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…

Love the Coopers

Hark! Another Christmas movie about the redemption of a dysfunctional family—and another lump of coal in my Christmas stocking. Love the Coopers is a woeful attempt at ‘collage’ cinema (multiple sugary plotlines populated by dull caricatures—an oeuvre seemingly popularised by 2003’s Love Actually). If you’re looking for a bit of seasonal cheer, you’re better off…

The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

What even are you, Last Witch Hunter? The ominous title and gothic poster suggest a grim action-fantasy flick – think Vin Diesel’s antihero Riddick shtick, but with witches – but we’re actually granted a slipshod, poorly-paced disappointment. Vin Diesel – sorry, “Kaulder” – was cursed with immortality some eight centuries ago, but where ‘curse’ would…

The Legendary Giulia (2015)

Here is an Italian buddy comedy with a message: a message that had me rolling my eyeballs and impatiently checking my watch. Four oddball numskulls decide, after one meeting, to buy equal shares in a fixer-upper holiday resort. They proceed to fend off the local mafia while improbably working out differences and achieving financial success.…

The Face of an Angel (2014)

Michael Winterbottom’s fictionalised account of the Amanda Knox trial appears to present its mission statement early on, with Kate Beckinsale explaining, “You can’t tell the truth unless you make it a fiction.”  Unfortunately, The Face of an Angel – which turns out, in fact, to be a a fictional film about the making of a…

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…

Insurgent (2015)

On the surface, Insurgent appears to be a substantial upgrade to Divergent. The cast is fleshed out with the likes of Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer, we’ve got a new director (Robert Schwentke, responsible for The Time Traveller’s Wife and, uh, R.I.P.D.) and we’ve even moved to the third dimension. Visually, we’ve definitely stepped things…