Oscars 2017 (Electric Shadows podcast)

Rob Daniel & myself do an early morning post-Oscars review after staying all night to watch the ceremony. The highs, the lows, the biggest gaffe in Oscar history, we chat all about it here. Jimmy Kimmel did a great job, the (possibly staged) Celebrity Zoo was a bizarre misfire, and damn… that ending.

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: A Cure For Wellness & Patriots Day

A Cure For Wellness
1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

A Cure For Wellness is a film I wish was better.

A psychological horror with grandiose ambitions, it stars Dane DeHaan as Lockhart, a callow young stockbroker with ice-chip eyes dispatched to retrieve his company’s CEO from a remote “wellness center” in the Swiss Alps.…

Wellness, Wick, & The Founder (Electric Shadows podcast)

In Episode 18 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Rob Daniel & myself pay tribute to the Hollywood legend, the sorely missed Bill Paxton.

We also turn a critical eye toward Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness, lock n’ load with John Wick: Chapter 2 and get stuck into tasty McDonald’s biopic The Founder; boasting a fantastic lead performance from Michael Keaton.…

Hidden Figures: three women, one important historical course correction

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Progress comes in many forms, both self-evident and obscure.

For every grand act of public heroism or defiance that makes it into the history books, seeking to set up a new beachhead of progression, there are million moments of quiet, often unacknowledged toil; individually chipping away at the bedrock of prejudice.…

John Wick: Chapter 2 shows a franchise in no danger of burning out

4 Stars (4 / 5)
He might not be exactly Shakespearean in his conception, but the character of John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is, at heart, an absurdly tragic one.

The world’s deadliest assassin, his attempt to settle down to an ordinary life is made impossible; first, by the death of his wife, and, second, by the theft of his beloved car and the murder of his dog.…

Fences: a sturdily constructed acting masterclass

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Denzel Washington is not a man who chooses his projects lightly.

Even a consistent run of by-the-numbers actioners – 2 GunsThe EqualizerThe Magnificent Seven – have, in recent years, served as vehicles for his charm and gravitas; only helping to ensure his elder statesman status.…

The Founder is lean and flavorsome; a hearty meal perfectly portioned

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Imagine a burger – the best no-frills burger you’ve ever had. Imagine the bun; slightly crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy within. Imagine a thick, juicy patty cooked to perfection. Exactly two pickles; a dab of onion.

2017 Movie Kickstart (Electric Shadows podcast)

Mr. Rob Daniel & myself look through films that have kicked off 2017: T2: Trainspotting, Assassin’s Creed, Jackie, Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge, and Silence. And Rogue One (review pending)! And there’s some La La Land talk.

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: The Lego Batman Movie, Toni Erdmann, & Gold

The Lego Batman Movie

3 Stars (3 / 5)
“All important movies start with a black screen…”

If there’s one thing you can say about The Lego Batman Movie, it’s that it’s very self-aware. Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very self-aware.

The Unknown Girl: unsatisfying mystery, impressive empathy

3 Stars (3 / 5)
Sherlock Holmes was a doctor – or at least the real-life inspiration for him was, Dr. Joseph Bell; a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, at which Conan Doyle trained.

From that fertile wellspring there are, of course, innumerable adaptations, both period and modern, as well as House, weekly detective stories well-disguised as a medical procedural.…