Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, written and directed by Luc Besson, delivers a fantastical universe, filled with creatures, locations and set-pieces that dazzle the eyes. But… well that’s pretty much it. Valerian is a film bursting with things to look at, but beyond that there is a notable dearth of compelling content. So, is Luc Besson’s long envisioned project all show and no substance? Well, let’s explore that and more in my review. Read more
Atomic Blonde, directed by David Leitch, is a film with an infectious style. With its pulsating soundtrack, its vibrant colours, its delightfully brutal actions scenes and it all being within the backdrop of Berlin in 1989 – there’s much to gorge your senses on, in Atomic Blonde. However, the film doesn’t really go beyond that. There isn’t much depth for you to sink your teeth in to. But, does that diminish the overall experience? Well, let’s find out in this review. Read more
Kong: Skull Island, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, delivers an unexpectedly brilliant experience. I was forever amazed at just how enjoyable and fulfilling this films was; always delivering on what it set up and then building further upon it. This is a film that knows what it needed to do, and then went on to offer up, and achieve exactly what was needed. There are of course a few issues that pop up in the film – and they will be touched upon in this review – but for the most part, you have a monster movie that is more than what it could have simply been. And so, let’s jump on into the detailed review itself and see what it is that makes, Kong: Skull Island such a rewarding watch. Read more
So 2016 has been a mixed year in terms of films; the summer blockbuster season was… well a bust, and there have been a lot of films that haven’t fully hit the mark (for me). But, there have also been some real treasures – some films that have been absolutely exceptional; ones that I didn’t see coming. Now of course this is all about the films that for me, just couldn’t escape my head. The ones that burrowed themselves into my memory banks, set up shop, and politely – or sometimes quite forcefully – told me that they planned on being there for the long-haul. This was something I was completely okay with.
I suppose I should lay what you can expect from this piece, as I’m not intending for it to be the usual ‘Top 10’ lists that you’re going to be seeing around this time of year. What I want to do with this is not necessarily focus on what might be considered the absolute best-of-the best from 2016; the films that were perfect in their every effort and deserve to be recognised as the next masterpieces. This is more about me shining a light on some films that, for one reason or another (those reasons will be laid out in detail when I talk about each film) just had an effect on me, made it so that they stuck around and kept me thinking about them. The films are in no particular order, but my favourite film of 2016 will be in there somewhere. But don’t worry, you’ll know when that comes up.
I also want to point out that this list only contains films released in the UK in 2016. So films like, La La Land, Midnight, Manchester by the Sea, etc. films which everyone is singing the praises of, will not be contenders for this list. I want to keep it contained to only films released in UK cinemas in 2016. That way I can give everything a fair shot from this year.
So yeah, that’s what I intend to do with this piece. You’ll definitely recognise a lot of these films, and many other people will assuredly be talking about them, but I’m also hoping there will be 1-or-2 that slipped under your radar, and reading about them here gives you that little nudge to go watch them. So without further-a-due, let’s get into the films that stood out to me, and made their presence known, in 2016. Read more
Trumbo, directed by Jay Roach, is a film that feels like a missed opportunity. The sad irony is that this is a film that focuses on a brilliant screenplay writer, yet it is severely harmed by a script that leaves the film an incoherent mess at times; necessary information that is overlooked, characters that exist in underdeveloped obscurity, and a story that feels lost as to what it wants to focus on. There is quite a bit that sadly makes this film a taxing and confusing watch, so let’s explore what those problems are in this review. Read more
10 Cloverfield Lane, directed by Dan Trachtenberg, is a film that fully drops you into a situation in which you know as little as the main character, and then leaves you there to squirm. There is almost no moment of rest in 10 Cloverfield Lane – you will at all times be tensed up and worried about what might be around the next corner. This is a film that never once holds your hand, and along with its main character you will go on an unsettling journey to discover the truth of what is actually happening – it’s great! Read more