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

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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

The Emoji Movie

The Emoji Movie PosterLet’s be honest, when the news broke that there was going to be an animated movie based on the lives of emojis it was met with at best dubious reactions. The multiple little pictures that litter our digital conversations don’t immediately sound like an engrossing subject matter for any film. But could the filmmakers do the unthinkable and execute an entertaining film about pictograms? Well, that would be an emphatic no. Mainly because they barely tried. What they’ve made instead is an empty, vacuous corporate advert for apps, supposedly designed to speak to a young generation who they think so little of that they believe them incapable of relating to anything other than their phone screen.

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Dunkirk

Dunkirk Poster“War is hell,” and in the hands of Christopher Nolan, rarely has that hell ever been shown with such humanity and authentic struggle. Taking on the infamous Dunkirk beach evacuation of 1940. The retreating British and French soldiers – surrounded by enemy Germans – found themselves trapped and cornered in the city of Dunkirk with their backs against the expanse of the Channel, so close to home, and yet so far away. It is that sense of fear, fatigue and defeat amongst the soldiers caught up in the horrific setting that Christopher Nolan focuses on in his presentation of this military disaster.

In now expected Nolan style the film takes on the story in innovative fashion, structuring it across three different overlapping timelines all eventually converging to the same point. The first part is titled ‘The Mole’ (taking place over one week), focusing on the narrow docking point that the navy’s evacuation ships were forced to use to pick up the stranded soldiers. The second timeline is ‘The Sea’ (taking place over one day), focusing in on the privately owned boats – commandeered by the Navy – which answered the call to make the perilous crossing of the channel, and into the battle to help transport the soldiers. Finally, there’s ‘The Air’ (taking place over one hour), taking us into the cockpits of the small band of RAF pilots tasked with fending off the swarming Luftwaffe who were circling the stranded allied forces, trying to pick them off and deliver a final hammer blow to their foes.

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Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman PosterWith all the respective cinematic universes currently competing for moviegoers attention, it is DC’s turn to take centre stage with the latest origin story from their own canon of characters, Wonder Woman. Following on from the poor critical reception given to both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, as well as Suicide Squad, DC is in need of a big hit to help their ailing critical standing. Therefore, it was perhaps with an understandable sense of trepidation that audiences went to see Wonder Woman… or not. Prior to its release, the critical reception was strong and actually boded well for an impressive hit for DC… finally. Are the shoots of recovery for DC’s cinematic recovery finally evident? Maybe, at least the hope would be that they can build on this positivity and continue on from this point.

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Life, Animated

Life Animated PosterEvery now and again a documentary comes along that is genuinely touching, and tells the story of a remarkable real life. Life, Animated is just such a film. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming and life affirming trip into the core of filmmaking, the impact that cinema can have on people, and the very real importance that it can play in people’s lives. The film follows the story of Owen Suskind through his own unique perspective as well as that of his family, as he begins his journey to burgeoning independence in spite of the challenges raised by his autism and the difficulties it has caused him in his everyday life since its onset at the early age of 3. Continue reading

Trumbo

Trumbo Poster

‘Trumbo’ Theatrical Release Poster

After the end of the Second World War, America entered into a new Cold war, a war of fear and distrust; this time with their former wartime ally, the Soviet Union. It quickly became an internal war, descending into an attack on American citizens accused of being Soviet sympathisers, and members of the now enemy Communist party. At the end of 2015, we were given the Academy award ‘Best Picture’ nominee, Bridge of Spies, telling a story of political accusations and alleged spy activities that took place amidst the Cold War and following on from that is Trumbo, a film charting the perceived war at home and the witch hunt it became. Focusing on the remarkable life of acclaimed writer, screen writer and accused Communist, Dalton Trumbo, and how the accusations of political fearmongers, amidst a nation’s fears, were to define and almost ruin the life of him and some of cinema’s greatest talents. Continue reading