• Goldfinger

    Goldfinger

    ★★★½

    “My name is Pussy Galore.”
    “I must be dreaming.”

    My opinion on Goldfinger remains that it is certainly a fun, heightened adventure film bristling with cute ideas, iconic images and memorable dialogue. Unfortunately, like the worst of these early Bond pictures, the film is dragged down by some terribly dated stereotypes and some of the most egregious examples of casual sexism that did not fly with a lot of audiences even at the time. Bond’s ‘swaying’ of Pussy is truly…

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Crazy Rich Asians

    ★★★★

    “Pursuing one’s passion. How American.”

    Crazy Rich Asians is melodramatic, over-earnest and stunning in its glamour. It is exactly what it wants to be and, frankly, everything that it needs to be. Jon M. Chu’s 2018 feature is a loving representation of an embarrassingly underrepresented (at least in a positive way) culture in western media. Crazy Rich Asians feels simultaneously as if it were effortlessly crafted for Asian audiences while never once seeming inaccessible for anybody else. Yes, the story…

  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    ★★★★½

    “Do you know what "Pac" stands for? P-A-C: program and control. He's Program and Control Man.”

    Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is the most that I have enjoyed an entry into this series to date. Delightfully metamodern, tastefully heavy-handed and so endlessly creative, the structure and nature of this story serves its ideas so well and is satisfying in a way that I could never had predicted it would be. This is a textbook example of taking a presentational and aesthetic gimmick…

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    ★★★★★

    “The way I see it, the only one in this room controlled by his parents is you.”

    As much as I love Christopher Nolan’s and Matt Reeves’ live-action adaptations of the character, I doubt it will shock anyone to say that Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is my favourite theatrical outing for the Dark Knight. Intelligently crafted, delightfully mature and endlessly entertaining, the cinematic spin-off from Batman: The Animated Series has been a regular and favourite watch of mine since…

  • Licence to Kill

    Licence to Kill

    ★★★★★

    “Loyalty is more important to me than money.”

    I’ve said my piece on this before but Dalton’s Bond is my favourite and this is definitely the best of his two outings. A strong story about revenge, morality, greed and, of course, loyalty, Licence to Kill is an exciting ‘80s action thriller and the best character study of James Bond until Craig’s debut. It’s a great picture that I enjoy watching immensely.

  • The Living Daylights

    The Living Daylights

    ★★★★½

    “If he fires me, I’ll thank him for it.”

    I’ve logged this before as part of the Rapid-Fire marathon I did with my brother but I’ll just mention that, on this rewatch, my experience was very much that this is a transitional picture. Dalton’s performance and characterisation is fantastic and the tone is a step away from the Moore era but the elements in the production that carry over into this one were more jarring and distracting than ever on…

  • Everything or Nothing

    Everything or Nothing

    ★★

    “What was the second one? Tomorrow
    Never Dies or The World Is Not Enough? I always get confused. I only remember GoldenEye. (Laughing) The rest was a blur.”

    The EON endorsed commemorative documentary for James Bond’s fiftieth anniversary (on film) is far from warts and all. While there is a lot to enjoy in the feature, far too much of the runtime is dedicated to rewriting history and ensuring that, no matter what, the audience is onside with the Broccoli family and their…

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    ★★★★½

    “It’s a dangerous thing to mistake speaking without thought as speaking the truth.”

    To boil the classic murder mystery down into a single sentence would read something like as follows; a party of rich people squabble over reasons why their lives should be in danger. Like many great mystery writers before him, Rian Johnson understands this and, with his second entry into the so-called Knives Out anthology, crafts his themes and characters as such that his story is embracing this…

  • The Menu

    The Menu

    ★★★★½

    “I am perfectly capable of deciding when to eat and what.”

    Mark Mylod’s The Menu is an immersive and engaging watch wherein the viewer is left in equal parts salivating and contemplating. The film is beautifully crafted with a masterclass performance from Ralph Fiennes at the core of a deeply interesting dissection of artistry and the ideologies it continues to be exploited by. While its thesis is perhaps made a little too transparent in-text, the ideas of The Menu are superb…

  • Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

    Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

    ★★★★★

    “Lies, my dear boy, are found out immediately because they are like long noses, visible to all but the teller of the lie. And the more you lie, the more it grows.”

    Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a beautiful work that captures the poignant flavour of melancholy that the nature of life has to offer in a wholly gorgeous fashion. A pretentious statement, perhaps, but that does not make it any less true. The star-stuffed cast of this picture somehow…

  • RoboCop

    RoboCop

    ★★★★½

    “I'd buy that for a dollar!”

    On face value, the hypermasculine action film of the 1980s does not come more complete than in the package that is Robocop. Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 hit(?) is the real deal with copious amounts of bloody violence, contemporary satire, cops, a sleek aesthetic that is of period and a very simple story. However, what allows Robocop to stand out among the slew of macho ‘80s blockbusters is not just its skill in putting these elements…

  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

    The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

    “I don’t know what Christmas is but Christmas time is here”

    As much as I love James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, I found this half-entry into the series to be another uninspired effort from Marvel Studios. Relying on a lot of repetitive and forced humour, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a fine showcase for the characters we know and love but radiates an overwhelming sense of the cast and crew being totally disinterested…