Mandrake has written 15 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Looking for Mr. Goodbar

    Looking for Mr. Goodbar

    Spoilers in the sense that I mention the inspiration for the film; don't google it if you don't want the whole thing spoiled.

    When I first saw LfMG in the 90s, I hated it. I hated what appeared to be a message movie propping up patriarchal views of women with no subtlety or nuance and little narrative merit to justify it. It seemed to be telling me to be a good girl or any mistreatment was my own fault. And…

  • Devil

    Devil

    ★★½

    Not as bad as people say but by no means good either. Excellent cast but very obvious, alleviated by a bit of an interesting tone running through it.

  • Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs

    ★★½

    What I would call choosing to fly in the face of popular opinion, most people would call being the party pooper, the downer, the massive buzzkill that turns the music down to where the red line is for the sake of the neighbours.

    So be warned, this review is all buzzkill, all day.

    I'd rate West Wing and Moneyball, but other than that Sorkin's not God's gift to writing. Part of it is my preference for accurate biopics; if I'm…

  • Black Mirror: Be Right Back

    Black Mirror: Be Right Back

    ★★½

    Somehow manages to be boring and a bit ick at the same time. One of the weaker episodes.

  • Spectre

    Spectre

    ★★½

    I've barely seen any Bond movies and only liked On Her Majesty's Secret Service so, you figure it out. Banal continuation of imperialist bullshit. Opening is adorably contrived showing off though.

  • How to Beat the High Cost of Living

    How to Beat the High Cost of Living

    ★★½

    Some people might label this a film of its time, but, come on, 1980? The stellar trio do their best, but the payoff directions are nowhere near as satisfying as 9 to 5 or Private Benjamin, both released the same year. A modest sexism comedy outdating itself.

  • The Green Inferno

    The Green Inferno

    ★★½

    The events of the production, like convincing a tribe to act in the movie, and a tribe that thought the premise was a comedy at that, would've probably made a more interesting documentary than this basic bitch of a horror movie.

  • The Final Girls

    The Final Girls

    ★★½

    An inexplicably good cast in a decent but tame copy of a copy of an idea that bottles it hard at the end.

  • Fifty Shades of Black

    Fifty Shades of Black

    ★★½

    Not a good film, but if you really hate Fifty Shades of Garbage, you'll love this. I mean really, really hate that turd of a franchise, I mean really want to burn the whole thing to the ground, actually fill a dumpster with FSoG merchandise and make it a literal dumpster fire to match the proverbial, then yeah, you'll love this.

  • Primal Fear

    Primal Fear

    ★★½

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

    SPOILER FOR BOTH PRIMAL FEAR AND FIGHT CLUB, I guess.


    This film is something of a testament to the simplicity of the writing quality expectations of the time; the story trips along, indulging in setting up it's 'twist' and then peaks with a thoroughly unrealistic climax where all rules of introducing insanity, and then proving it with medical professionals before it can factor into a case in court, are thrown out the window for an illegal verdict, yet people were…

  • Celebrity

    Celebrity

    ★★½

    Super uneven, indulgent faux movie with some redeeming moments of performance but not enough to be worth watching.

  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★½

    For transparency, I'll admit to a bunch of bias.

    Having seen a lot of films, studied them a long time ago, learning how to analyse them and write them and blah blah blah I'm so intellectual blah blah blah... I don't enjoy films of nostalgia and classicism and traditional genre arcs as much as I used to. I don't like stories that take fairly stereotypical character templates, put them in similarly well worn genre templates and just say, "that'll do".…