Tag Archives: Three and a Half Stars

Film Review: Ben Affleck’s Live By Night (USA, 2016) is a visually stunning yet slow running 1920s gangster film

Based on the 2012 novel by Dennis Lehane of the same name, Live By Night is set in the prohibition era across the 1920s and 1930s. The man at the centre of the story, Joe Coughlin, is played by Ben Affleck, who brought this adaptation to life. He directed, wrote and produced the film, which ended up being an (only slightly) above-average addition to his quality catalogue.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Passengers (M) (USA, 2016) is far from the grand space opera many will be expecting

Similar to how the recently released Allied arrived in cinemas preempted by an action-heavy advertising campaign that proved somewhat misleading, Passengers is far from the grand space opera many will be expecting.  Instead of a sci-fi outing that’s more brawn than brains, Morten Tyldum‘s intriguing film is surprisingly simple, personal, and (mostly) effective.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Sing (G) (USA, 2016) is a pleasant outing for families this holiday season

Stacking itself plentiful with a heft of pop songs ranging from the classic sounds of Lennon & McCartney to the modern screech of Lady GaGa, Sing is a jukebox musical of sorts that’s suitably bold and bright. Seemingly content not reaching for critical acclaim in the same vein as recent animated offerings like Zootopia, this somewhat old-fashioned tale isn’t a musical in the traditional sense, but allows plenty of showy numbers to liven up the relative two-dimensionality of it all.... Continue Reading

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 7 “Sing Me a Song” sets things up nicely for the mid-season finale

Ratings are sliding for The Walking Dead and a big chunk of viewers are sounding off on social media; while it’s far from a consensus, it’s safe to say many have been disappointed with the way this uneven season has been flowing (remember Ezekiel? You’d be forgiven for forgetting already). A stubborn insistence on overlong momentum-killing bottle episodes may have caused this push back, or it might still be the fall out from a very unnerving, upsetting and painfully drawn out character death from the premiere. Whatever the main issue, we can be thankful for episodes like “Sing Me a Song”, which starts to set things up rather nicely for what should be an entertaining mid-season finale.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Founder (M15+) (USA, 2016) is an intriguing drama benefitting from Michael Keaton’s performance

Likely to come as a surprise to many that The Founder is less a success story regarding the origins of McDonalds, but more a tale on greed and the value of real estate, John Lee Hancock‘s engaging drama benefits from its stellar central performance from Michael Keaton, continuing the run he so assuredly began with Birdman (2014) and last year’s Spotlight.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (M) (UK, 2016) is visually spectacular and pure escapism

In Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them we are returned to the world of magic and wizards and witches but set in 1926 New York, USA well before our boy wonder Harry Potter was born. The film shifts the focus not only to a new protagonist but a brand new location which expands the Harry Potter universe even further. The film, its characters and actors and all those behind the scenes have massive shoes to fill. Can J.K Rowling as screenwriter and executive producer help steer them all to assured box office success? It’s probably a given but this film isn’t entirely without its niggling little goblins.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Drama (Australia, 2016) offers a hopeful alternative to the usual coming-of-age story

Some people claim they don’t look for drama, that drama looks for them. In Anna’s case, drama’s reared its ugly head in her life in the form a breakup with older man John. She seeks solace and support in her best friend Jean, who lives across the English channel in Paris. Jean welcomes his London-based Aussie expat friend, if only because it provides a distraction from his relationship with Philippe (also older), which is growing more and more serious every day.... Continue Reading

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 2 “The Well” is a sharp contrast to last week’s nauseating premiere

“I found a way to deal with the bad by going a little bit overboard with the good”, explained affable new character King Ezekiel (portrayed brilliantly by Khary Payton) as he gave Carol an eye-widening, grounded explanation of false-hope and the necessity of leadership. That quote from this week’s “The Well” accurately captures what The Walking Dead gave us this week: a very sharp contrast to the nauseating season 7 premiere which dealt us two of the most upsetting and tragic deaths in the show’s history last week. Continue reading TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 2 “The Well” is a sharp contrast to last week’s nauseating premiere