The latest franchise re-boot sees a ripped Alicia Vikander take on Lara Croft in a ‘stripped back’ origins story in the mode of Casino Royale. Far too angsty in it’s Daddy-abandonment issues, the first act ‘prologue’ drags painfully until the real tomb raiding starts. Ditching any ‘realism’ in acts two and three, it still feels like a warm-up to a main feature… Continue Reading
Cinema’s most polite ursine hero returns in an entertainingly inventive sequel that is sheer delight from start to finish. In a fantasy version of London that doesn’t bat an eyelid at a talking bear, Paddington’s latest caper is treasure hunt, prison break and steam train chase – with plenty of marmalade sandwiches. Continue Reading
Three months in and I’ve finally seen something released in 2018! A superb ensemble cast marshalled by black director Ryan Coogler (Creed) delivers a fresh take on a Marvel superhero movie – well, we’ve not seen armoured rhinoceros’ before.
After an impactful debut in CA – Civil War, Chadwick Boseman gets his own show as T-Challa, the titular Black Panther – or as I see him, Africa’s Iron Man – and, for all his shining everyman integrity, is nearly sidelined by the talent around him. Continue Reading
An adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower fantasy-western-sci-fi-horror series so perfunctory that four hours after I watched it I’d forgotten what I’d seen; generic fantasy with a high gloss finish that reduces the King novels to a mercifully brisk genre romp with good performances and no new ideas to speak of.
Young Jake Chambers has nightmares of a dark tower, a gunslinger and a Man in Black, while New York suffers increasing earthquakes. Except they’re not nightmares, and the Man in Black is a sorcerer trying to destroy the actual Dark Tower that keeps the demons from our universe. And the gunslinger is… a gunslinger. With six-guns made from Excalibur. No, really. Continue Reading
Imagine what Facebook and Google might become in the near future, with a missionary zeal to compel the entire world to share everything, all the time. That’s what David Eggers did in his 2011 cautionary cyber-‘satire’ The Circle, brought to the screen with director James Ponsoldt and the star power of Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.
Cross The Social Network with a cyber-thriller such as, err, The Net and see an uber-Facebook-Google-Apple tech-giant get carried away with itself with disastrous consequences. Continue Reading
When three homesteaders’ wives suffer mental breakdowns in the harsh environment of Nebraska’s Old West, plain spinster Cuddy (Hilary Swank) volunteers to take them back East, relying on dissolute drifter Mr Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) to guide them through hostile landscapes peopled by native American tribes and other greedy settlers.
A bleak, revisionist, Western odyssey filled with lost and lonely characters trying to find their place in the world, this character-driven drama erupts into shocking violence in a savage and uncaring land. Continue Reading
Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s 1975 novella is a gloriously black-humoured, retro-sci-fi, dystopian satire. Violent, sweary, trippy and provocative at every turn, the imagined 1970’s self-contained tower block becomes a microcosm of a class system breaking down in the most horrific ways.
A book-end to Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, this should be required viewing for fans of the bankrupt Le Corbusier modernist architecture movement. So there. Continue Reading