Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017) (Another Dodgy Remake of a Japanese Classic?)

“It’s okay, just breathe”

Within a month or two, we’ve had two live action remakes of classic animations. The first was ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which recreated the original faithfully but felt wholly unnecessary. Now, we have ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ a remake of the beloved 1995 Japanese anime. Yes, there were concerns about ‘whitewashing.’ Why cast Scarlett Johannsen as the main character? Why not a Japanese actress? But the whitewashing is one of the many problems that one encounters whilst watching ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ A lame script, an irritating Westernisation of the original’s plot and endless shots of the (admittedly impressive) futuristic city are among the other big problems. Continue reading

Review: Logan (2017) (A Great Comic Book Film? Or Just A Great Film?)

“I’m a fan, by the way”

Since ‘Logan’ was released last week, there’s been a vast amount of praise for it. Some have proclaimed it to be the greatest comic book film ever. Of course, I watched it as soon as it came out, but wanted time for the hype to die down and for my own thoughts to percolate through the critical acclaim. Often, when a film is given endless praise, it sets alarm bells off in my head. I always think: “can it be that good?” The hype train soon runs off course and the critically acclaimed film enters a phase of harsh criticism (the latest example I can think of is ‘La La Land’). However, after a week of thinking long and hard about ‘Logan,’ I can almost agree that it’s one of the greatest comic book films ever (whether or not it’s the greatest one is something I’ll have to think about further). It’s dark, gritty and reaches a level of maturity that few comic book films have done. Continue reading

Review: La La Land (2016) (Worthy of Oscar For Best Picture?)

la-la-land

“How did the audition go?”

Is ‘La La Land’ worthy of the Best Picture award at the Oscars? It’s a heavy favourite to win, that’s for sure. But why is that, exactly? Is it due to the quality of the film itself? Or is it the nostalgic, glossy view of Hollywood it presents? Hollywood loves a good puff piece that promotes its intrinsic values. ‘La La Land’ does just that, showing that dreams do come true in the rolling hills and picture perfect vistas of Hollywood. But does it do more than that? Is it more than just a puff piece? Is it a ‘Best Picture,’ or just Hollywood’s idea of a ‘Best Picture?’ Continue reading

Review: 2012 (2009) (Appetite For Destruction?)

2012“We’re going to need a bigger plane.”

President Donald Trump has been the most powerful man in the world for over a month. Yet the world is still in one piece. To prepare myself for disaster, I re-watched a film I hated at the cinema, ‘2012.’ I left the cinema less than impressed after ‘Deepwater Horizon,’ a smaller scale disaster film than Emmerich’s usual globe spanning adventures (read my review of that film here). Would ‘2012’ satisfy my appetite for destruction? No matter how many national monuments he digitally destroys, Emmerich finds it difficult to direct a decent film. Each of his disaster films are bloated, over-reliant on CGI, poorly scripted, illogically plotted, etc (just check out Independence Day: Resurgence for proof, and read my review here). And they are populated with good actors, giving them a veneer of respect.  Continue reading

Why ’24’ Will Make Your Day!

24-24

To celebrate the UK premiere of ‘24: Legacy’, here’s why I think ‘24’ is a TV show everyone should watch. The addiction has started again, and I’m halfway through Season 3 after starting Season 1 four days ago. I’m beginning to shout ‘TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS!’ randomly at people in the street. ‘24’ is a lot like fast food, in that it’s easy to consume, but one Big Mac meal deal will never do; you always want more…However it is the Burger King of the TV world, the fast food that will satiate your appetite but leave you wanting more at the same time… Continue reading

Review: The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) (Is Everything Still Awesome?)

the-lego-movie“Now, let’s start the movie”

‘The LEGO Movie’ was a very pleasant surprise. What could have been a by the numbers feature length commercial for a toy turned out to be a hilarious ride that turned its satirical eye to our own society (“Honey, where are my pants?!?!?”). Of course, like every other movie in our age, it was the beginning of a movie franchise. The second movie of the franchise was revealed to be ‘The LEGO Batman Movie.’ LEGO Batman was one of the great characters in ‘The LEGO Movie,’ but would giving him his own spin off work? Yes, it does, but it doesn’t work as well as it’s predecessor. An undeveloped story hinders what could have been ‘The LEGO Movie’s’ equal…but it’s still a very, very funny film. Continue reading

Review: ‘Split’ (2017) (A Film Divided Against Itself?)

split“I choose you first”

Before ‘Split’, the last M. Night Shyamalan film I saw was ‘The Village.’ Suffice to say, that put me off his films for a long time! ‘The Village’ was a dull film capped off with a silly twist at the end. However, the mere premise of seeing James McAvoy play twenty three characters in one person made me curious about ‘Split.’ He’s someone who’s a very good actor, but has never truly pushed himself to strive greatness. From the preview of ‘Split,’ the few personalities he acted out look convincing. Fortunately, he’s great throughout the film. Unfortunately, the film hanging around him is rather contrived and dull… Continue reading

Review: T2: Trainspotting (2017) (Just Another Nostalgia Stop?)

t2

“You’ve written to The Queen?”

We thrive on nostalgia, don’t we? As we get older, things are never good as they used to be. Chocolate bars were always bigger when we were younger. Everything was so much brighter. It’s something that the film industry exploits insidiously. It sells nostalgia on a platter and we, more often than not, go for all we can eat. Films are rebooted, sequeled, spun off, until the original is a distant, yet comforting memory. Explain to me, for example, why we needed a sequel to Independence Day, twenty years on? That was a tragedy of a film. It added nothing to the original. Continue reading

Review: Hell Or High Water (2016) (Those Bloody Bankers…)

hell-or-high-water“Where’s the money?”

Haven’t we all been asking that question, since the 2008 Credit Crunch? The banks lost all the money, yet are still stuffed to the brim with the stuff. Of course, that’s a simplistic version of events. ‘Hell or High Water’ works as a tense bank heister thriller and an angry response to the Credit Crunch (does it need capitalising or not?). We root for the two bank robbers because, in our mind, they are in the right. Why should we care about banks being robbed? They’ve robbed us for long enough. It’s raging against the machine of capitalism whilst presenting a story full of compelling characters, twists and turns. Continue reading

Review: Predators (2010) (The Added ‘S’ Is For…)

predators“What if we’re dead?”

Continuing my ‘Predator’ voyage, I decided to watch ‘Predators,’ the third film in the ‘Predator’ franchise. Well, technically it’s the fifth film, but I don’t count the Aliens vs Predator films. I’ve never watched them, and can’t bring myself to watch them! hy I force myself to see a film I know will be awful? I have a sixth sense for films. The accuracy is about 70%, but for sequels and remakes, the accuracy rises to at least 85%. Alarm bells rang for Predators, but I still went to see it. Adding an ‘s’ to the title worked for Aliens, a cracking sequel. However, it adds nothing to this film at all. While I felt differently about ‘Predator 2’ (read my review here) after a rewatch, my feelings remained the same about ‘Predators…’ Continue reading