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…

Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)

Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a divisive film, leading this year’s Golden Globe nominees and attracting a suite of five star reviews on one hand and repulsed pans on the other. It’s the sort of film that invites – nay, demands – hyperbole. The screenplay even presents the viewer with two distinct…

Funny Games (2007)

Is Funny Games a good film? I’m not sure. It is, undeniably, interesting, and that’s almost as important as “good.” Director Michael Haneke set out to challenge audience reactions to stylised violence and suggest the viewer’s complicity. The film is a provocation, an unsubtle attack on its own audience. I don’t know that Haneke is…

The Shaft (2001)

The Shaft, a straight-to-video release (that took a couple years to see the light of day in the States) is a slasher movie, except with a twist – the killer is…an elevator! Seriously. It’s an inherently silly premise which doesn’t have to prevent it from being an enjoyable B-movie. There’s a promising jokey tone early,…

The Ring (2002)

For a self-professed “movie geek,” there’s some significant holes in my film knowledge, but the largest are certainly in the horror genre, a genre I’ve only recently embraced. One such hole is J-Horror – I’ve only seen Pulse (and thoroughly disliked it), and have yet to see the original Ringu. This means that I can…