Blade Runner: 2049 Review

Visually, sonically, thematically, tonally, Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece is absolutely spot-on, mimicking the very particular look, sound and feel of the earlier film with eerie specificity. As with J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, which felt like Star Wars: A New Hope, this absolutely feels like Blade Runner, including buying into that film’s more ponderous aspects, and certainly into…

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review

John Denver’s Annie’s Song was used very prominently in this year’s Free Fire and Okja. His song Take Me Home Country Roads was used very prominently in Alien Covenant and Logan Lucky. Now, Kingsman: The Golden Circle uses both, very prominently. Channing Tatum was in Logan Lucky and is now in Kingsman. Co-incidence? I don’t think so. I think Matthew Vaughn, director and co-writer of Kingsman, is having a sly joke, and it’s perfectly in keeping with the tone…

47 Meters Down Review

Unlike last year’s fresh and visually gratifying The Shallows, this year’s shark indie takes place 47 Meters Down, and is very much the worse for it. Since our protagonists, young sisters-in-Mexico-but-now-in-trouble Kate (Claire Holt) and Lisa (Mandy Moore), are trapped in a shark cage 47 Meters Down, the atmosphere is underwater-gloomy, the sisters’ faces are obscured by their diving masks, and…

Mother! Review

Darren Aronofsky’s phantasmagoric fantasia on art, fame, success, religion, politics and the cult of celebrity erupts relentlessly and furiously. It is the angriest, most dynamic film I’ve seen this year, and probably the best film hailing from the US (although it seems to have been shot in Quebec). A fable or parable rather than a…

It Review

Contrary to the brilliant trailer-cutting department at Warner Bros., It is not a scary movie. What It is, is a young-teens-on-bikes small-town-USA ‘80s-set adventure yarn, like Netflix’s Stranger Things, with which It shares much in common. Stranger Things, as an intellectual exercise, imagines a Stephen King-like story as directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on a Stephen King novel and is directed in the style of…

American Made Review

The more you know about the connections between cocaine, the CIA and Central America in the early 1980s, the less fascinating American Made, Doug Liman’s contribution to the Coke-Dealer-In-Peril sub-genre, will be to you. If you know very little, the true subject matter alone will blow your mind. But even if you’ve hoovered up Cocaine…

Atomic Blonde Review

There are some movies you just can’t imagine with a different actor in the leading part. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, On The Waterfront, Raging Bull. The central performance carries these films, bears all their weight. So it is with Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, and she is magnificent. She lifts a…

The Big Sick Review

I’d given up on RomComs because it felt like RomComs had given up. Formulaic, uninspired, derivative, implausible and lacking in able and likeable talent (with the possible exception of Mila Kunis), RomComs for at least a decade (since Knocked Up) have been almost entirely crappy. But The Big Sick wins on every level. It has…