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Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Posted by Ali Gray at 20:00 on 10 Jun 2018
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I am a Jurassic Park sequel apologist. I am a Jurassic sequapologist. There’s no shame in loving the original movie, obviously, and I maintain that Jurassic World was an unapologetic, fan-pleasing blockbuster that wanted to reach even farther than Michael Crichton’s visionary thinking. But the sequels? I am at war with myself. The Lost World sort of has some good bits? The birdcage bit in Jurassic Park III was cool, I guess? Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, sadly, is a different beast entirely: it is the first Jurassic movie I haven’t enjoyed unreservedly from the get-go. With the other duffers I’d eventually pick up on the flaws after multiple rewatches - this is the only Jurassic Park movie I’ll have to learn to love.

Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Posted by Matt Looker at 20:00 on 24 May 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Four films in four years of this newly rebooted output from a galaxy far, far away, and it’s safe to say that Star Wars fatigue might be setting in for some. While, in that time, there’s been plenty of new reasons to love and embrace and cheer on the franchise, does anyone still get the same goosebump thrill from yet another momentous money-shot moment for the Millennium Falcon? Does anyone still audibly chuckle as loudly as they used to at the mention of an obscure character thrown in the script just because? It’s ok to admit it. We’re all still fans. No one’s turning to the Dark Side and there’s no hate or anger here. But is anyone else getting the sense that their enthusiasm for Star Wars is being a little... diluted?

Review: Tully

Posted by Ed Williamson at 08:00 on 11 May 2018
Tully
There are no ugly people in Hollywood, and as such the idea of ugging-up a bit for a role has become a "brave" one. It puts you in the awards conversation, as though peeling off some make-up or yellowing your teeth a bit reveals depth. This involves an acknowledgement that the profound is an exception, and I suppose that the industry is therefore preoccupied by surface sheen. For actresses this proposition also suggests that to be beautiful is to be shallow, which is a bit rich, since if they aren't beautiful they aren't allowed in the door. I think Charlize Theron largely transcends this, but she remains most critically celebrated when she's made to look her least pretty.

Review: The Strangers: Prey At Night

Posted by Matt Looker at 22:00 on 08 May 2018
The Strangers: Prey At Night
If there is one movie trend that I just don’t understand, it’s the continuing popularity of generic horror. I don’t know if it’s because there’s comfort and familiarity in the formula or because some people just want to see blood and gore no matter what laziness gets them there, but there is obviously a massive audience for clichéd carnage. These are the kinds of people who think freaky masks are cool, who actively root for key characters to die horribly, and who think that the prey/pray pun in the title here is really quite clever.

Review: Avengers: Infinity War

Posted by Matt Looker at 07:00 on 25 Apr 2018
Avengers: Infinity War
In every way that matters – and it matters in every way – Avengers: Infinity War is basically the biggest movie ever. Ten years in the making, producing some of the highest grossing films on record and some of the most recognisable characters and franchises in the world, it’s astonishing that this climactic crossover event combining all of them in one big-screen adventure is even possible. What’s more astonishing is that it somehow meets every single impossible expectation you have for it.

Review: Journeyman

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:30 on 28 Mar 2018
Journeyman
Paddy Considine delivered a heart-stopping directorial debut with Tyrannosaur in 2011, the kind of grim, unforgettable movie that left dirt under your nails and needles under your skin. His long-awaited follow-up, boxing movie Journeyman, initially feels like it pulls its punches in comparison to its predecessor's savagery, but don't be fooled; the fancy shorts and bright lights of the ring dress up an equally complex story of recovery and redemption.

Review: Mom & Dad

Posted by Ali Gray at 16:30 on 26 Feb 2018
Mom & Dad
"They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad. They may not mean to, but they do." Philip Larkin couldn’t possibly have known his ode to parenthood would inspire a Nicolas Cage movie that scores full marks on the gurn-o-meter, but then Philip Larkin didn’t see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance coming, either. Brought to you by Brian Taylor, one half of the ADD-addled braintrust behind Crank and its sequel, horror thriller Mom & Dad is another high voltage romp that burns energy like it’s jacked into the mains with no intention of paying the bill.

Review: I, Tonya

Posted by Ali Gray at 16:00 on 25 Feb 2018
I, Tonya
I, Tonya is a great nostalgia trip, not just because of the cringeworthy nineties fashions, throwback tracks and hair disasters, but because it's a reminder of an analogue age when one simple celebrity scandal could dominate the entire news cycle for weeks and months on end. What a luxury that would be today: in the current climate, where world-shattering scandals materialise and evaporate in the blink of an eye, staying abreast of current affairs basically consists of putting a shotgun marked 'NEWS' in your mouth and pulling the trigger. The 90s white trash of I, Tonya does have something in common with the white trash of Trump's America: both are incredulous stories of idiots committing their crimes out in the open.

Review: Black Panther

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:15 on 09 Feb 2018
Black Panther
One thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe does not need more of is white privilege. Tony Stark with his billion dollar problems. Captain America with his government sanctioned patriotism. Thor, the blonde-haired blue-eyed Norse God with claims to the throne. Peter Quill, the self-appointment Star-Lord, the so-called guardian of the galaxy. We're good for white dudes. Arriving far too late to the party is King T'Challa, a storied hero from Africa with a rich heritage who is finally breaking the unremitting streak of white heroes on the Marvel payroll. Without wanting to disservice the people of colour who have served the MCU well to date - Anthony Mackie, Zoe Saldana and let's not forget Samuel L motherfucking Jackson - Black Panther is the character that the Marvel universe, the movie industry and the entire world needs right now. It's hard to imagine a more righteous movie arriving at a more necessary time.

Review: The Commuter

Posted by Ali Gray at 13:45 on 18 Jan 2018
The Commuter
Every January, Liam Neeson is parachuted into the mid-awards season slump, his brand of no-nonsense, cut-and-dried-in-90-minutes action thrills the perfect antidote to sludgy Oscar bait and the subsequent melange of self-consuming hot takes. His enemies are not the vaguely Eastern European drug dealers and criminals he fights on screen; his real opponents are Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Greta Gerwig. We cannot overlook the importance of having trashy movies exist alongside important movies: films like The Commuter are crucial to balance out the cinematic chi. Though Neeson's latest run-and-gunner will come and go in a single weekend, leaving nary a trace until he releases the exact same movie next January, it is an essential addition to your awards season watchlist. The Commuter should not be Taken 4: Granted.
Out this week
+Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (12A)
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