The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

The Huntsman: Winter’s War traffics pretty well exclusively in clichés. Oh, you can point to Frozen – Emily Blunt’s ice queen, the ‘power of love’ – or Lord of the Rings – there’s a golden circle emblazoned with Elvish runes that drives people to murder and dwarven comic relief (Nick Frost, Sheridan Smith, Rob Brydon)…

Chris Pine in Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods (2014)

Musicals and I have never really been on the same wavelength. As a child I can vividly recall watching Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and sinking in my seat when the inevitable musical numbers began. That antipathy remains, decades later. The first film I was assigned to review…

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

The notion of films adopting a “videogame aesthetic” is – or was – a common critical observation, wielded as pejorative or praise depending, seemingly, on the critic’s personal opinion of videogames. Since at least The Matrix – a film visually and conceptually indebted to contemporary videogames while inspiring the design of games to come – and even Tron before…

The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises (2013)

“Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up.” It’s hard to separate The Wind Rises from its creator, Hayao Miyazaki, iconic anime director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Barring a Jay Z-esque change of heart, The Wind Rises represents his last feature length film, and with this in mind…

Looper (2012) and the “Rules” of Time-Travel

Looper seems to upset dedicated nerds; people who’ve read The Silmarillion from cover-to-cover, people who like “hard sci-fi” – think Roman from Party Down. Rian Johnson’s time-travel flick annoys these people because it doesn’t play fair with the rules of time-travel, and isn’t interested in explaining or caring about those rules. I’m also a gigantic…