The Transporter Refueled Needed a Different Type of Fuel

I love “hard man” films. Dirty Harry, Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude, Seagal, Jet Li, Statham; the one thing they all possessed was a sense of controlled violence waiting to be unleashed. Unfortunately, Transporter Refueled has all the danger of a kitten playing with a ball of string. Ed Skrein manages the walking tall part adequately, but instead…

Southpaw (2015)

On the surface, this gritty boxing drama looks an awards season hopeful. Southpaw features a stellar cast headlined by Jake Gyllenhaal – replete with sweaty washboard abs. Unfortunately the film is a disappointing bore. Gyllenhaal puts in a commendable performance as champion pugilist Billy Hope, but the plot plods along, punch-drunk from decades of flogging…

ccpopculture Update

So I’ve been doing this ccpopculture thing for nigh on three years and nine hundred posts now, and – aside from a shift away from 200-word reviews and towards film – things haven’t changed too much over that time. That’s probably a problem; features like Critical Dissent and Double Feature have appeared less regularly lately…

The Past is Unwrapped in Joel Edgerton’s The Gift

The Gift opens on ominous shots of an abandoned, modernist mansion, grey stone and brown wood gleaming dully in the afternoon L.A. sun. Soon, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), a professional couple from Chicago, will be escorted through the hollow house by a real estate agent. But for now it lies dormant, the…

Joan of Arc: The Messenger (1999)

It’s probably impossible to make a film about Joan of Arc without at least acknowledging the long shadow cast by Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc. Luc Besson’s 1999 interpretation steers into that skid; like Dreyer’s film, significant chunks of Joan of Arc: The Messenger are filmed in close-up, but the lens of choice…