Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi | Spoiler-free Review

It’s too long by a good 30 minutes, feels like two films mashed together, has about five endings and it seems to be taking cues from the George R. R. Martin school of right-angled plot twists. Yet, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is an embarrassment of riches – overstuffed with good bits, fan-service, stories and twists.

Baby Driver | Spoiler-free Review

It delights me to report that Baby Driver is a monumental fucking triumph. This is the best action movie of 2017 and the best thing Wright has done to date.

Doctor Strange – Movie Review [SPOILER-FREE]

I appreciate Doctor Strange—it tries really hard to hit all the right notes; it works to make you smile. Scott Derrickson had a tough gig with this one, I suspect—trying to sell audiences on the philosophy and magic of Marvel’s laconic wizard in a post-Avengers, post-Guardians of the Galaxy world.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: A review and study

*Author’s note: As always, I have avoided spoilers – so there will be little discussion of the story itself. *   Wes Anderson’s work has a tendency to rub some people the wrong way. I will never understand them. They must see the world weirdly, in a different hue, to a different score. So does Wes,…

Review: Grudge Match

A film called “Grudge Match” starring Stallone and De Niro sounds like it would be dark, gritty, bloody, violent action film. The sucker punch is that it’s actually a comedy with more emphasis on love and family. As an elderly comedic duo, Sylvester Stallone as Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp and Robert De Niro as Billy ‘The…

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It’s long – too long by a good hour. And the chroma key (green screen) moments still fly in the face of otherwise sterling production values. Why? Who knows. It deviates from the core story with lumpy stretches of exposition and wholly invents action scenes solely to provide popcorn-chewing moments late in the film. The…

Review: ‘Beautiful Creatures’

Many of you will have already discovered, with some dismay, that ‘Paranormal Romance’ now constitutes its own section at your local bookstore. As a genre, it boasts such flagships as the ‘Twilight’ saga, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and, more recently, ‘The Caster Chronicles’ – the first instalment of which is ‘Beautiful Creatures’, the inspiration for a…

Review: ‘The Guilt Trip’

‘The Guilt Trip’ is a bit like a mayonnaise sandwich: it doesn’t take a lot of thought or creativity to put it together, but the result is pretty bland. The problem with this formulaic comedy it that it is neither good nor bad; it’s uninspiring. The characters feel half-drawn and the emotional and narrative points…

Review: ‘Django Unchained’

Quentin Tarantino, a name synonymous with extremely well written, impeccably considered and very provocative filmmaking, returns with yet another revenge tale. This time, Django Unchained tackles slavery and sets it against a ‘western’-genre backdrop. This is a wonderful film – it is, but once in a while someone needed to tap Q on the shoulder…

Review: ‘Bully’

With the rare exception, everyone has been on the receiving-end of bullying in some form at one time or another. ‘Bully’, a confronting documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch, smartly contends that this isn’t simply a natural part of growing up but an ugly social phenomenon that has been swept under carpets and into the shadows…