Considine’s ability as both a writer and a director to tap into the real hardships that people face and then focus fully in on it. He writes stories that are tough and have no easy solution. He creates characters that can be challenging and not always the people you want them to be. Like I said, Journeyman is not easy watch – and it will certainly not be a film that everyone has the fortitude for – but there’s a powerful experience in Journeyman, and one I’m interested to talk about. So, let’s find out if this is a film for you. Read more
Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, is pretty much what I was expecting. At times it was entertaining and full of that Spielberg blockbuster magic. And other times it was quite irritating; with intrusive, lazy exposition, and a lack of competent character development. It’s a film that never lets up. It is full-on with everything. From the infamous amount of references, we were all expecting, to the visual magnitude of all those pop-culture references. It seemed the only thing it didn’t feel the need to go full-on with, where characters or the development of them. I was never bored when watching this film, but I also wasn’t ever invested or had any care for who or what I was watching. I’m mixed on how I want to review this film, as on one hand there’s a lot I could say against it, but on the other, it doesn’t ever stop being what it ultimately is: a fun, mindless blockbuster. I suppose I’ll figure out in my review how I truly feel about this film, so let’s go find out. Read more
Isle of Dogs, written and directed by Wes Anderson, is infinitely charming and forever witty (as you’d probably expect). There’s such a wonderful feeling that your filled with when watching a Wes Anderson film; the man knows how to put together an experience that invites you in, makes you feel totally comfortable and then guides you along on a journey full of smiles, laughter and fulfilment – Isle of Dogs is all those qualities and more. Now if you’ll allow me, I’d like to invite you on into my review of what is a beautifully crafted film. Read more
Unsane, directed by Steven Soderbergh, will unnerve you; it will have you questioning everything, and it will keep you on edge; toying with your assumptions and your comfort levels. It’s in director, Steven Soderbergh’s decision on how to shoot this film, that Unsane becomes a film that from its very first scene has you feeling off-balance. It looks different; it feels different and you’re in a situation that feels… uncomfortable. This film immediately pulled me in with all of these elements and much more. I’m eager to talk about them; particularly Soderbergh’s interesting decision on how to shoot the film and if it works. So, let’s get to it. Read more
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
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