Review – Calibre

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

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 – 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 – 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 – The Cloverfield Paradox

The Cloverfield Paradox, directed by Julius Onah, is very clearly a sci-fi script that has been repurposed and then shoehorned into the Cloverfield franchise. However, unlike the previous film in the franchise (10 Cloverfield Lane), this one hasn’t worked. With a generic, predictable plot, characters who seemingly go out of their way to defy logic, and an overall experience that feels cliché and unoriginal. The Cloverfield Paradox is the first definite misstep in what has been a really interesting franchise to follow and look forward too. So let’s breakdown all that the film attempts and see if there’s anything that makes it worth checking out. Read more

Review – Bright

Bright, directed by David Ayer, is a film riddled with elements that continually clash with one another; creating a disjointed, muddled feeling experience. A director and a writer whose styles don’t mix, a tone that is all over the place, a world that’s rules felt more like punch-lines, rather than interesting world-building, and poor attempts at social commentary; all collide with one another to create a film with no clear direction. There are parts to Ayer’s ability as a director that make the film enjoyable (at times) but this is a film that really struggles to find a balance at any point. So let’s explore those imbalances, and see where this film goes wrong. Read more

Review – 1922

1922

1922, written and directed by Zak Hilditch, lacks anything that might possibly make it a creepy, suspenseful, meaningful watch. It rushes to get to a particular scene, but once it’s seen it through, the film seems lost as to what to then do. To me, it was clear what to do, but apparently not for the people telling the story or making the film. But is this spooky looking film one that would be good during Halloween? Well, let’s explore what the film has and find out. Read more

Review – Gerald’s Game

Gerald’s Game, directed by Mike Flanagan, delivers a brilliant and explorative deconstruction of its main character. Being visually smart in how it does it and keeping us gripped with a premise that keeps the tension going throughout, the film never struggles in holding your attention. But, I do feel it does one thing in particular that slightly robs it of its effectiveness and left me feeling like some of the punch had been taken out of the film in the end. So, let’s explore the many great aspects of the film and see if that one nagging issue was enough to lessen my opinion of the film, overall. Read more

Review – The Bad Batch

The Bad Batch, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, is… well to be blunt, it’s bad. The film tries desperately to seem edgy and different. It fills scenes with quirky looking/acting people, and it has scenes filled with things that look like their trying desperately to be odd. That’s all it seems to think it needs to make something attention grabbing, but it becomes apparent very early on that the film lacks any actual substance and anything actually interesting. This is going to be one of those reviews I hate to write because it isn’t going to be a kind one. Read more

Review – First They Killed My Father

First They Killed My Father, directed by Angelina Jolie, approaches its harrowing story from a very interesting perspective. That perspective helps to shine a very different light on the events that the film follows, but it does also hinder the film at times; causing we the audience to not always feel like a part of the larger story. At times, it was struggling to fully hold my attention, but then at other points I was completely gripped by it. So, by the end does it deliver a film worth seeing? Let’s answer that question together, in my review. Read more

Review – Okja

Okja, written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, is a film that is continually building and ends up offering so much, in terms of the emotions it elicits and the ideas that it causes you to think about. This is no conventional film and if you’ve seen any of Bong Joon-ho’s previous films that shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Much like his others film, this one had me fully invested and completely overwhelmed by all that it presented/tackled, and by the time the credits rolled, I was amazed by the journey that it had taken me on. But let’s dispense with all the gushing comments and the intro itself, and get onto the review and what it is that makes Okja such an interesting film to experience. 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 – 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 – The Siege of Jadotville

the-siege-of-jadotville

The Siege of Jadotville, directed by Richie Smyth, is a film that fails to really invest you in anything; its characters, its conflict, its overall plot. Nothing really grabbed me in this film as memorable, a lot of the film feels very flat and void of anything of meaningful substance. So let’s just get into this review and start the breakdown of just where this film goes wrong. Read more

Review – ARQ

arq

ARQ, directed by Tony Elliott, is a contained sci-fi film with a concept that is certainly not new, but it does deliver a situation and some characters that keep the momentum and your engagement from slipping. With a short runtime (90 minutes) and a clear and interesting endgame, I was fully on board with seeing how this sci-fi story would play out. So let’s jump into the review and see if this is just actually another overdone, high-concept sci-fi film, or perhaps something worth your time. Read more

Review – Tallulah

Tallulah

Tallulah, directed by Sian Heder, is an unflinchingly honest and heartfelt film. I was quickly pulled into the harsh reality of the lives that are present in this film; true powerhouses of characters are continuously on-screen, all of which strengthen a film that is already so strong in its presentation. Let’s make our way into the world of Tallulah, through this review, and see what it has to offer. Read more

The TV Shows That I Think Deserve Your Attention From 2015

2015 has delivered another great year of television. There have been shows that have hooked me from the beginning, shows that took their time to get going but as a whole were great and then there are the shows that returned for new seasons and ended up breaking me emotionally (for one reason or another). Despite some of the usual drivel that makes its way onto television, I have been as entrenched as ever with its offerings.

So the point of this piece is for me to share what I feel are some of the best TV shows of 2015. I want to share what makes these shows so special and why I love them so much and also I want to give you a little nugget of information on them thus hopefully meaning you’ll give them some time and support.

One of the last things I’ll say for diving into the list of shows is that while these are my favourite shows of 2015 I’m not saying that these are better than anything else out there. 1: it’s all subjective and 2: I couldn’t possibly be caught up on every show deemed to be the best, so please keep that in mind. Oh, I’ll also add that these are in no particular order as I won’t to mix them up and give every show their fair due. I should also add that despite me talking about shows that are 2 or 3 seasons deep there will be No Spoilers because that wouldn’t really make sense now would it? Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy what I have to say. Read more