• Oxygen

    Oxygen

    ★★★

    I feel like I can always rely on Alexandre Aja in some form, an incredibly talented maestro of B-movie schlock delivery and efficient, no bullshit genre fare of the kind we don’t see pushed as often as it should anymore in multiplexes. So while it’s a shame this one went straight to Netflix for distribution, I’m still happy that he’s delivering on these kinds of productions on a regular basis.

    It’s not quite the borderline great Crawl for me, but…

  • Dawn of the Dead

    Dawn of the Dead

    ★★★

    This was my first time revisiting in over a decade, and wanting to see how its stands out now that the landscape has shifted so thoroughly around it, and how Snyder’s career and aesthetic have grown so substantially from its point. It's... fine?

    Technically speaking its impressive for a debut, even though his style trademarks are clearly in their early days and he hasn't figured out how to use Slow-Mo effectively to convey movement yet (there’s a shot of a…

  • Mainstream

    Mainstream

    A very long, very pointless, very toothless episode of Black Mirror. People need to stop giving every Coppola brat money and telling them they're talented because their patriarch made some of the greatest Hollywood features of all time.

    So many sweet nothings and directionless diatribes. It's neither satirical, nor nihilistic, nor brutally honest enough to have anything to say on its subject matter, and eventually sputters out on a note that I'm sure will seem deep to anyone who exclusively…

  • The Dark Knight Rises

    The Dark Knight Rises

    Remember when they made a Batman film that was supposedly about the Occupy movement, the 99% and class revolution, and they still made the hero and central character the born into privilege playboy billionaire - who also dresses up as a bat to beat up "low lives" in the night to aid the Gotham Police Department - and wanted us to take it seriously?

  • The Heat

    The Heat

    ★★★

    Yeah, Feig’s generally loose and uninteresting staging, blocking and tendency to let the camera just riff in front of the cameras and cut around them aside (editing and lighting are usually on point), I still find this one really funny while acknowledging it’s a step down from the monstrously entertaining Bridesmaids. It still works and Katie Dippold’s script is certainly her best work, in that she understands the fundamentals of the buddy cop genre and just allows the cast and…

  • Stowaway

    Stowaway

    ★★★

    So, I was into this for a shockingly long time before I realised it was never going to escalate, and then when I realised where it was going in the final scenes, I was a little underwhelmed, and then that final little v.o. so thoroughly fucked its own underlying themes and ideas that it’s a wonder why they even bothered in the first place.

    What is this film if not a condemnation of the oversights, cut corners and mandates of…

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    ★★★★

    Harmony Korine’s accidental masterpiece?

    I say as much because I’m really not a fan of his other work (haven’t seen Beach Bum yet). I want to admire where he comes from with his bizarre fixation on social outcasts/weirdos/some generally awful people, and indulging in them if not celebrating them. But he’s no John Waters, a I’ve never been able to get on with his pretensions and gestures toward the supposed depth and beauty he sees into so-called slums of America,…

  • Romeo + Juliet

    Romeo + Juliet

    ★★★★

    There’s a near feature-length documentary on the Blu-ray for this that focuses entirely on the making of the soundtrack, and it clarifies more than ever what a truly bizarre-sounding and unique sell this must have been to the studios back in the day from Baz and his crew. I still love this film so much, not just as my first major window into Shakespeare as a kid but also as a piece of frenetic and imaginative filmmaking that comes at…

  • Dog Soldiers

    Dog Soldiers

    ★★★

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

    Few moments in this made me laugh as hard as when the family dog takes the chance in the middle of a werewolf attack to try and nick Sean Pertwee’s hanging intestines while he’s still trying to hold his guts together.

    I don’t know that this film is great, it has some weird narrative clarity issues in that I’m not sure how soon the audience is supposed to be aware that Emma Cleasby is CLEARLY up to something before the…

  • Gattaca

    Gattaca

    ★★★★

    It’s kind of strange that it uses its inciting tension generator in the form of a murder mystery conspiracy plot, that said plot just kind of resolves itself without much agency or input from the lead character.

    Outside of that, this is a really inventive, really solid exploration of a genuinely thought-provoking concept through the guise of a science fiction story, that also comes down to character focus and interpersonal drama and conflict. I don’t think Andrew Niccol will ever…

  • The Childhood of a Leader

    The Childhood of a Leader

    ★★★★

    This isn’t a story about a spoilt child or the lack of restrictions that would allow someone the tools and will to conquer – although that reading can be perfectly valid – but its far more intimate in its spectrum than that.

    Where this succeeds is not in its focus on the specifics but in the broad sweep of the minutia of human emotion, not so much concerned with the aftermath as the here and now, far removed by the…

  • Framing Britney Spears

    Framing Britney Spears

    ★★★

    #LeaveBritneyAlone