Not only has establishing the DC Extended Universe proved to be an arduous task with the numerous flops threatening to be a deadly counterweight to the one big hit the current film franchise managed to land with Wonder Woman this summer, the production of Justice League itself has also been tumultuous, to say the least. When Zack Snyder decided to step down from Justice League due to the tragic loss of his daughter, Joss Whedon stepped in to cover for Snyder, helming a substantial amount of re-shoots. Among DC fans, concerns understandably grew that Warner Bros. were simply trying to imitate the Marvel formula by bringing in the director of The Avengers, but while it is for better and most definitely also worse easy to see which elements Whedon has been in charge of, Justice League overwhelmingly comes across as the vision of a Snyder who has reined in his preference for angsty bleakness and muted colors and instead attempted to create a more vibrant film with more of a comic book feel than his previous DCEU offerings.
Continue reading “Review: Justice League”
So-called slice-of-life cinema may not be everyone’s idea of a fun time at the movies, but for those who enjoy films that seek to engage its audience by making them reflect on human themes they may or may not already be familiar with, such films have time and time again proven to be incredibly rewarding cinematic experiences. Much like Moonlight won the hearts of critics and moviegoers alike thanks to its impressive performances, excellent cinematography and heartbreakingly relevant story, The Florida Project finds itself in a similar vein. While Moonlight is arguably the stronger film of the two, it is perfectly understandable why Sean Baker’s latest effort has been compared to the most recent Best Picture winner, just as The Florida Project has also created a substantial amount of awards buzz already.
Continue reading “Review: The Florida Project”
From subversive World World II comics to Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump parody on Saturday Night Live, political satire has long been an integral part of the pop-cultural landscape, serving as a cathartic breath of fresh air during trying times. As Armando Iannucci has proved with previous directorial and writing efforts such as The Thick of It, In The Loop and Veep, he is no stranger to this type of satire, but while his previous offerings have focused on contemporary scenarios, The Death of Stalin concerns a gruesome time period that is thankfully a thing of the past. Satirizing such a serious subject may seem like a problematic or insensitive choice to some, but as any good satirist will tell you, it is often within the most volatile political situations the most impactful satire lies, as true satire highlights the absurdity without neglecting the severity.
Continue reading “Review: The Death of Stalin”
So-called Nordic Noir has been all the rage in recent years, with crime drama shows such as The Killing and The Bridge thrilling and chilling audiences across the globe with that specifically Scandinavian brand of incredibly dark, but highly realistic mystery. Aside from the popular TV shows, books by authors such as Jo Nesbø have been equally successful, and it was therefore only a question of time before one of Nesbø’s stories about detective Harry Hole would be adapted for either the small or the big screen. In the cinematic adaptation of The Snowman, Michael Fassbender portrays Harry Hole, the protagonist of several of Nesbø’s books, and Rebecca Ferguson plays his crime-solving counterpart as Katrine Bratt in a production lead by director Tomas Alfredson, effectively marrying talent of both Hollywood and Scandinavia alike.
Continue reading “Review: The Snowman”
At the beginning of this millennium, British horror cinema brought a series of highly memorable offerings to the table. From the heart-stopping terror of The Descent to the hilarious Shaun of the Dead and the suspenseful Dog Soldiers, British horror was very much back on the map after the 90’s had been ruled by the American meta slasher. With The Ritual, many remarked that the trailer suggested that the tone and theme of the film would be similar to that of The Blair Witch Project. While the film does indeed feature a small group of individuals who experience increasingly terrifying events after they get lost in a forest littered with strange symbols and objects, The Ritual is fortunately entirely its own entity thanks to the source material penned by Adam Nevill.
Continue reading “Review: The Ritual”
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner has continued to intrigue and engage audiences since its initial release, and the dystopic neo-noir is widely considered one of the most influential films of all time. As the years passed and more alternative cuts were released, the film increasingly raised more questions than it answered, making fans eager for a sequel, and almost two decades after it went into development, Blade Runner 2049 has finally arrived. In the current climate of reboots and franchises galore, many were understandably concerned about which direction the new film would take, but Denis Villeneuve thankfully puts these concerns to rest, as Blade Runner 2049 not only is an incredibly impressive sequel to Blade Runner, it is also one of the best sequels ever made.
Continue reading “Review: Blade Runner 2049”
Written in a fevered frenzy over a period of five days, writer and director Darren Aronofsky has described writing the script for Mother! as a fever dream, which is coincidentally also a rather apt description of what it feels like to watch his latest effort. As seen from the point of view of lead Jennifer Lawrence for the majority of its runtime, Mother! tells a strange, yet compelling story that is incredibly confrontational not only in terms of its cinematography and imagery, but also in terms of how it challenges the viewer. By dealing with themes such as privacy, idolatry and the pitfalls of interpersonal relationships, the viewer’s own perceptions become part of the viewing experience, which makes watching the film a very subjective affair.
Continue reading “Review: Mother!”