RSS feed for Grant
  • State of Play

    State of Play

    ★★★½

    I forgot that I watched this. Now I’ve forgotten what I thought of it. Ben Affleck is in it. 

    I recall that it’s a thriller involving corporate corruption and the ethics of journalism. If it were a true story it would be slightly interesting. 

    An unwashed, pudgy and crumpled Russell Crowe is the irascible journalist and somehow I’m supposed to believe that Congressman Ben Affleck’s wife would cheat on him with this potato of a man? And Rachel McAdams has a frisson of chemistry with him too? Not buying it.

  • Imagine That

    Imagine That

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Eddie Murphy plays a father who’s distracted by work. His cute but emotionally troubled daughter just needs him to notice her and play with her and everything will be all right. Some supernatural stuff happens that he tries to exploit to further his career causing him to incidentally spend more time with his daughter and realise that his priorities need some adjustment. Again.

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon

    ★★★

    I didn’t enjoy this one. Probably didn’t get it, I guess. A lot of people think there’s something going on beneath the surface but I’m confounded as to what it might be. 
    There are dreamy and trippy sequences that seem to have no bearing on the plot, and do nothing to move the story forward. They’re not especially visually interesting either. Just confusing. Although perhaps there is symbolism or something approaching it. There are a lot of triangles. Which obviously…

  • RED 2

    RED 2

    ★★★★

    If you don’t like this franchise you’re missing the point. Of everything. 

    Funny and very stupid, this is a ridiculous romp for an aging cast who look like they’re having a blast and delivering pure dumb fun. Performances are a bit ropey at times, but we’re not here to win oscars. This is about pensioners blowing shit up, and looking great doing it. Fantastic. Loved it. So dumb.

  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★½

    This is played so low-key and truthfully, it sneaks up on you. None of the usual bombast I’ve come to expect from American made films, and it’s richer for it. 
    Casey Affleck channels Ryan Gosling from Drive, but where Gosling’s character is the stuff of fantasy, Affleck‘s is totally authentic and relateable.
    The writing is understated and naturalistic, and the key actors give really powerful performances, all the more heartbreaking because of their tight grip on their emotions. 
    I’m not…

  • Snow White and the Huntsman

    Snow White and the Huntsman

    ★★★★

    A stellar example of the D&D genre. Once again I thank Peter Jackson for elevating the art form so we fans of the genre don’t have to suffer the B-grade frass that we had in the 80s and 90s. 

    Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart, Ray Frickin’ Winstone (as a beautifully realised hard wee dwarf!). This movie has everything you could ask, except perhaps for the hilarious charm that you get in the likes of The Princess Bride.

    It’s sumptuous,…

  • Seven Psychopaths

    Seven Psychopaths

    ★★★½

    The catchword for this year seems to be “problematic“, and it fits this film well. Several monologues touch on subjects like under-representation of women in film, or inappropriate epithets for homosexual men, but the film itself under-represents women and wantonly casts about these epithets. It’s not ironic or self aware; it’s disingenuous and mean-spirited. It left a sour taste for me. 
    If you’re going to be racist, misogynistic and homophobic, at least have the decency to be unaware of it!…

  • Approaching the Unknown

    Approaching the Unknown

    ★★★

    Mark Strong is excellent, which is just as well since he has to carry the film alone for 90% of the running time. 
    The film is hard to pin down though. It’s clear that it’s an allegory on some levels, but it also wants to be a straight up story about the first man to travel to Mars. What is the allegory? That’s left up to the viewer I think. I saw stories about the uncertainty of death, the mystery…

  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

    Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

    ★★★½

    A more human Bond. A less serious Bourne. A more possible mission. 
    The always affable, charismatic Tom Cruise beats up bad guys because they deserve it and because they were mean to one of his friends.

    Not much to say about this one. It’s heroic. It’s manly. Jack is competent and conscientious. The bad guys are bad. That’s all. 
    There’s an unsettlingly Commando-esque confrontation near a boiler and I swear the baddy nearly said “I don’t need the gun, John!”, so that was fun. No one-liners though. I miss Arnie.

  • Split

    Split

    ★★★★

    James MacAvoy is so superb. He plays a criminal psychopath with multiple personalities and frequently morphs between several in a take. The depth of character for each individual personality is striking, but sometimes also quite subtle. He even plays an extended scene as one of the personalities pretending to be one of the others, and the nuance of the layers is so easy to see. Just great work. 

    The story? Pretty standard thriller/horror with three teen girls captured and frightened…

  • Parker

    Parker

    ★★

    Quite a poor revenge flick. Jennifer Lopez can do better. Why is she here?

  • Assassin's Creed

    Assassin's Creed

    ★★

    Very stylish. There are some great CGI moments. 

    Those are all the good things I can say, I think. 

    Script, premise and plot are very weak. The direction was consistent and strong, but not in a style that appeals to me. 

    To be fair, that’s exactly what I think of the game, so maybe this is a real gem? But probably not.