2019 film in review – February (in progress)

Cold Pursuit

Released: February 22nd

Director: Hans Petter Moland

Writer: Frank Baldwin (based on Kim Fupz Aakeson’s In Order Of Disappearance)

Cast: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman, Emmy Rossum, Dominic Lombardozzi, Domenick Forsythe, John Doman, Tom Jackson

Cert: 15

Duration: 118 minutes

It’s been five years since icy black Norwegian comedy In Order Of Disappearance blew through cinemas.…

Spectre summons up the ghosts of the Bond franchise to diminishing returns

The evocatively titled Spectre, 24th installment of the Bond franchise, is a film steeped in continuity but light on originality.

While capitalizing on the back-story laid down for Daniel Craig’s super-spy in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall – the first incarnation of the character to have much by the way of continuity – it finds the time, over the course of 138 minutes – which also makes Spectre the longest film in the franchise – to riff on nearly every previous episode from the series’ 53 year history.…

Big Eyes: kitsch & sink art drama from Tim Burton

 

As a brand name director, there are certain things with associate with Tim Burton; a certain quaint creepiness and kooky charm.

More so than these things, however, Burton is known for his coterie: Big Eyes is his first live-action film since 1996 not to feature Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter, though composer Danny Elfman is still hanging on in there.…

For all its ideas, Zero Theorem is simply an entertaining zero-sum game

 

Terry Gilliam’s first film since the ill-fated, but enjoyable Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Zero Theorem showcases the former Python animator’s uniquely discordant worldview, as well as confirming Christoph Waltz as a supreme resource for any talented director.

The bald-headed, hunched-over, strangely grotesque Qohen is light years away from the smooth Hans Landa or charming Schultz.…

Django Unchained lets Tarantino loose with a bloody tale of race and revenge in antebellum America

Is there a more outwardly exciting director at work today than Quentin Tarantino?

It’s been three years since the release of Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s revisionist history cum Spaghetti Western account of Nazi killers and vengeful Jews in occupied France, and a further fifteen since he arguably created a whole new type of cinema with Pulp Fiction.…