CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: The Great Wall & Trespass Against Us

The Great Wall

2 Stars (2 / 5)
To misquote the film’s tagline, “Three years, $150 million to make, what were they hoping to prove?”.

Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is at best a misguided curiosity – people kept trooping in and out of my screening like it was a visitor’s ward.…

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.…

Demolition puts too little value on the smashy-smashy

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Though his career goes back twenty years, including works as varied as ‘70s coming-out/coming-of-age story C.R.A.Z.Y. and prestige period drama The Young Victoria, fifty-three year-old Québécois director Jean-Marc Vallée has since become renowned for life-affirming tales of self-discovery in the wake of tragedy.

August: Osage County is an overstuffed goose of a family drama

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

August: Osage County opens amidst the hay bales of the American Midwest and with the words of T.S. Eliot – “Life is very long”.

The truest expression of this stage-play adaptation lies in the cramped confines of the Westen family’s plantation-style home and the words of W.B.…