Star Wars: The Last Jedi – review

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After the the let-down that was George Lucas’s much-maligned prequel trilogy, the Star Wars franchise got firmly back on track with 2015’s hugely enjoyable The Force Awakens, which was both a critical and commercial success. Unsurprisingly as a result the hype around follow-up The Last Jedi, helmed and written by Looper director Rian Johnson, has been ferocious. But despite some spectacular moments this over-long and under-engaging sequel singularly fails to live up to expectations.  Continue reading “Star Wars: The Last Jedi – review”

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Call Me By Your Name – review

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Call Me By Your Name, the wonderful new coming-of-age drama from Italian director Luca Guadagnino, exudes a seductive sensuality from every pore. Set in northern Italy during the early 1980s, it offers a vision of an Italian countryside summertime so vibrant and lush you can practically feel the sun beating down, the warm breeze blowing through the orchards, the cool lake water, the cobblestones underfoot. Even if Call My By Your Name weren’t a terrific piece of cinema – and it very much is – it could still have functioned perfectly well as a Visit Italy video. Continue reading “Call Me By Your Name – review”

Thor: Ragnarok – review

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The Chris Hemsworth-starring Thor series, about an inter-dimensional Norse god from the realm of Asgard who occasionally teams up with Captain America to fight evil, has always been, frankly, a little difficult to take seriously. Now with Thor: Ragnarok, the third movie in the franchise (and seemingly the billionth comic  book film this year), its creators finally seem to be admitting that fact. Like Evil Dead 2 and 21 Jump Street before it, Ragnarok reboots the series as a straight-up comedy – and is all the better for it.  Continue reading “Thor: Ragnarok – review”

Blade Runner 2049 – review

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Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, a grandly ambitious slow-burning sci-fi, received rave reviews on its release last year, the critics charmed by its intelligence and thoughtful approach. Yet I found myself underwhelmed by it, turned off by its absurd and trite final act. His new film, Blade Runner 2049, is history repeated in more ways than one. A follow-up to the 1982 classic Blade Runner, in which Harrison Ford’s cop hunted rogue android ‘replicants’ across a dystopian near-future Los Angeles, Blade Runner 2049 is on occasion genuinely captivating, yet ultimately begins to wear out its welcome.  Continue reading “Blade Runner 2049 – review”

IT – review

Stephen King’s 1986 novel IT, and particularly its Tim Curry-starring 1990 TV adaptation, helped create a whole generation of coulrophobes thanks to its creepy central villain, Pennywise the dancing clown. Now Andy Muschietti’s feature film adaptation of the lengthy book’s first half (a sequel covering the second half is in production) aims to reignite those fears all over.  Continue reading “IT – review”

Dunkirk – review

Christopher Nolan has directed some spectacular films over the years but his last feature – the tedious, bloated and seemingly endless sci-fi snoozefest Interstellar – was, without exaggeration, one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. So for the first time in the career of a director I’ve always admired, I approached Dunkirk with something like trepidation. Was Interstellar just a blip, or was it indicative of a director who’d lost his touch?

I needn’t have worried. Dunkirk is a simply extraordinary piece of film-making. Continue reading “Dunkirk – review”