Cats review “What a way to end 2019”

Cats movie posterIt’s hard to think of a better director to helm a live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic stage musical, Cats, than Tom Hooper. Already with 2013’s Les Misérables under his belt and receiving critical acclaim (and an Oscar no less) from 2011’s The King’s Speech, he’s adept in this field of film-making.

Nevertheless, Cats has been under much scrutiny since its trailers debuted earlier this year, with criticism being levelled at the unusual choice of CGI to render a roster of famous faces as the titular felines. But is the finished product a new classic or a cat-astrophy? Continue reading

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker review “Wait a minute, that’s it?”

The Rise of Skywalker posterI don’t think it would be remiss of me to state that The Last Jedi was one of the most divisive blockbusters in recent memory. Sitting at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, it looks pretty good, but as we all know, that only tells half the story.

Sure, Rian Johnson’s space opera scored an overwhelmingly positive 91% from critics, but for audiences; aka Star Wars fans, it achieved just 43% based on over 200,000 ratings. On that scale, it is the lowest rated film in the series.

You see, Johnson had full control over the story and the direction of The Last Jedi after J.J Abrams introduced a new generation of sci-fi geeks to the Star Wars name with 2015’s huge hit, The Force Awakensand many felt that not only did it deviate too much away from Star Wars lore, it made some poor choices too. Continue reading

Jumanji: The Next Level review “A rare breed of sequel”

Jumanji: The Next Level posterSleeper hit: a term used in the entertainment industry for a film that plays successfully for a long period and becomes a big success, despite being a surprise to critics, audiences and industry analysts.

You could say that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the very definition of a sleeper hit. The first trailers were underwhelming, showcasing some ropey CGI, body swap comedy tropes and a lack of respect for the Robin Williams 1995 classic. Yet, in spite of all this, the film ended up grossing nearly $1billion worldwide.

Why? Well the film was actually pretty good. Sure, it wasn’t spectacular but a combination of a witty script, brilliant self-awareness and a roster of characters that were so well written they made Jack Black actually likeable, meant it shot straight to the top of the box office. Continue reading

Last Christmas review “The swansong George Michael deserved”

Last Christmas movie posterAfter a shoddily low amount of Christmas releases this year, Last Christmas feels like a twinkly fairy light shining in the dimmed light over older releases, bringing a fresh lease of life to the world of the Christmas movie. Written by the legendary Emma Thompson and Greg Wise, it explores Christmas through the eyes of George Michael’s music. Does it, however, give you the same feeling that the song Last Christmas does?

Last Christmas follows Kate, a lazy, grimy, unkempt woman, who works as an elf in an all year round Christmas shop. However, she has a dark past, and after overcoming a mysterious illness last year, she isn’t quite herself. After meeting Tom, a man described as having something ‘serial killery’ about him, Kate puts her trust in him to start the journey back to herself. Continue reading

The Irishman review “Scorsese treads no new ground”

The Irishman poster

Scorsese is back! But wait, it gets better… Following a 13-year hiatus from the gangster genre, he returns to the fold with a 3.5 hour-long epic starring all your favourite wise guys from the 80s and 90s. The Irishman, also titled I Heard You Paint Houses in the opening credits (there must have been some sort of mix-up in the marketing department), sees Robert De Niro return to Scorsese’s roll call as real-life gangster Frank Sheeran, a lorry driver turned crook made infamous by his association with the Bufalino crime family.

I must admit, after seeing the cast, the trailer and the reviews that followed, I was very excited as I sat down to watch The Irishman. Not only do we get a Scorsese gangster film, but we get a Scorsese gangster film with Harvey Keitel, we get Joe Pesci back from retirement and, to top it all off, we get De Niro and Pacino, two of Hollywood’s greatest actors, sharing screen time for only the third time in cinema history. Continue reading