Reviews / 17.12.2019

One of the biggest surprise packages of 2017 was undoubtedly Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the fresh, lively, and genuinely funny sequel that kickstarted a franchise few ever expected to exist. Over 20 years after Robin Williams' beloved family favourite, this reboot deftly proved the necessity of its existence and walked away with $962 million at the worldwide box office. Admit it. You thought it would flop. After surprisingly taking the title as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year, beating the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians...

Reviews / 17.12.2019

It's been a weird year at the cinema for many reasons. Even still, an animated film featuring a super-spy, voiced by Will Smith, who accidentally morphs into a pigeon is probably the last thing you expected in 2019. After mixed reactions to his, er, unique take on Genie in Aladdin and the critical and commercial disaster that was Gemini Man (you'd already forgotten that was thing, hadn't you?), Smith throws the dice for the third time this year. With Blue Sky Studios' Spies in Disguise, Smith proves the third time is...

Awards Season, Reviews / 16.12.2019

Let's be honest. Fox News is probably the worst thing to ever happen to broadcast television. While it's always strayed far from its laughable "Fair and balanced" slogan, in the last three years, it's become little more than a farcical propaganda machine for the orange clown in the White House. It's a miracle the "news" network is even still standing, given the sexual harassment scandal it somehow withstood back in 2016. It's that very saga which provides the juicy fodder for director Jay Roach's bombastic and occasionally compelling Bombshell; a...

Reviews / 12.12.2019

Way back in 1974, an unassuming Canadian horror film essentially defined an entirely new subsection of the genre and went on to inspire horror filmmakers for the next few decades, notably John Carpenter and his opus Halloween. While it's far from the greatest horror film of all time, Bob Clark's Black Christmas is one of the earliest examples of the slasher film, making it a landmark moment for horror cinema and rightly earned the film cult status amongst cinema fans. A remake came and went back in 2006, ramping up...

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 11.12.2019

You're likely assuming we did not need another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's seminal classic Little Women. Many consider Gillian Armstrong's 1994 film to be the definitive screen version of the novel, ruling out the necessity for any further remakes. Enter actress-turned-filmmaker Greta Gerwig, whose unbridled love for Alcott's work is the driving force behind one of the year's most beautiful films and a worthy challenger to the high bar set by Armstrong. A faithful adaptation given new life by a daring storytelling technique and an impeccable ensemble cast,...

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 10.12.2019

After dozens upon dozens of war films since the dawn of cinema, it seems directors now need to consistently find a new contrivance to land any impact in this genre. Working within a storytelling technique few filmmakers have dared to touch, co-writer/director Sam Mendes offers his war drama 1917 in one seemingly continuous take. It's a gimmick, to be sure, but it's one crafted in such meticulous and flawless fashion, creating one of the technically finest war epics there has ever been. An ambitiously daunting task on a scale...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.12.2019

You're likely assuming you need to be fairly religious to find any pleasure in a film entitled The Two Popes. Of course, those who trundle off to church every Sunday will likely connect with this film on an entirely different level. However, speaking as someone who hasn't paid any attention to religion since mandatory scripture lessons at the age of seven, it's rather unfathomable that I found such tremendous joy within this surprisingly humorous and giddily enjoyable little gem. With one of the year's finest screenplays and starring two...

Awards Season, Reviews / 25.11.2019

Think back to a time before Disney's 2013 box office colossus Frozen became so insanely overexposed and we all started to become entirely sick of it. With a neverending flow of merchandise, "Let It Go" relentlessly playing everywhere you turned, a big-budget Broadway musical adaptation, and that misguided 21-minute-long "short" film that played before Pixar's Coco, it's no wonder Frozen-mania drove everyone a little nuts. With the all-consuming chaos that followed the film, it's easy to forget how sublime Frozen truly was. With a Broadway-style structure which harkened back to the Disney...

Reviews / 18.11.2019

There are comedic films made exclusively for children that respect their young audience enough to refuse to lower their comedy into the gutter to elicit a few cheap laughs. Then there's something like Playing With Fire that embarrassingly treats children as if they're entirely too stupid to enjoy anything other than poop jokes and ludicrous slapstick comedy for 96 minutes. Look, I get there's absolutely a place for movies crafted just for kids. I was a kid once. I understand. I even invited my two young nephews along to...

Reviews / 14.11.2019

Ready to feel old? The big-screen adaptation of Charlie's Angels was released almost 20 years ago. Yes, it's been nearly two decades since Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu lit up the screen with McG's (remember him?) glitzy relaunch that was all sorts of campy fun. Alright, it wasn't exactly a masterful film. And it certainly hasn't aged well. But, dammit, that movie was a bloody good early-millennium time at the cinema. After many were left disappointed with the bombastic 2003 sequel (full disclosure - I kinda love it) and...