Review: Frozen 2

Six years after asking, “Do you want to build a snowman?” Elsa and Anna return in Disney’s “Frozen 2”, this time facing change and the fear of uncertainty.

That’s a more philosophical antagonist for the sisters of Frozen, which earned $1.3 billion worldwide, and a journey that doesn’t entirely feel necessary or without plot holes. But credit director Chris Buck and writer-director Jennifer Lee with crafting an ultimately satisfying story of more mature themes for an audience that’s grown out of the dress-up stage. Continue reading Review: Frozen 2

Review: Charlie’s Angels

While the idea of seemingly everything getting a reboot nowadays is starting to become a total drag, there was an odd amount of intrigue I still had for the “Charlies Angels” reboot/sequel/whatever it is. Maybe it was because I liked enjoyed the casting of the new trio of angels or maybe it was because I liked of seeing Elizabeth Banks behind the camera again after “Pitch Perfect 2”. Maybe it’s also because I kind of have a soft spot for franchise and I remember plenty of times that I’d catch “Full Throttle” on TV and always enjoy watching it. So, I had fair expectations going in that the film ultimately meets and exceeds at times, but also falls short of in the same breath. Continue reading Review: Charlie’s Angels

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry 29: High Life

Claire Denis’ experimental sci-fi “High Life” (2018) is utterly bizarre- yes, but it’s also a reclusive and powerful picture. It’s a difficult film to quantify, and yet, despite its space odyssey setting, it really gets down to the meat of humanity. It’s more about relationships and isolation than it is about the exploration of black holes, or scientific experimentation.

Yes, that’s where it starts. As we eventually learn this ship once contained a group of previously death row inmates (including Mia Goth and André Benjamin) who were given the choice to be used as lab rats on a suicide mission. It gives you more time, and it may potentially help society find an alternative energy source, so it seems like an easy choice, right? Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry 29: High Life

Gems, Hustlers and Keepers: 2020 Independent Spirit Awards nominations

The 2020 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have recently been announced with Roger Eggers “The Lighthouse” and Benny Safdie and  Josh Safdie‘s “Uncut Gems” being nominated for five awards including Best Director. The other big films to receive multiple nominations also include Alma Har’el‘s “Honey Boy” and Music Box’s comedy “Give Me Liberty”. Out of the six directors nominated for best director, two of the nominees … Continue reading Gems, Hustlers and Keepers: 2020 Independent Spirit Awards nominations

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 30: Toni Erdmann

With her third feature film, Maren Ade announced herself on to the international scene during 2016, with her robust, confounding comedy of delicate, deliberate and disastrously strained parental ties. A thematic notion achieved with such success is not often seen in cinema, capturing the fraught emotional bonds of a career-driven daughter and her aloof father. As varying dynamics exist in relationships between adulthood and childhood and vice versa, very few directors have successfully articulated and dramatised them as well as Ade. A remarkable cinematic achievement, creating a film that is deeply human and tragically nostalgic and profound whilst absurdly comedic. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 30: Toni Erdmann

LFF Review: I Lost My Body (J’ai Perdu Mon Corps)

“I Lost My Body” (2019) is the first feature film by director Jérémy Clapin. It was shown as part of the “Dare” stream at London Film Festival 2019 which was described as “In-your-face, up-front and arresting: films that take you out of your comfort zone”. That certainly is a good description of this film. The Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner engages all the senses to take you on a melancholic and emotional journey towards a gruesome end. Continue reading LFF Review: I Lost My Body (J’ai Perdu Mon Corps)

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.31: Destroyer

Earlier this year gritty thriller “Destroyer” (2019) stormed onto the big screen, with all of its rage, vengeance and gusto. Surprisingly it failed to blow up, instead crashing and burning at the box office making only $5.5 million in comparison to its $9 million budget. We can only really guess at what exactly caused the film to flop, but poor distribution and weak marketing certainly played their roles.

Despite gunning for those golden gongs, especially with Nicole Kidman’s central phenomenal transformative performance, it received barely any attention on the awards circuit, although it has to be said organisations like The Academy have never been known for their good taste in cinema. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.31: Destroyer

Why Feel Good Movies Are Necessary

With all of the Scrooges out there bashing “Last Christmas” (2019), it seems that it is important to remind people that feel good movies are something we all need.

The flack “Last Christmas” is receiving is from Tarantino/Scorsese/Kubrick Film Bros (my assessment of the situation), who think that every movie needs to be riddled with piousness, plot points that make no sense, and toxic masculinity. So, when “Last Christmas” (2019) hit theaters, it certainly did not please this crowd. Continue reading Why Feel Good Movies Are Necessary

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.32 : The Breadwinner

Year: 2017 Runtime: 94 Minutes Director: Nora Twomey Writer: Anita Doron, Deborah Ellis Stars: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus  By Dominic Corr Gloriously direct, “The Breadwinner” (2017) turns the patriarchal trope of a sole provider into an unflinching tale of a young Afghan girl’s determination, fear and resilience under Taliban rule in 2001. Based on Deborah Ellis’ bestselling novel, who returns to write the … Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.32 : The Breadwinner

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 33: The Mustang

Year: 2019 Runtime: 96 Minutes Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre Writer: Brock Norman Brock, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre Stars: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jason Mitchell, Bruce Dern By Rosa Parra Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre brings us a film about a convict who’s offered the opportunity to enter a rehabilitation program to train wild horses. Based on true events this film focuses on the capturing and training of wild horses. These horses … Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 33: The Mustang