June 27th, 2017

Review: Manhattan

★★★ Manhattan has ensconsed itself as a classic and in many ways is the quintessential Woody Allen film with its gorgeous visual style and Gershwin score. But despite being delightfully self-defeating and witty it is also emotionally and intellectually muddled.

Film Review: What’s Up, Tiger Lily?

★★ A bizarre hodgepodge of broad humour, bad music and horrible voices, completely devoid of the incisive sensibility Allen would explore in his later work. History has mostly forgotten What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, and that’s probably a good thing.

Review: Killer Elite

★★ What a sad state of affairs it is when Robert De Niro’s name on a poster is an indication to stay away.

Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

★★★★ A bleak, disquieting excursion to the dark reaches of a woman’s dissatisfaction, Martha Marcy May Marlene is a character study as boldly unrelenting as its tongue twister title.

Review: Hugo

★★★★ Whether you know your Chaplins from your Keatons or not, the heartfelt wonder Hugo evokes for early cinema is relatable for even the most jaded of modern audiences.

Review: The Muppets

★★★★☆ Frank Oz may find it disrespectful to the legacy he has been quietly cheapening for the past 20 years, but whether you’re a Muppet fan or not The Muppets is a must-see movie, and would make for a fitting close to the Muppet story if the Walt Disney Company had the foresight to quit while they’re ahead.

Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

★★☆ While its contrasting colour motifs and unsettling visuals are beautifully shot and emotionally evocative, behind the facade We Need to Talk About Kevin is as emotionally bereft and oppressively miserable as its titular character.

Review: Moneyball

★★★☆ Adapting a book written by a finance journalist about sports statistics sounds like no easy task, but it’s made considerably easier when nestled amongst the DIPS, LIPS and PECOTAs of the book’s statistical analyses sits a classic Hollywood Bad News Bears rags-to-riches sporting tale.

Review: Drive

★★★★★ A nameless, taciturn auto mechanic with a shadowy past and superhuman driving ability makes his money running getaway cars for robberies.

Review: Take Shelter

★★★★ Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is content, at least outwardly. His relationship with his family – wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart) – is full of happiness, his job in construction pays well and gives him access to a great health insurance plan, and he works alongside his best mate using huge machinery to drill holes into the Earth. His daughter is deaf but they’re working on learning sign language and, thanks to his health insurance, she’s getting a bionic implant soon. There’s little more a man could ask for in financially and socially depressed America.