Jupiter Ascending (2015)

You don’t have to be an aficionado of science fiction to recognise that the Wachowski’s latest production, Jupiter Ascending, draws inspiration from countless sci-fi forebears. Oh, sure, it’s an “original” property, but as with the Wachowskis’ output from The Matrix and beyond, it’s an unabashed pastiche. Jupiter Ascending’s setting is classic space opera, galaxies ruled…

Foxcatcher (2014)

In many respects, film criticism is about finding an intellectual justification for an emotional response. Take Whiplash, for example, one of my favourite films of last year. I saw the film twice, and each time was overcome by a visceral, physical response; but to simply record that response as a review felt somehow inadequate. Instead,…

22 Jump Street (2014)

22 Jump Street (2014)

22 Jump Street is the kind of sequel you get from people who hate sequels. That’s not an entirely bad thing. This is the first sequel Hollywood wunderkinds Chris Lord and Phil Miller have helmed, though not the first they’ve inspired: they fobbed off Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 to Cody Cameron and…

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie (2014)

In an era where blockbuster movies direct their immense budgets towards overcoming the restrictions of cinema, The Lego Movie succeeds by embracing its limitations. Those limitations are found in its animation; computer-generated, sure, but constructed from Lego blocks in their millions. Directors/screenwriters Phil Lord and Christopher Miller get a lot of mileage out of their…

Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer in Magic Mike

Magic Mike (2012)

Magic Mike is a weird movie. It’s essentially a musical, except instead of big Broadway numbers you have male strippers (Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer) cavorting on stage, routines with such meticulous choreography and high production values that they’re as fantastical as a town spontaneously breaking into song. Outside of these scenes, Steven Soderbergh…