Black Panther Review

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) ..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

After his intimate true-story debut Fruitvale Station, director Ryan Coogler made a huge leap up in terms of scale and scope for his Rocky sequel Creed without any visible strain. With Black Panther he’s pulled off the same trick again, taking his place in the unstoppable MCU by hitting the studio’s familiar beats with plentiful style while adding a bunch of new ingredients to the mix. The result is possibly the least Marvel-y Marvel film (though all of their 2017 output could lay similar claims) that earns its status as a genuine cultural phenomenon by not only being hugely entertaining, but an important milestone in black representation in big budget cinema.  Continue reading

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The Cloverfield Paradox Review – Slight Spoilers

Paradox

For a multitude of reasons, The Cloverfield Paradox is a major insight into the future of genre filmmaking. Firstly, its sudden surprise release (just 2 hours after the release of its first trailer) was a successfully bold marketing stunt that will undoubtedly be copied. Secondly, it marks out Netflix (with Mute and Annihilation also on the way) as the home for mid-budget, thoughtful sci-fi. And finally, with a black director and a WOC lead, it’s a clear step forward for its genre in terms of representation. Inevitably, the execution of the film itself doesn’t live up to the hullaballoo surrounding its existence, but this is still a fun sci-fi adventure, far better than the initial critical panning would suggest.  Continue reading

All the Money in the World Review

All Money World

Money and power corrupt those who wield them. It’s a near-indisputable fact at the heart of All the Money in the World’s stories, both on-screen and behind the scenes. Having to rapidly reshoot 22 scenes in order to excise exposed sexual abuser Kevin Spacey, a wealthy and powerful man who had used those privileges to get away with crimes for decades, All the Money in the World should by all rights be a mess. In its own way, Ridley Scott’s film (his second of 2017) is a bit of a jumble, but never when you’d expect it to be, Christopher Plummer’s last minute replacing of Spacey slotting in seamlessly.  Continue reading

My 20 Most Anticipated Films of 2018

20: Annihilation (Dir; Alex Garland, Starring; Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Release Date; 23 February)

2018 Garland

Though the first trailer for Annihilation only hinted at it, the second one for Alex Garland’s follow-up to Ex Machina fully embraced the promise of true trippy weirdness. Bizarre creatures and alternate dimensions are just some of what we can expect from this dark sci-fi journey led by a diverse and exciting cast.  Continue reading

My top 20 films of 2017

FloPo 2017

2017, for all its myriad horrendous flaws (including those finally outed in Hollywood itself), was an exceptional year for exceptional movies. I was utterly unable to round up just a top 10 of the 120 films I saw this year, as I’d just be leaving too much great stuff out. Even with 20, I’m still missing superb stuff like Lady BirdThe Death of Stalin, and Paddington 2, but here’s the countdown. Continue reading

Star Wars The Last Jedi Review

Last Jedi

Having seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi twice in rapid succession, I can safely say that much of it will most likely prove very divisive amongst the franchise’s hardcore fans. I can also safely say that one particular scene certainly won’t, the single greatest fight sequence in Star Wars history. It’s magnificently staged, expertly choreographed, and features a kill that’s simultaneously stunningly inventive and brutally simple. It’s one of many scenes where new writer-director Rian Johnson proves himself a more than worthy helmer of the middle chapter of this new saga and shows exactly why Disney has enough faith in Johnson to give him a Star Wars trilogy of his very own.  Continue reading

The Post Review

Post

Put together in a mere six months after external factors forced the indefinite delay of Steven Spielberg’s planned 2017 entry The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, The Post could not have found a more timely release. A news media hating president being brought low by high-quality journalism and incontrovertible truth and facts describes an ideal outcome for the USA in 2017, just as it did in 1971, when the Washington Post published the Pentagon Papers, turning the tide of public opinion against the Vietnam war. ‘Strike while the iron is hot’ filmmaking is a natural next step in this current prolific phase of the great director’s career, but also makes The Post too rushed to land with the weight it should.  Continue reading