Vice, written and directed by Adam McKay, is a film that always felt on the verge of ascending into something truly incredible; something that completely captivated you – and that’s all because of the film’s primary focus (Dick Cheney and the tornado of people around him) and the actors that perfectly embody some of history’s most defining politicians. But… there is one massive and obtrusive obstacle in the way of this really good film from being something truly great, and that is Adam McKay’s ‘shock and awe’ style directing, and frankly… his ego. So, the question is: does this film’s incredibly rich characters and its monumentally important story break through all the nonsense of Adam McKay’s writing and directing and deliver something worth seeing? Well, let’s figure that out together in this review, shall we? Read more
* This review contains SPOILERS for Justice League. *
Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder (and to some extent, Joss Whedon as well) is a totally empty, totally disappointing experience. Once again, you have a film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) that tries to tackle everything at once, rather than sensibly or properly developing things in a way that is smart, comprehensive, fulfilling or satisfying. You have the rushed development of key characters; a plot that is formulaic and filled with exposition, a villain with no characterisation, and action scenes that are ugly to look and lack anything exciting. This film is all that is bad about blockbuster films and also DC ones in particular. This review won’t be kind, which I’m disappointed about, but the MANY problems in this film have to be discussed – for the sake of people who might consider sitting through it or already have. Let’s get to it. Read more
In my opinion, this is the best selection of films nominated for ‘Best Picture’ in quite a few years. That’s not to say that the previous years have been lacking, as there have been some outstanding films nominated. It’s just that this year is near enough a clean sweep in terms of the overall deservingness and quality, when all the films are considered.
But let’s stop waffling on about the quality of the overall list, and actually talk about each film individually – giving them the time and the praise they deserve. I’ll be ranking these films from my least favourite one to the one that I thought was the best. But if I’m being honest, only 1 of the films on this list is out-of-place when compared to the rest – anyway, on with the list. Read more
So 2016 has been a mixed year in terms of films; the summer blockbuster season was… well a bust, and there have been a lot of films that haven’t fully hit the mark (for me). But, there have also been some real treasures – some films that have been absolutely exceptional; ones that I didn’t see coming. Now of course this is all about the films that for me, just couldn’t escape my head. The ones that burrowed themselves into my memory banks, set up shop, and politely – or sometimes quite forcefully – told me that they planned on being there for the long-haul. This was something I was completely okay with.
I suppose I should lay what you can expect from this piece, as I’m not intending for it to be the usual ‘Top 10’ lists that you’re going to be seeing around this time of year. What I want to do with this is not necessarily focus on what might be considered the absolute best-of-the best from 2016; the films that were perfect in their every effort and deserve to be recognised as the next masterpieces. This is more about me shining a light on some films that, for one reason or another (those reasons will be laid out in detail when I talk about each film) just had an effect on me, made it so that they stuck around and kept me thinking about them. The films are in no particular order, but my favourite film of 2016 will be in there somewhere. But don’t worry, you’ll know when that comes up.
I also want to point out that this list only contains films released in the UK in 2016. So films like, La La Land, Midnight, Manchester by the Sea, etc. films which everyone is singing the praises of, will not be contenders for this list. I want to keep it contained to only films released in UK cinemas in 2016. That way I can give everything a fair shot from this year.
So yeah, that’s what I intend to do with this piece. You’ll definitely recognise a lot of these films, and many other people will assuredly be talking about them, but I’m also hoping there will be 1-or-2 that slipped under your radar, and reading about them here gives you that little nudge to go watch them. So without further-a-due, let’s get into the films that stood out to me, and made their presence known, in 2016. Read more
Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, may be one of the most refreshingly reserved and meaningful sci-fi films in some time. Paced in such a way that you never feel overwhelmed; structured in a way that you are constantly interested in seeing what revelations will be unearthed next, and delivered wonderfully through sights and sounds that amaze and add to the mysteriousness of it all. Arrival is one of those films that has you gripped from beginning to end – but of course not without a few hiccups along the way. I’m eager and excited to review this film, so let’s get that underway. Read more
Nocturnal Animals, directed by Tom Ford, is sinister and dark film. What immediately stood-out to me about it, was the way Ford presents his characters within his films; not only from a characteristic perspective, but also a visual one as well. Much like his previous film (‘A Single Man’) I found myself hypnotised by the honesty in his film, but this time around I was also transfixed by the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) cruelty within, Nocturnal Animals. There’s much to say about this one, so let’s get this review underway. Read more
Batman v Superman: Dawn of justice, directed by Zack Snyder is a film that doesn’t learn from its past mistakes. Over-bloated and unnecessarily convoluted, this is a film that starts off strong, and then quickly loses its way. Even with strong characters, Batman v Superman is a film that almost seems to make an effort to ignore the rich characters/actors at its disposal, and instead focuses on things that are very much not necessary. Read more
Big Eyes directed by Tim Burton is a film that starts off with such promise. It captures the look and feel of 1950’s America perfectly, it a has a simple yet sweet little story of a women trying to rediscover her place in the world and wanting to share her art with it, but unfortunately the films quickly descends into a clunky, poorly paced film with some uncomfortably bad and at times over the top acting. I left the film bored and completely disinterested in anything more it had to say, which is a shame. Read more