“A triumph of social horror” Get Out review

Get Out review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 15

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nSocial horror is a dying genre, and no it’s not how I feel when I awkwardly try to interact with other human beings. No, horror where the scary aspect comes from or inspired by a societal issue. When communism was about there were tonnes of them, like The Thing, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and any of George Romero’s films.

Now, though, it seems like when the Berlin Wall fell it took this subgenre with it, and now all we have is that rubbish Straw Dogs remake and A Serbian Film, where the commentary on nationalism and European film culture is kind of hard to focus on when the main character puts his <censored> in the <censored> drugged while his son’s <censored> with an eye socket. Also, really cool beards. However, the genre could rise again like the undead, at least if we get some more films as good as Get Out. Continue reading

“A tale as old as time” Beauty & the Beast review

Beauty & the Beast review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: PG

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyWhichever big wig down at Disney decided it would be a good idea to remake all of their animated classics using live-action is surely due a massive promotion. The studio’s reputation is soaring after the acquisition of Marvel and Lucasfilm and this new way of thinking is paying off at the box office.

Last year’s The Jungle Book earned just shy of $1billion worldwide, their Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken upwards of $5billion and don’t get me started on Star Wars. Continuing the studio’s trend of remaking their animated features is Beauty & the Beast, but does this modern day reimagining of a fairly modern classic conjure up memories of 1991? Continue reading

“Beauty and the Beast” Kong: Skull Island review

Kong: Skull Island review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: 12A

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyThe fact that Legendary Pictures are busying themselves with an epic Godzilla vs King Kong showdown is one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood. Naturally, this presented a problem for Peter Jackson’s Kong who simply doesn’t measure up against the giant lizard in 2013’s Godzilla.

And in Hollywood, size really does matter; therefore the monstrous ape has been given a monumental upgrade featuring an all-star cast and some serious talent behind the camera. But is Kong: Skull Island as bananas as its trailers would suggest? Or are we looking at something a little more mainstream?

Continue reading

“Crème Fraiche on a microwave hotdog” Fences review

Fences review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 12A

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nThe Oscars are a marketing gimmick!

There, we’ve got it out of the way. Everything that you’ve secretly and cynically suspected about the Oscars is horribly correct.

It is a multi-million advertising campaign where the winners are primarily the films that want promoting as decided by a room full of old farts with increasingly out-of-date ideas who were all bribed for the privilege of watching movies. Continue reading

“Second verse, same as the first” John Wick: Chapter 2 review

John Wick: Chapter 2 review – by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 15

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nIt all comes full circle. Long-time readers of this fair website will know that I joined the fold in 2015 and my first review was for a ho-hum little “best action movie in years” called John Wick. Now we just need a sequel to Big Game and a really disappointing Avengers movie and the cycle will begin once again.

But yes, John Wick. One could make a convincing argument that it is the ultimate action movie as far as the nuts and bolts go. It’s got a simple, easy to understand plot that’s set up in less than ten minutes, the protagonist is sympathetic without being soppy and the villains detestable without being unentertaining, the action is crisp and clean and the violence takes place in varied locales with different styles, intensities and spots. So, all those things modern action films have forgotten how to do. Continue reading