The Big Short review – A dumbed-down documentary

the-big-short-bechdel-test-1If you want to dumb down the dense stock market speak of Michael Lewis’s non-fiction book about the credit and housing market crash, what better step to take than to hire Anchorman’s Adam McKay as the director of its adaptation? He adds much needed silliness to a film that ultimately conveys a cynical message about the world economy, one that’ll make you contemplate opening an account at the Royal Bank of Mattress.

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Room review – The best film of 2015

Room-2015-Movie-PosterI’ve seen an awful amount of great films recently; anyone would think there’s a massive award ceremony on the way. It’s like all the good stuff has been kept locked away in a shed at the bottom of the garden and now it’s being released in one huge attempt to overwhelm the critics. Do you see what I did there? I made a grand metaphor about strategic release dates while simultaneously explaining the premise of Room. No? I’m wasted on you.

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Ride Along 2 review – I laughed once

ride-along-60During Ride Along 2, I noticed a number of people in the audience going to the toilet. ‘They’re going to miss all the jokes’, I thought to myself. How would they be able to follow the intricate character arcs of Kevin Hart and Mr. Ice Cube if they were absent for a few minutes? And then I realised; they were probably getting more laughs out of pissing on urinal cakes and constructing more interesting narratives by blasting the porcelain with their arse noises.

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The Revenant review – The worst camping trip ever

maxresdefaultI wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in this film. If I somehow survived an onslaught from a bunch of hostile Native Americans, then I probably would have frozen to death in the snow instead, or at least got gangrene or frostbite and lost all of my limbs until I looked like a pillow. What’s certain is that I definitely wouldn’t have withstood the type of mauling Leonardo DiCaprio receives from a now infamous bear. He takes an absolute battering in The Revenant, a film that does everything it can to show his acting ability and willingness to drag himself through blood and mud for an exhaustingly long runtime. If he doesn’t win the Oscar he’ll be thinking this was the worst camping trip ever.

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Creed review – Rocky would still have your dad in a fight

creed-jordan-stallone-xlargeWhenever there’s a build up to a big boxing match, I always find myself asking the same questions: why do they do this to themselves? Why do they participate in a sport that involves being repeatedly punched in the head? However, I have to concede that watching numerous Rocky movies is essentially the film equivalent of that: the same arcs, the same devices and the same themes being bashed into my skull. But now there’s a seventh instalment to the franchise, one not based on the Italian Stallion himself, but the son of his former rival and friend Apollo Creed. Did that mean I was in for another gruelling beating? Or would I be able to sit ringside and enjoy watching a new generation’s fresh take on the series? Ring that bell.

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Dragon Blade review – Not completely rubbish

dragon-blade-jackie-chan-john-cusackWhen one sees an assorted cast list of Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrien Brody, it’s perfectly natural to suspect a disaster of biblical proportions. But if there’s one thing I’ll say about Dragon Blade (Written and directed by Daniel Lee), it’s that it’s not a complete and utter car crash. That might not sound like much of a compliment, but it’s important to establish just how awful this could have been. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still pretty atrocious.

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Spotlight review – Catholic Church child abuse film is a great Sunday lunch topic

spotlightChild molestation! There, that should get your attention. It’s awards season, and you know what that means: it’s time for all the hard-hitting films that no one will be privy to until the academy gives them a golden bloke. And nothing quite screams ‘I want an Oscar!’ like a true story adaptation about the Catholic Church covering up child sex abuse. Happy New Year, everyone.

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2015 in film – Robots, impending doom, broken records and hope

Another year, another step closer to the nuclear apocalypse. It’s inevitable: humans will master artificial intelligence and then the machines will decide we’re no longer needed, hack into all the military computers and launch enough missiles to make the Earth’s surface resemble a teenager’s acne-scarred face. At least that’s how mainstream cinema sees it. With so many of 2015’s blockbusters featuring evil genius robots and human ingenuity backfiring, it seems most filmmakers are certain that we’re all irrevocably fucked.

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