2019 Film Reviews – 57: Joker [dir. Todd Phillips; 2019]

There is an almost palpable truth at the core of Joaquin Phoenix’s detailed, jittery, utterly mesmeric central performance in Joker — an account of the ‘birth’ of Batman’s arch-nemesis, set in a New York heavily influenced by Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and King Of Comedy. Refusing to fall into any potential genre traps, Phoenix plays the increasingly unwell and put-upon Arthur Fleck with what feels like … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 57: Joker [dir. Todd Phillips; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 36: X-Men: Dark Phoenix [dir. Simon Kinberg; 2019]

I confess I don’t understand why the critical establishment hasn’t displayed the same warmth towards the X-Men franchise as they’ve lavished upon the Avengers. Both ‘worlds’ rely on predictable tropes, they present stories that are required to hit certain beats and they’re populated by characters whose development wouldn’t exactly cause Ibsen to raise his eyebrows in admiration. The only reason I can think of for … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 36: X-Men: Dark Phoenix [dir. Simon Kinberg; 2019]

Film Review: The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn [dir. Steven Spielberg; 2011]

I’m pretty sure that Herge’s Tintin books were the very first things I ever read. In fact, I think I became something of a fan. But I’m equally sure that I haven’t touched them since I was about 8, so perhaps I’m not exactly in the core demographic for Spielberg’s big-screen adaptation of the baby-faced journalist’s adventures. Its plot is suitably preposterous and sprawling, but … Continue reading Film Review: The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn [dir. Steven Spielberg; 2011]

Film Review: Green Lantern [dir. Martin Campbell; 2011]

Trust me, this was not a film I chose to see. But if I’m going to stick to this year’s blog resolution, then I must religiously chart every cinematic experience, even those in which I was a mere chaperone. Having said that, Green Lantern isn’t as awful as I’d feared: it made me want to slash only one wrist, not both. Yes, the special effects … Continue reading Film Review: Green Lantern [dir. Martin Campbell; 2011]

Film Review: The Incredibles [dir. Brad Bird; 2004]

A couple of years ago, when Sight & Sound were compiling their list of the most important films of the last decade, I was pleased to see that one of the few computer animated movies they’d considered for inclusion was The Incredibles. Its original release wasn’t met by the ecstatic plaudits which were heaped upon Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3, but I’ve always considered it … Continue reading Film Review: The Incredibles [dir. Brad Bird; 2004]

Film Review: X-Men First Class [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2011]

Within the context of super-hero movies, Bryan Singer set the bar very high with the first X-Men: it featured memorable characters, a solid plot, commendable performances and several inventive visual flourishes. This latest instalment – a prequel which portrays the genesis of the conflicted relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto – isn’t quite in the same league. Having said that, it provides over two hours … Continue reading Film Review: X-Men First Class [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2011]

Film Review: Kick-Ass [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2010]

Be warned: if you never went through a phase of reading comic books and you have absolutely no time for stories which feature super powers, rubber costumes or secret identities, then Kick-Ass almost certainly won’t win you over. However, those of you who did donate a sizeable proportion of your pocket money to the pension funds of Marvel and DC will probably find a great deal to enjoy in this clever … Continue reading Film Review: Kick-Ass [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2010]