13 Minutes (featured image)

13 Minutes (2015)

The title of 13 Minutes is a reference to the slim margin of time that could’ve made all the difference in World War II; had musician Georg Elser’s handmade bomb gone off thirteen minutes earlier, and killed Adolf Hitler. Frontloading Elser’s (Christian Friedel’s) failure suits the film’s approach, which examines both the aftermath of his…

Paper Towns (featured image)

Me, John Green and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Unfolding Paper Towns

The opening minutes of Paper Towns, the latest instalment in the John Green Cinematic Universe, aren’t especially promising. Our middle-class white teenage protagonist explains, in faux-profound seriousness, that “everyone gets a miracle.” Maybe you win the lottery, maybe you “marry the Queen of England.” Said middle-class white teenager, Quentin (Nat Wolff), has already found his…

Mr Holmes (featured image)

Mr Holmes (2015)

The framing of Bill Condon’s Mr Holmes is, on the face of it, rather peculiar. Adapted from Mitch Cullin’s “A Slight Trick of the Mind”, it tells a fictional tale about a fictional character – Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) – yet it’s presented as though it were a biopic about the final years of a…

Ant-Man (featured image)

Ant-Man (2015)

There are lots of reasons to like Ant-Man. You’ve got the sparkling comic chemistry of Paul Rudd and Michael Peña (Evangeline Lilly’s there too). There’s a zippy Michael Douglas/John Slattery/Hayley Atwell prologue that makes you long for an MCU film set in the ‘80s. Minus a misjudged training sequence, the film’s bouncy heist framework is…

Ruben Guthrie (featured image)

Ruben Guthrie (2015)

The easiest barb to direct at Brendan Cowell’s Ruben Guthrie is that it’s another Aussie film about the problems of rich white blokes (see also: Little Death, The/Any Questions for Ben?). This isn’t technically incorrect; the titular protagonist is, indeed, a wealthy white dude (Patrick Brammall). But the screenplay’s real concerns aren’t so much the…