Review: The Nest

Director: Sean Durkin Stars: Carrie Coon, Jude Law, Michael Culkin Carrie Coon had appeared on my radar a couple of times before The Leftovers, but it was her turn as Nora Durst in HBO's extraordinary three-season drama that forever earned her a position, in my mind, as one of The Greats. Everything that made Nora the … Continue reading Review: The Nest

Review: The Sparks Brothers

Director: Edgar Wright Stars: Russell Mael, Ron Mael, Jason Schwartzman There are several filmmakers who spring to mind for their canny, prominent use of the pop song to heighten or even choreograph an experience. Wong Kar Wai. Mia Hansen-Løve. Quentin Tarantino. Edgar Wright would certainly be high on that list; films like Baby Driver and Shaun … Continue reading Review: The Sparks Brothers

Review: Nadia, Butterfly

Director: Pascal Plante Stars: Katerina Savard, Ariane Mainville, Eli Jean Tahchi At the time of writing, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are, belatedly, in full swing, but its a games unlike any other. It's a year late and the bleachers are empty, the audience is missing. Economically, it's a disaster for Japan, as the additional revenue … Continue reading Review: Nadia, Butterfly

Review: The Halt

Director: Lav Diaz Stars: Joel Lamangan, Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao Shot and assembled in 2019 before the pandemic came the dominate the world, Lav Diaz's quasi-sci-fi dystopian epic The Halt (Ang Hupa) now seems phenomenally prescient. Running close to 5 hours, his film documents a tapestry of lives in Manila circa 2034. Volcanic eruptions have blotted … Continue reading Review: The Halt

Review: The World to Come

Director: Mona Fastvold Stars: Vanessa Kirby, Katherine Waterston, Christopher Abbott Like many women of her generation, Abigail (Katherine Waterston) has compartmentalised her wit, intelligence and ambition and accepted the hardened, ring-fenced existence of a farmer's wife. It is 1856 and Schoharie County, New York. A harsh winter causes much suffering for Abigail as diphtheria robs … Continue reading Review: The World to Come

Review: Old

Director: M Night Shyamalan Stars: Vicky Krieps, Ken Leung, Gael García Bernal I'm sat looking at this blinking cursor in a WordPress draft, fresh from a screening of M Night Shyamalan's Old and I'm thinking how, in the reality of the film, I'd have lost days of my life already trying to work out how … Continue reading Review: Old

Review: Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Director: Adam Robitel Stars: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Indya Moore I must admit I have a soft spot for Escape Room. Adam Robitel's initial movie in this unlikely series felt like something of an underdog when it was released with little fanfare two and a half years ago. Who wanted or needed a YA Saw film? … Continue reading Review: Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Review: Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Director: Leigh Janiak Stars: Kiana Madeira, Elizabeth Scopel, Darrell Britt-Gibson The latest in the unending is-it-a-movie-is-it-TV discourse, Netflix's time travelling teen horror trilogy/mini-series hops further back than before as it reaches its final frontier - or should that be frontier finale? Largely reusing its extant cast, Fear Street Part Three: 1666 takes us back to … Continue reading Review: Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Review: Deerskin

Director: Quentin Dupieux Stars: Adèle Haenel, Jean Dujardin, Albert Delpy As a costume piece that elaborates on character, the jacket has a storied history in cinema that goes back to it's silent days. For modern touchstones - especially in terms of how it is linked to masculinity - consider the ubiquity of Sailor's snakeskin jacket … Continue reading Review: Deerskin

Review: The Forever Purge

Director: Everado Valerio Gout Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Gregory Zaragoza James DeMonaco's Purge franchise lumbers onward. While it predated and has now surpassed the short sorry presidency of Donald Trump, it is the series that feels most laboriously representative of the whirlwind ills that the disgraced orange bile-pod brought to the Oval Office. … Continue reading Review: The Forever Purge

Review: Undine

Director: Christian Petzold Stars: Paula Breer, Franz Rogowski, Jacob Matschenz In Christian Petzold's latest, Undine, the tension between dreams and reality rarely leaves the screen. We can be steeped in the ostensibly 'real' - the notion of day-to-day truth that Petzold recreates with his characters and settings - only for these parameters to shift. Second guessing … Continue reading Review: Undine

Review: Fear Street Part Two: 1978

Director: Leigh Janiak Stars: Sadie Sink, Ryan Simpkins, McCabe Slye It's been but a short week since the first part of Leigh Janiak's Netflix trifecta Fear Street appeared on the service, and already much of its lore has faded from memory. Fortunately, this second entry opens with an (optional) recap. Even more promisingly, Fear Street Part Two: 1978 … Continue reading Review: Fear Street Part Two: 1978

Review: The Stylist

Director: Jill Gevargizian Stars: Najarra Townsend, Brea Grant, Sarah McGuire Claire (Najarra Townsend) is a lonely hair stylist eager to provide immaculate service to her clients, but who feels alienated from the urban landscape around her. Her position at the lower end of the beauty industry makes her work a commodity, but she clearly wishes … Continue reading Review: The Stylist

Review: Black Widow

Director: Cate Shortland Stars: Florence Pugh, Scarlett Johansson, Ever Anderson There are two prominently featured middle-aged white men in Cate Shortland's Black Widow and they nearly capsize the whole thing. I've been stuck on this since leaving the multiplex. For it's entire first act, this feels like a breath of fresh air for the Marvel … Continue reading Review: Black Widow

Ranked: Godzilla, the Showa-Era Films

In an act of generous self-care, I recently gifted myself the Criterion Collection hardback book boxset of all 15 Showa-Era films in the Godzilla series. The original and defining kaiju films. Spanning over 20 years, these films range from the genuinely chilling (well, the first one) to the downright mad (most of the rest). They're an … Continue reading Ranked: Godzilla, the Showa-Era Films