‘Alien: Covenant’ Review

covenantAs much as I was excited to see this new Alien movie, as I sat in the theatre waiting for the lights to go down, I found myself wondering what exactly I actually wanted from an Alien movie in 2017. Would I prefer it to just be essentially another of the numerous Alien clones that have continued to appear in the decades since its inception, but with a proper Xenomorph? Or do I want someone to try and tell a completely new story in within the Alien universe? While my instinct goes straight for the latter option, the last few times that was attempted the results were, at best, highly divisive. Continue reading

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Review

guardians2Guardians of the Galaxy was easily the most obscure property that Marvel studios have set their sights on adapting, and the only really surprising announcement since they made since the MCU’s inception. It was a risk that paid off though, with the film being arguably Marvel Studios’ most unique entry, both content and quality-wise. It certainly tends to lie near the top of any fan’s ranking (I’ve got it at 3 myself). With the addition of this sequel though, confidently the strongest ‘part 2’ of any MCU series yet, they might well prove to be the Studios’ biggest stars. Continue reading

‘The Fate of the Furious’ Review

fast-furious-8I’ve begun the last couple of reviews for films in the Fast & Furious series by noting just what an unusual path this franchise has taken to becoming one of the most successful and important film series of modern times. I don’t want to get too repetitive, but let’s just say that my opinion of this series has turned around so much that I’ve gone from thinking they were actively bad movies that I wouldn’t consider paying to see, to being hugely excited about seeing the latest instalment on opening night. Continue reading

‘Ghost in the Shell’ (2017) Review

shost-in-the-shell-trailerI’ve made it no secret that I struggle with a lot of anime, even the classic, universally acclaimed titles of the genre. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s cultural differences, but I often find myself having difficulty understanding films that, on paper at least, sound like I’d really enjoy. Case in point; 1995’s Ghost in the Shell, noted as a key influence on The Matrix no less, when I first watched it, I found it more or less incomprehensible. I saw it again a few years later with similar results, finding the material surprisingly inaccessible for such a landmark, beloved movie. Anyway, I think I’m more of an outlier here, so maybe I shouldn’t be taken too seriously when I say that one of the few positive things about this American, live-action Ghost in the Shell remake is that I didn’t find it especially confusing at all. Continue reading

The Difficulty in Ranking the Films of Quentin Tarantino

pulpAs I casually checked my Twitter feed one day last week, I noticed a number of people were talking about Quentin Tarantino and his movies. As it tends to nowadays, my mind immediately jumped to worrying if he’d died, but no it was just his birthday. Not even a notable one at that (54). Anyway, it got me thinking about my favourite movies of his, and a thought I’ve been having for a number of years; I guess the title of this piece is a bit clickbaity, as it’s not so much the difficulty in saying which ones I prefer that’s got me wondering, but what actually counts as ‘a Quentin Tarantino film’? Continue reading

Director Months: February – Abbas Kiarostami

taste-of-cherrySo, only two months in and I’m already behind on this, I’ve got to stick with it though, my aim is to publish these within the first week of the month, and I must try harder next time. Anyway, a couple of years ago I wrote a piece about what I considered my top ten movie “blind spots” – the most famous movies I had never seen. At the end of the list I wrote down a couple of names of famous directors who I hadn’t seen any films from, one of whom was acclaimed Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami. I had intended seeing all my blind spots to be a challenge for the following year but then unfortunately forgot all about it, though I might resurrect that post next month. I did want to include Kiarostami in my ‘director months’ project though, particularly after his death last year led to a number of articles highlighting his work, reminding me just how respected he was among critics and fellow directors. Continue reading

‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) Review

beauty beastI’ve made no secret of the fact that possibly my least favourite trend in studio cinema today is these live-action fairy-tale remakes. It’s particularly egregious that most of these inevitably are coming from Disney, who have all the money in the world yet apparently wish to just recycle their old material, slapping a fresh coat of paint on it to re-sell to the public on mass. This one though, was a little different; I have to admit that for the first time for one of these films I was mildly excited about seeing a new take on Beauty and the Beast. Not that I thought it was a good idea especially, just that the original was so ubiquitous when I was I kid I couldn’t help but get sucked in the moment the familiar tinkly piano refrain kicked in on the first teaser trailer. Continue reading