Spy (featured image)

Spy (2015)

Why shouldn’t James Bond be played by Melissa McCarthy? Walking out of Spy, the latest film from Paul Feig – of Bridesmaids and The Heat – I couldn’t think of a convincing reason why not. The film is an uneven but enjoyable comedy. After a flabby opening act – weighed down both by an insistence…

The Salvation (featured image)

The Salvation (2014)

The Salvation reminded me of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. Not, I should hasten to add, because it approaches the mastery of Leone’s films, but rather in the way a foreign filmmaker (director Kristian Levring is Danish) approaches an acutely American genre from a unique perspective. There are some Leone similarities in how Levring’s screenplay (co-written…

Mad Max Fury Road (featured image)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t going to change your life. It’s probably not necessary to clarify that, but I thought it was worth noting in the wake of the torrent of #MadMadFuryRoad hype and hyperbole that has consumed Twitter regarding George Miller’s long-(long)-awaited follow-up to his original Mad Max trilogy. Believe the hype, but don’t…

Dinosaur 13 (featured image)

Dinosaur 13 (2014)

The story told in Dinosaur 13 is perfectly suited to a feature-length documentary, featuring enough dramatic twists and turns to sustain 90-plus minutes with little padding. A complete T-Rex skeleton – “the most important paleontological find of all time” – is discovered by a group of scientists, but initial euphoria is overwhelmed when the skeleton…

In Defense of Hostel and Hostel Part II (featured image)

In defense of Hostel and Hostel: Part II

There’s an unrealistic expectation around film criticism that critics should approach every film from an objective perspective, regardless of its genre or subject matter. No doubt there are critics out there who love every kind of film equally, but most of us have some kind of bias. That’s only really a problem if reviewers are…