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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

The Irishman

Friday, November 8th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Ah those good ole days! Whacking people for the mob, driving a truck full of guns bound for the Bay of Pigs, running a union for the Teamsters… the elderly Frank Sheeran has so many happy memories of a full and active life. Nowadays, sadly reduced by old age and infirmity, Frank resides in an […]

Film Reviews

Terminator: Dark Fate

Friday, November 1st, 2019 Film Reviews,

In the very first Terminator film in 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger assured us: “I’ll be back”. Arnie has proven to be a man of his word, returning again and again as James Cameron and his pals crank out yet another Terminator sequel. We’re now up to number six – and counting. This time the director is […]

Film Reviews

The King

Thursday, October 24th, 2019 Film Reviews,

It would be foolish to expect the cinema to accurately portray historical reality but some films leave one itching to get home and pick up a reference book – or more likely, ask Google. Whether your preferred route is paper or digital, David Michôd’s Netflix drama, The King, is a film that cries out for a […]

Film Reviews

Birds of Passage

Saturday, October 19th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss argued we could learn more about the human mind from studying “cold” societies with fixed rituals, beliefs and traditions, than the “hot” societies of the developed world. Inevitably, when cold met hot there was only one outcome: the cold society had to warm up. Birds of Passage is a story, not of […]

Film Reviews

Judy

Thursday, October 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

If Joker has put Joaquin Phoenix firmly in line for an Oscar, Judy has done the same for Renée Zellweger. Like so many Hollywood bio pics the film charts the decline that inevitably follows fame and fortune. We focus on the tumultuous final year of Judy Garland’s life, although the story is punctuated by flashbacks […]

Film Reviews

Joker

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 Film Reviews,

Long before it was released Todd Phillips’s Joker was shaping as the most controversial film this year in the United States. The big sticking point is the portrayal of the famous super villain as a sad, mentally-disturbed loser driven to breaking point by a series of unhappy breaks that would have shredded Job’s fortitude. Arthur […]

Film Reviews

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Guillermo del Toro may not have planted his considerable bulk in the director’s chair for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but his fingerprints are everywhere. The film is a collection of classic horror scenarios with an undercurrent of social history. It’s scary but not-too-scary, a few gruesome moments but no buckets of gore. […]

Film Reviews

Ad Astra

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 Film Reviews,

In James Gray’s movies characters seem to act as if they were in a novel, indulging in an inordinate amount of self-reflection. It may, therefore, have been inevitable that the director would eventually set a film in space where there is no limit to introspective opportunities. Ad Astra (Latin for “to the stars”) introduces us to […]

Film Reviews

Downton Abbey (the movie)

Thursday, September 12th, 2019 Film Reviews,

While the world had a collective orgasm over the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018, Julian Fellowes would have been enjoying his own private celebration. After six highly successful seasons of the TV series, Downton Abbey, Fellowes could see the Royal nuptials creating a highly receptive environment for his next […]

Film Reviews

The Kitchen

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 Film Reviews,

2019 may go down as the year in which female directors gained a lasting foothold in the movie business. Counting this week, four of the past eight films reviewed in this column have been made by women. I can’t recall anything like this ratio in previous years, where one in ten is a more likely […]