‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ review
Has the El Royale seen anything but bad times? We hope the answer is no. Otherwise, what’s the damn point of a film. Last seen receiving acclaim for the slightly overrated ‘The Martian’, writer-director Drew Goddard is now overseeing a thriller that is way more ambitious than it needs to be.
When 'Hereditary' hit its peak in an unmissable moment that petrifies the soul, I was thrust through a torrid gateway to a suffocating dimension of childhood regret and trauma. If you are anything like me, chances are you were seized by palpitations and fits as an unforgiving bout PTSD took hold.
There’s a scene in 'Venom' in which Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, a hapless investigative reporter, enters a high-end restaurant looking for his ex-girlfriend, Anne (Michelle Williams). He’s recently bonded with the titular symbiote after some espionage gone wrong and he thinks he is going insane.
'First Reformed' Review
There are Christian films, tons of them actually; largely dogmatic, largely cosmetic. Then there are films about Christianity; films that probe at the faith and calling many of us, including myself, hold dear with a confluence of cinematic dexterity and earnest spirituality. Paul Schrader’s powerful ‘First Reformed’ is firmly in the latter; unrelenting its exploration of the faith’s failings examined through the journey of a character who treads a tortured suffocating path of enlightenment.
'A Simple Favor' Review
Watching Blake Lively in the Paul Feig directed ‘A Simple Favor’, she finally came across as the woman who calls Ryan Reynolds her better half. She plays this snide martini-toting fashionista PR exec in this enjoyable "black comedy" which thrives on strong central performances but befuddles with its willfully schizophrenic tone, in this adaptation of a Darcey Bell novel.
'The Predator' Review
Yes, 'The Predator' is a bit of a mess. Given Shane Black’s involvement, it pains me to admit this. It scores points for being a passable piece of counter-programming following months of largely PG-13 fare. But that's not enough to match my high expectations.
Spike Lee is in top form for his latest joint,‘BlacKkKlansman’, and America seems to have caught up with his alarms and rhetoric on race some 30 years after 'Do The Right Thing'. It’s a shame it took a toxic mass of agent orange in a Three Piece Suit for it to hit home.
‘A Prayer Before Dawn’ Review
Intimacy. That’s the surprising sentiment that rung in my head after seeing ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’, an immersive prison drama based on a true story which charts a man's tortured path to redemption. It is expertly told in the way it projects relations between characters that soothe and revile; comfort and violate.
'You Were Never Really Here' Review
Just under 90 minutes. That’s all the brilliant Lynne Ramsay needs to construct here frenzied cinematic figurine in ‘You Were Never Really Here’, which harnesses a mood evoking Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' whilst strongly channeling Scorsese’s 'Taxi Driver'. At its core lies a painful longing for innocence in desperately hellish times examined on the canvas of a hitman thriller.
'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Review
I’m a little envious of kids today. Judging by the fifth Jurassic movie, 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom', it's clear they are unlikely to wake up drenched in sweat and palpitating after being hounded by a T-Rex or a Raptor. When did the T-Rex become our friend? When did we get to a point where a Raptor swoops in to save the day? I guess this is the point that separates the last two Jurassic movies from their predecessors. 2015's 'Jurassic World' set the new tone and 'Fallen Kingdom' doubles down on it.