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  • Fyre

    Fyre

    ★★★

    Baudrillard would’ve had a field day with this.

  • IO

    IO

    ★★★

    There’s no getting past the fact that IO is pretty much a rejig of Z for Zachariah mashed up with Silent Running, with bits ’n’ bobs from Blade Runner, The Martian and others, some smatterings of cod philosophy, and an unearned ambiguous ending. Its execution screams ‘too many cooks’ — the distraction of disembodied voices throughout the first act; the bluntness of its references: the bee/hive metaphor, the characters named ‘Elon’ and ‘Walden’, the target marketing (STEM is hot, tattoos…

  • Road House

    Road House

    ★★★

    Needed more Terry Funk.

  • Split

    Split

    ★★★½

    It’s longer than it needs to be, which is ironic as the parts it’s missing — the usual conventions of kidnapping thrillers, or filters on what’s fodder for cinematic exploitation — are what make it so interesting.

  • Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

    Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

    ★★★★

    I was beginning to think Ben Wheatley had lost the plot. But I’ll forgive him the damp squib that was Free Fire for this firecracker.

  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    ★★

    This was going quite well, until it was clear the creative direction was — for lack of a better term but let’s be direct about it — up its own hole. As in, first-year philosophy free will vs determinism, meta-narrative cynicism, the joke’s on the viewer — that kind of bullshit. I’d rather play Dragon’s Lair. (In all seriousness, though, there’s potential for this kind of interactivity, if better written.)

  • The Endless

    The Endless

    ★★½

    A time-bending sci-fi drama whose reach exceeds its grasp.

  • Bird Box

    Bird Box

    ★★½

    This is very much a personal bugbear but anyway: if the villain of your story is a Lovecraftian entity so incomprehensible that to glimpse it induces instant madness, perhaps don’t fill out more than half of your interminable two-hour running time teasing the audience with its appearance — and the notion of a purpose to its machinations — with no follow-through. And maybe lay off the ‘stranger knocking on the door’ trope while you’re at it.

  • Z Storm

    Z Storm

    ★★★

    I’m under no illusions as to the propaganda purposes of such films as this, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t fun to watch.

  • The Old Man & the Gun

    The Old Man & the Gun

    ★★★

    Robert Redford’s cinematic swan-song The Old Man & the Gun is a thoroughly nice film, if not a great one.

    See my review on Thumped: thumped.com/movies/movie-reviews/the-old-man-the-gun/

  • Cabin Boy

    Cabin Boy

    ★★½

    I can see why this is considered a cult classic, even though it barely made me crack a smile, let alone laugh.

  • Inferno

    Inferno

    ★★½

    Why is this movie so damn long?