Tuesday 30 July 2019

The Lion King (2019) - Movie Review

This has been quite a year for Disney revamping its classic properties. Alongside sequels to their genuine classics like Mary Poppins Returns and Toy Story 4, 2019 has also marked the year where they have given us not one but three remakes/retoolings of some of their older works. We started with the surprisingly strong Dumbo that basically took Disney itself to task for its business practices, and then we had the astoundingly shite Aladdin which can rest easily among Disney’s worst productions ever. And now, we have a remake of the perennial favourite Lion King, with the director of the quite fantastic Jungle Book remake returning for another bit of photorealistic animal shenanigans. The end result, however, is… well, it’s certainly not the worst to come out of this trend, but it is easily the most pointless.

Sunday 28 July 2019

Stuber (2019) - Movie Review

It’s mismatched buddy cop flick time again. He’s a cop with visual impairment who is trying to juggle work and family. He’s an Uber driver who finds himself on the ride of his life. And when the two meet, hijinks ensue. It’s the same ‘human brick wall paired with meek funnyman’ formula that gave us Central Intelligence a few years back, a film where the casting is one of the only consistently good things about the whole production. Thankfully, today’s feature manages to keep that casting boost while giving them a story that… well, it ain’t the best, but it lets the two leads do what they do best.

Monday 22 July 2019

Booksmart (2019) - Movie Review

Between Blockers and Eighth Grade, I’m quite glad that we’re getting a bit more variety when it comes to high school-set coming of age stories on the big screen. Not only is it making the teenaged multiplex less of a sausage fest, it’s also highlighting that there’s a whole heap of narrative opportunities that we’ve been missing out on as a collective audience. What’s more, we’re once again dealing with a directorial debut in the form of Olivia Wilde. Knowing what happened last time we checked in on her cinematic efforts, not being left with any good things to say about her, I am both surprised and quite relieved that this film works out as well as it does.

Sunday 21 July 2019

Yesterday (2019) - Movie Review

On the surface, this looks like an ideal match-up. A high-concept comedy built around the music of one of the greatest bands in human history, directed by hyperrealist Danny Boyle and written by British comedy legend Richard Curtis. Putting two creative minds together in a project that fits snugly into both of their comfort zones isn’t something that comes about that often, and considering how much I’ve lauded both of their works in the past, this has got to be an explosive piece of cinema. Well, make no mistake, it is certainly that, but it comes with certain… drawbacks.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Crawl (2019) - Movie Review

In a year where the biggest hitters have been culminations of several years’ worth of production work-up, films like this are easily cherished. These low-stakes, high-tension B-movie genre exercises where the focus is placed more on making the audience feel something rather than just see something. It follows in the footsteps of previous review subjects like The Shallows in pitting a tough and determined woman against the forces of nature, and much like Shallows, the under-90-minute run time means that there’s no time to waste time. And the end result is a very taut, very gripping, very wince-inducing offering.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

After (2019) - Movie Review

In the wake of the young-adult romance powerhouse that is Twilight, it seems like cinematic standards have buckled somewhat. This isn’t me flogging the horse-shaped cloud of dust that Twilight has become in the popular consciousness; I’m talking more about the material that it inspired. Specifically, fanfiction. Now, fanfiction itself has its place in the larger fan community, and hell, I’ve even written a few stories myself about the fandoms I was in back in high school. Sure, I wrote more about girls getting fucked by sentient electric guitars and guys whose dicks exploded mid-oral, but for what it's worth, I get why fan art is a thing. I ain't proud of it, but since I'm not exactly innocent, I'm not going to cast judgement on anyone else who's done it.

But between The Mortal Instruments bringing reworked Harry Potter fanfiction to the shelves and later the multiplex, and the even bigger example of Fifty Shades Of Grey, we’ve reached the point where ‘people are reading in droves’ and ‘people have unprecedented access to home-made writing material’ have properly collided, and what is left over is a sense that just about anything can become a movie these days. Like today’s offering, a Fifty Shades-esque renaming of a One Direction fanfic that is… so fucking unnecessary that it’s maddening.

Saturday 13 July 2019

Parasite (2019) - Movie Review

Bong Joon-ho is one of those filmmakers where, while it’s difficult to pin down the exact kind of films he makes in terms of genre, you still know one of his works when you see it. Whether it’s the monster trappings of The Host, the kid and their pet narrative of Okja, or the globalist frenzy of Snowpiercer, his blend of poignant social commentary and modestly batshit specifics make him one of the most interesting international directors I’ve come across. And his latest continues with that trend, marking his first return to all-Korean settings and cast since breaking onto the global stage with Snowpiercer, the result of which is one of his best efforts yet.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Annabelle Comes Home (2019) - Movie Review

As much as The Conjuring has put its boot print on the face of modern horror cinema, its spin-offs have been… less than ideal, Annabelle in particular. The first Annabelle marks one of the most unintentionally funny ‘horror’ flicks I’ve seen, to the point where its infamous elevator scene still makes me giggle to this day. Given what I went into with Shazam! earlier in the year, I won’t revive that whole mess but, suffice it to say, Annabelle: Creation wasn’t all that good either. Even though I went to bat for The Nun when few others did, I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting much out of this one. Thankfully, I can report back that I finally, finally have an Annabelle movie I can get behind.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) - Movie Review

Much like Ant-Man And The Wasp was for Infinity War, the latest big screen depiction of Spider-Man feels like exactly what Marvel needed after the culture shock that was Endgame. Just as much sci-fi tinged romantic comedy as it is superhero action bombast, Far From Home finds director Jon Watts and writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers still mining gold out of the juxtaposition of superhero life and ordinary high school life.