Category Archives: Reviews

Film Review: Life (USA, 2017) hits all the beats we’re used to but in a more polished container

One day Hollywood might be able to come up with a new science fiction movie that has us discovering a fluffy cute adorable friendly alien. One day Hollywood might be able to come up with a group of characters who actually have character development, prior to being ruthlessly dispatched. One day Hollywood might be able to stop cloning itself and come up with some new, fresh and original ideas. But today is not that day. So if you are OK with the idea of something that’s a bit like Alien meets Event Horizon meets Gravity then you will probably enjoy Life.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Power Rangers (USA, 2017) is an unexpected thrill for the teen superhero genre

To go back and transpose Power Rangers into a blockbuster teen superhero film in this day and age seems like an odd choice. Though the original TV series quickly became a cult hit, time hasn’t been so kind to the franchise, even if it has strangely persisted for over two decades (it’s 24th season is currently airing in the U.S as “Power Rangers Ninja Steel”). Cast changes and inconsistencies muddled what was otherwise a fun but ultimately silly and forgettable take on superhero culture, mostly notable for its attempts at diversity, deliciously tacky music and Godzilla-like boss battles. On the big screen, director Dean Israelite brings a decidedly dark and muscular tone as he crafts an origin story for the colour-coded superheroes and surprisingly succeeds in blending the campy qualities of the TV show with a template obviously built around this era’s saturation of brooding superhero stories.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Beauty And The Beast (USA, 2017) has breathtaking moments of grandiose cinematic bliss

A story that originated in 1740 now considered one of the most beloved and beautiful of fairytales that has been remade/rebooted/retold a countless number of times, Beauty And The Beast is considered a tale as old as time. Of late Disney has been having a bit of a renaissance if you will, remaking number of their classics into “live action” (with a little help from CGI) films, from Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book to Pete’s Dragon. Their latest release endeavours to reach young new audiences as well as reviving the old with a hint of nostalgia. ... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: California Dreams (USA, 2017) should be called “California Delusions”

With La La Land having recently dominated the Oscars, its story about 2 hopefuls trying to make it in Hollywood uncomfortably lingered in the back of my mind while watching California Dreams. Both La La Land and California Dreams share a similar premise of “dreams are built on sacrifice”, however the films attack their subject matter of struggling actors in entirely different ways. While La La Land shimmers with the temptation of nostalgia, love and the greediness of having your cake and eating it too, California Dreams explores sacrifice when you can’t even afford the ingredients to make that proverbial cake.... Continue Reading

AF French Film Festival Review: Monsieur Chocolat (France, 2016) is an emotional ride that leaves you in deep contemplation

Breathtaking and magical, Monsieur Chocolat (directed by Roschdy Zem) is one to watch if you want to experience a Parisian night. Immerse yourself in the world of 19th-century French circus and follow the biopic story of Chocolat (Omar Sy). He journeys from a performer acting as the “cannibal” to a more respected position as a clown in a duo with Foottit (James Thiérrée). Together, they reach fame but things start to fall apart when Chocolat wishes to be more and ambitions clash.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Eagle Huntress (G) (UK/MONG/USA, 2016) follows an inspiring subject

I have to admit, I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, but I’ve loved the ones I’ve seen. Some of them haven’t felt like documentaries at all, mainly because the stories behind them are a little too one-sided or hard to believe. Films like Super Size Me and Bowling for Columbine have been accused of being false, manipulative as well as misleading. I start off with this because the documentary, The Eagle Huntress, which is released in select cinemas this week, has been accused of being staged, scripted and even acted. But even factoring all of this, does that clench the final verdict that the documentary is a bad viewing experience? In this case, yes and no.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: The Honor Farm (USA, 2017) struggles with its narrative

Horror films aren’t like they used to be. Gone are the days of chainsaw wielding psychos with mummy issues and hockey mask wearing killers…. with mummy issues (I’ve stumbled upon something here). Indeed, the genre has become less about horny teenagers getting gutted in creative ways and more about utilising tropes to symbolise prevalent issues like coming-of-age. ... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (UK, 2017) is a love letter to NASA’s rocket men

Stop and take a moment to think about what you were doing at the age of 27 or what you will do if it’s yet to come. If you’re a musician it is likely that you are dead but if you were working at NASA during the Apollo era then you had a hand in putting man on the moon. Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo is a documentary that takes a leaf out of Hidden Figures’ book because it puts the focus on the boffins that achieved great things by working at mission control and it is one truly fascinating story.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Like Me (USA, 2017) Is disorientating and beautiful

When I was nineteen I spent three straight days without sleeping. I had just moved to Tokyo and couldn’t cope with the light pollution or the sounds from the trains that ran behind my flat. I would spend the nights listening to relaxing music and watch films during the day. On the third morning at around 4AM I made an instant coffee and decided to put on Enter the Void.... Continue Reading