Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Director: J.J. Abrams Stars: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega You could feel it coming; a disturbance in the force. Gradually, as the press junkets for The Rise of Skywalker began, different members of the cast started speaking fondly of how Abrams' return felt so welcome. Abrams himself joined the fray. You could sense the urge … Continue reading Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Review: Captain Marvel

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck Stars: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Clark Gregg That the Marvel machine has taken 11 years and 20-ish films to get to a female-centric superhero movie is such a glaring and conspicuous oversight that Captain Marvel arrives with a hideously unenviable burden. It has to mean something. It has to be … Continue reading Review: Captain Marvel

Review: Piercing

Director: Nicolas Pesce Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Christopher Abbott, Laia Costa I remember reading Ryu Murakami's Audition in the hopes of decoding some of the more surreal occurences in Takashi Miike's masterful adaptation and being struck by the direct voice apparent in the translation. Favouring this, I also read Piercing; a novella that similarly popped off the page, and … Continue reading Review: Piercing

Review: Solo – A Star Wars Story

Director: Ron Howard Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke "Everybody stick to the plan. Do not improvise." So says Woody Harrelson's smuggler Tobias Beckett (the least Star Wars-y named character to appear in Star Wars yet), and its a line that rings with considerable pathos for what might've been. It's no secret that Solo originally fell into … Continue reading Review: Solo – A Star Wars Story

Review: Mary And The Witch’s Flower

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi It was a few years into Studio Ghibli's existence before Hayao Miyazaki brought My Neightbour Totoro to the world and finally settled on the iconic logo which become synonymous with the company ever since. Ghibli now rests in a state of semi-hibernation. In its wake, rising star Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Arrietty, When Marnie Was There) opens … Continue reading Review: Mary And The Witch’s Flower

Review: Tomb Raider

Director: Roar Uthaug Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins Films adapted from video games suck. We all know this. We've all been down this road and been burned too many times before. Even the occasional arguments to the contrary - the first Silent Hill movie, for instance - are, if we're honest, only ever kinda … Continue reading Review: Tomb Raider

Review: Coco

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt Pixar have delved into the metaphysical before with their high water mark Inside Out, a family adventure film that somehow also managed to encompass a bold and complex message about self-awareness and early onset depression (quite how it did this so nimbly remains … Continue reading Review: Coco

Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Director: Taika Waititi Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett Depending on how you land on Thor: Ragnarok, this is either where the lumbering Marvel Cinematic Universe really starts to unshackle itself from so much box-ticking, or the installment at which the franchise tips and, if not exactly jumps the shark, at least gets ready for … Continue reading Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Why I Love… #87: Duelle (une quarantaine)

Year: 1976 Director: Jacques Rivette Stars: Juliet Bero (Leni), Bulle Ogier (Viva), Hermine Karagheuz (Lucie), Jean Babilée (Pierrot), Nicole Garcia (Elsa / Jeanne), Claire Nadieu (Sylvia Stern) Genre: Mystery / Fantasy If there is one thing I love, it's dream cinema. By which I do not mean dream sequences within otherwise conventionally made films (which … Continue reading Why I Love… #87: Duelle (une quarantaine)

Review: Tale Of Tales

Plot holes in films are irksome things, evidence of imperfection. Depending on your attachment to the surrounding material, they can often be forgiven, however. A weakness, sure, but usually not a fatal one, so long as the scale isn't tipped by their presence too harshly. I can usually overlook plot holes in favour of finding enjoyment … Continue reading Review: Tale Of Tales

Why I Love… #79: Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind

Year: 1984 Director: Hayao Miyazaki Genre: Animation / Science Fiction / Fantasy Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind was a landmark film for Hayao Miyazaki. Having directed his first feature film (1979's The Castle of Cagliostro) as a director-for-hire, Miyazaki had earned just praise within Japan's fervent animation industry, but the film had not been … Continue reading Why I Love… #79: Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind

Review: Song Of The Sea

I nearly fell asleep watching Song Of The Sea. But wait, before you go taking that the wrong way, let me explain a couple of things. 1) I had a late night and an early start (for no good reason either), 2) I settled down in the too-sparsely-populated cinema very shortly after a satisfying brunch that … Continue reading Review: Song Of The Sea

Review: The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

With Hayao Miyazaki now in retirement (though with a few rumours to the contrary also banding around) the future for Studio Ghibli seems a little uncertain. Adding fuel to this is the arrival of the supposed swan song from Isao Takahata, Miyazaki's co-founder of the esteemed Japanese animation studio. An adaptation of the Japanese folk … Continue reading Review: The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

Review: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

And so with a sense of exhaustion we come to the end of the story, or, if you're counting this as a lead-in to the Rings trilogy, the middle. The middle of Middle Earth. Take a deep breath, make sure you're pepped up on caffeine or have a decent on-hand supply of gummy sweets, popcorn or … Continue reading Review: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (there's a mouthful), directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer Lawrence, presents a rare problem to the casual movie reviewer, in that it's director and star share the same last name. It's customary in this sort of work to refer to everyone by their surnames after the first … Continue reading Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1