War is hell but 1917 (2020) is heavenly film making

Astonishingly, breathtakingly, technically brilliant, “1917” is a mesmerising, masterful achievement in the art and technique of cinema. But this is no cold, Zemeckis-like exercise in technological advancement and instead uses its relentless focus and visceral real-time storytelling to relay the human tragedy of warfare at its most grandiose and grotesque folly. April 1917: The German…

Last Christmas (2019)’s heart is in the right place, but it still flatlines.

Based on the most Dad-joke reading possible of the first two lines of the Wham! song “Last Christmas”, Paul Feig’s slight rom-com wears its genre clichés on its sleeve and uses copious fairy lights and tinsel to distract from its threadbare plot. Kate (Emilia Clarke) is a cynical, self-destructive Christmas shop worker, estranged from her…

Surely they can’t think the Butler did it? Angel Has Fallen (2019)

As the third movie in the franchise, there was a specific burden on “Angel Has Fallen” to whit it’s a franchise tiebreaker. Mike Banning’s strike rate was balanced on a knife-edge: on one side, the solidly entertaining “Olympus Has Fallen”. On the other, the egregious shit show that is “London Has Fallen”. Good news, then,…

The Tall Guy (1989) comes up short

There are a lot of firsts on offer in modest 1989 Britcom “The Tall Guy”: it’s the feature directorial debut of Mel Smith and it’s the first feature film script by Richard Curtis. It also features the theatrical film debut of Emma Thompson and, briefly, Jason Isaacs. Blogathon man of the moment, Jeff Goldblum, plays…