Sunday, 27 January 2019

Glass (2019) - Movie Review

For all of M. Night Shyamalan’s cinematic faults, from the incredibly goofy like The Happening to the phenomenally condescending like Devil to the outright banal like After Earth, there is one thing that can never be taken away from him: He knows superheroes. With Unbreakable, he established a world where superheroes and supervillains exist in a world all too similar to our own. With Split, he introduced a more forcefully psychological touch to that world, unveiling another supervillain whose entire existence is owed to the way the mind processes trauma. And with Glass, he brings both halves together to create a truly astounding piece of superhero fiction.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

The Mule (2019) - Movie Review

After the tumultuous trainwreck that was last year’s 15:17 To Paris, I’ll admit that I was somewhat hesitant to see what Clint Eastwood had in store for his next feature. I mean, I’ve gone on record about how I don’t exactly agree with his politics, but I’m still willing to admit that when he has the right material, he can pull through with some genuinely moving cinema. And with him teaming up again with writer Nick Schenk, the scribe for one of Eastwood’s true classics with Gran Torino, and stepping back into the lead role for the first time since that effort, this at least has the potential to be a step back in the right direction. Well, as I’ll get into, this definitely works… although I question some of the aspects it ends up aiming for.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Eighth Grade (2019) - Movie Review

Part of me hates movies like this. Sure, I’m not entirely adverse to coming-of-age stories, as I’ve covered some pretty damn good ones over the last few years like You’re Not Thinking Straight, The Edge Of Seventeen, Lady Bird and Love, Simon. However, the part of me that dislikes going out to see this category of cinema, and something that reaches somewhat of an apex with this film, is a very specific type of cringe. The kind that comes from seeing adolescents and teenagers struggling with their own awkwardness in a school setting, making one realise just how awkward they themselves were at that age. If that’s not the feeling you get from seeing films like this, I'm assuming you come from somewhere in Andromeda.

Monday, 21 January 2019

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) - Movie Review

Mythology is a funny thing.  The stories that get passed down through the generations, and the heroes and villains that occupy them, almost seem to buck against what we believe to be “truth”. The facticity of folklore has and will likely be argued for as long as we ourselves exist, but the effect that those tales can have on the human consciousness is very much factual. Tales like that of King Arthur, a British ruler and general whose echoed exploits have formed a hefty amount of British culture, not to mention providing the creative arts with some of its most instantly recognisable imagery.

But here's where things get a little trickier when it comes to tales of legend: Not everyone is going to view the legend through the same lens. Where some see Arthur as one in a collection of stories about heroes rising up against a great evil, others see Arthur as an example of nepotism at its worst. The idea that the land can only be ruled by someone who is destined to do so, chosen by otherworldly forces due to their lineage, their culture… their race. And in over the last handful of years, that very idea of only the chosen people being worthy of leading the populace has lead Great Britain down some less-than-ideal roads. And with this latest iteration of the story of Excalibur and its one true wielder, that is brought into the foreground.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Pick Of The Litter (2019) - Movie Review

Given my chosen line of work, the prospect of losing my vision is, to put it bluntly, fucking terrifying. Not trying to put shit on the visually impaired, but I personally see that eventuality for me personally to be a rather intimidating prospect. With that in mind, I find subjects like today’s film to be inherently interesting, giving a depiction of one of the many assistance strategies for that possibility. Knowing my recent track record concerning movies about animals, live-action or otherwise, I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting too much out of this one. However, I am pleased to report that this doco is solid. A bit basic, but solid.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) - Movie Review

For all of Dreamworks’ somewhat questionable decisions (I am still willing to defend Boss Baby, but I understand being in the harsh minority with that position), the How To Train Your Dragon series has remained the undisputed feather in their cap. And for a threequel that is actively trying to close the book on that series, this is about as perfect a conclusion as they could have possibly drummed up for one of the most beloved big-screen properties.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Mary Poppins Returns (2019) - Movie Review

With 2019 already set as the year for Disney to go full-force in reviving its most beloved stories, today’s film is going to ultimately serve as the bar for what follows. No, this isn’t a straight-up remake of the 1964 original, but with how it’s presented, it might as well be: It’s got pretty much everything I remember from before. The colourful soundtrack full of whimsy-tinged jazz and swing, the respectably subtle lyricism in front of it that helps build the story’s bigger points, an emphasis on reconnecting with the inner child and finding joy in stuff and nonsense, an American doing an obvious Mockney accent; it all fits.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Top 20 Best Films Of 2018

2018 was a fucking great year for movies. Not only that, it felt like there was some unified intent in the collective unconscious to finally get shit right, revising and correcting whole swathes of cinematic history in its wake. I could have made this a Top 40 list, and it still would’ve involve making some painful cuts because the best the year had to offer was just that damn good. Time for one last trip in reminiscence as I look at my picks for the top 20 best films of 2018.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Top 10 Most Surprising Films Of 2018

For a few years now, I’ve been making it a point to highlight the most surprising films of the year; the ones I went into not expecting anything worthwhile, yet walked away impressed in one way or another. I usually take the time to list the most disappointing films as well, but in a showing of just good 2018 was for films, the disappointments were honestly few and far between. As for the surprises, they’re not just surprisingly good; most of them came from filmmakers I never would have expected to be capable of anything as watchable as the films I’m about to get into. Here are my picks for the 10 most surprising films of 2018.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Top 20 Worst Films Of 2018

While most of the cinematic world was collectively deciding to get its shit together, some filmmakers had other ideas. Specifically, they had some truly baffling, who-in-the-hell-thought-these-were-good ideas, the results of which gave us some outright garbage movies. I am somewhat thankful that this list was relatively easy to draw up, since there weren’t that many films that qualified for the absolute worst of the year. But man, the ones that did made for some truly despicable moments. Let’s get to burning this garbage pile as I get into my Top 20 Worst Films of 2018.