Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer, is as bad as you were probably expecting it to be. A nonsensical, uninteresting plot. A tone that sees the film never knowing what type of experience it wants to offer. A total lack of characters or development. Terrible, incomprehensible action. Pretty much across the board, Venom is a film that simply and unfortunately fails. Not even the manic charisma of Tom Hardy can rescue the film from leaving you bored and frustrated. Well, let’s get on with the (autopsy) review and explore just exactly where this film goes so wrong. Read more
Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, is certainly a fun summer blockbuster film. However, in the context of Star Wars, it feels largely unnecessary. There were certainly points in this film where I was wowed by the action and was fully engaged in the fun of it all, but there were still those moments where I wanted to do nothing more but plunge my head into my hands and try not to let my eyes roll fully out of my head. I’m conflicted when it comes to this film, but hopefully my review will help to clear up how I feel, while also letting you know if this is a film worth your time. So, let’s get on with the review. Read more
This year’s best picture category has some incredible films – seriously, this is such a strong year. I’ve been doing this for a long time; seeing every film nominated for best picture, reviewing them and then ranking them, and 2018 is the year in which I have had the most difficulty trying to rank the films (I’ve reordered my list over a dozen times; never feeling fully confident in my ranking of them). I could easily and happily give six of the films on this list the top spot. They all in different ways and for different reasons deserve the number 1 spot. So, it has been really challenging for me to try to figure out an order that saw nearly every film landing in the right spot on the list.
I think I’ve finally done it… I think I’m now comfortable with where each film has landed on the list. But I know that because of how good so many of these films are, that many people will ultimately disagree with my ranking. I want you to know that it pains me to have to give some of these films lower rankings – but what would be the point in listing them if I was just going to give most of them the top spot. So, let’s get past this rambling section where I try to justify my ranking, and get on with the reason you clicked on this piece in the first place. Here is my ranking of the best picture nominations. Read more
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, almost feels as if it’s towering over you, like a monument to the unfiltered failings of humanity – a monument that demands that you pay it the attention it deserves. You’ll find yourself happily willing to do this, because of how impressively balanced the film is; being both unforgivingly honest and also genuinely funny. Also because of its characters, who challenge you (on a multitude of levels), the performances that astound you, and multiple plot strands that have you hooked from the beginning and throughout. The film is one that you want to engage with, but also slightly fear. The levels of quality on show in this turbulent, challenging film, make it one I’m excited to write about, so come along as I review it, won’t you? Read more
War for the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves, is a film that is so full of a fulfilling emotional resonance and a defining central role in Caesar (Andy Serkis) that this is one of those films that leaves its mark on the summer blockbuster season and absolutely stands out from what is usually a pretty bland assortment of films. I’ve loved this new set of Planet of the Apes films since the beginning and I’m looking forward to breaking down this final instalment and exploring what it does well, but also what it struggles to fully succeed at. So, let’s find our way out of this intro and into the main review itself. Read more
The Duel, directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith, is an empty film; void of anything that intrigues or compels you to invest in this film. With a premise that doesn’t lead to anywhere satisfying and characters that play by the book and never really standout – The Duel is a film that just moves along unnoticed, until it inevitably ends. There are certainly some things to breakdown about this film, so let’s get that going. Read more
Triple 9, directed by John Hillcoat is a film that jumps headfirst into the raw reality of its world. This is a film that weaves a web of broken and messed up characters into a world that does not treat its inhabitants very kindly. Backed by tense action and its own rules – Triple 9 is a film that, whether you like it or not, brings you kicking and screaming into its scary environments. Read more