Review: 24 Frames

Director: Abbas Kiarostami 'I always wonder to what extent the artist aims to depict the reality of a scene. Painters capture only one frame of reality and nothing before or after it. For "24 Frames" I started with famous paintings but then switched to photos I had taken through the years. I included about four and … Continue reading Review: 24 Frames

Review: The Greatest Showman

Director: Michael Gracey Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams If you're going to make a musical about P.T. Barnum, the mid-19th century's 'greatest showman' and incorrigible humbug merchant, you'd better be prepared to go all out. Modern musicals are curious beasts. Take the feted La La Land from Damien Chazelle, for instance. While the sentiment … Continue reading Review: The Greatest Showman

Review: Pitch Perfect 3

Director: Trish Sie Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow There's a moment during the obligatory mid-film montage in Pitch Perfect 3 in which director Trish Sie openly recalls the musical number geometry of Busby Berkeley in the 1930s. It's a fond cine-literate homage that lifts up this sprightly paced collage of passing time, yet it … Continue reading Review: Pitch Perfect 3

The Best of 2017

The top ten Certain WomenThe Florida ProjectRawMoonlightJackieCall Me By Your NameGet OutThe Killing Of A Sacred DeerThe HandmaidenToni Erdmann Film Of The YearCertain Women "All three stories find Reichardt offering us women trying to progress with their lives in the face of absurdity. The tempo is steady and one can readily imagine a thousand other … Continue reading The Best of 2017

Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Director: Rian Johnson Stars: Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver J.J. Abrams may take his expected executive producer credit on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but he never could have made it. This despite the movie opening with one of his trademark lens flares. No, this is Rian Johnson's film through and through. It's wantonly idiosyncratic, … Continue reading Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Review: Molly’s Game

Director: Aaron Sorkin Stars: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Michael Cera For those not previously acquainted with the life and (mis)deeds of Molly Bloom there are two main draws to this new film, which seems intent on slipping out unnoticed in the shadow of Star Wars. Firstly, the acting clout of Jessica Chastain, comfortably one of the … Continue reading Review: Molly’s Game

Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 

Director: Jake Kasdan Stars: Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black 21 years after Joe Johnston's crowd-pleasing family film, was anybody actually asking for this? Belated sequels can be desperate cash-cows, especially those targeted to festive markets (Bad Santa 2 anyone?). Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is set at Christmas, though you wouldn't know it for approximately … Continue reading Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 

Review: The Disaster Artist

Director: James Franco Stars: James Franco, Alison Brie, Dave Franco "I did not hit her. It's not true. It's bullshit. I did not hit her. I did not. Oh hi Mark." For some the above stream of nonsense will appear as exactly that and have no relevance. For others (disclosure: myself wholeheartedly included) these words … Continue reading Review: The Disaster Artist

Review: Suburbicon

Director: George Clooney Stars: Matt Damon, Noah Jupe, Glenn Fleshler Poor George Clooney, he just can't seem to get a break. Go back 20 years or so and that statement would sound ludicrous; he was the biggest name in Hollywood (whether he wanted to be or not) and could have the pick of projects to … Continue reading Review: Suburbicon

Review: Ingrid Goes West

Director: Matt Spicer Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O'Shea Jackson Jr.  Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is the kind of girl who, if you don't invite her to your wedding, she'll crash anyway and mace you in the face to get even. She's not a stable person. And so it follows that her relationship with social … Continue reading Review: Ingrid Goes West

Review: Mudbound

Director: Dee Rees Stars: Carey Mulligan, Jonathan Banks, Mary J Blige Dee Rees follows Pariah and Bessie with this Netflix Original; an adaptation of a novel by Hillary Jones, a period piece, a treaty on racism and post-war displacement in America, and a serious prestige picture ready for the upcoming awards season. The question of eligibility hangs … Continue reading Review: Mudbound

Review: Good Time

Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie Stars: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Buddy Duress The millstone of starring in a widely derided young adult franchise has spurred Twilight star Robert Pattinson into a series of increasingly impressive independent roles which have rehabilitated his credentials to the point that his involvement is now a draw rather than a concern. … Continue reading Review: Good Time

Review: Zoology

Director: Ivan I. Tverdovsky Stars: Natalya Pavlenkova, Dmitry Groshev, Irina Chipozhenko In Agnieszka Smoczynska's 2015 fable The Lure (reviewed on here just a couple of weeks ago), the growing of a mighty fishtail was a potent symbol for sexual development in its focal young women. One might therefore assume that the appearance (again from Eastern Europe) of … Continue reading Review: Zoology

Review: Paddington 2

Director: Paul King Stars: Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Hugh Grant Paul King's first Paddington film had little to prove, aside from confounding  fears of what might have been done to Michael Bond's beloved bear. One only has to look at the trailer for the forthcoming Peter Rabbit movie to see how a staple of British childhood can … Continue reading Review: Paddington 2

Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos Stars: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan "It was very Lynchian," I overheard a gentleman tell his wife upon leaving the screening of The Killing Of A Sacred Deer that I attended, as the varied audience tried to get a handle on what they'd just been through. Now, everyone is most certainly entitled to … Continue reading Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer