Category Archives: Reviews

5 films about the Nativity

Christmas may still be a whole month away, but this Friday sees the UK release of yet another Christmas film, following on from A Bad Moms Christmas and Daddy’s Home.

Unlike the two comedies, The Star is an animation aimed squarely at younger audiences, telling the biblical story of Christ’s Nativity from the perspective of animals – voiced here by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Chenoweth and Mariah Carey.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Nativity has received the big screen treatment but it’s a tale told surprisingly few times in cinema.

We’ve rounded up five (very eclectic) picks but which is your favourite?

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Paddington 2 | Review

★★★★★

What a joy it is to be alive and live to see another exceptional cinematic outing for Paddington Bear. Painted in pastel bright colouring, and overflowing with the heartfelt charm of its predecessor, Paddington 2 is a pure delight. Here are boundless layers of family fun, each one lavishly spread with the finest homemade marmalade.

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Justice League | Review

★★★

The journey to Justice League has been a gruelling one. Those who complained that Batman v Superman required bums of steal to experience from start to finish, know nothing of endurance the film has had to muster, having first entered production back in 2007. A decade of ‘development Gotham City’ plus one mixed bag of preluding offerings later, and the final product…isn’t bad. No, it’s not great – far too messy, a tad soulless – but it has got plenty of promise. There’s a start.

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Daddy’s Home 2 | Review

Marking the third time Sean Anders has produced an inferior sequel to a dreadful first outing, Daddy’s Home 2 (styled: Two) takes the petty comedy of its predecessor and ramps up the mean spirit. By the time the schmalzy Christmas singalong had plonked itself ungraciously on the end, I was thoroughly under the impression that I’d been too harsh on A Bad Moms Christmas.

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The Son Of Bigfoot | Review

★★★

From the Franco-Belgian producers of House of Magic comes one more, rather splendidly animated, flick for the youngsters. There’s nothing whatsoever demanding on show in The Son Of Bigfoot, but in its own mellow and bluntly wielded way Ben Stassen and Jeremy Degruson’s film offers entertaining fun, moulded around the structures of some very familiar plotting.

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Home Again | Review

★★★

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Hallie Meyers-Shyer, daughter of rom-com doyenne Nancy Meyers (the maker of The Holiday and What Women Want) makes her screenwriting and directorial debut. Meyers senior’s confined to producing duties for Home Again but that doesn’t stop this all from feeling exactly as familiarly saccharine as you’d expect from her own populist oeuvre.

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Good Time | Review

★★★★★

With a barnstorming turn from Robert Pattinson, grimy design, and synth-y aural-aesthetic as the film’s selling points, a soundtrack from Oneohtrix Point Never is not the only electric element of the Safdie brothers’ Good Time. This is genre cinema that puts a beating heart at the centre of its twisty, metropolitan plot, before repeatedly ripping it out to jaw-dropping effect. Fantastic.

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