TL;DR – Hidden Figures is an amazing film about our past and very much relevant in our present, that when you oppress people it holds everyone back.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Straight from the start, I should say I love movies about space, the history, NASA, the satellites, probes, and rockets, I watched the Curiosity landing even though it was very early in the morning here. So what I am saying is Hidden Figures, much like The Martian & The Dish, is a film that automatically peaks my interest before I make it to the cinema. This means that I have to be really careful when reviewing these films to make sure I am being objective and not just getting caught up in my joy of the subject material, but even with a cautious approach Hidden Figures still knocks it out of the park, or knocks it into orbit, or, wait no I think I am starting to mix metaphors here.
TL;DR – A beautiful story of loss, exploitation, grief, and trying to find out what home means, in the absence of any real information of where it could be.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
It might be one of those universal experiences, you’re walking through a shopping centre, theme park, city street, etc. with your parents and then you look up and realise you don’t know where they are. That feeling of being lost as a real and palpable fear and thankfully for most of us it short lived. However, this is not the case for Saroo, indeed for Saroo it was not a momentary fear, for him it was a life changing event. Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierley (Sunny Pawar & Dev Patel) who one day after working in rural India with his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), joins him on a train ride to a nearby settlement so Guddu can find some night work for them to help their mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) who works as a labourer to make ends meet. Then Saroo ends up getting stuck on a train which is not going to the next station, but instead travelling 1500km to Calcutta, a place where no one speaks the same language, and as you are five years old as far as you know your mum’s name is ‘mum’. This is a heartbreaking tale of loss, exploitation, and the struggle to find what home means. Now due to the nature of the film, its structure and the very nature that it is based off a true story it becomes quite hard to talk about aspects of the film without discussing the second half of the film. So for this reason from here on into the end, a SPOILER warning is now in place.
TL;DR – Hacksaw Ridge might be one of the best war movies I have ever seen, stunning visuals, a strong cast and emotive storytelling, I highly recommend going to see Hacksaw Ridge
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
So here we are in 2016, the Cubs are doing well at baseball, England voted to leave the European Union, and I’m talking about a Mel Gibson directed film which may just be my film of the year … ok at this point we all just have to agree that 2016 has been a really weird year. But strange as it may be, nothing can take away from the power that is Hacksaw Ridge, it is a stunning film, but also a really emotional film, and all of that comes down to the amazing power of the cast, the work of Mel Gibson with direction, and the rest of the crew in producing such a powerful film. Continue reading →
TL;DR – It’s not a bad film, but it is more boring that it should be given the exciting subject material.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Edward Snowden is one of those people that invokes a very polarising response from the general public, he’s either a hero or a villain, a patriot or a traitor with very little grey room floating around. Now when I first heard they were doing a movie about Snowden, I was really quite interested because as part of my day job I have actually taught about these issues like intelligence gathering, Five Eyes, Media etc. Also, the original documentary Citizenfour by Laura Poitras is an amazingly well-constructed documentary, informative while being thoroughly engaging, and truly worthy of the Oscar it received last year. So I was able to go see Snowden and how was the final product? … well um … unfortunately, it’s just a bit boring. Continue reading →
TL;DR – It’s an interesting film, well-acted, and produced, but if you have seen any of the recent films in this genre, or on the same themes, namely greed, then you will probably guess how this one plays out.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
War Dogs is many things, it’s a subversive film underscoring the incompetence of the Bush/Cheney government in both starting and managing the Iraq War, it’s a modern interpretation of the classic morality tale, it’s the proving ground for one of the most weirdly obnoxious laughs in movie history, and it’s the personification of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition in movie form. Continue reading →
TL;DR – This is a film I should not like because it has many of the problems that usually frustrate me, but somehow it charmed me, and in the end I have to say I really liked Whisky Tango Foxtrot.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a really interesting film for a number of reasons, it has Tina Fey in her first real attempt to move into more dramatic roles, it is dealing with the aftermath of the War in Afghanistan post-Iraq when everyone forgot about it, it is analysing the culture that gets created in such a weird situation of extremes, and also because it engages in so many of the things that I dislike in films yet I still really like it for some reason. Continue reading →
TL;DR – The next time someone tells me they have made/watched a ‘feel good film’ I will ask them if it is as good as Eddie the Eagle, and the answer will be ‘probably not’.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Review – Eddie the Eagle tells the ‘true story’ of Eddie Edwards a British Ski Jumper trying to get into the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. As he fights snobbish British officials, snarky Scandinavian jumpers, and an alcoholic coach, the question – is will he make it!, well, of course, you can cheat and Google the answer ‘cause it is history yo, but let’s not for a moment because this is a truly great little film. Continue reading →