High Flying Bird review “So much more than just another sports movie”

High Flying Bird posterNetflix movies have been gradually moving up the movie food chain. From the outrage that surrounded Beast of No Nation‘s Oscar snub, to recent awards darling, Roma, scooping up the majority of the awards and nominations at most shows, it’s easy to see that Netflix isn’t a foe to be ignored. Their latest release, High Flying Bird, directed by Steven Soderbergh of Erin Brockovich fame, and written by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), it isn’t hard to expect quite a lot from this movie.

It follows Ray, a sports agent, as he navigates an NBA lockout with his rookie client, Erick. With a star-studded cast and a team that is, arguably, overqualified to orchestrate such a simple plot, Netflix looks as though they’re onto a winner. Continue reading

Home Again review “Shallow and contrived”

Home Again posterWatching Home Again is an experience akin to drinking an entire bottle of a Muscat-Blanc. It’s deliciously sweet and gets you all giddy to begin with but ultimately you’re going to wake up  with a head-ache. The debut feature from Hallie Meyers-Shyer, daughter of the genre empress Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, continues the family tradition of the perky female rom-com with a keen eye for soft furnishings and pristine kitchen-ware.

Alice (Reese Witherspoon) plays a recently separated mother of two going through a bit of a rough patch. By rough patch I mean that she is unable to truly express herself in her work as an interior designer, whilst living in a plush LA mansion she inherited (along with a comfortable bank account) from her deceased millionaire father, who was once the darling of old Hollywood gentry. Because you know, money isn’t everything. Continue reading

Alita: Battle Angel review “A visual spectacle”

Alita: Battle Angel movie posterIt’s always a worry when a production company feels the need to force feed you the fact that a big-name is in a relatively minor role. In the case of Alita: Battle Angel, 20th Century Fox have been hammering home the fact that James Cameron is involved in a Producer capacity.

You have to feel a little sorry for director Robert Rodriguez as his name has been almost usurped by Cameron’s in the marketing push for this live-action adaptation of the classic manga. Of course, Cameron is too busy making the four Avatar sequels no-one actually cares about anymore and instead, entrusted his vision for Alita: Battle Angel to Rodriguez. He’s certainly an intriguing choice of director, but does the finished product work? Continue reading

Velvet Buzzsaw review “Death as an art form”

Velvet Buzzsaw posterHere I thought we had seen the final Final Destination. Evidently, that was not true as Velvet Buzzsaw has made its way to Netflix, with a surprisingly huge amount of talent both in front of and behind the camera including the acting talents of Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, and Daveed Diggs, as well as the directorial and writing strengths of Dan Gilroy, who most people know of his Nightcrawler fame

When I stumbled upon the trailer for this film mere days ago, I immediately got super excited. Not only are Nightcrawler and Roman J. Israel Esq. two of my favorite movies, but as a legitimate fan of the Final Destination franchise, I was quite excited for it. February 1st, I sat down and watched it, and I was… disappointing. Let’s not wait any longer though and just get into Velvet Buzzsaw. Continue reading

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World review “A fitting franchise closer”

How to Train Your Dragon 3 posterOf all the oddly specific sub-genres out there my personal favourite is, without a doubt, the “boy and his (insert strange creature that they befriend here)” coming-of-age film. In these films a child, usually a boy but sometimes a girl, finds a strange fantasy or science-fiction creature that is not of this world who they form an unlikely bond with.

It’s a sub-genre whose catalogue includes great films like E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, Pete’s Dragon and Flight of the Navigator. Whole franchises are built out of it; the Pokémon movies the live-action Transformers (especially the recent Bumblebee) are just two examples. If I had to choose a personal favourite it would be The Iron Giant. If I had to choose a second favourite it would be 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon. Continue reading