Surrealist Realism in Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River” – An Essay / Review

Gosling’s directorial debut is a surreal, poetic and radical work that deserves real plaudits for its ambition alone – ★★★★


A(nother) Brief Hiatus

In a bit, guys!

Review: The Gambler (2015)

Mark Wahlberg plays his usual arrogant self in a joyless, mundane film that refuses to take risks – ★★

Review: Foxcatcher (2015)

There’s an emotional disconnect and lack of authenticity that prevents this superbly-acted film from achieving the greatness it so desperately strives for – ★★½

Review: American Sniper (2015)

It flirts fleetingly with the moral ambiguities and devastating psychological effects of war, but none of this is enough to salvage this overtly-jingoistic work from frustrating mediocrity – ★★½

Review: Wild (2015)

It struggles to shake off the shackles of its “White Woman Problems” genre, but Wild‘s exploration of guilt, grief and regret is powerful stuff indeed – ★★★½

Review: Tak3n (2015)

Tak3ng th3 prov3rbial. If I see a worse action film than this in 2015, I’ll be both surprised and disgusted… – ★

Review: The Theory of Everything (2015)

Jones steals the show with her honest portrayal of a woman struggling with guilt. Alas, nothing can halt the slow, unspectacular march of Anthony McCarten’s perfunctory screenplay – ★★

Review: Birdman (2015)

Keaton, Norton and Stone dazzle in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s excoriating assault on modern celebrity culture and the consumers who worship at its altar – ★★★★

The Year in Review: Top 20 Films of 2014

Based on UK release date, my top 20 films of 2014.

Review: The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game struggles to strike the right tone in its latter half, but as a celebration of Alan Turing’s life, it’s a highly effective piece of cinema – ★★★★

Classic Movies: Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard isn’t just the best action film of all time, it’s also the best Christmas film of all time. Here’s why – ★★★★★

Review: The Drop (2014)

You’ve seen The Drop many times before, but to its credit it does what it does very well indeed – ★★★

Review: Life Itself (2014)

Affectionate, honest and informative, Life Itself serves as a fitting tribute to Roger Ebert’s admirable legacy – ★★★½

Review: Paddington (2014)

Paddington wears its heart and its values on its sleeve, thus making it one of the most politically relevant films of the year… no, seriously! – ★★½

Review: The Skeleton Twins (2014)

With its honest, unromanticised portrayal of depression and mental illness, The Skeleton Twins is immensely admirable, despite some avoidable narrative flaws – ★★★

Review: Say When (2014)

Say When is as conventional and pedestrian as you probably expect. If you’re into that kind of film, then you might enjoy it – ★★½

TV Review: The Walking Dead – Coda (S5, E8)

Intense, uncertain and devastating, “Coda” marks a fitting end to one of the best half-seasons of The Walking Dead to date – ★★★★

Review: Annabelle (2014)

An apartment block setting and a cheap reference to Sharon Tate’s murder do not a successful Rosemary’s Baby rip-off make, as Annabelle proves – ★½

Review: Dracula Untold (2014)

“Untold” is how Dracula Untold should’ve remained… – ★★

Review: Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar, though admirable, is little more than the cinematic equivalent of watching a director whose reach far exceeds his grasp furiously masturbating at you without ever achieving a satisfactory climax – ★★

TV Review: The Walking Dead – Self Help (S5, E5)

“Self Help” addresses a number of character development issues, but it does so in a way that feels a little too familiar – ★★½

Review: Mr. Turner (2014)

Mike Leigh, like Turner, is a true artist – a master of his form – and it is his passion for the project that prevents Mr Turner from becoming yet another soulless, humdrum biopic – ★★★½

TV Review: Doctor Who – Death in Heaven (S8, E12)

Inconsistent, problematic, but with moments of brilliance, “Death in Heaven” is a rather fitting conclusion to Series 8 – ★★★

Review: Fury (2014)

David Ayer deserves plaudits for his uncomprising approach to Fury, but his direction and screenplay both lack purpose and meaning – ★★★

Review: Ouija (2014)

Eye-rollingly stupid and banal to the point of analgesic, Ouija is offensive, retrograde, sub-gothic garbage – ★

Review: The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook doesn’t always work, but it taps into the most fundamental human fears and explores them in a way that is fresh and intriguing – ★★★

The New American Nightmare in Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” – An Essay / Review

Some thoughts on the demise and perversion of the American Dream in relation to Dan Gilroy’s exquisite directorial debut Nightcrawler.

TV Review: Doctor Who – Dark Water (S8, E11)

“Dark Water” is Moffat at his darkest and most deliciously morbid, and it lays some fierce foundations for the finale still to come – ★★★★

Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

Not even a cynical sociopath like me can deny that Alexander and the Yadda, Yadda, Yadda is both funny and charming, particularly in a year that has so far been simply dreadful for children’s cinema – ★★★