REVIEW: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

3 Stars (3 / 5)
When, in 1977, Carly Simon sang “Nobody Does It Better” in reference to Britain’s favourite secret agent, 007, she couldn’t have foreseen the coming of Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton).

While the idea of a working-class lad OHMSS had been covered in slightly more low-key form of Harry Palmer,1 Matthew Vaughn’s comic-book-inspired Kingsman: The Secret Service was the first to do so while embracing the fundamental silliness of the whole super-spy concept.…

REVIEW GRAB-BAG: The Dark Tower, Logan Lucky, & The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Dark Tower

2 Stars (2 / 5)
Or How to Make Soup out of Stephen King’s Keystone Series.

In brief: Take an epic eight-book series inspired by both Lord of the Rings and Spaghetti Westerns,1 strip away the character and the uniqueness, boil down the mythology and the plot, and reduce to 95 minutes.…

Hail, Caesar! loses itself on the Hollywood backlot

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Everyone loves a good movie about the movies.

Hollywood’s fetish for self-mythologizing1 lends itself to tales of stardom2 and scathing satire3 alike, but few films imbue Tinseltown with the same glow or seeming reverence as the Coen Brothers’ latest.

The Hateful Eight: where does it stand in the QT lineup?

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Say what you want about his handling of race1 or his cribbing from other filmmakers2, but one thing’s certain about Quentin Tarantino: love him or hate him3, he’s one hell of a showman.

Jupiter Ascending aims for the stars and ends up burying itself

1 Stars (1 / 5)

 

Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

By the same token, any sufficiently misconceived work of science fiction is apparently indistinguishable from utter bollocks. Case in point: the Wachowski’s latest bloated epic, Jupiter Ascending; a film that substitutes the interconnectedness of the flawed but ambitious Cloud Atlas for a story with just as much scope and infinitely less point.…

Foxcatcher is a frigid masterpiece about the pursuit of championship

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

Of all the things to confront in life, failure is perhaps the hardest.

How it reflects on us, and we on it, and our desperation to avoid it are universal facts of human existence. Foxcatcher is the second title to feature at this year’s London Film Festival that can be aptly summarized as a “psychotic coach drama” – the first being Whiplash; though the two films are in many ways polar opposites.…

22 Jump Street is a chip off the new block

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Is there any genre quite as enjoyably predictable as the buddy cop movie?

Two officers –one straitlaced, the other a maverick – forced to team up, only to form, despite, or perhaps because of their differences, an abiding friendship.…

GI Joe: Retaliation is a “Strikes Back” no one asked for

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Cinematic adaptations of beloved 1980s toy lines are not generally renowned for their artistic qualities.

Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise may have grossed more money than the GDP of most South American nations, but its eye-popping action was more migraine-inducing than Avatar-immersive.…