Under The Sea
In a year of big-budget disappointments it’s nice to see the success of the little film that could. The Shallows is the small-time critical success you’re meant to treat yourself with once you’ve filled your pallet with larger scale films. Considering the offerings of 2016 thus far, I say skip the main meal and go straight for dessert. The Shallows has this amazing duality to it. At eighty-six minutes there should be more, but there doesn’t need to be. At once it’s all there, but at the same time it’s not and I can’t figure out how a film that constantly professes yet lacks so much can still be satisfying.
If This Supermarket's A'Rockin'...
What the hell did I just watch? — Somewhere in Hollywood two childhood friends were enjoying a joint (not confirmed, but trust me when I say they had to be stoned to come up with this one). One turned to the other in a haze and asked about the concept of sentient food products. From that impetus it took them eight years of back-and-forth with film studios before the script was deemed acceptable, and I think it was the orgy that got them over the line.
By now you’ve seen the film and read the reviews. Suicide Squad is the worst film ever created, or it’s misunderstood and you’re a fan-boy of another superhero outlet. According to both sides they’re definitively right. Meanwhile no one is arguing over the quality of this film based on its own merit. There seems to be this axe to grind with liking or loathing Suicide Squad, and as a viewer who will always remain impartial it’s infuriating to see it for myself and discover that, lo and behold, both sides are more concerned with advancing their own agenda over simply critiquing the damn film.
Bourne Again, Again, Again & Again
For the record, I probably should have watched the other Bourne films before seeing this, but Jason Bourne seems to give even less than a damn in regards to new viewers. Unless you have some inkling as to what’s going on you will be hopelessly lost in light references and the assumption that you know all there is to know about Jason Bourne. It’s partly my own fault as I have the DVD’s sitting on my shelf and I knew this film was coming up. The fact is they’ve never interested me that much, so I threw caution far, far away and hoped everything would make enough sense.
Star Trek Beyond Thunderdome
While Disney and Marvel make enough money to buy the spotlight and keep it on themselves, the others continue to fight over second place. Then there’s this other, other series that just doesn’t seem to care about the high-profile glitz. It shows great faith in its audience by not audaciously attracting attention to itself. It’s arguably the most reliable franchise out there today.
Smells Like Evil Spirits
Have you ever had nothing to say? We’re all film critics so we should all be big loudmouths, but I’m just a hopeless mess right now. It’s probably because I’ve just seen Lights Out, and it is eighty-one wishy-washy minutes of ‘meh’.
What Killed The Dinosaurs?
The efforts of those who create a successful animated feature for children is commendable. The work and talent that goes into developing and nurturing themes, balanced with accessible comedy while maintaining a strong narrative is insurmountable to the critical success of each release. A film that can reach both young and old alike is a strong indicator of quality, but the screenwriters and directors who make this happen aren’t necessarily at the forefront, so the work goes unassuming.
I Ain't Afraid Of No Reboot
The reboot to one of cinema’s shortest but most beloved film franchises has been mired in infamy since its announcement. The fan backlash has never been quite this incensed by what they believe to be personal vandalism. But the articulation of their argument is lacking. Curiously they’ve chosen the shrewd marketing aspect of Ghostbusters to specify their dissatisfaction.
Movie Dude Cinema Rewind: All The President's Men
The modern take on the phrase ‘based on a true story’ is something of a revelation. More than ever film-makers are taking to real-world experiences not for the story they tell but for thematic potential they possess. What’s delivered depends on the quality of interpretation. Creators with a firm grasp on these experiences can feed off the source without embellishing the narrative or characterisation. However, which true stories make for good cinema is an impossible guessing game that can only be determined by the time it’s too late to take it all back.
Mike & Dave Need Better Movies
There’s an indistinct charm about 90’s comedies that, despite themselves, gave it the old college try. That’s probably because they were all films about frat boys up to no good, with breasts as their co-pilot. At the time it was an inquisitive look (not that there was much to find) into teenage culture that preferred low brow sex jokes and toilet humour over cultivated wit and satire. The fad passed on when we grew up and recognised just how dumb it all was.
Movie Dude Quick Flicks: Beauty & The Beast, Mulan & Tarzan
Beauty & The Beast: This takes me back. It’s not the obvious that has me on a high level three nostalgia trip but the little things. The sound cues and the dictation of the voice actors are what drag me back some twenty-odd years. Then there’s the soundtrack, the insanely good performances and pretty much everything else that had me enjoying this as a child. Though piece it together as a live-action film and it’s more of a fantastical chick flick, I guess. Nevertheless, I may not be a Disney addict of any description but a second journey through Beauty & The Beast may just tip me over the edge. 8 of 10.
Movie Dude Series Special: Back To The Future
In today's sensationalised, saturated media the most popular trends are set by those with the limelight upon them. More than ever celebrities are at the forefront of trend-setting, but who sets the trends of the trend-setters? “Retro” is paradoxically a current fashion statement, from the ghastly-coloured clothing to every accessory that compliments it. The choices made by these trend-setters are easily identifiable by the pop culture references and fashion statements that have endured since yesteryear. Right now its the 1980's all over again, and Back To The Future is quintessentially apart of this era of retrospective pop culture.
Team America: Universal Police
The American film industry exists within a bubble. In fact every film industry does. The film-makers possess a narcissistic mentality, placing their industry squarely at the center of its own universe of creation, which translates through the films they produce. Standing on the outside it’s obvious that unless the creativity drill strikes a new reserve of inspiration (see 1996 in action blockbusters), the single, constantly used well will inevitably dry up. After that it’s a matter of rinse and repeat and Independence Day: Resurgence is a reiteration of this method.
DC V Marvel: Dawn Of Judgment
I’m not a comic book guy but I do enjoy the current crop of films that are being produced. Yes, I’m that guy; the one that purists detest. It’s a self-enforced limitation. Outside of their film counterparts I will never grasp these characters with the same comprehension. I’m naïve to the broad scope of criticism that can be leveled at Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. All I can do is arbitrate from the isolated perspective of a film reviewer. I realise that restriction, and so I choose to play to my strengths.
I Have Come To Clean Ze Deadpool
Comic book films are action-packed epics, but just so lighthearted the whole family can enjoy them, right? — Nope. Times are changing and those little superhero film fans are growing up. Their parents, who lack comprehension of the film rating system, haven’t adapted, but this is due to maintaining a convenient ignorance to the content of the comics upon which these films are based. They’ve been orienteering progressively to people of all ages for several generations, but hey, everybody’s got to have a vendetta…
This Space For Rent
I’ve never left a cinema having been profoundly affected by what I’ve just seen. Apart from my own personal hang-ups I can watch a film and not develop any lasting emotional affixations. It’s just not in my nature to take the extra baggage on board.
Eight Angry Men
Ever since I returned from my hiatus (wait, that’s a television term… I was in developmental hell…) I’ve been scrapping the proverbial bottom of the barrel. As late as that last sentence I’m still at a loss as to what I’m meant to be discussing. It’s actually quite concerning; am I out of ideas?
The Big & Short Of It
So, usually I’ve got bargain bin analogy that equates the themes of the film I’m watching with my own personal cinema-going experience. It may be ostentatious but it gives me something to write about.
Oscarman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of The Revenant)
The two biggest whores in the film industry, both looking for opposite modes of credence, are the cash-grabs and the Oscar darlings. But while we’re quick to jump down the throats of films that stretch their source material far too thinly just to make the money rain we just as soon assume the impetus behind the aspiring award winners is admirable.
The Force In Our Stars
I’m looking over my last couple of film reviews. Not to stroke my ego but because it’s been a long time between drinks. As I write this I’m finding settling back in to old habits rather tough. No matter what order I place the words I just can’t recapture the magic.
'Containment' Review: Cordon Sanitaire
Apologies for the absence as of late but I’m making it up to you in the form of another indie film I’ve been courted to review. I was under the impression that this time around things would be easier, but how foolish am I? I’ve encountered the same issue that’s caused a fair amount of my recent under-productivity: the inability to find anything to talk about…
There Once Was A Man From U.N.C.L.E
I saw The Man From U.N.C.L.E four days ago. It’s not because life reared its ugly head that I didn’t get onto the review straight away; I’ve been struggling beyond belief, trying to come up with some of my usual nonsense to sprout.