Tag Archives: Two and a Half Stars

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: Jigsaw (USA, 2017) attempts to piece together the Saw franchise

Was rebooting the seven-film-deep Saw franchise seven years after the abysmal Saw 3D really necessary? No, not really. The gore-porn films have always been enormously successful despite a substantial drop in quality from the first two entries, so financially there’s little to lose, but the story of the “Jigsaw Killer” really has nothing left to say. This leaves Jigsaw in a rather precarious position, assuming Lionsgate Films wanted this eighth entry to be seen as anything but a sure-fire way to make a profit. From the title it would be reasonable to assume that this an origin story of sorts, falling in-line with the now long-standing trend that has spilled over from artsy superhero films although that’s not necessarily the case here, particularly since there’s plenty of “origin” about Jigsaw already established; instead, the film is much of the same from previous entries, but benefits by scrapping the convoluted thread that spun the original series out of control, bringing the focus back to the curious philosophical underpinnings of Jigsaw’s malicious design.... Continue Reading

Greek Film Festival Review: Mythopathy (Notias) (Greece, 2016) is a coming-of-age story that should appeal to Greek audiences

Mythopathy (Notias) is a film about a boy. Except he’s not just any old kid. This child is one that experiences heartbreak in a novel way. When it happens, he looks towards ancient Greek mythology and stories and he changes aspects of these to suit his own narrative. This coming-of-age story is emotional and imaginative at times but it’s also a little forgettable and difficult to understand at others.... Continue Reading

Cunard British Film Festival Review: That Good Night (UK, 2017) is a dull adaption of a stage play that grapples with morality

That Good Night is a film that could be been called “The Last Night.” This is because it’s a drama about second chances and forgiveness. This handsome film is the last one that the late Sir John Hurt acted in and while it has some intriguing moments, it ultimately suffers from being a play that has been stretched out in order to be adapted for the big screen.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Flatliners (USA, 2017) shows very little signs of life

When a film isn’t pre-screened for media or has its review embargo lifted on the same day of release, you know that the studio isn’t confident in the quality of their product. And this is what happened with the latest remake (although, in recent reports, it is claimed to be a sequel) of Flatliners.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Small Town Killers (Denmark, 2017) never completely commits to its nasty premise

Like fellow Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Nicholas Winding Refn, Ole Bornedal made the leap from his homeland to Hollywood, though he opted for more an entertaining stance on his career as opposed to the heavy artistry his peers practiced; Bornedal was behind the rather unspectacular 2012 haunted house pic The Possession, whilst von Trier and Refn helmed such respective controversial pieces as Antichrist and Only God Forgives.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Orlando (UK, 1992) is a meandering look at gender studies in history

Blur may have sung about “girls who are boys who like boys to be girls,” but it was writer, Virginia Woolf who got there first. Her short novel, Orlando is about a young, aristocratic man who wakes up one day and discovers he’s become a woman. It was a novel that was written by Woolf for her lover, Vita Sackville-West and later adapted into a 1992 film called Orlando. It sees Tilda Swinton playing the titular character in a fine, androgynous performance but that’s really all there is to it.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Love At First Child (Ange et Gabrielle) (France, 2015) is a pleasantly throwaway rom-com

Love At First Child (Ange et Gabrielle) is a film where a baby brings a man and woman together. And we’re not talking about its parents. This film is a light, French rom-com that is a little like eating a sweet soufflé, it’s fluffy and nice at the time but utterly forgettable shortly afterwards.... Continue Reading

Film Review: A Ghost Story (USA, 2017)

David Lowery is a filmmaker whose work I have enjoyed due to thenrestrained approach to his direction, his way of humanizing his characters and his sincere, honest approach to storytelling. Whether it be a small-scale story like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints or a commercial film like the recent Pete’s Dragon, his directorial and screenwriting touch is always apparent.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Final Portrait (UK/USA, 2017) can’t overcome its bland setting

Based on a memoir by American writer James Lord and adapted for the screen by actor Stanley Tucci, Final Portrait is a concise passion project with committed performances and evident production care that sadly doesn’t overcome its bland setting.... Continue Reading