Jurassic Park: Franchise Reviews

Adam Brannon HeadshotForeword by Adam Brannon. In a new series, I look through an entire back catalogue of films to bring you Franchise Reviews. These weekly articles will review each flick in a particular movie series in under 100 words per film – trust me it’s harder than it looks.

To inaugurate the series, I’m taking a look back at Jurassic Park and its four films. What better way to begin. I hope you enjoy them. Continue reading

“DC gets it right*” Wonder Woman review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyBy Adam Brannon. * almost. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Wonder Woman is alright because it’s been directed by a woman, or that it’s the most progressive superhero film of the last decade. No, neither of those things are true.

However, the titular superhero, played superbly by Gal Gadot stars in by far the best film in the ever-expanding DC Universe – though with Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman as stablemates, that really isn’t saying much. Continue reading

“Plot twist, it’s actually good” Split review

Split review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 15

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nIt would be like M. Night Shyamalan to throw an out-of-nowhere, poorly telegraphed plot twist into reality itself.

There he was. Hollywood’s very own Icarus. Once called the new Stanley Kubrick after two knockout classics and one overrated but still alright flick, now one of the most popular punchlines in cinema history, a man who has no editing process in his own head and will let any idea get to paper without consideration of its worth.

It is a cautionary tale of what happens when an artist is told so early in his career that he is untouchable, and then continues to believe it long after the rest of the world changes its mind. Continue reading

“A lesson for film-makers” La La Land review

La La Land review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 12A

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nScriptwriters! Directors! Anyone who works in film! Are you reading? Well, of course you are, the only reason movie reviews exist is to stroke your egos. I have some special advice for you, one storyteller to another. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Now, allow me to put my advice in patronising capital letters.


I am sick and tired of moviemakers who forget that film is a visual medium. I play video games, and by far the worst part of any video game is when I’m not allowed to play the game anymore while a mini-movie tells me what the plot is. Every gamer hates that bit! So why is it acceptable for films to start thinking that they’re books? Continue reading

“You Being The First is the Money” The Handmaiden review

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nThe Handmaiden review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: TBC

Park Chan-wook is possibly a lunatic. You might not be familiar with his name, but you’ve definitely heard of Old Boy. If you haven’t seen Old Boy, by the way, I will hunt you down and eat your soul. But yeah, the man has a brand of insanity that is hard to place. His stories are all skeevy, with a violent and sexual edge that makes most of his films difficult to watch, but he then breaks it up with goofy slapstick. It’s like if Charles Manson made the Looney Tunes.

Take his most recent film, The Handmaiden. Wikipedia describes it as “an erotic psychological thriller”, but some of these scenes wouldn’t go amiss in a Minions picture. There are several pratfalls, an artist looking to his student to find an embarrassing stick figure on her canvas, and the main character stopping someone from hanging themselves and then dropping them while distracted. If the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme was in this, this would be the best comedy of the year. Continue reading