Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 Poster

When a follow up is done to a cinematic classic, there is understandably a fair amount of trepidation about the project. But any of those concerns about Blade Runner 2049 were quickly laid to rest when one of cinema’s most exciting directing talents, Denis Villenueve, was brought on board to work with Blade Runner’s original visionary, Ridley Scott. Bringing back Harrison Ford to reprise his iconic role as Deckard and putting him alongside a-list talent like Ryan Gosling were further ingredients to an already exciting recipe. The pièce de résistance came in allowing the cinematography to be envisioned through the lens of perfection that is Roger Deakins, and it was all rounded off with the co-composed accompaniment of Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s re-imagining of Vangelis’ dystopian electronic score. The result, as you might expect, is a vast, all-consuming piece of visionary cinema; immersive, engaging, faithful and visually stunning. A generational film that will surely be remembered in decades to come as an example of everything that cinema can be. Continue reading



Stronger PosterIn the aftermath of the tragic Boston bombings of 2013, something wonderful rose up via social media and through into mainstream culture, a city unified against terror began to wear the mantle of ‘Boston Strong’ with a ferocious pride. That hashtag became a rallying cry for the city and embodied by survivors of the attack. People like Jeff Bauman, who on the off chance had headed down to cheer on his future wife Erin as she ran the marathon. In one horrific moment, his world changed when a bomb hidden in a rucksack exploded and in the process blew the bottom half of both of Jeff’s legs off. The subsequent image snapped in the chaotic aftermath of the bombing of an ashen-faced Jeff being helped by bystander Carlos Arredondo wheeling him away for medical assistance, became a symbol of Boston’s collective strength, and the strength and goodness of people in the face of evil. Continue reading


It PosterPennywise the clown has arguably become one of horror’s most enduring monsters, both in literature and on screen, and the character immortalised by Tim Curry in Tommy Lee Wallace’s creepy 1990 adaptation of Stephen King’s It has been reborn once more. 27 years on from the iconic feature and Pennywise returns to haunt another generation’s nightmares, with Bill Skarsgård taking on the terrifying clown duties this time around. So iconic is the 1990 miniseries in TV and cinematic folklore, that taking on a new imagining of the tale was always going to be met with a sense of skepticism and trepidation that went beyond just the representation of the titular monster. With Andy Muschietti bringing his view of horror honed from his previous work on features such as 2013’s Mama, the film was placed in the hands of an up and coming director very capable of creating the level of unease It requires. The reception has been good to what’s been produced here too, and so it seems that Pennywise will continue to endure as a figure of nightmare for some time yet. Continue reading


Mother Poster

Following on from the largely poorly received Noah (2014), Darren Aronofsky has returned with a twisted, dark psychological and pseudo-religious tale of growing madness in the midst of incomprehensible chaos. Mother! is Aronofsky working in his best element, delving into uncomfortable psychology and layering them within challenging and nightmarish scenarios. Despite taking on religious themes, this is more akin to the successes he had with Black Swan (2010) and his horrifically bleak vision in Requiem for a Dream (2000), than that more recent box office flop and convoluted biblical study Noah. Despite playing to his strengths, the film has divided opinion, there have been many varying takes on this film; its themes, ideas and interpretation, and the reviews have swung wildly from sublime to abysmal. Whatever your take on it, it’s fair to admit that in its divisiveness it has been the subject of some very interesting discussions. From an artistic perspective, it could be argued that it has succeeded in at least challenging audiences to look beyond the film into wider interpretations and meanings, and to consider its themes perhaps more than they’re comfortable doing. Continue reading

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman Golden Circle PosterWhen Matthew Vaughn first brought the little known graphic novel series Kingsman to the big screen back in 2014 with Kingsman: The Secret Service, the result was a surprise hit. It viewed like a James Bond film as if it was written by and for teenage boys. It was a little crude, but it blended nicely with the gentlemanly aspect of the Bond spy tropes that were well established and much parodied. The end result was a piece of fairly likeable cinematic fun. It kept its tongue firmly in its cheek throughout, and therein lay its charm; it knew what it was and kept to it. Additionally, as an origin story it had the scope to introduce us to a whole set of characters and gizmos that went along with the general atmosphere of the film. So what of the second chapter? Could they keep that sense of likeable fun without treading on the first film? Could they replicate the characters, the sense of humour and the overall style without repeating themselves? It may not be an easy process to make a successful second installment, but it’s do-able. But does The Golden Circle successfully navigate this follow up balancing act or just stumble over its original accomplishment into a crumpled heap?

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A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story Poster

The existential story of a ghost watching the world he knew pass by around him, trapped in a timeless imprisonment inside the house he shared with his wife is a bold and fascinating premise for a film. David Lowery writes and directs this haunting paranormal bildungsroman and A Ghost Story is a beautifully crafted piece of filmmaking. It is poignant and emotive, growing slowly into its story and by extension slowly takes a hold inside your mind. The beauty of the film is that it deals with our human fears of life and death, it speaks to that part of our minds that understands these topics even if we successfully compartmentalize them in our daily existence. Continue reading

War For The Planet of the Apes

War for The Planet of the Apes Poster“Apes together, strong.” Led by Caesar, the trilogy of prequels in the Planet of the Apes series reaches its epic finale, with the remaining humans increasingly becoming the aggressors as they take the fight to the Apes. If ever there’s an example of a trilogy going from strength to strength, this is it. Since Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, this trilogy has grown in scope and has got ever better, culminating in this stunning finale. Every trilogy needs a strong finale, and this trilogy has its perfect ending. It’s a beautifully crafted film, expertly bringing in new characters, developing aspects of humour to break the growing tension, adding a wider folklore to the story, and framing it all with a walkthrough tour of war film and epic cinema iconography. This is a Vietnam war film set to the backdrop of science fiction apocalypse with nods of Biblical epics thrown in for good measure, and as curious a mix as that sounds, it truly comes together beautifully to create a film of rare scope and brilliance. Continue reading