All posts by Peter Gray

Film Review: Daddy’s Home 2 (USA, 2017) is an unnecessary sequel constricted by its family-friendly mentality

Who ever would’ve thought the day would come that Mel Gibson would be re-established enough to earn himself a prime role in a family-aimed comedy?  Whilst the controversial figure has been steadily working over the least few years, either headlining under-seen projects (Get The Gringo, Blood Father) or co-starring in ensemble pieces (Expendables 3, Machete Kills), it was his critically acclaimed turn behind the camera with last year’s Hacksaw Ridge that has seemingly voided his pariah status in the industry.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Netflix’s Mudbound (USA, 2017) is a breathtaking film that is persistent in its treatment of a difficult subject

Despite being associated with Netflix, Mudbound is no made-for-streaming affair.  Premiering to rave reviews in the earlier half of the year at Sundance, Dee Rees‘s film was snapped up by the media service after surprising snubs from the other major studio players.  Rees is arguably having the last laugh though as this film more than deserves the awards chatter its currently garnering, with her transforming Hillary Jordan’s novel into an exquisitely made picture featuring career-best performances from its well-rounded cast.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Justice League (USA, 2017) is a fun yet inconsistent ride that breezes by on the charm of its cast

It’s been something of an arduous trek but the Justice League have finally made their way to the big screen.  Long before Joss Whedon earned the tick of approval from comic enthusiasts the world over with his take on The Avengers, George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet) was planning on brining the titular crew to cineplexes in an ambitious actioner where the likes of Armie Hammer and Megan Gale were to play Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively.  The 2007-2008 Writers Strike and multiple delays regarding shooting locations ultimately led to the film’s demise, and DC threw their weight behind the remainder of Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy, leaving the proposed Justice League little more than a pipe dream.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Borg vs McEnroe (Sweden, 2017) is an uneven film that never feels complete

Borg vs McEnroe feels like a film more tailored for the streaming services market.  A minor feature that’s likely to only really be of interest to tennis fanatics, and even then they might prefer a more traditional documentary, Janus Metz Pedersen‘s drama never feels like a complete production, despite its substantial focus on Bjorn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his intensely monitored childhood.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Lucky (USA, 2017) is an affecting swan song for the late Harry Dean Stanton

Very few actors have been afforded a send-off as fitting as Harry Dean Stanton has in Lucky.  Throughout his 6 decades of working across both film and television, Lucky, next to his most substantial screen-time turn in 1984’s road movie Paris, Texas, stands as a true showcase for the actor; regardless of the film arriving after his death, it would still be deemed a milestone in his career.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Murder On The Orient Express (USA, 2017) beautifully captures the essence of Agatha Christie’s material

With its classic style, striking ensemble, and lack of action-heavy set pieces, Murder on the Orient Express may be a little too refined for modern audiences versed in the ways of today’s distraction-centric filmmaking where bigger and louder equals better.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Happy Death Day (USA, 2017) survives on the strength of its sense of humour

As varying subsets of the horror genre have forged ahead in 2017 as some of the year’s biggest successes (Split, Get Out and It remain three of the most fruitful ventures), it only makes sense that the slasher genre attempt the resurgence it so desperately deserves. It simply isn’t enough however to let a film coax by on familiarity, especially in the horror field where most audiences are too smart to let the simplicity of a masked killer with a penchant for stalking young females be readily accepted.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Battle of the Sexes (USA, 2017) is topical, crowd-pleasing entertainment

Despite its 1973 setting, Battle of the Sexes is very much a film for the now with Billie Jean King’s story appearing just as relevant today as it did back then.  Stances on sexuality and the pay parity between genders as depicted here is likely to strike a chord with many an audience member, but as topical as Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘s film intends to be, it’s crowd-pleasing entertainment at the end of the day.... Continue Reading