Retro review – The Shining: Stanley Kubrick’s almost masterpiece

The Shining movie posterIn the words of Stanley Kubrick himself, it’s easy to make a good film, difficult to make a great one, and it takes a miracle to make a masterpiece. For many, The Shining (1980) sits firmly in that third group, a true masterpiece both of the horror genre and cinema at large.

You can imagine my excitement then, when I heard that my local Cineworld were hosting a limited screening of the remastered director’s cut of the film. Having been thoroughly terrified by The Shining during my first viewing well over 10 years ago, and with the upcoming release of its sequel Doctor Sleep only days away, I relished the chance to recapture the terror of the Overlook Hotel in remastered 4k. Continue reading

MM Retro Review: Grease

Grease movie posterGrease is not a good movie. Grease is not a particularly good musical either. By any ostensible measure of quality Grease is average at best, and that’s being generous. It is poorly structured, poorly plotted, and poorly made… and yet there is something undeniably infectious about it.

Just look at the showstopping “Greased Lightning” to see what I mean. I use the word showstopping because it’s a wonderfully cheesy musical set-piece, akin to Gene Kelly singing in the rain in Singin’ in the Rain. I also use the word showstopping because it literally stops the movie dead in its tracks. There’s no reason for “Greased Lightning” to exist in the context of the movie. The song doesn’t progress the plot in any meaningful way and we don’t learn anything new about the characters either. Continue reading

The Iron Giant review: Retro Review

The Iron Giant posterGiant alien-robots, laser beams, sci-fi, oh my! The Iron Giant has everything to capture the imaginations of young space fanatic viewers. But the movie also touches on darker themes older viewers will catch and appreciate. Themes of war time tension, nuclear weapons and death are sprinkled throughout the movie. These darker commentries  separates The Iron Giant to more than just an animated feature for the kiddies.

The Iron Giant is directed by Brad Bird, the writer behind Ratatouille (2007) and Up (2009) and was released in 1999. Most recently, Brad Bird is known for his work on the animated Incredibles 2. The movie features the voices of Eli Marienthal as the young Hogarth Hughes, Jennifer Aniston voicing Annie Hughes and Vin Diesel as the titular Iron Giant. Continue reading

Scrooged review “More than just a mediocre Christmas film”

Scrooged PosterChristmas films have a notoriety for being sickeningly happy. Everything is sugar and spice and everything nice from the off, sprinkling the holiday season with unattainable aims and memories that are ridiculously lacking in arguments.

Charles Dickens took Christmas and made a story that stood the test of time: one that started off dark, brooding and full of greed and ended on a, moderately sweet, high note. In 1988, a reworking of this tale, ‘A Christmas Carol‘, was released, starring Bill Murray and a whole lot of jokes. Continue reading