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


 

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

 

“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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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.…