RSS feed for Stuart
  • Warcraft

    Warcraft

    ★★½

    Warcraft. Best video game to movie adaptation ever. Unfortunately that isn't saying much and 'best' doesn't mean 'good'. I certainly didn't hate the film, director and co-writer Duncan Jones has got his $160m up on screen with an impressive visual recreation of Blizzard's cartoony and colourful fantasy MMORPG.
    But, in his noble efforts to make the Orcs interesting and not just sub-human bad guys, he's completely neglected the humans resulting in bland characters that might as well be played by…

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

    X-Men: Apocalypse

    ★★★

    Much to my surprise I really enjoyed X-Men: Apocalypse having absolutely detested Days of Future Past. It's not a home run of course: the timeline of the series is now a hopeless mess; there's no getting away from the fact that Apocalypse (the villain) looks terrible; given that everyone wears sensible body armour, why is Olivia Munn wearing a stripper costume; the level of wanton mass destruction is off the chart. But there are some really cool moments, especially an amazing bit with Quicksilver. And the 3D is really good, much better than on Civil War or BvS. No classic, but decent Saturday night entertainment.

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street

    ★★★★★

    I loved Sing Street, I laughed, I cried, I'd buy the t-shirt.


    Full review maxrennblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/talk-about-pop-music-sing-street-review/

  • Everybody Wants Some!!

    Everybody Wants Some!!

    ★★

    Turns out I really didn't want some. My first big movie disappointment this year, found Richard Linklater's 'Everybody Wants Some!!' vacuous and somewhat retrograde in its sexual politics. Basically a film about a bunch of alpha males who mostly look like greek gods getting what they want. It's like a slick disco ball remix of that PWEI song 'Beaver Patrol'.

    There is a great moment (of many) in Dazed and Confused with the Matthew McConaughey character says (something like) the…

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★★

    Immense fun.
    I'm not full on five star on it, but my complaints are minor. Loki is still the only decent villain in the MARVEL Studios movie universe (they do them much better in Daredevil and Jessica Jones). It's a little long. Black Panther isn't really given enough set up. And The Vision looks like a Chuppa Chupp.
    But I am all in on the new Spider-man, and he's given a much more satisfying spot than Wonder Woman was in…

  • Ratchet & Clank

    Ratchet & Clank

    ★★

    Cards on the table, I fell asleep for half of this but I caught enough to know it is Saturday Morning cartoon stuff.

  • Son of Saul

    Son of Saul

    ★★★★★

    This Hungarian holocaust drama is technically brilliant. Shot in long takes in a tight 4:3 with the camera almost entirely pointed at lead actor Geza Rohrig's face. A harrowing and intimate vision of hell on earth, it is supremely uncomfortable viewing. Often the foreign language Oscar goes to an easy choice.
    Not this time. A modern masterpiece.

    Full review on my blog maxrennblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/some-entirely-inadequate-words-about-son-of-saul-a-portrait-of-hell-on-earth/

  • Florence Foster Jenkins

    Florence Foster Jenkins

    ★★★★

    Florence Foster
    Jenkins manages the difficult feat of being both very funny and very sad. Often within the same scene. Streep is in full effect. There is a very funny performance from Big Bang Theory's Simon Helberg. But Hugh Grant steals the film forgoing all his usual mannerisms. Director Stephen Frears basically keeps out of the way. A crowd pleaser.

  • The Jungle Book

    The Jungle Book

    ★★★★★

    I approached Disney's new version of The Jungle Book with trepidation, the animated film is a masterpiece and can't be bettered so why try? 

    Well Jon Favreau's film doesn't try, while it keeps relatively close to the plot of the animated film it radically changes the genre from musical to action film and manages to be as exciting as a Bourne movie. 

    The VFX are truly extraordinary. The film is primarily CGI, but the jungle is the most convincing and fully realised computer generated world since Avatar.

    Be warned, it's too intense for very small children (Idris Elba's Shere Khan is terrifying).

  • Death Wish 3

    Death Wish 3

    ★½

    Gets an extra half star for being too incompetent to be as loathsome as Death Wish 2.

  • TRON: Legacy

    TRON: Legacy

    ★★★

    I still think this is an amazing looking film, the production design is outstanding. One aspect that hasn't held up visually in the six years since its release is the digitally de-aged Jeff Bridges. This never looked that great even in 2010 but now it looks more plastic than ever, the same process on Michael Douglas in Ant-man last year looked significantly better, a sign of how fast the bleeding edge of VFX can gather dust.

    However, while visually it…

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★

    Cons: Lex Luthor has no motivation whatsoever; Eisenberg is UNBELIEVABLY annoying; Wonder Woman is in it for three minutes!!! Get a grip everybody; this Batman seems really interesting, why not tell us something about him; the thing that brings Bats and Supes together is hilarious; Doomsday looks like an angry overcooked baked potato; Cavill is given so little to do he might as well be replaced by a frozen side of beef; not enough Alfred; Lois does nothing but make…