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 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: ‘On The Road’

Jack Kerouac’s arguably most noteworthy work, ‘On The Road’, is a rambling quasi-autobiographical account of his early-20s life as a beatnik writer in search of …something. Inspiration, hard work, a sexual awakening – perhaps the American Dream, preceding Hunter S. Thompson by a good 20 years. That part’s never really clear—and perhaps that’s why this [...]

Review: ‘Hit & Run’

Once upon a time, this film originally shared the title of famed 1980s arcade game, ‘Outrun’. There's little else in common between the two really, other than ‘Outrun’ and 'Hit & Run' sharing a backbone of high-speed car chases – and, frankly, it’s for the best. I suppose it's coincidental, but it does establish an [...]

Review: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

Surely the mark of true creativity rests in part with the ability to take the trivial and transform it into something unexpected. For a director with such consistent, even iconic, techniques and themes (a love of pastels, precocious children, jaded adults and deliberately stilted linguistics amongst them), Wes Anderson manages to craft something utterly unique [...]

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 [...]

Review: ‘Cosmopolis’

You probably won’t like David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’. It’s a hard movie to enjoy. Two people walked out of this screening—and these guys get paid to watch movies. It’s dense, verbose and discusses capitalism through use of obtuse metaphors and, frankly, those are all big barriers if you’re not tuned in, caffeinated and invested (so to [...]

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: ‘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 [...]