CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: T2: Trainspotting, Split, & xXx3

Trainspotting
3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
It’s no fun growing hold. Hair migrates, weight accrues, and you find yourself stuck in bad habits.

Unlike its predecessor, T2: Trainspotting is less concerned with one particular bad habit – heroin – and more with the myriad other ways in which an older, supposedly more mature human being can self-destruct.…

Silence brings Scorsese’s obsession with theology & suffering near miraculously to the surface

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
What is the worst thing you could do to yourself, and under what circumstance might such a thing be not only permitted but necessary?

This, in general terms, is the central question of Silence, a long-term passion project by Martin Scorsese and the latest of his works to tackle with the burden of religious conviction.…

Live By Night sits comfortably, if undistinguishedly, between polish and pulp

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Live By Night is a “lavish gangster epic” of the sort in which Hollywood used to specialize.

A throwback in more ways than one, it’s also an old-fashioned star vehicle for its director Ben Affleck.

Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (as was Affleck’s directorial debut), Live By Night sees the Boston native back on home turf — albeit a century out of time— as Joe Coughlin, a smooth stick-up artist who returns to America after the Great War.…

Collateral Beauty gets it as right as it can in service of a bad idea

2 Stars (2 / 5)
Collateral Beauty is a awards-baiting drama about three big-city advertising execs who come together to gas-light their grieving friend for the sake of a big payday.

Okay, so it’s not quite as a simple as that, morality-wise; a fact that the film is desperate to impress upon us.…

Assassin’s Creed: bored game

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)
It’s clear that Justin Kurtzel, director of Assassin’s Creed, didn’t want to make just any old video-game movie. In fact, it seems clear that he didn’t really want to make a video-game adaptation at all.

Indeed, that’s just about the only thing that is clear in this adaptation of the long-running Ubisoft franchise, which manages to drain all the fun from the premise.…