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Review: Bastille Day

Posted by Matt Looker at 20:00 on 20 Apr 2016
Bastille Day
Will Idris Elba be Bond? Can he out-Bond Bond? Can Idris Elbond Bond the Bond Bond? Everyone's obsession with Idris becoming the next 007 (give it up - he's not too black, he's too old) has led to this film being treated like it’s his audition for the role just because he waves a gun around and runs about for a bit. And if it were that easy, they would have cast Elmer Fudd years ago. No, we need to treat this film on its own terms: as a slightly-better-than-generic action thriller with hilariously out-of-touch opinions about how social media works.

Review: The Jungle Book

Posted by Matt Looker at 13:30 on 15 Apr 2016
The Jungle Book
Will they... will they be singing? The 1967 classic animation is so embedded in the public consciousness that it's difficult to know what to expect from this live-action retelling. What will the life-like animals look like when they talk? Will Mowgli look just like cartoon Mowgli? Will Baloo at any point wear coconut shells and a hula skirt? And what of the songs? Those legendary earworms so infectious that it's going to be hard not to resort to punning references throughout this entire review? Thankfully, Jon Favreau delivers a film that is just as wonderful and captivating as that original classic, and he does so by concentrating on the bare n-... the basics. He concentrates on the basics.

Review: Miles Ahead

Posted by Ed Williamson at 09:00 on 14 Apr 2016
Miles Ahead
Miles Ahead is obviously an awful punning title for a Miles Davis biopic, like "The Biggie They Are, The Harder They Smalls" or something. Or so I thought until someone told me it was the name of one of his albums, which reveals how much I know about jazz and how much Miles Davis knew about good puns.

Review: Criminal

Posted by Becky Suter at 13:45 on 12 Apr 2016
Criminal
Everybody looks likes someone or something else in Criminal: Ryan Reynolds looks like a worried owl, Tommy Lee Jones looks like Maz Kanata and Kevin Costner is trying his best to channel Nicolas Cage. Even the film itself is trying to be a Bourne-style thriller, but instead is a weird mishmash of Self/Less and that episode of The Simpsons when Homer has a crayon stuck up his nose.

Review: Zootropolis

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:15 on 01 Apr 2016
Zootropolis
How many movies make up a renaissance? Without getting too hung up on terminology, I'm interested how we categorise, rank and file nascent movies - the age of this, the era of that etc. When does a hot streak cool into something of more substance? I only ask because Zootropolis is the latest in an increasingly long line of movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios that can rightfully call itself a classic. If you start with 2010's Tangled (and discount the still rather delightful 2011 Winnie The Pooh kiddy pic), that streak also includes Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and Big Hero 6, all movies with iconic characters, impressively progressive agendas, humour and heart. Shouldn't we be talking about this decade's body of Disney in more grandiose terms? Zootropolis represents the apex of Disney's sparkling Digital Age; a blissfully beautiful, adventurous and charismatic movie that's typical of the studio of late.

Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Posted by Matt Looker at 07:00 on 24 Mar 2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man.
By which, of course, I mean Zack Snyder, the all-powerful harbinger of wanton destruction, versus us, the humble cinema-goer, merely looking for some entertainment. Some cool stuff, for sure. Maybe even a joke of two. It's Student from the School of Michael Bay versus, say, Andy from Dagenham. Who will win?

Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Posted by Matt Looker at 07:00 on 18 Mar 2016
10 Cloverfield Lane
What a nice, interesting surprise. A Cloverfield sequel that nobody was expecting dropping a trailer out of nowhere and coming with a tantalising-yet-head-scratching title implying a connection to the first film that makes no sense whatsoever. I'm excited, but also... confused? Like a dog hearing somebody whistling on the TV. I have no idea what's about to come next, but it sounds fun.

And this, as it happens, is the film's greatest strength. Because there are so few films released now that make us feel like dogs hearing somebody whistle on the TV.

Review: London Has Fallen

Posted by Becky Suter at 14:00 on 02 Mar 2016
London Has Fallen
There are a few questions that spring to mind when watching London Has Fallen, the first one being WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO BLOW UP BIG BEN? The second; is Gerard Butler the luckiest man in show business? And if I’m going to round this out with a third, does Morgan Freeman just have a stock set of scenes of him against a green screen that he flogs to studios? I swear I haven’t seen him interact with another live being for nearly two years now.

Review: Deadpool

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:30 on 11 Feb 2016
Deadpool
You like to talk about tough superhero gigs. Thor was a tough gig. Mixing magic and mythology with grit and realism. Not easy. Guardians Of The Galaxy was a tough gig. Introducing an entirely new bunch of rogues unrelated to any existing properties. Tricky. Deadpool, however, is quite literally a tough gig: stepping up on stage to make with the laughs after being designated the 'funny' superhero movie. Like it's the one movie that has special dispensation to say what we all really think about superhero movies. That's a tough gig. What we ask of Deadpool is the movie equivalent of people who ask comedians to tell them a joke: a request to be funny on demand, on on our terms.

Review: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Posted by Matt Looker at 09:00 on 29 Jan 2016
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
A sunset bears down on an open field. Cloth rags blow in the wind. Two children run in slow motion through the long grass. A snag of material on a twig blows in the wind again. Oh, we're back to the sunset again, ok. Now some sheep are milling around for some reason. And now those children are running again. Aaand we're back to the sunset. Jesus Christ, Michael Bay, I get that you're using these establishing shots to build tension but it’s no wonder this film is 144 minutes long. This film should be 6-7 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. 8 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi max.
Out this week
+Bastille Day (15)
Read our review | All articles
+Miles Ahead (15)
Read our review
+Jane Got A Gun (15)
+Friend Request (15)
+Louder Than Bombs (15)