Category Archives: Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Goodbye Christopher Robbins (UK, 2017) how tragedy formed the most beloved children’s classic

It’s a familiar name, Christopher Robbins, and it might take a moment or two for you to realise who he is and just how pivotal he was to your childhood. Once heralded as the luckiest boy in the world, Christopher Robbins was not just Winnie-The-Pooh’s best friend in the books, he was a real boy who reminded a defeated Europe of the other side of tragedy.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Finding Your Feet (UK, 2018) is a rom-com about swimming through life’s second act

If ever there was a film that did what it said on the tin then it is Finding Your Feet. This boomer rom-com and English dramedy is all about second chances and discovering your true self. The film is a pleasant and predictable one that should appeal to fans of Hampstead and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel franchise.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Game Night (USA, 2018) is an unruly bout of fun

Whether it’s an old-fashioned detective story (Murder on the Orient Express), a children’s adventure (Young Sherlock Holmes), a romantic farce (Blind Detective) or a flat-out comedy (Clue), the murder mystery is the type of genre staple that can result in lots of fun, particularly if it involves audience participation. If 2018’s latest comedy Game Night can live up to those examples, we’ll be in for a treat.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Lady Bird (USA, 2017) is the most tender and genuine coming-of-age story in years

There’s something incredibly sweet about Lady Bird, without having the film push into over-sentimental territory. That in itself is a remarkable achievement for Greta Gerwig, who in her directorial debut has turned in an endearing and sincere coming-of-age story that, although quite monotone, springs to life with particularly powerful performances from two female actors of very different generations. As director and writer, Gerwig is at her observant best, penning what is seemingly a tender love letter addressed to both her parents and her hometown of Sacramento, but in doing so is careful to present characters which are complex and naturalistic enough so audiences around the world can find something they relate to, irrespective of gender.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Black Panther (USA, 2018) roars into the MCU with an ambitious story

When Black Panther was announced the film was automatically destined to bear the hopes and aspirations of many. There was whispers of it finally bringing some long needed diversity to both the MCU and the film landscape. Director and co-writer Ryan Coogler would need to bring his A-game and with this film he’s successful in doing so, delivering a stellar cast, an ambitious story, stunning visuals and a thumping soundtrack.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Insidious bows out of the modern supernatural horror genre with The Last Key (USA, 2018)

As inconsistent and creaky as the old floorboards of this film’s generic haunted house, Insidious: The Last Key is a tired though mildly inspired jolt to a franchise that could never quite match the far superior universe of The Conjuring. The fourth entry, and supposed swan song, for the Insidious series hinges itself firmly on Lin Shaye’s Elise Rainier in a sequel-to-a-prequel kind of deal that focuses on her childhood and attempts to bring everything full circle for the aging professional medium. Shaye’s character has always been one of the more interesting parts of Insidious, and the veteran screen queen certainly does her best to hold the film together with a characteristically warm and calming presence nicely contrasted with the hellish tone of demons both ghostly and real.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Gurrumul (Australia, 2018) is a striking portrait of an enigmatic and impressive Australian musical talent

With Gurrumul, director Paul Damien Williams has created a striking and emotive portrait of one of Australia’s greatest musical talents – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. But more than that, Gurrumul also affords us all a glimpse into the cultural life and traditions of the Yolngu people in North Eastern Arnhem Land, in what are some of the most visually striking moments of the film.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Michael Haneke punishes the self-indulgent in Happy End (France/Germany, 2017)

Fans of Michael Haneke and, in particular, his earlier works should take a swift and immediate liking to Happy End and stick with the patient-testing film throughout. It’s a cynical, pointed and rather sharp jab at the hypocrisy, selfishness and tragedy of droll middle-class life; well-made, beautifully acted and painstakingly (sometimes painfully) complex, although the auteur’s characteristic nihilism can be suffocating at times when it’s not grimly mocking and somewhat endearing. The title is a misnomer of course; happiness in a Haneke film is so rare that it feels like the director has re-done 2012’s Armour but squeezed out all the life and empathy out so all he’s left with is a bleak, grey reflection of death and desire.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Cloverfield Paradox (USA, 2018) is not so complex

Not so long ago, in a galaxy pretty close, on a planet called Earth we saw the release of Cloverfield. Ten-Years-Ago to be precise. It was a hit at the time, unique with its clever use of found footage that had not been done to death (just yet). With J.J. Abrams producing and Matt Reeves directing, it really was a sleeper hit with a cult following and that was that. Everyone moved on and we continued to enjoy J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot production films for many years to come… then BAM! out comes 10 Cloverfield Lane in 2016, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman and begins a Cloverfield Anthology/Franchise of films all somehow interconnected within the same universe.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Den of Thieves (USA, 2018) is a competent homage to Michael Mann’s epic heist saga Heat

Heist films are a dime-a-dozen these days. They’re the ones that fit the “put people on a mission” genre, starring a well known ensemble cast, who have been given an exciting plot where cast chemistry, filmmaking chops and fun storytelling mix together to make an entertaining night out for cinemagoers.... Continue Reading