Suspiria, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a viscerally overwhelming experience that had me transfixed by its unrelenting atmosphere and allured by the incomparable work by Tilda Swinton. However, those standout elements weren’t enough to distract me from the remakes many faults, some of which are so infectious, that it leaves me unsure if I can recommend this film. I’m really interested to explore all that Suspiria has to offer, as there are some well-handled offerings in this film – offerings that severely affected me physically and mentally, but there are also points to this film that are interesting to explore because of how damaging they are to a film that had within it the potential to be good. So, with all that being said, let’s dispense with this introduction and get to exploring the sinister depths of Suspiria. 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
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
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
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
Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson, took its time to find its momentum, but once it did, it began to offer one of the most stimulating Marvel films in some time. Visuals that truly wow and worlds with infinite possibilities, takes the previously built out Marvel universe and turns it on its head. Now this isn’t a film that 100% knocked it out of the park – there are in fact quite a few glaring issues with the film – and so ‘Doctor Strange’ is a film that I’m interested and eager to breakdown. So let’s get on with it. Read more
Hail, Caesar! Written, directed and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, is a film that takes a charming and at times innocent look back at the making of films in 1950’s Hollywood. Fast and enjoyable dialogue controls the scenes, while the Coen’s expert ability to construct and shoot comedy backs it up. However a very basic story strings everything together and by the time the credits roll it all felt a little anti-climactic, and all of it was very much hurt by just how tonally confusing the film is at times. There’s a lot to love in Hail, Caesar but there’s also a lot that left me wanting, when it was all said and done. Read more
A Bigger Splash, directed by Luca Guadagnino is a film that drops you without warning into a group of people and their very different lives. This is a film that is bustling with 4 very different people, who all in themselves are fascinatingly engaging to watch. A bigger Splash is filled with character after character that all hold your attention, but it is also has an unspoken darkness within it, it’s subtle but it’s always there, and it’s not until it’s too late that you fully notice it. These elements and more A Bigger Splash a film that lavishes itself in watch-ability. Read more