Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ReviewWhere The Force Awakens erred way too much on the side of nostalgia, Gareth Edwards’ superb Rogue One: A Star Wars Story cuts a much stronger line between old and new. For my money, it’s the best Star Wars movie yet. Granted, this is coming from someone who isn’t a particularly big fan of the franchise. Co-writers Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy have crafted a largely brilliant script, with credit to John Knoll and Gary Whitta for the story, that works both really well as a standalone film while tying into the universe’s overarching plots. Continue reading

The Squid and the Whale – The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

The Squid and the Whale Criterion Collection Blu-ray packshot sliceNoah Baumbach made his directorial debut with Kicking and Screaming at the age of 26 back in 1995, and followed it up two years later with Mr. Jealousy. Funding difficulties and work on other projects meant it would take another eight years before his third film came out, but it was well worth the wait. The Squid and the Whale was and remains one of the sharpest, funniest, and most lifelike films of this century, and it deserved so much more than the one Oscar nomination it received. Continue reading

Punch-Drunk Love – The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Punch-Drunk Love - The Criterion Collection Blu-ray ReviewAfter making the pretty heavy and hard-hitting Magnolia, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson turned his hand to something a bit lighter in the form of Punch-Drunk Love. The film weaves together a romantic comedy storyline with something a bit more dramatic, with a stand-out leading performance from Adam Sandler. Continue reading

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ReviewI should preface this by noting that I’m not a big fan of Harry Potter, the books or the films. My favourite things about the latter are the music, a small handful of characters, and some of the visual effects. In spite of this, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them managed to totally blow me away. It’s stunning. It sucked me into this captivating and visually spectacular world and held my attention from start to finish. Director David Yates, J.K. Rowling, and Warner Bros. have a huge, huge hit on their hands. Continue reading

LFF 2016: Bleed for This Review

Bleed for This Review - LFF 2016Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart deliver knock-out performances in Ben Younger’s true-story boxing drama, Bleed for This. It’s a powerful tale, and Younger has turned it into a thrilling and highly engaging watch, in large part thanks to the terrific leading duo. But unfortunately it also comes with a small handful of problems. Continue reading