REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok

It’s hardly the end of the world as we know it.

Let me preface this review by saying, first and foremost, that Thor: Ragnarok is a lot of fun.

That’s the thing most critics seem to have taken away from this latest instalment in the Marvel canon: that it’s fun, funny, loads of fun; just, like, the funnest.…

LFF Days 4-6: The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Voyage of Time, Bleed For This, Personal Shopper, & A Quiet Passion

Sorry for the delay if you’re trying to stay up-to-date on the London Film Festival. I’ve been a bit lax in getting it written up.

Even so, enjoy these capsule reviews of everything I saw over the course of Days 4-6.

Ponderous and imponderable, Knight of Cups is, like its protagonist, easily led

1 Stars (1 / 5)

 

Knight of Cups is a film you could drown in – a vast thematic ocean lapping against the distant shore of some grand, obscure vision. And I don’t have any f**king trunks.

As a director-philosopher (or should that be philosopher-director?), Terrence Malick has always experimented with the medium, but his latest work seems to mark the crossing of a conceptual Rubicon.…

Truth misses the point somewhat

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

“Are you now or have you ever been a liberal?”

This line that has appeared in two films this London Film Festival — the first being Trumbo, a biopic of the avowed leftie screenwriter who helped to bring down the blacklist.…

Carol is a transcendent plea for kindness and beauty

With sapphic romantic drama Carol, Todd Haynes confirms himself as a master of forbidden love.

In 2002’s Far From Heaven, stylized as a Sirkian ‘50s melodrama, he doubled down on issues of race and sexuality. Here, however, it all comes down to a single relationship between black-bobbed shop-girl Therese (Rooney Mara) and reluctant socialite Carol (Cate Blanchett), whose eyes meet across a crowded store one busy December morning.…

How To Train Your Dragon 2 soars high but carries little weight

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

When it comes to computer-animated family fun, the only real contender is Pixar.

Their main rival, Dreamworks, has been mostly reliant on a number of franchises: Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda. So far, though, they’re yet to produce anything to rival the artistry of Toy Story.…

European wartime romp The Monuments Men is nothing to write home about

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

On the face of it, The Monuments Men should make for a great piece of cinema.

A classic “men on a mission” movie set in the dying days of the Second World War, directed by the talented and starring the never-less-than-charming George Clooney, backed by a whole roster of recognizable actors?…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug loses its treasures amid ersatz

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Like a winged beast from the North, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is upon us.

Its predecessor, An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson’s first film as director since 2009’s The Lovely Bones and our first return to Middle-Earth in nine years – was notably not one of my favorite films of the previous year.…

Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is redolent of Streetcar but never feels like a ripoff

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Cate Blanchett goes Blanche Dubois in contemporary San Francisco.

In Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Blanchett stars as a fragile, nervy Southern Belle. Her performance seems to have been lifted wholesale from her 2008 appearance in Streetcar – and it’s cracking; an assured Oscar nom.…