“The 2nd best Star Wars film” Rogue One review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyRogue One: A Star Wars Story review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: 12A

The Star Wars universe just got a whole lot bigger. When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was announced by Disney a couple of years ago, diehard fans of the sci-fi saga met the news with a huge dose of scepticism.

After all, the prequel trilogy was an unmitigated disaster, doing all it could to destroy not only the greatest villain in the history of film, but the series itself. Then Gareth Edwards was announced as director, whose film credits include the brilliant Monsters and Godzilla, which was critically praised but received a lukewarm reception publically.

THEN Disney announced the film was undergoing “heavy” reshoots to its first cut, reportedly due to executives being unhappy with the finished product’s tone.

So it’s clear that it’s not been plain sailing for Rogue One, but that headline isn’t a misprint – the finished article is just that damn good. But why? Continue reading

“Thrilling from start to finish” Arrival review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyArrival film review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: 12A

Sci-fi seems to be having somewhat of a renaissance recently, that is, if you don’t count Independence Day: Resurgence which could’ve easily derailed the whole genre, never mind just the franchise.

What with last year’s The Martian, the rebirth of Star Wars and the upcoming Passengers, sci-fi is really getting its mojo back. The subject of this review, Arrival, has been hailed as a masterpiece across the Atlantic. But is it worthy of such a strong adjective? Continue reading

“The margherita pizza of boxing drama” Southpaw review

SOUTHPAW   (UK CERT: 15)

Director: Antoine Fuqua  

Music: James Horner

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker


REVIEW AUTHOR: Rob Stoakes

Copyright: The Weinstein Company

Copyright: The Weinstein Company

The sports genre of films is widely mocked for being formulaic. Team of scrappy underdogs, 2, 3, surly disgraced trainer, 3, 4, it’s so bad that even the parodies are in their own sub-genre. But other sports films are downright experimental next to movies about boxing. Quick quiz, which boxing drama am I talking about right now? A down-on-their-luck (white) boxer with anger management problems is in financial straits after a personal tragedy, and goes to a run-down gym ran by a bitter old man who could’ve been a great boxer himself if it weren’t for bad luck. The boxer needs to learn to be more defensive and calmer, slowly taking control of his life once more along the way, and it all culminates in a big fight in Vegas with the thuggish and wife-beating (not-white) reigning champion. Continue reading