Review: BlacKkKlansman (2018) (Spike Lee’s Pointless Sledgehammer…)

SPOILER FREE

“All power to all people”

When does unsubtly become too unsubtle? That’s the question I kept asking myself during BlacKkKlansman. Sometimes (especially with the issue of racism), it’s better to be bludgeoned to death with a message than to have it lingering in the background. But there are parts of BlacKkKlansman that were too much, even for a simple bloke like me. That’s pretty much how I felt about the film as a whole. True stories often make odd bedfellows with films, and Spike Lee’s interpretation of the true story behind BlacKkKlansman is one of those odd bedfellows. Continue reading

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Review: The Nun (2018) (Jump Scare City Limits…And A Well Behaved Cinema Audience?)

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“I’m afraid there is something very wrong with this place”

Don’t you hate modern cinema audiences? I sure do. People are constantly chatting (without whispering), checking their phones, crunching crisps/popcorn as if they’re chowing down on nails…more often than not, it’s hell going to the cinema. That hell becomes Biblical if you’re going to see a horror film on a Friday night soon after its release. Regardless of my feelings towards Hereditary, for example, the largely teenage audience was not ready for a film like it. They jeered, chatted, screamed and guffawed throughout it. Where are the ushers to shush them, I wonder? However, my experience of The Nun was perhaps the shining example of well-behaved teenagers and a visible usher (well, at least for the first fifteen minutes or so). Continue reading

Review: Following (1998) (Elementary Nolan!)

“I wasn’t following you”

Twenty years ago, Christopher Nolan put out his directorial debut: Following. Don’t get it confused with the TV show starring Kevin Bacon. Of course, Nolan is a massive name nowadays. He can direct what he wants, and people will go out in their masses to watch it. It’s strange, in a way, that in the same year a fellow auteur released his debut. Darren Aronofsky released Pi (click here for my review!), and the two have progressed in wildly different ways since 1998. However, both put out distinct films that have their own voice. And both debuted with rough and ready films, that whilst not quite masterpieces, showed oodles of potential (and the themes they’d follow for the duration of their careers). Continue reading

Review: Hereditary (2018) (The Most Terrifying Film In Years?)

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“Mom, what’s happening?”

Don’t you hate it when a new release is heralded as the next “The Exorcist” (or whatever genre classic is appropriate for the new release?)? I do. It either sets up high expectations for the new release, or makes me cynical about watching the film. Hereditary has called the most terrifying horror film in years. Come to think about it, I can’t remember the last time I was terrified at the cinema. Is it possible to be terrified at the cinema, among a bunch of people eating popcorn and slurping drinks? These are the kind of questions I was asking myself during Hereditary. It was the most terrifying horror film in years. But, at least for the first two acts, it showed a lot of promise. Such a shame the third act descended into ludicrousness. Continue reading

Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) (Will The Franchise Find A Way With This Sequel?)

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“Do you remember the first time you saw a dinosaur?”

Jurassic World was little more than a re-run of Jurassic Park, with glossier (?) CGI and Chris Pratt. Oh, and the I-Rex. It was devoid of awe, terror and entertainment. I was less than enthused with the prospect of a sequel. From the trailers, it seemed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom would be little more than a re-run of The Lost World: Jurassic World. However, what started out as a re-run quickly turned into something different. While Fallen Kingdom is messy, it’s a damned fun film! Continue reading

Review: Quantum of Solace (2008) (Daniel Craig’s Worst Bond Film?)

“You’ve been gone for such a short time and you’re already forgotten”

Is Quantum of Solace the worst Daniel Craig era Bond film? Ten years after it’s release, its still maligned as the worst Craig era outing . It’s not helped that QoS was sandwiched between the brilliant Casino Royale and the intermittently brilliant (but overrated) Skyfall. A rushed production, a writer’s strike (which forced Danile Craig to amend the script as the film was shooting!), and high expectations after Casino Royale made QoS almost doomed to failure. But how much of a failure is Craig’s second Bond film? I’d say it’s a big failure… Continue reading

Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) (Do We Need Another Prequel?)

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“This is nothin’. You should see that”

Did we need a Star Wars spin-off about the early years of Han Solo? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself since the film was announced. Let’s disregard the problems behind the scenes. Let’s disregard Solo’s box office “failure” (let’s be honest, it will make a profit, won’t it? Disney have left it to die in a May slot, slotted between Deadpool 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. But it will still make a profit). The bare fact is that Solo: A Star Wars Story needed to be something pretty darn special to justify its existence. Didn’t the Original Trilogy tell us all we needed to know about young Solo? This spin-off isn’t special, and doesn’t tell us much that we needed to know about young Solo! Continue reading

Review: Deadpool 2 (2018) (Lives Up To The Hype? Plus Plus?)

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“Family was always an f-word for me”

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie. Sure, it sent up comic book film tropes whilst strictly adhering to them, but Ryan Reynolds’ dedication to the role was infectious and the film was fairly funny. I had some hopes for a sequel: whereas the rule for regular film sequels is that they will be worse than the original, the same rule rarely applies to comic book films sequels. With the origin story out of the way, the comic book film sequel has more scope to explore themes, characters and plots. Think of the great superhero films and you think of Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, X-Men 2, etc (with the MCU things are different: more often than not, the sequel tends to be worse than the original. But that’s something for a different time!). Could Deadpool 2 be the sequel its marketing made it out to be? Continue reading

Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (Worth The Ten Year Build?)

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“So this is it? It’s all been leading to this”

I have no words. I have no words. Well, that was my initial reaction as the credits rolled up for Avengers: Infinity War. Hell, that was my initial reaction after the first ten minutes of Avengers: Infinity War. For ten years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to this moment of cinema. For ten years, we’ve been waiting for this moment of cinema. Was it worth it? You bet your life it was worth it! Continue reading

Review: Black Panther (2018) (Does It Deserve To Be In The Billion Dollar Club?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.”

So, Black Panther has joined the billion dollar club! It’s about time I reviewed it, isn’t it? Yes, I saw it the weekend it came out, but I’ve been otherwise engaged since then. And I wanted to see if time did anything to alter my view of Black Panther. It gave me a chance to step back from the hype surrounding Black Panther. Black Panther is yet another film, like Wonder Woman, upon which criticism is focused on the cultural aspect of the film, rather than the inherent quality of it. Let’s be honest, Wonder Woman hovered between decent and mediocre. Having a superhero film with a black person as the titular hero isn’t anything new, is it? Blade came out twenty years ago! Of course, it’s hard not to focus on the cultural aspect of the film when that’s all that anyone talks about. But my feeling for the film is still what it was after I first watched it. I bloody loved it! Continue reading