Reviews / 13.06.2020

After being stuck in production hell for almost two decades, Disney's big-budget adaptation of Eoin Colfer's acclaimed 2001 children's book Artemis Fowl has finally arrived. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of the film's intended April theatrical release, Artemis Fowl has instead been unceremoniously dumped on the studio's streaming platform, Disney+. Frankly, that's probably for the best. An incoherent and confusing mess that rarely stops to take a breath, Artemis Fowl was clearly planned to be the first instalment of Disney's next great saga to join their ever-expanding...

Awards Season, Reviews / 12.06.2020

Few directors possess the innate ability to tap into the current state of the world quite like Spike Lee, but even he couldn't have foreseen the searing pertinence of his latest film. Arriving in the midst of global outrage over yet another Black man's death caused by police brutality, Lee's Da 5 Bloods feels more urgent than ever. While the film was obviously planned, filmed, and scheduled well in advance, it's arriving at precisely the right time. Working as both a powerful history lesson and a surprising thrilling and...

Reviews / 30.04.2020

Since bursting onto the small screen in 2003 with the criminally underrated Nip/Tuck, writer/director/producer Ryan Murphy has been a dominant force in Tinsel Town, creating some of the best and worst (Scream Queens, anyone?) television shows of the last 17 years. With a penchant for crafting stories centred on minority groups the industry so often ignores, Murphy has blazed a fervent trail to shake up a town still set in the ways of eras gone by. In perhaps his boldest offering to date, Murphy and co-creator Ian Brennan formulate...

Reviews / 05.04.2020

With all theatrical releases postponed for the foreseeable future, it's left to the litany of streaming services to carry the torch for original film content until it's safe to return to the cinema. Unfortunately, we're not in awards season mode, meaning a service like Netflix has little to serve up but bottom-of-the-barrel titles like Michael Dowse's Coffee & Kareem; a "comedy" light on laughs and heavy on profanity and violence, echoing everything wrong with his disastrous 2019 flop Stuber. Netflix is a more suitable home for something so decidedly...

Reviews / 21.03.2020

One of the biggest film casualties of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal has been Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's The Current War; a lavish period biopic which was surely due to be Weinstein's great big Oscar hope of the 2017 season. After premiering at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival to a tepid response, Gomez-Rejon was furiously re-editing the film so as to meet its November theatrical release date when the Weinstein story broke. When The Weinstein Company naturally collapsed and the film was pulled from release, Gomez-Rejon raised an additional...

Reviews / 03.03.2020

By virtue of unfortunate comparison to Pixar's impeccable back catalogue of masterpieces, every new film from the studio faces a dauntingly high bar to clear. Last year, Toy Story 4 somehow managed to defy all expectations and walk off with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in the process. Sadly, Pixar's first of two films this year can't quite meet the dazzling pedigree of many of its contemporaries. While it's naturally wonderful to see Pixar return to fully original storytelling for the first time in three years, the...

Reviews / 25.02.2020

In an era of remakes that do little more than slap a new coat of paint on a well-known story, you approach something like a reimagining of The Invisible Man with immense trepidation. Thankfully, this is one remodel that deftly proves its necessity. By flipping the narrative focus away from its titular character, writer/director Leigh Whannell offers a fresh take on H. G. Wells' 1897 novel that's as thrilling and terrifying as it is shrewdly relevant. With yet another impressive performance by Elisabeth Moss at its helm, The Invisible...

Reviews / 18.02.2020

It's been over 115 years since Jack London released his classic wilderness adventure The Call of the Wild; a book most of us were likely forced to read during our early school years. After several big-screen adaptations over the last few decades, it's time to dust off the novel once again with 20th Century Studios (so long, Fox) offering another take on London's work. Given CGI photorealistic animals are all the rage nowadays, director Chris Sanders makes the confounding call to make his canine star Buck a completely computer-generated...

Reviews / 13.02.2020

After bursting onto the horror movie scene back in 2009 with runaway hit Paranormal Activity, Blumhouse Productions has proven itself a major player in the genre. But for every spectacular success like the Oscar-winning Get Out and Insidious, they've also served up some absolute disasters like Ouija and Truth or Dare. In a curious move, Jeff Wadlow, director of the latter film, is being given another shot with Blumhouse's latest reimagining, Fantasy Island. Taking mild inspiration from Aaron Spelling's 1977 television series of the same name (which, let's be...

Reviews / 13.02.2020

April 30, 2019. The day the internet savaged the first trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog so viciously, the video was quickly pulled from YouTube and the film's release date was pushed back to allow for the title character to be completely (and rightly) redesigned. Now the day has arrived when we see if this unprecedented move has paid off. Given this calamitous backstory, it's a miracle the final product isn't quite the disaster you may be expecting. While it's far from a truly great film and serves up barely...