Review: Cats

Director: Tom Hooper Stars: Francesca Hayward, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift When I was 16 I took LSD for the first and only time in my life. I had anticipated, thanks to TV and film, to suddenly see conjured pink elephants and gateways to other dimensions. Time-lapsed flowering mushrooms and the like. That didn't really happen. … Continue reading Review: Cats

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

Why I Love… #90: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Year: 1953 Director: Howard Hawks Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn   As 2017 turns into 2018, why would fondly remembering a movie as wildly outdated as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes prove worthwhile? Perhaps because cinema history is exactly that; a history. Art is always a product of its time and thus Gentlemen Prefer Blondes should be … Continue reading Why I Love… #90: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Review: The Lure (2015)

Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska Stars: Michalina Olszanska, Marta Marzurek, Kinga Preis The prospect of an independent horror movie being seriously about mermaids is a lure in and of itself. Make it Polish and also a musical and curiosity goes into overdrive, especially with the striking artwork that accompanied promotion of Agnieszka Smoczynska's 2015 debut feature. And … Continue reading Review: The Lure (2015)

Review: Baby Driver

Director: Edgar Wright Stars: Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey On the day of its release, Edgar Wright tweeted "I’m pinching myself because #BabyDriverMovie is a vision that I dreamt up 22 years ago and now it’s being released in cinemas worldwide." Watching the film in the cinema - it's oh-so natural home - you … Continue reading Review: Baby Driver

Review: La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend Damien Whiplash Chazelle loves jazz and you should too. That's the long and the short of it, and if pushing us through his aforementioned white-knuckle hyper-drama hadn't changed our minds then this time he's turning on the charm. Switching up (considerably), he now presents us... an old-fashioned … Continue reading Review: La La Land

Review: Moana

Directors: Ron Clements, Don Hall Stars: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House It's been a rather good year for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Back in spring they broke formula with the much-loved Zootopitropolis(whatever), ditching the princess angle so often leaned upon in favour of something more progressive, delivering a great message of inclusivity right along with it. And … Continue reading Review: Moana

Review: Chi-Raq

Director: Spike Lee Stars: Teyonah Parris, Nick Cannon, Samuel L Jackson It seems like too long since a Spike Lee 'joint' was the cause for particular interest or comment. His last breakthrough commercial hit was Inside Man a decade ago, and even then it was something of a dud. As the years have gone by, little … Continue reading Review: Chi-Raq

The Strange Magic of Purple Rain

Prince died last week and I, like many others I would imagine, watched Purple Rain. A little personal context if you'll permit me. I always respected but never particularly pursued the man's music (shamefully I count myself among those now moved to make up for this past neglect). His loss didn't feel as strangely significant to me … Continue reading The Strange Magic of Purple Rain

Why I Love… #38: Singin’ In The Rain

Year: 1952 Directors: Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly Stars: Gene Kelly (Don Lockwood), Debbie Reynolds (Kathy Selden), Donald O'Connor (Cosmo Brown), Jean Hagan (Lina Lamont), Millard Mitchell (R.F. Simpson) Genre: Musical One of the most popular and quite simply entertaining movies of all time. Set in the 20s as sound was about to change cinema … Continue reading Why I Love… #38: Singin’ In The Rain

Why I Love… #18: The Wicker Man

Year: 1973 Director: Robin Hardy Stars: Edward Woodward (Sgt Howie), Christopher Lee (Lord Summerisle), Britt Ekland (Willow), Diane Cilento (Miss Rose), Ingrid Pitt (Librarian), Lindsay Kemp (Alder MacGreagor) Genre: Mystery / Musical / Comedy / Horror Mystery. Musical. Comedy. Horror. Does any other film cross those four genres, I wonder? Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man, … Continue reading Why I Love… #18: The Wicker Man