Dirty Grandpa (featured image)

Dirty Grandpa (2016)

There’s a world in which Dirty Grandpa is a great, if lowbrow, comedy. Robert De Niro is perfectly suited to the eponymous role of smutty senior; he’s always been convincing at improvisational comedy (look at Mean Streets, or even Goodfellas) plus you buy him as someone who can still pull off one-armed push ups. Oh,…

We Need to Talk About Kevin (featured image)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Given how much of my spare time I spend watching movies, it’s probably for the best that I very rarely hate films. Oh, sure, there’re plenty of movies that I find disappointing, uneven or simply boring, but generally I can find something to like. So it was with some surprise that I found myself overcome…

Spotlight (featured image)

Spotlight (2015)

Real life doesn’t fit a movie narrative – real life rarely accommodates twists, dramatic speeches, or neat climaxes. In Spotlight, an excellent return to form for writer-director Tom McCarthy, a true story is presented exactly as it (presumably) happened, for better …and sometimes for worse. Spotlight follows four journalists (Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton,…

Looking for Grace (featured image)

Looking for Grace (2015)

“Where are you going!?” “Nowhere.” Australian director Sue Brooks takes a prismatic approach to Looking for Grace, a tale of family, infidelity and theft told from a variety of perspectives. It’s not quite Rashomon, though. Fractured, non-linear narratives rely on the strength of their individual storylines as well as the whole, whether aiming for ‘everything’s…

The Hateful Eight (featured image)

The Hateful Eight: A Gluttonous Appetite for Debauchery

Early in The Hateful Eight, John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) encounters Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), warning him to move slowly – “molasses-like” – while keeping his firearm fixed on the stranger. You could say that the film itself is comparably molasses-like; dense and dark in its substance while deliberately unhurried in its…

Filmed in Supermarionation (featured image)

Filmed in Supermarionation (2014)

Filmed in Supermarionation is a modest documentary about the production companies responsible for – amongst other series forgotten to anyone who isn’t old and British – Thunderbirds. Talking heads recount from the ramshackle early days of the studio (involving flagrantly terrible puppetry from amateurs who knew no better) all the way up to post-Thunderbirds series…