Film · Review

American Animals Review – No harm, no fowl

Bart Layton, writer and director of American Animals released his first feature in 2012 to critical acclaim. The Imposter was a true crime documentary that no doubt would have been huge if it came out a couple of years later, after the true crime documentary craze exploded. The film accounts through interview and reconstruction the tale of a young man who conned a family into believing that he was their long missing son. It’s a compelling story, made more so by the fact that the main interviewee taking us through events is the fraudster himself.

Film · Review

The Children Act Review – Not as well as you’d like

The problem you encounter casting Stanley Tucci in literally any role is that he’s too preternaturally charming. You have to work against the unstoppable force of nature that he represents for us to do anything but love him. The Children Act unfortunately, is nothing but blandly directed and has to struggle against Ian McEwan’s second script this year imperfectly adapted from his own novel.

Film · Review

Skyscraper Review – Dwayne dwarfs everything

Once it catches on fire, at the base of the titular skyscraper, a crowd forms. They are there at first to watch the calamity. Then, on a mission to save his family, trapped halfway up, above the blaze Dwayne Johnson busts through the police cordon, climbs a crane, and launches himself into the burning building. News helicopters chart his ascent.

Film · Review

Adrift Review – All isn’t lost

Can we all be done now with Sam Claflin as a romantic lead? Like he doesn’t fit the part well, I get that he’s handsome but it really ain’t worth it. We’re wasting his talents in these roles that the man is so clearly unsuited to. It runs through every measure of his being, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen the man genuinely smile in a movie. He always lets this little smirk play across his lips like he’s oh so much smarter than you, like there’s something funny in his head that he ain’t sharing.

Film · Review

Tag Review – The it crowd

Tag, the film about a group of adults who keep their childhood friendship alive by continuing to play the same childhood game long past everyone else stopped, has a lot to say about the game. We get scenes of strategizing, complex plans being sprung into action, countermeasures being sprung. Our characters explain to us the logistics of keeping the tradition going, and the improbable scheduling that allows them to hang onto it while maintaining mostly functional lives.

Film · Review

McQueen Review – Corporate art

It must be hard being extraordinary. It’s like once the world has singled you out as being so, there’s no escaping it. All of a sudden your hours are not yours, your living becomes an act of public service. I guess everyone deals with it in their own way. It seems easier the more populist your appeal is, at least then people become more accepting of the ways that you choose to cope with it all. So long as you don’t go too hard in the public eye, you’re allowed.

Film · Review

Avengers: Infinity War Review – I guess I forgot what infinity means

Hi. This review is going to spoil the new Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War. I ain’t joking. I ain’t playing. There is gonna be some frank discussion of the ending and what it is and what it means. It is impossible to turn a reasoned critical eye to the film and avoid discussing, it demands you to. So, if you care about the film it’s probably best to avoid reading this until after. And if you think you probably don’t care enough, you definitely don’t care enough. Feel free.

Film · Review

Pacific Rim: Uprising Review – Big shoes to fill

You know what? The robots in this film are BIG. I don’t quite know what it is, they certainly aren’t better realised or animated than megastructures in other films. I weren’t even watching it in 3D, lol who even does that anymore, but however it is that you generate that elusive concept of bigness, Steven S. DeKnight pumps that through every frame. Like, the ‘exterior’ scenes are often pretty wonky, the lighting is off, the characters awkwardly composited onto the backgrounds. But way off in the back there there’s a big metal fella out of focus and despite the artifice there’s a little part of my brain still going, ‘Wow, so big tho.’