It’s someone disingenuous for something this uninspired to proclaim it's ‘inspired by a true story’ but that doesn’t seem to discourage notorious empty chair haranguer Clint Eastwood from making a film for reactionary old men who like to yell at clouds. It’s a wannabe “Sicario – The Greatest Generation”, or the demographic antithesis of “Black … Continue reading The law may be an ass, but The Mule (2019) is a real donkey.
*SPOILERS* As this season’s grand over-arching plot continues to intrigue, the ‘story of the week’ is so resolutely Roddenberryian that it almost collapses under the weight of its own pure Trekness to form a super-dense Star Trek singularity as science and faith square up for yet another title match. When another red burst is detected … Continue reading Warning! Star Trek: Discovery S2E02 – New Eden may contain more than 200% of your recommended daily allowance of Trek tropes.
*SPOILERS* Closer in tone and intent to “Unbreakable” than its immediate predecessor “Split”, “Glass” sees filmmaker M Night Shyamalan returning to the world of comic book super heroics, not to homage or reimagine them, but to deconstruct them - especially their latest cinematic incarnations. With The Beast/ The Horde/ Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) still on … Continue reading Glass (2019) sets out to shatter the superhero paradigm.
What if “The Happening” but actually, you know, pretty good? That seems to be the starting point for “Bird Box”, an apocalyptic horror from producer/ star Sandra Bullock and director Susanne Bier, adapted from Josh Malerman’s novel by screenwriter Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”, “Lights Out”). When a malevolent force manifests on Earth, it causes a wave … Continue reading It’s the blind leading the blind in Netflix’s post-partum apocalypse thriller Bird Box (2018) Review
In taking on the story of Dick Cheney, the apparently unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider turned Vice Presidential master of the universe, Adam McKay seeks to shed light on the breathtaking constitutional chicanery which saw the executive branch of the American government vastly increase its own power whilst at the same time enormously enriching those in … Continue reading Christian Bale piles on the pounds for Adam McKay’s The Waist Wing. Vice (2019) Review
With “Venom” grossing $855m worldwide and “Aquaman” taking over $1billion at the global box office, one thing is clear: the box office domination of the Superhero movie genre is coming to an end. How can this be you ask? When collectively the two most recent movies in the genre hovered up almost $2billion in ticket … Continue reading Does the success of #Venom and #Aquaman herald the beginning of the end for the Superhero movie boom?
*SPOILERS* So although “Star Trek: Discovery” and I didn’t part on the best of terms after Season 1 limped to a close, I have to admit I was looking forward to this new season. That’s due in part to the excellent “Short Treks” but also due to the fact the series had, at least, ditched … Continue reading Star Trek Discovery returns having given itself a soft reboot up the backside. Star Trek: Discovery S2E01 Review
There’s something very metatextually Harry Mudd about “The Escape Artist” once you learn that it not only stairs Rainn Wilson but was directed by him too. Although, given the treatment he gets during the first ten minutes or so, it’s a relief to find it wasn't written by Wilson too otherwise, you’d begin to wonder … Continue reading Rainn Wilson writes the theme tune, sings the theme tune of the fourth Star Trek: Short Treks – The Escape Artist Review
*SPOILERS* The third Short Trek brings us a pre-USS Discovery glimpse into the life of one of the series’ standout characters: Saru (Doug Jones). In doing so, it brings to light the weird contradictions in the species’ origins, especially in the Star Trek universe. On the planet Kaminar, Saru feels unfulfilled by Kelpien life, living … Continue reading Star Trek: Short Treks – The Brightest Star reminds us Kelpians are friends, not food.
*SPOILERS* Where “Runaway” felt like an abandoned draft of a promising “Discovery” episode, “Calypso” feels like it could be the pilot for a whole new series of its own. Stretching the format of Short Treks, it tells what might be canon Trek’s most futuristic adventure, set some thousand years after the time of Discovery. After … Continue reading Discovery’s crew shortages reach their apogee in Star Trek: Short Treks – Calypso Review
*SPOILERS* Finally available on Netflix UK (although buried away in the ‘Trailers & More’ section of “Star Trek: Discovery”), Star Trek: Short Treks are intended, apparently, to give the franchise room to explore beyond the realms of its current single incarnation, something I’m sure they’ll get to even if the first crop seem to be … Continue reading It’s alienated vs predator as Tilly battles an invisible menace in the mess hall. Star Trek: Short Treks – Runaway Review
Focussing in on the twilight of their illustrious careers, “Stan & Ollie” pays tribute to the beloved entertainers by taking an affectionate and bittersweet look behind the scenes at their last great collaboration: a music hall tour of the UK while trying to pull together one last motion picture deal. With the collective baggage of … Continue reading Coogan & Reilly disappear into Laurel & Hardy in the gentle biopic Stan & Ollie (2019)
There’s nothing like a good panto to chase away the January blues and in Mountbatten Players’ “Jack And The Beanstalk”, 2019 got off to a glittery, toe-tapping start. The sheer scale of the story of ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’ is such that even the most ambitious of theatrical productions must rely a great deal on … Continue reading Mountbatten Players’ Jack And The Beanstalk defies the January blues with some fe fi fo fun!
Jason Reitman’s dull but dutiful checkbox biopic rakes over the long-dead ashes of the run-up to the 1988 US Presidential election but fails to find anything to really say beyond a milquetoast critique of the current personality politics which dominates American public life. Charting the rise and fall of charismatic Colorado Senator Gary Hart (Hugh … Continue reading The Front Runner (2019) stumbles right out of the gate.
Taking a few liberties with the Libertine life and times of celebrated French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, “Colette” is a sumptuous and sensual but occasionally aimless and indulgent biopic that’s perhaps a little too interested in signposting the contemporary resonances than in providing a wider historical context to its subject’s life. After marrying the famous Parisian … Continue reading Colette (2019) sees Keira Knightly ghostwriting for Willy while enjoying fanny by gaslight.
Move over Bess (and, I suspect, pre-emptive apologies to Margot Robbie) there’s a new award-baiting Queen on the block: oft-overlooked 18th Century sovereign Queen Anne. England, 1708. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) occupies the throne, disinterested in matters of state and instead consumed by her various ailments and an ongoing quest for distraction and … Continue reading Yorgos Lanthimos brings a sense of Blackadder to the big screen in sumptuous art house comedy The Favourite (2019)
Inspired by the true story of Mark Hogancamp who, having suffered a horrific attack, finds solace and support in an elaborate fantasy art installation, Robert Zemeckis sets out to convey a poignant story of the healing power of art and the dangers of the artist becoming too enraptured by the art itself but never once … Continue reading Zemeckis’ real life toy story lacks buzz. Welcome To Marwen (2018) Review
*SPOILERS* The dawn of a New Year can be a time for sober, objective deliberation. A contemplation of the year just passed; its triumphs – and its follies – and, most importantly, the chance to reflect, reconsider and refresh both yourself and your work. Not that you would glean this from the current Doctor Who … Continue reading Doctor Who: Resolution (S11E11) ends up a test of my Whovian resolve.