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...

Featured, 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 / 19.03.2021

Let's be honest; the 2017 version of Justice League was one of the biggest cinematic disappointments of the last decade. What should have been the glorious peak of the DC Extended Universe was ultimately a sloppy, disjointed mess that was the inevitable result of switching directors at the eleventh hour. After the tragic death of his daughter, Autumn, director Zack Snyder handed the project over to Joss Whedon and the rest is mostly remembered for the ghastly digital removal of Henry Cavill's moustache. Reshoots and script rewrites saw Justice...

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...

Reviews / 26.02.2021

By virtue of their connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo are now officially the second-most commercially successful film directors of all time behind Steven Spielberg. Naturally, that figure is a touch slanted, given more than half their total box office earnings belong to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In a bid to break away from the MCU, the Russo brothers offer their first non-Marvel film since 2006's You, Me and Dupree. Unfortunately, it's a catastrophic mess. Drowning in overstylisation that's more akin to...

Reviews / 23.02.2021

After struggling through almost a decade of development hell, co-writer/director Joe Carnahan's vision of making Groundhog Day as an action film is finally here. A passion project Carnahan and actor Frank Grillo has been desperately attempting to get off the ground since late 2012, Boss Level is a video game-like twist on the age-old time-loop genre. You're probably rolling your eyes at the thought of another entry in this overused conceit (especially after Palm Springs shattered the mould last year), but this unashamedly violent and occasionally hilarious riot is actually...

Awards Season, Reviews / 20.02.2021

Can a song incite a revolution? That's the inherent question floating behind Lee Daniels' messy, bloated biopic, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, that seeks to capture the troubled life of a music legend but gets lost amongst Daniels' penchant for extravagance and melodrama. The powerful story is there, especially for those unfamiliar with Holiday's battles with drugs, men, and the FBI. But Daniels' frustrating direction, chaotic pacing, and a ghastly screenplay derail what could have been a terrific film. Thankfully, this disappointing biopic is saved by the...

Reviews / 18.02.2021

Back in 2014, Rosamund Pike should have won an Academy Award for her sensational performance in David Fincher's Gone Girl. If not for the Julianne Moore "overdue" freight train, Pike would have easily waltzed away with that Best Actress Oscar. Seven years later, she's back with an equally icy femme fatale who would undoubtedly give Amy Dunne a run for her money. In J. Blakeson's terrifically entertaining and deliciously wicked thriller, I Care a Lot, Pike reminds us why she came within an inch of Oscar glory and...