The Coen Brothers are back! The masters of dark comedy have returned to smaller screens this time with their Netflix distributed western anthology film ‘The Ballad of Buster Scroggs’. After a limited theatrical release, it’s the first of their films to be distributed on a streaming platform. Though it seems a shame that the majority of viewers (myself included) won’t get to see the beautiful frontier locations on the big screen, it actually makes a perfect film for Netflix and a wonderfully enjoyable piece of entertainment.
Nativity came out in 2009 and was a charming festive treat. Naturally, as is the case with half-decent films, it was followed by two sequels, one poor and the other utterly dreadful. This latest instalment, while a mild improvement on the previous films, still sits in the bad sequel camp rather than alongside the far superior original.
Robin Hood is one of the most iconic tales in British Folklore. This latest adaptation steals from the rich source material to deliver another tale of the poor rising against the powerful. Ditching the tights and feathered hat, this reboot delivers a gritty origin story which massively favours style over substance.
Based on the hugely successful Swedish thriller novels, ‘The Girl in The Spiders Web’ is the latest adaptation of Lisbeth Salander’s adventures. The first in the series, ‘The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo’, opened in 2011 and was directed by David Fincher. A stunningly powerful piece, it set a towering bar that unfortunately is not met by this by-the-numbers action thriller.
I must preface this review by saying that I am not a ‘Potterhead’. I like the original Potter films, I think they’re perfectly fine. I was NOT, however, a fan of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first prequel in J. K. Rowling’s ‘Wizarding World’. I found it boring, lacking in story and favouring style very much over substance. It’s with surprise that I announce this latest film is actually even worse, and highlights a lot of major issues in Hollywood’s Franchise-Saturated market.
‘Widows’ has a ridiculous caliber of talent behind it. It’s directed by Steve McQueen, Oscar winning director of 12 Years a Slave. It’s written by Gillian Flynn, author and screenwriter of ‘Gone Girl’. It stars (among many others) Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya and Liam Neeson, and has music by Hans Zimmer. It’s no surprise that with this amount of talent, a great film has been made. However, it does sometimes miss the heights of which it promises.
Robert Redford has had a hugely celebrated career. From ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’ to ‘Out of Africa’, ‘Ordinary People’ to ‘All the Presidents Men’, he has been a staple of American cinema for almost six decades. Now however, he hangs up the towel in his final film before his retirement, The Old Man & the Gun. Reminiscent of a classic crime comedy caper, the film is a beautifully warm and charming affair that is a fitting tribute to the legend’s illustrious career.
Well, it’s no surprise to hear that Disney’s mega budget CGI fest of a Nutcracker film is utterly dreadful. When it was first announced, it baffled everyone. Why on earth were Disney funding a live-action adaptation of the iconic Russian ballet? The answer, they weren't. They were actually making a dull, predictable story under that banner, so they could use some iconic classical music to hide the death of their originality. And boy does it stink.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back together again! While only playing supporting roles on screen, Pegg and Frost are also Executive Producers on this debut film for their Production Company ‘Stolen Picture’. It’s clear why they chose this project. Owing the start of their career to Shaun of The Dead, Slaughterhouse Rulez echoes the British Horror Comedy roots they bloomed in. While this film never reaches the dizzying heights of the 'Cornetto' Trilogy, it could definitely qualify for the ‘Aldi Own Brand Ice Cream Cone' Trilogy.