All posts by Peter Gray

Film Review: Concussion (M15+) (USA, 2015)

It goes without saying that football is a sport that potentially endangers its player’s week in and week out with their bodies constantly put at risk due to the intense contact required for the game to be played. Of course, the money involved in all aspects surrounding the game means everyone involved will do whatever they can to assure its progress so, naturally, the notion that major head trauma stemmed from constant impact like that experienced in football could ultimately kill a player caused its share of controversy.  In 2002 Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist, uncovered a serious condition that was linked to the unusual deaths of former players – chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).... Continue Reading

Film Review: Brooklyn (M15+) (UK, 2015)

Highlighting every little detail from Colm Toibin’s superb novel, screenwriter Nick Hornby’s skilful words effortlessly give life to Brooklyn, a simple story that proves there’s more power in how you tell your tale than the tale itself. An intellectually and emotionally satisfying film, Brooklyn’s best asset is indeed the coming-of-age performance from Saoirse Ronan, the actress adopting a hypnotic stillness that allows the audience to feel her journey from a timid Irish girl to a woman certain of what she wants.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Room (M) (USA, 2015)

Adopting a story that tragically resembles real-life accounts, and presenting an opening 40-or-so minutes that prove an uneasy watch, Room is an initially cold but masterful drama all the same.  Describing the film as cold is not a criticism on its part though as director Lenny Abrahamson has displayed such skill in housing the film in the titular space that it’s tough to escape the horrific situation its protagonists find themselves in.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Danish Girl (UK, 2015)

Vanishing before our eyes in a far more detailed manner than what he achieved with his Oscar-winning role of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne’s transformation into The Danish Girl is nothing short of outstanding. A multi-faceted performance that never crosses into parody, Tom Hooper’s subtle drama allows the actor both a physical and emotional metamorphosis that stands as the finest of his career – so far.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Goosebumps (PG) (USA, 2015)

The Goosebumps novel series was one I read religiously as a child growing up – in fact I don’t know many 90’s children who weren’t invested in this wonderfully ghoulish series – so the idea of a (long overdue) cinematic adaptation of R.L. Stine’s classic tales was one I embraced wholeheartedly.  The type of subject matter that could easily fill a horror movie quota, Rob Letterman’s filmic take opts for a more family friendly mentality, perhaps in a bid to introduce Goosebumps to a younger crowd, with sporadic dashes of scary-esque moments to not completely water itself down. ... Continue Reading

DVD Review: Vacation (USA, 2015)

Given that at some point everything that is old becomes new again, it makes sense that the National Lampoon Vacation series would be on the reboot agenda. A surprisingly durable series that has spanned over three decades, the latest in line acts as a semi-reboot-come-sequel with enough sly nods to pay tribute to the original without rehashing them to the point of overt-familiarity.... Continue Reading

DVD Review: Knock Knock (USA, 2015)

It’s a real shame that Keanu Reeves opted to follow-up his acclaimed actioner John Wick with Knock Knock, a deliriously campy, sexed-up thriller that could quite possibly be the most embarrassing feature Reeves has had the displeasure of involving himself with. Toeing the camp line is always a risk with any given actor but, let’s face it, Reeves isn’t always the strongest player and Knock Knock unfortunately highlights his weaker abilities as a genre performer.... Continue Reading

DVD Review: The Voices (USA, 2015)

Black comedy is a tricky thing to execute correctly, and sadly The Voices, despite an intriguing premise and a considerably talented ensemble, fails to balance its ingredients successfully.  It’s a bit too brutal to be truly funny yet similarly it’s a little too off-kilter to be deemed a straight-up horror film – but who’s to blame?  Director Marjane Satrapi certainly delivers on a visual level, and lead Ryan Reynolds foregoes any of his usual cocky traits by turning in a subtle performance layered with eccentric nuances that help make his rather troubled character strangely likeable.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Love the Coopers (USA, 2015)

What used to be, what is now, and what the future potentially holds are the main framing points screenwriter Steven Rogers (Kate & Leopold, P.S. I Love You) strands together in Love The Coopers, a deliriously schmaltzy and often contrived dramedy that’s a particularly mixed stocking when it comes to its individual characters chapters.  There’s plenty of sugar-coated comfort and joy in that predictable Hollywood kind of way to be found here, and if you don’t expect too much from it, there’s potential for mild enjoyment in a film we’re all too familiar with.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Dressmaker (Australia, 2015)

Comedy and tragedy go hand-in-hand in The Dressmaker, a larger-than-life, heartbreaking laugher that benefits from its brave cast and stellar wardrobe selection.  Not the warm and fuzzy dramedy some may be expecting based off its trailer, Jocelyn Moorhouse’s adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s novel is a considerably dark affair with vibrant brushes of eccentricity to keep the whole product fresh.... Continue Reading