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.

Ghost in the Shell | Spoiler-free Review

When Ghost in the Shell debuted in manga form in 1989, we were living in a pre-Internet age – a time of William Gibson cyber-punk fiction, the personal computer held infinite potential and the year 1999 still felt like the far-flung, robot-filled future. It was a pre-The Matrix time. It was a more innocent technological age.

Ghost in the Shell – Watch the Debut Trailer

Get your first proper look at the Major in action in the debut trailer for Ghost in the Shell. Scarlett Johansson takes on the lead role, supported by the masterful Takeshi Kitano. Director Rupert Sanders looks to have a firm grasp of the source material here – which is frankly a relief for us. Check it…

Review: ‘Iron Man 3’

When Robert Downey Jr.’s opening monologue kicks in over ‘Iron Man 3’s smartly edited opening sequence, the standard is set for a tonally different Marvel Comics film adaptation. You can thank veteran action film director Shane Black for that. His previous catalogue reads like a how-to guide to crafting smart, sexy action – itself exactly…

Review: ‘Dredd 3D’

Verdict: awesome. You can pretty much stop reading at this point if you want. ‘Dredd 3D’ is undoubtedly one of the strongest action movies of 2012, inventive in ways that will surprise you and pleasingly gritty and violent for fans of the 1970s comic book series on which it’s based. It also shares a plot…

Review: ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’

Two time-travelling movies on big screens at the same time? That just happened—not that I’m complaining, particularly when they’re this good. Joining ‘Looper’ is the tonally opposite comedy with a warm, gooey centre, ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’. It’s a remarkable production, given the limited budget ($750,000 – which is tiny by most Hollywood standards) and the…

Review: ‘Looper’

Everything about ‘Looper’ feels big. It starts with a great premise: in the future, the mob uses illegal time travel technology to whisk their targets back to the past, where hitmen known as loopers knock them off. Joe, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (‘Inception’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) is one such looper, who learns that his…

Review: ‘The Watch’

What makes you laugh? What makes a comedy actually funny? How do you quantify humour? These are hard questions – and ones that I’m stuck on, because I didn’t think ‘The Watch’, ostensibly a harmless, if provocative, comedy film, was very funny. It wasn’t humourless (I mean, everybody knows the money is in dick and…

Review: ‘Total Recall’

Interested in seeing this new-fangled ‘Total Recall’ remake, then? Okay. Here’s what you do. You stop, shake your head from side to side vigorously and opt to watch the original for the umteenth time instead. Director Len Wiseman (‘Underworld’, ‘Live Free or Die Hard’)’s 2012 reboot is simply going to make you want to revisit…

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…