Film Review: Sisters

★★★★☆ Tina Fey and Amy Poehler pair up once more for the raucous quasi-Christmas comedy Sisters (2015). Penned by Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell and helmed by Pitch Perfect (2012) director Jason Moore, the comedy sees Poehler and Fey star as Maura and Kate Ellis, two siblings approaching middle age. Maura is a divorcee,…

DVD Review: Fantastic Four

★★☆☆☆ Whichever way you look at the negative buzz surrounding Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four (2015), it seems to have confirmed its fate before audiences could even see it. Admittedly, after the success of Trank’s debut feature Chronicle (2012), anticipation would be high and audiences are right to demand something special. It’s been widely reported that…

Film Review: ‘The Good Dinosaur’

★★★★★ From first-time feature director Peter Sohn, Disney Pixar’s latest The Good Dinosaur is a crowning triumph, blending jaw-dropping photorealistic animation with a heart-wrenchingly beautiful tale of friendship against the odds. When Inside Out was released earlier in the year, many thought that it was a sure bet for Best Animated Feature at the Academy…

Film Review: ‘Black Mass’

★★★☆☆ Scott Cooper’s real-life crime drama Black Mass (2015) is constantly trying to escape the looming shadow of past gangster cinema triumphs. It all too readily falls into the comfortable tropes of the genre whilst failing to provide a comprehensive and engaging biopic of one of Boston’s most notorious mob bosses. When it bowed at…

DVD Review: ‘Southpaw’

★★☆☆☆ When the first image for Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw (2015) was released online of a muscle-bound Jake Gyllenhaal audiences became very excited. The anticipation was in part due to the Gyllenhaal’s remarkable performance as the ghoulish Louis Bloom in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler (2014). The physical transformation from the wraith-like Bloom to Southpaw‘s central protagonist Billy…

DVD Review: ‘Inside Out’

★★★★☆ Pixar have knocked it out of the park with new film Inside Out (2015), which premièred at Cannes earlier this year. Directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen have crafted a cerebral comedy, loaded with smart, witty humour and a great deal of meta-emotional intelligence. The story opens with the birth of Riley. At…

Film Review: ‘The Perfect Guy’

★★☆☆☆ While not entirely devoid of merit, David M. Rosenthal’s trashy erotic thriller The Perfect Guy (2015) poorly imitates Fatal Attraction (1987) and Single White Female (1992), along with a hundred other examples of the genre that it has cherry-picked from. Sanaa Lathan is the suited and booted lobbyist Leah – although her character is…

Film Review: ‘My Nazi Legacy’

★★★★☆ David Evans’ My Nazi Legacy (2015) opens with a potent challenge – to imagine what it would be like to grow up as the child of a mass murderer. This hard proposal is just the beginning of what is a harrowing, complex documentary that expertly explores the legacy of the Holocaust through the intertwining history…

Film Review: ‘Steve Jobs’

★★★★☆ Since its announcement, press interest surrounding the latest film about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has been dominated by its writer Aaron Sorkin, who has dutifully offers a rich and textured screenplay. Contrastingly, its director Danny Boyle provides only the lightest of touches, with this refreshing biopic largely absent of his typical stylistic devices. There’s…

Film Review: ‘Spectre’

★★☆☆☆ “The dead are alive,” we’re informed at the start of Sam Mendes’ second Bond outing Spectre (2015), and there’s a definite sense that this 24th entry into the franchise is attempting to resurrect ghosts from the past. Sadly, it is far from successful. The action begins gliding through the bustling streets of Mexico City…

Film Review: ‘The Lobster’

★★★☆☆ There were few films at Cannes this year with as strange a central premise Yorgos Lanthimos’ first English language offering The Lobster (2015), written with his long-standing collaborator Efthymis Filippou. Bearing the macabre tone of his previous works Dogtooth (2008) and Alps (2011), Lanthimos plants the audience in a bizarre world where being single…

Film Review: ‘Suffragette’

★★★★☆ The ongoing battle for equality of the sexes is an issue that is constantly debated in the media – and rightly so. The sense that there’s still a great deal of work to be done in society is the message at the heart of Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette (2015), which follows a group of women…