Free Fire (LFF Day 10)

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Say what you want about overvaulting cinematic ambitions – I’m looking at you, Terrence – it’s sometimes refreshing to see a talented filmmaker take on a simple concept and carry it off with flair and aplomb.

In the case of Free Fire, the latest from British auteur Ben Wheatley, the concept is this: the third-act shootout, with which any self-respecting crime thriller must surely culminate, instead kicks off less than twenty minutes in and occupies the rest of its ninety-minute run-time.…

Chappie: more bats**t conceptual sci-fi from Neil Blomkamp

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Forget about Paul Verhoeven. Step aside, the Wachowskis. There’s a new master in town when it comes to bats**t conceptual sci-fi.

South African director Neil Blomkamp is well known for his allegorical social commentary – apartheid in District 9, health care and the 1% in Elysium – but the underpinnings of Chappie are mainly philosophical.…

Spike Lee’s Oldboy is a criminally bland remake

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

There are many films that have no reason to exist besides turning an ill-conceived buck.

Transformers 4, for instance – now with 100% more Mark Wahlberg – or the upcoming Terminator reboot – as if the series’ timeline wasn’t convoluted enough already.…

Elysium is a gritty, high-in-the-sky moral fable

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

It’s probably premature on the strength of one film to call a filmmaker a genius.

Orson Welles might have earned that plaudit based on Citizen Kane or maybe Jean-Luc Goddard for A Bout De Souffle, Rob Reiner for This Is Spinal Tap, Pajit Ray for Pather Panchali, or Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs.…