Get Out

Get Out Poster 2

“Gripping, scary, witty and timely.” So reads one tagline to Jordan Peele’s remarkably unique 2017 horror, Get Out, and as 5 word reviews go, it’s pretty accurate in its summation. Get Out is a very fresh take on the horror movie, paying homage to genre classics and conventions and blending them with comedy, and dark social satire. The result is a thoroughly modern horror film with a social commentary to make – much as George A. Romero in his 1978 horror classic The Dawn of the Dead. With the rise of gore horror and otherwise unimaginative and staid genre films, it’s refreshing to view a genuinely smart horror film. Jordan Peele is interested in more than just jump scares, and instead directs a film that can take on social issues whilst framed by its wider horror narrative.

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The Shape of Water

Shape of Water PosterA mute woman working at a government research facility falls in love with an aquatic man/creature being held there for scientific study. It’s not a classic romantic film narrative (unless perhaps you’re discussing it against Splash) and yet what Guillermo Del Toro has created with this narrative is a film of genuine beauty. Grown up fairytales are something that Del Toro has always held a unique vision for and his creation of otherworldly characters is a rare gift, a gift that brings this film a lead character that is visceral, tangible and more importantly believable. The Shape of Water is a remarkably heartfelt and beautiful love story and a fascinating contender for the Best Picture award at this year’s Academy Awards. Continue reading

Call Me By Your Name 

Call Me By Your Name PosterComing of age stories have the power to transport us back to our own formative years or speak to us at our current stage in life (depending on where we are in our lives). When done well the impact of such stories, is to force a nostalgia, a reminiscence, perhaps even draw a smile or cause us to shed a tear…  or both. Of all the emotive aspects of all of our young lives, the most lasting is arguably our first love, that whirlwind of suddenly being enraptured unto another. It is into that cocktail of passion, excitement, hormones and confusion – set to the serene beauty of North Italian summertime – that we are plunged in Call Me By Your Name, the latest film from Luca Guadagnino – the director of other such sun-kissed dramas as A Bigger Splash (2015). The film has garnered much praise since its release too, fast becoming a critical favourite. Continue reading

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Poster“Raped while dying. And still no arrests? How come, Chief Willoughby?” Three phrases and three billboards that form the simple premise to this darkly comic tale of anger and retribution in small town Missouri. Following on from similarly successful dark comedies In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012), Martin McDonagh returns after 5 years away from film directing, to shine a light on the tensions between one resident and her local police force in the wake of the brutal rape and murder of her daughter. What follows is a dark comedy of messy humanity which navigates the murky grey areas of justice. In the hands of McDonagh and working with talent like Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell Three Billboards is one of the most unique films I’ve seen for a while, and one which, despite its plaudits, has still proven somewhat divisive amongst filmgoers and critics alike. Continue reading

Wind River

Wind River Poster

The desolate wintry landscape of Wyoming is the setting for this forcefully human story and murder mystery. In such a bleak setting, the intrigue flows throughout the film from the very opening scene, carried on a wind of frozen tragedy. In the face of the challenges, the heart of the story becomes about real people struggling through life, where one more tragedy hits like another kick to the gut. It’s the kind of bleak tone we’ve grown familiar with arising from the rise in stark Scandi-crime narratives of world wearied people and the struggles that befall them all too often in the cold corners of the world. Continue reading

The Disaster Artist 

Disaster Artist PosterThere’s good films, there’s bad films, there’s plenty of indifferent films and then there’s The Room. Tommy Wiseau’s iconically bad film has become a legendary cult classic for film fans worldwide, it has regularly sold out late night screenings as well as developing its own sub-culture since its release in 2003. The enigmatic mind of Tommy Wiseau has long fascinated fans and critics alike, a man with unknown heritage who came out of nowhere to bankroll an entire filming project to the tune of $6 million before disappearing back into his cult status. Now the fascinating story of this infamous film and the unique friendship of its two lead men is brought to the screen itself in The Disaster Artist. Continue reading

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