Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review

Guardians 2 Mantis

With a subtitle of Volume 2, it should be immediately obvious that James Gunn’s follow up to his surprise smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy is not so much a sequel to the original’s story, but more a continuation and heightening of its mood. Doubling down on everything that made its predecessor such a unique and beloved blockbuster, from the jokes to the colour palette, it lacks the freshness of Guardians 1 but is still an absolute blast of a sequel that proves that the MCU is still more than willing to take risks as it extends its reach into the wider cosmos.  Continue reading

Joy Review

Joy

There’s a scene in Joy in which we see the childhood of the eponymous heroine, Joy Mangano (played as an adult by Jennifer Lawrence), and how it set her up to become the person we see for the majority of the film. In her family home, her means of escape from her humdrum reality is to build things, and in this sequence, we see her construct a farmhouse and some of its surrounding land with nothing but scissors and plenty of sheets of paper. It’s a key moment, showcasing not just the impressive talent of the child actor playing young Joy, Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, but also introducing us to Joy’s self-proclaimed superpower, the ability to not need a prince to live with her in this farmhouse.  Continue reading

American Sniper Early Review

americansniper

 

The sequence which I think can best sum up American Sniper is one in which our lead character is told that the shot he’s about to take is impossible. Naturally, he fires anyway, the camera tracks the bullet into the skull of his enemy. He and his squad are then bombarded with cannon fodder enemies before getting away scot free thanks to the timely intervention of some helicopter gunships. It’s the most videogame-y scene of the year, and its chest-pumping, bombastic, ‘America fuck yeah’ tone feels more at home in the latest Call of Duty game than an Oscar hopeful. Director Clint Eastwood has here brought an audience the equivalent of an American flag, a six-shooter and an apple pie all put together. If you were in any doubt about what the best country in the world is before the film, American Sniper does it’s absolute best to provide you with a definitive answer. Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

guardians

 

One of the most admirable things about Marvel Studios and the way they make their films is that they are all, in tone and genre, nicely distinct from one another. We’ve had our typical superheroics with Iron Man, fantasy with Thor and war and espionage with Captain America. Now, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s finest film to date, we are treated to a sci-fi comedy which succeeds on just about every level, with genuinely funny jokes (after Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street, it’s the third funniest film I’ve seen this year), astonishing special effects and world building, and an absolute plethora of references and easter eggs for the more die-hard comic fans.  Continue reading