Reviews / 02.08.2019

If there's one film in 2019 where you know exactly what you're in for, it's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Standing as the first (but surely not the last) spin-off to the uber-popular revhead franchise which has earned over $5 billion (!) at the worldwide box office, this new entry follows the same well-worn formula of its predecessors. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Overloaded with spectacular stunts, epic chase sequences, and brutal fistfights, it's just big, dumb, ridiculous fun that goes well with...

Reviews / 24.07.2019

Marking the third time seminal war epic Apocalypse Now has arrived in cinemas, a new "Final Cut" version offers writer/producer/director Francis Ford Coppola the chance to showcase his masterpiece as he always wanted to. After such a disastrous film shoot and all sorts of post-production hell, it's no wonder Coppola has revisited the film twice in the last two decades. Clearly, the director has never felt comfortable with leaving this film alone. And nor should he. Both the original 1979 cut and 2001's Redux are problematic films. One is...

Reviews / 18.07.2019

How do you remake a film that's genuinely flawless? More importantly, why should you even bother? This is the inherent problem facing any Disney "live-action" remake seeking to capture the spirit and essence of a golden animated predecessor. We know the why, of course. Nostalgia brings in the box office dollars and Disney is intent on pillaging its vault of classics for huge financial gain. And they're showing no signs of slowing down. Arriving less than two months (!) after another remake of a 90s Disney treasure is edging...

Reviews / 11.07.2019

Who doesn't love a shlocky B-movie that knows it's a shlocky B-movie and gives you everything you could ever want from a genre that should provide a dose of giddy, silly fun? Films of the monster movie genre often fall flat on their face by failing to realise the absurdity of their premise and attempt to be something they're not, as we saw with last year's problematic The Meg. It's so deliciously refreshing to encounter something like Crawl; a film that embraces its outrageous conceit to wildly entertaining effect. With...

Reviews / 08.07.2019

It's already been a horribly disappointing summer movie season with an endless stream of dull, lifeless disasters that have (mostly) failed miserably at the box office. But this week, we may have hit the low point of the season with the painfully unfunny and fairly insufferable Stuber; a buddy cop comedy that wastes its impressive cast in deeply frustrating fashion. Relentless action may abound, but nothing here will leave any shred of an impression. Proving two great leads still cannot hope to save a woeful screenplay, Stuber is a disastrous...

Reviews / 07.07.2019

No doubt many audience members groan at the thought of another coming-of-age teen comedy filled with parties, sex, alcohol, and adolescent angst. The genre has been around for decades now, and, admittedly, most films of this nature aren't worth your time or money. On its surface, Booksmart appears to be just another one of these fluffy timewasters. In reality, the film is anything but. Refreshing, intelligent, and utterly hilarious, Booksmart fires on all cylinders with a stellar ensemble cast, a gifted director, a terrific screenplay, and outrageous moments to...

Reviews / 29.06.2019

After Avengers: Endgame left us emotionally devastated and, frankly, cinematically exhausted, most of us likely need a breather from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Arriving just two months after we said goodbye (sob!) to several key Marvel figures, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into cinemas, offering the joyous exuberance this franchise is fast becoming known for. While the spectre of loss hangs over this sequel, there's boundless fun and pitch-perfect humour to be found within, providing just the escapism needed after Marvel Studios shattered our souls in their previous adventure....

Reviews / 26.06.2019

When the terrifically thrilling The Conjuring debuted back in 2013, few could have predicted it would ultimately launch a cinematic universe which has stunningly earned over $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office from its six films. Yes, you read that figure correctly. By expanding one movie into a seemingly never-ending franchise of sequels and spin-offs, there's a horror goldmine to be tapped here. The latest spooky chapter from this unexpected saga is the sequel to the prequel to the spin-off featuring cinema's latest creepy doll no one wants...

Reviews / 25.06.2019

In recent times, cinema has exploited the music of ABBA, Queen, and Elton John to create giddy jukebox musicals, each seeking to cash in on the insatiable appetite for music nostalgia. It was all but inevitable The Beatles would be next. Avoiding the simplistic option of a biopic to document the rise of Liverpool's favourite sons, Yesterday offers a daringly original proposal; what if the entire world forgot The Beatles ever existed, bar one lucky musician? In the hands of Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle and beloved screenwriter Richard Curtis,...

Opinion / 22.06.2019

Not to sound like a grumpy old movie buff, but, when it comes to film accessibility, youngsters these days have no idea how easy they have it. With the plethora of streaming services available (not to mention digital downloads, Blu-rays, and, ahem, other less scrupulous methods of procurement), a world of films is literally at the fingertips of every impressionable wannabe film aficionado. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s, we weren't so lucky. Sure, we were on the cusp of the VHS...