Shared universes are all the rage now. Marvel, DC, the Potterverse and now get this – there’s even a Royalverse, where Judi Dench is the same Queen Victoria in her new movie as she was in Mrs Brown. There’s even a Netflix spin-off series about her great-granddaughter. It’s crazy – where do they get these ideas? Regardless, in Victoria And Abdul, director Stephen Frears wants us to believe that a crotchety old queen, Empress of a country she never visited, is the most tolerant person in a time when society was decidedly un-woke. And it’s all because she wants some hot young D.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 21:30 on 20 Sep 2017
The first Kingsman
movie made a stylish entrance at precisely the right time i.e. just as Bond movies were about to get rubbish again. Spectre
would go on to prove that being a secret agent was no laughing matter, and absolutely no silly business would be tolerated; Kingsman, on the other hand, was of the opinion that spies just wanna have fun, grasping hold of Moonraker's blunt end with a nudge and a wink and performing a passable karaoke cover of the Moore era's kitschiest hits. Unfortunately, that included the era's sexist horseshit: Kingsman signed off with a jarring anal sex joke that - if you'll pardon the single entendre - left behind a sour taste. The sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is of the very same caliber as its predecessor, in that it is ostensibly a fun, colourful and occasionally inventive action flick, but one that is nonetheless torpedoed by an off-colour joke so brazen and shameless it defies belief.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 07:30 on 11 Sep 2017
I've had nightmares like mother!, proper sweat-drenched, bolt-upright air-gaspers that have left me shaken for hours. The ones where ordinary, mundane events turn hellish in an instant. The ones where your loved ones are there too but they're in on the bad juju, their blank faces betraying the feverish insanity you feel. Mother!, the new movie from Darren Aronofsky, is the closest a film has ever come to replicating one of those bad dreams; how quickly the drip-drip-drip of reason gushes into madness, how helpless we are in the face of our own demons and how it's always the ones we love that hurt us most. That exclamation mark in the title does not signify a comedy - it's the kind you see shortly before you plummet off a cliff.
3D movies are a bit like the T-1000: you can knock them down, but they will keep getting back up. Killing time until the Avatar sequels
come out, James Cameron spent six months post-converting his 1991 classic to 3D, at the precise moment that major TV manufacturers announced they’re not going to make any more 3D TVs. You don’t need me to tell you that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is as close to perfect an action movie can get, so the question is: why bother with a rerelease? Fortunately the answer is simple: because it looks fricking awesome.
I'm sorry, the old Tom Cruise can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, because he's DEAD.
There was a time when seeing overtly racist characters on screen was shocking. I can remember real, genuine frustration on watching Mississippi Burning for the first time; actual anger that this happened, and useless, impotent white-saviour frustration that I couldn't do anything about it. Now that there's a global instant news network, events like Charlottesville play out and are documented in real time, and proud, gleefully stupid characters like Christopher Cantwell willingly offer themselves up as celebrity apologists for their empty ideology. So seeing racism on screen doesn't shock me like it used to.
After years of us all running hot and cold on Ryan Reynolds ("Van Wilder yay! Green Lantern
boo! The Proposal
yay! Shut up. Er… Green Lantern boo!"), it’s great that the success of Deadpool
has now finally shown us once and for all that he is an unquestionably talented comic genius. Now that this has been established, we can look forward to many, many films of Reynolds’ "What the fuck?!"-ing and "I know, right?"-ing in every cinema for several decades to come, safe in the knowledge that this is definitely what makes for a good, quality movie.
I'd have been cool if I lived in Berlin in the Cold War. You would've been too: we would've smoked constantly and worn elegantly distressed charity-shop peacoats and listened to Bowie in a Lada. Maybe we could've been happy there, you and me.
Since Maudie is a film whose hat hangs largely on its two main performances, and since the critics on the posters are starting to talk about Oscars for them, let's have a word about performances and whether there's any value in qualifying them.
Anyone who has read this site's review of Jupiter Ascending
or pretty much any of the Transformer films
will know that we tend to be more lenient than most when it comes to over-ambitious sci-fi epics. We forgive atrocious dialogue and overlong running times in order to reward dumb fun alien shit. So, frankly, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is lucky to have us, because this is a movie in which legendary filmmaker Luc Besson doesn't bother looking at the script twice nor his watch once while he continuously plays with an endless line-up of CGI distractions. This is him procrastinating with his own imagination in the same way that you or I would dick about on Twitter rather than get on with any real work. This is Luc Besson's Faff Element.