• Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    Do you want a fun kid's film with a comprehensible plot, adorable character designs and a smidge of charisma? No?

    Well, do you instead want a film that spends most of its run time laboriously indicating when you should and shouldn't feel sad, despite never putting in the most basic work to flesh out or establish its characters beyond lazy sign-posting? A film whose renditions of Pokémon range from cute to frankly abominable? In fact, do you want a film…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    Not seen it, not gonna watch it. Just wanna get my opinion out there.

  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

    Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

    Austin Powers 1 = "Yeah baby!"
    Austin Power 2 = "No baby!"

  • xXx: Return of Xander Cage
  • xXx

    xXx

    Asia Argento :~)

  • xXx: State of the Union

    xXx: State of the Union

    Hard to put into words how pants this film is. One action scene has Darius Stone and bad-guy Alabama 'Bama' Cobb* trade quips on walkie talkies while Stone slowly navigates a tank around a military compound, glacially dodging rockets from another tank. The music tells you it's a high-octane life-or-death situation, but everything else screams farce.

    The final action scene—perhaps one of the worst I have ever seen in my life—has Stone chase after a 'Presidential bullet train' in a…

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    Slow, listless. Relateable, no doubt due to the craft of the crew and the veracity of the feelings presented, but also due to the general lack of character much of the film had. It's only really in the dinner with Gabe that we see some of the main character's personality shine through the shell of anxiety that hangs around her for most of the film. I don't doubt this was intentional, but watching a visual document of this experience—an experience…

  • Prisoners

    Prisoners

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Gyllenhaal's protrayal of Loki is absolutely fascinating to me, from his autistic tics to his role as part plot-mover and part plot-stasis-device. It's unusual for a detective character to have to do as much pastoral work as Loki: managing the expectations of the grieving families, willing them to do right and to wait patiently. In fact, it's even more unusual that Loki's initial response to most information/stimuli is to block it out.

    Three examples. First, Loki discards almost everything that…

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★½

    Annoying and try-hard, but not in a clever meta-way, just in an annoying and try-hard way. The more I reflect on it, the more I realise that what I initially took as a soft-but-mocking take on vapid overly-rich lib kids, was actually an earnest portrayal of them and their plights—ew!

    Look, I'm working-class and British, so I'm rarely going to find a perfect analogue of my experience in American coming-of-age films... and yet, I related to nothing at all in…

  • Akira

    Akira

    ★★★★

    Hey, you know what I loved so much about this? It's a film that centres around kids; immature kids.

    You see this most clearly in the small moments: when Yamagata dies and Kaneda deals with his grief by driving his deceased friend's bike head-on into the side of a bridge so it can 'be with him'; or when Kaneda furiously shouts at the military that Tetsuo is his friend, and so if anyone should get to kill Tetsuo it should…

  • F9

    F9

    ★★★★★

    What do you think of when you hear a film described as 'challenging'? Perhaps you think of a stereotypical art-house film. A film whose narrative is so implicit and fleeting that reckoning with it is like trying to lasso a spectre. Or perhaps you imagine a film whose subject-matter drowns even the most hardened viewer in a sea of adrenaline. Whatever you think of, you're probably visualising something that is so committed to its own particular vision of the world…

  • The Princess Bride

    The Princess Bride

    ★★★★★

    Perfect film.