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: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

The long-awaited return of moustachioed lothario anchorman Ron Burgundy is a disappointment; it’s as forced and puffed up as his hairdo – a series of stitched together gags that form an incoherent story about the perils of manipulative media. It should know; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is all about manipulating old set-ups and leveraging [...]

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: ‘Lawless’

Nearly as potent and ballsy as the gut-rot moonshine being peddled in the film, ‘Lawless’ is clearly a Nick Cave product. It would take a man of his trademark darkness and viciousness, in partnership with filmmaker John Hillcoat (who also directed the 2005 Cave-written film ‘The Proposition’ and 2009’s bleak ‘The Road’), to craft something [...]

Review: ‘The Bourne Legacy’

Following the death of author Robert Ludlum in 2001, the Bourne series was left to Eric Van Lustbader to continue the tale. Rather than let sleeping dogs lie, the Hollywood machine has sought to carry on the cinematic legacy with an original spin-off tale, aptly titled ‘The Bourne Legacy’ though not related to Lustbader’s novel [...]

Review: ‘The Campaign’

Around 3 years ago when The Hangover came out, a bunch of Hollywood executives were sitting around pitching ideas for films and of course the first one out of their mouths was “what about we pair Galifianakis with Ferrell?” Having come up with the most obvious idea for a film ever, they celebrated with blow [...]

Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

So. Spider-Man. Did we really need a reboot of a series that had the major Hollywood treatment barely a decade ago—spawning three films and countless games, toys and comic book ephemera? Nah. Not really. But then, when you consider how corny and downright lousy Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was - and certainly parts of 1 [...]

Review: ‘Painted Skin: The Resurrection’

Chinese cinema has, in some ways, come a staggering distance over a few short years. In other ways, it hasn’t moved on in decades and decades. ‘Painted Skin: The Resurrection’ has more breathy outbursts from wronged lovers and strange pseudo-sexual and homoerotic encounters than a late-night soap opera, matched with a visual style that points [...]

Review: ‘Ted’

Seth MacFarlane has a thing about talking animals; the pet dog in Family Guy, a goldfish in American Dad and even a full-grown, shirt-wearing bear in The Cleveland Show. So it’s no surprise his debut feature film centres around a talking, magical teddy bear – albeit a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, sex-obsessed teddy bear. But, as with [...]