Film reviews and more

Film Review: The Whale

★★★★☆ American director Darren Aronofsky has made a career out of exploring individuals who are physically and psychologically self-destructing in the throes of obsession. It could be the relationship between the diameter and circumference of a circle; building a boat to avoid a genocidal flood; ballet or wrestling; drugs or food.

Film Review: Shadowplay

★★☆☆☆ After his girlfriend is killed in a brutal attack, former boxer and paramedic Jan (Milan Ondrík) falls into profound despair. Exploring themes of guilt, masculinity and justice, boxing-inflect crime film from Slovakian director Peter Bebjak shows much promise, but fails to coalesce into a coherent vision.

Film Review: January

★★★☆☆ Bulgarian documentarian Andrey Paounov turns his hand to fiction in this adaptation of Yordan Radichkov’s 1974 play. January is an intriguing, eerie, ponderous narrative set entirely within the confines of a forest cabin. Religious allegories, monochrome photography and folk horror trappings ensue.

Film Review: The Fabelmans

★★☆☆☆ Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans had all the ingredients to ascend as cinema’s new darling. Yet, as this semi-autobiographical film plods on, there is an unshakeable sense that in reaching for the stars, The Fabelmans instead lands somewhere more mediocre and disappointing.

What’s next for Netflix Games?

In 2022, Netflix promised to have fifty video games available to its subscribers by the end of the year. To its great credit, the streaming platform managed to achieve that lofty goal, despite ending a year still struggling from a massive stock crash that saw a third of its value wiped off in a single day.

Film Review: Holy Spider

★★★☆☆ Five years on from his neo-Scandi fairytale Border, Ali Abbasi returns with a noirish serial killer thriller. As we have come to expect from the Iranian-born director, Holy Spider combines genre thrills with social commentary, though its balance isn’t quite as finely tuned as much of his previous work.