Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a film of many firsts. It’s the first solo cinematic outing for its titular heroine. It’s the first female-led superhero film in the new era of the global dominance of the comic book movie. It’s the first time since 2002 that a female director has been handed a budget of over $100 million dollars, with Patty Jenkins leading the charge – soon to be followed by Ava DuVernay (with A Wrinkle in Time) and Niki Caro (Mulan). And, most importantly, it’s the first genuinely good entry into the critically battered DCEU, a blast of fun and sincerity that is ever so refreshing in a world of brooding cynics in capes and quippy murderous antiheroes.  Continue reading

Hell or High Water Review

hell-high-water

As bank robbing brothers Toby and Tanner Howard (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) sit down at the offices of a trust fund to deposit some of their ill-gotten gains, an uneasy tension engulfs the room. It’s obvious that their money isn’t legitimate, and a pair of experienced detectives, Marcus Hamilton and Alberto Parker (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham), are hot on their tails. Yet, as it turns out, the manager (Kevin Rankin) is happy to take the risk in hiding the cash, calling the brothers’ scheme to pay back an oppressive mortgage with the banks’ own stolen money ‘the most Texan thing [he’s] ever seen.’ It’s just one of the many great character and atmosphere moments in David Mackenzie’s ode to the American South in his biggest film yet, Hell or High Water. Continue reading

Star Trek Beyond Review

Beyond

When JJ Abrams departed his rebooted Star Trek franchise to lead that other Star-based series into unprecedented global success, feelings were mixed. On one hand, Abrams had brought Star Trek to a whole new audience and made it a contender on a never-more-competitive blockbuster world stage. On the other, many die-hard Trekkies were glad to see the back of him, hating as they did (for reasons I can’t fully fathom) Into Darkness. Into the void stepped Justin Lin, the director best known for his work on the Fast and Furious films. With a really terrible first trailer, and Lin’s history of helming dumb and frenetic actioners, nervous anticipation defined the build up to the release of this third instalment, Star Trek Beyond. Continue reading

Into the Woods Early Review

INTO THE WOODS

 

In the modern era of blockbusters, almost all the studio tentpole releases seem to have a plan to join up with a series of other films in the hopes of creating a Cinematic Universe. Marvel launched theirs over the course of 4 years, DC is well on its way and Universal made an abortive attempt at combining their monster movies, starting with the flop that was Dracula Untold. However, one could say that this tradition was in fact launched in 1986 by Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim’s Avengers-style mash-up of Disney fairytales. This unique spin on these classic tales provide the basis for an energetic and strikingly shot film adaptation, which manages to just about overcome the inherent weaknesses of its genre through a very charming cast. Continue reading