Tea With The Dames (2018) – There Is Nothing Like A Dame

Released: 2nd May
Seen: 7th December (Catch-Up Screening)

There is a style of documentary that always feels a little bit strange to me, I call it the capture conversation documentary, these are documentaries that just put a bunch of people in a room and have them just talk. We don’t cut away, it’s not a talking head piece but it’s a film where the people on screen converse as though there isn’t a camera there and we’re a fly on the wall to this discussion. It feels odd because that kind of thing isn’t genuine, these people would never be sitting in a perfect semi-circle and decide amongst themselves to talk about films that they had been in together or about the state of industry when they were young, things that they probably haven’t thought about in ages and certainly wouldn’t be talking about in this manner. So for a film to take this idea and find a way to not only make it feel natural but to also be willing to mock the facade that they’ve put up as part of the framework of this style of documentary is something special.

Continue reading “Tea With The Dames (2018) – There Is Nothing Like A Dame”

Death Wish (2018) – What A Waste Of A Wish

Released: 2nd March
Seen: 6th December (Catch-Up Screening)

During the ’70s and 80’s, there was a series of films called Death Wish where Charles Bronson played a father whose wife and child were attacked in a home invasion and ended up becoming a vigilante to try and put an end to the injustice in the town. While the series was never a hit with critics, audiences ate it up because it was a revenge story that acted as a little bit of escapism, the idea that any man could pick up a gun and save the town was enticing and managed to endure long enough for a run of sequels that became Charles Bronson’s most famous role. So, what if someone took that cult series of films and polished it up to look mostly acceptable and then threw in an actor with no charm, charisma or ability to move at a speed above a lethargic snail with back problems? Yeah… this is not going to be fun.

Continue reading “Death Wish (2018) – What A Waste Of A Wish”

Mom and Dad (2018) – Hello Murder, Hello Furder

Released: 19th January
Seen: 4th December (Catch-Up Screening)

This year might be the best year Nicolas Cage has had in a very long time, this year he’s put his names on such amazing films as Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, Mandy and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse, films where he’s been allowed to have a lot of fun and either deliver a really clever vocal performance or just be the pure maniacal insane man we kind of love. Mom and Dad combines both of those performance styles for what is arguably his best role of the year, and one of the most delightfully dark films in recent memory.

Continue reading “Mom and Dad (2018) – Hello Murder, Hello Furder”

Overlord (2018) – 100 Nazi Scalps!

Released: 6th December
Seen: 3rd December (Advanced Screening)

One of the great joys of doing this is getting to really see some intense hard-hitting films. As I slowly start to finish out 2018 I look back and think about the hard intense thrillers, the powerful dramas, the deep explorations of the human psyche that I have sat through for the last 12 months and after all that it’s about time that I got to have a nice simple movie that I could switch my brain off during and just enjoy for its visceral delight in being over the top… and Overlord provided me exactly that.

Continue reading “Overlord (2018) – 100 Nazi Scalps!”

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – Does Whatever A Spider Can

Released: 13th December
Seen: 2nd December (Advanced Screening)

This year has been particularly good for superhero movies, possibly the best that we’ve had since Marvel decided they wanted to take over the cinematic landscape. From truly important cultural milestones like Black Panther, to displays of just what the genre is capable of like The Avengers, to silly little parody films that I still can’t even begin to get enough of like Teen Titan’s Go To The Movies, it’s safe to say this year has been an absolute boon time for the Superhero movie… and now we get to throw Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse into that pantheon of truly great superhero movies.

Continue reading “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – Does Whatever A Spider Can”

The Grinch (2018) – You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch

Released: 29th November
Seen: 29th November

The month of December’s a fabulous thing
There’s joy in the air and carols to sing
The lights are hung high upon every roof thatch
And stores sell their toys in many a batch
And down in the cinema, some of the time
Sits a pretentious reviewer, thinking in rhyme
(Yes, we’re doing this. What did you expect?
To give up on this gimmick, that would be neglect)

Continue reading “The Grinch (2018) – You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch”

Summer Of 84 (2018) – Way WAY Before Nirvana

Released: 10th August
Seen: 28th November

Official Trailer for Summer of 84

One of the fascinating things about pop-culture, particularly the impact nostalgia plays on it, is something known as the 30-year cycle. To get a good explanation of this you need to look at Lindsay Ellis’ video essay Stranger Things, IT and the Upside Down of Nostalgia but basically, this cycle is why we’re seeing so many 80’s style content in pop culture recently. Not only is it why shows and movies like, well, Stranger Things and It are getting such buzz and are hitting something special in the audience, it also explains things like the stylistic choices of Thor: Ragnarok or the throwback nature of Mandy. The nature of the 30-year cycle lends itself really well to the horror genre, especially now since that 30-year cycle means we’re seeing echoes of one of the golden ages in horror. Summer of 84 capitalises on that and its echoes of a distant cinematic past are loud, vibrant and engaging.

Continue reading “Summer Of 84 (2018) – Way WAY Before Nirvana”