Reviews / 14.05.2021

A director whose previous three films have been nominated for a total of 17 Academy Awards including two Best Picture nominations. A six-time Oscar nominee in the lead role plus two Oscar winners in the supporting cast. A screenplay from a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. A score by one of the most beloved film composers in modern history. A cinematographer with five Oscar nods to his name. All of these impeccable ingredients would suggest something truly special was on the way. Where, oh where, did it...

Reviews / 13.05.2021

It wasn't all that long ago a brand-new Saw film appeared in cinemas every Halloween for seven consecutive years. In a move few saw coming, it quickly became one of the most strangely enduring horror franchises in history. And one of the most profitable. With a combined budget of just $77 million, the eight films of the Saw saga (you've probably forgotten 2017's tepid soft reboot Jigsaw) have collectively earned a staggering $976 million at the worldwide box office. You can see why Lionsgate refuses to let this franchise die. Despite...

Reviews / 11.05.2021

Fire is one of mother nature's most giving and unforgiving elements. Its heat provides warmth and fuels our lives, but its uncontrollable wrath creates destruction and death, particularly in the wilderness of somewhere like Montana. It's here that co-writer/director Taylor Sheridan lays the scene of his latest occasionally-brutal neo-Western thriller where he'd like you to believe fire can be a character all in itself. It's a shame he didn't pay as close attention to the humans running from its fury. A throwback action blockbuster in the tradition of films...

Featured, Reviews / 30.04.2021

After winning their umpteenth Academy Award for Best Animated Feature this week, Pixar continues to strengthen their stranglehold on the world of animation. They changed the game with Toy Story back in 1995 and have dominated the animated space ever since. But if there's one animation studio that feels like it could lay claim to Pixar's crown, it's Sony Pictures Animation and their dynamic production duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Their vastly underrated 2009 gem Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs hinted at the greatest that was to...

Reviews / 29.04.2021

With over 100 million book sales and half a dozen film adaptations, Tom Clancy has been a dominant force in the spy thriller game for the better part of three decades. The trio of Jack Ryan films (including two starring Harrison Ford) were huge successes in the 1990s, but flat reboots starring Ben Affleck and Chris Pine failed to fire. While that particular protagonist has found new life on television, Hollywood is now turning its attention to another of Clancy's heroes. A big-screen adaptation that has been languishing in...

Featured, Reviews / 21.04.2021

For several decades now, Hollywood has been obsessively attempting to create a great film adaptation of a popular video game title. They've mostly failed spectacularly in both a critical and commercial sense, but it's a genre of film that simply will not die. After the campy 1995 adaptation and its god-awful 1997 sequel, the inevitable reboot of Mortal Kombat has finally arrived. And it's everything you'd expect and very little else. What began as a simple arcade fighting game in 1992 has led to a dozen video game sequels...

Featured, Reviews / 26.03.2021

Despite fairly middling reviews and heavy criticism from Beatrix Potter purists (UK film critic Mark Kermode famously remarked, "If you've read the books you will be appalled."), Peter Rabbit's astonishing $350 million worldwide gross in 2018 signalled a sequel was all but assured. Had it not been for that pesky global pandemic, we would have received the follow-up at this time last year. After several release date changes and a new staggered global rollout that sees the film released in Australia three months before the U.S., Peter Rabbit...

Reviews / 25.03.2021

After a year of cinema closures and release date delays, many have wondered what film will be successful in reviving box office numbers around the globe. Tenet couldn't do it. Wonder Woman 1984 tried its best. But they both arrived at a time when audiences were still reluctant to leave their homes. With the world tentatively taking its first steps into a new sense of normality, it may ultimately fall to two legendary pop culture icons to save cinema. If there ever was a film you need to see...

Reviews / 05.03.2021

In the late 1980s, practically every film Eddie Murphy touched turned into box office gold. 48 Hours, Trading Places, Harlem Nights, and Beverly Hills Cop were all hugely profitable titles. Heck, even The Golden Child cracked $150 million worldwide. But, at least in my opinion, the gold standard of his career has always been 1988's laugh-out-loud riot Coming to America. Even with its dated outfits and retro references, it still holds up tremendously well to this day. Nowadays, sequels to box office smash hits generally arrive within three-five years of...

Reviews / 02.03.2021

After a slight release date delay and a change in release strategy, Walt Disney Animation Studios is finally ready to unveil their 59th animated feature film. In what will stand as one of the first big blockbusters of 2021, Raya and the Last Dragon is the breath of fresh air we all need after months of lockdown. With all the hallmarks of classic Disney animation, it's a dazzling, entertaining delight that gifts the world a courageous new Disney heroine for the ages and a hilarious, loveable sidekick who...