Category Archives: Reviews

Get Out | Review

★★★★

Were it not for the opening scene, in which a young, black man, alone at night in a dark suburbia, is assaulted by an armour-clad figure and dragged into a white car to the vintage strains of Flanagan and Allen’s ‘Run Rabbit Run’, Get Out might easily have been a comedy. On paper, the film marks the directorial debut of Jordan Peele – the man who wrote and headlined last year’s action-comedy Keanu – its stars include the comedic talents of Allison Williams (Girls) and Stephen Root (Dodgeball, Finding Dory), and it has a plot reminiscent of Greg Glienna’s Meet the Parents. Ba dum and, of course, tish. Do not, however, be fooled. Whilst Get Out is undoubtedly a feature with some genuine belly laughs, they’re laughs that come with a distinctly nasty sting.

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King Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World in Retrospective

‘I’m going out to make the greatest picture in the world. Something that nobody’s ever seen or heard of!’

When Kong: Skull Island hits the big screens next week it’ll be a CGI behemoth taking centre stage, quite some distance from the 18” metal mesh skeleton of Merian C. Cooper’s 1933 original: King Kong. This month marks eight-four years since the first appearance of everyone’s favourite eighteen-foot ape and it would be fair to say that times have changed rather a lot in the meantime. For one thing, Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ reboot is unlikely to see Brie Larson subserve to the damsel in distress role of Fay Wray’s Ann Darrow. On the other hand, you might be surprised as to just how well the original stands up even today.

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Logan | Review

★★★★

The X-Men franchise is like a box of melted chocolates, you never know what mutation you’re going to get. It is indeed a series that’s provided some serious ups and downs. For every popping candy/caramel barrel combination (Days of Future Past – deliriously good) they’ve pulled out a chocolate blob that’s lost its raisin (Apocalypse – you know, fine but it’s kind of missing the point). Therefore, it’s with an air of caution that one approaches Logan, Hugh Jackman’s last stand as the Wolverine after an impressive seventeen years. Jackman’s been an ever-solid presence since his first appearance in Bryan Singer’s X-Men, but up to now his standalone spin-offs have, frankly, been a bit of let down. Thankfully, Logan finally hits the mark. X marks the spot, if you will…

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Elle | Review

★★★★★

Right from its establishing image, Elle shocks.

That the rape of the film’s protagonist, Michèle (Isabelle Huppert), is heard before seen – and in such a way that it could yet be consensual – addresses straight from the top the themes of complicity that will prove so directly challenging throughout the film. That this opening audio gasps over the name of its director, Paul Verhoeven, is equally telling.

The man who brought the world Basic Instinct is back after a decade’s hiatus with a bang.

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Moonlight | Review

★★★★★

Moonlight is a bold move by Medicine for Melancholy director, Barry Jenkins. Adopting an unrealised, semi-autobiographical, 2003 drama project by Tarell Alvin McCraney – In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue – as his inspiration, Jenkins’ film is a rejection of the hard line, socio-realist aesthetic, synonymous with depictions usually granted to similarly located films. Bringing to the production his own experiences as a child in Miami, Moonlight sees its director take the sun-kissed cinematography of Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s City of God, and infuse the picture with a beautifully Rococo, pastel palette. The effect jars perfectly. Grit and grime are painted in pinks, blues and greens which serve to express the visceral tension underlying this society within ‘the sunshine state’. The title is apt; what setting could better connote the fine line of romance and danger than one against moonlight?

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Hacksaw Ridge | Review

★★★

Three hundred years on from Silence and Andrew Garfield is still being persecuted for his religious beliefs. He is even still wrestling with his conscience and contemplating his relationship with God: ‘I pray to God and I like to think he hears me, it ain’t a conversation’. Indeed, one scene sees the army send in his fiancé, channelling Liam Neeson, to convince him to give in: ‘It’s pride and stubbornness – don’t confuse your will with the Lord’s’. No, this isn’t Silence 2: Still No Word from the Man Upstairs, this is Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge.

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The Lego Batman Movie | Review

★★★★

Don’t deny it! When Warner Bros. green lit The Lego Movie back in 2011 you sneered. It may have been only the slightest sneer, the twitch of an eyebrow say, but your first thought was: ‘seriously?!’ Yes, on paper it sounded like the most horrendously capitalist commercialised marketing vehicle since Pixar announced Cars 3 and E.T. turned out to be a massive fan of Reece’s Pieces. They even went and announced a relatively little known TV sitcom star as the lead. Hardly wattage… But you were wrong. Nay, we were wrong. Back in 2014 The Lego Movie was glorious. It was…well, awesome! And that ‘little known TV sitcom star’? Only one of today’s biggest blockbusters in the business, Chris Pratt! Mind, any fan of Parks and Recreation could’ve sung his praises years ago.

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