Venom

Inhabiting the odd twilight zone between the MCU and a standalone continuity, Venom is Sony's semi-aborted attempt to capitalise on the success of the Deadpool films. R-rated antihero films are proven to work, so it's sad to see the studio opt for a PG-13 option, a soft 15 in the UK. This half-heartedness cuts to Venom's core. Tom Hardy is … Continue reading Venom

Climax

Gaspar Noé's reputation needs scant introduction. The provocateur has seemed to be running out of rope in recent years, his last effort Love critically condescended to alongside the automatic box office failure he's used to. With Climax he has bafflingly resecured some of his cachet, despite a messy and unfocused contrivance of a film. Audiences are introduced to a cast … Continue reading Climax

The Predator

For better or worse, Shane Black has revivified the Predator franchise with this slick but shallow thriller. Shying from typical reboot territory, The Predator is a straight sequel, explaining the murderous aliens' presence on Earth in largely forgettable form. Antihero Quinn McKenna is our protagonist, a military sniper who witnesses the gory crash landing of a Predator in the … Continue reading The Predator

Hollow Knight

Scrabbling desperately through narrow tunnels gives way incrementally to empowered exploration and secret-sweeping in Team Cherry’s excellent Hollow Knight, re-released to fanfare on Switch. This is a medtroidvania dungeon-crawler that stands alongside greats of the genre. In a subterranean world of insects, players play a diminutive knight armed only with a rusted nail, who awakens … Continue reading Hollow Knight

BlacKkKlansman

If it’s tempting to praise the timeliness of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, it’s also worth remembering that America’s issues with institutional and accepted racism never really went away. This sometimes incendiary, but generally tame film could have been released any time in the last thirty years and still summoned the righteous rage with which it closes, … Continue reading BlacKkKlansman

Imperium

Political wrangling is in vogue, alongside populism, widely-disseminated lies and the utter absence of morality – what better time to revisit the life of Rome’s great statesman, Cicero? This epic double play from Mike Poulton, adapting Robert Harris’s novels, runs to 7 hours but feels consistently fresh and portentous. It is high entertainment, with pointed … Continue reading Imperium

The Meg

Films are often praised for doing what they advertise on their tin - simplicity is no sin in and of itself. When that tin looks like it'll contain a monster film of questionable quality, though, this straightforwardness is still a burden. Cockney wedge Jason Statham is our hero, a wisecracking and nominally harrowed ex-diver named … Continue reading The Meg