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: ‘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: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

A decade after Peter Jackson became a household name with his (and partner Fran Walsh’s) screen adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, the duo are preparing for another trilogy. This time, after years of on-again, off-again production woes and collaboration with one-time confirmed director Guillermo Del Toro, we’ve seen ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’…

Review: ‘Silent Hill: Revelation 3D’

The first Silent Hill film was by no means a “masterpiece”, or even a minor “piece” at that. Like many game-to-film adaptations, the film fell flat with its lack of intrigue, direction and the most important aspect in a psychological horror: horror itself. Six years after the fact, Michael J. Bassett, a largely unknown director…

Review: ‘The Expendables 2’

Oh, look, Sly – you did okay here. The first movie was a dog and, I mean, this one is too—but if that first one was a greying and humourless pit bull, this one’s more like a yappy schnauzer or a chubby corgi. All of this is to say, ‘The Expendables 2’ isn’t awful; it’s…

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: ‘Prometheus’

The uncomfortable laughter that rippled through the audience said everything, really. Not because Prometheus is at all funny – or corny. It isn’t. It’s horrific and frequently brilliant. But it’s in that laughter that this audience was finally able to release their tension. Bunch of emotional lightweights in this session? Or a true indicator of…

Review: ‘Men in Black 3’

Well, that’s nice. It feels good to finally review a film on here that isn’t a flabby dud—and it comes from an unlikely corner. Men in Black 3 is a charming, colourful and frequently funny third tale from Director Barry Sonnenfeld and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. After the dry-heave-inducing second movie managed to screw up…