With all the inevitability of a purple half-giant snapping his fingers, the Avengers saga rumbles to a close, the world's box offices crumbling before it.
Are DC finally beginning to figure it out? If they can't have the world-beating, all-conquering cinematic mega franchise that Marvel have built, could they at least have a few films that aren't absolutely hideous? The closest conclusion available is now a hard "maybe". Zachary Levy is the titular Shazam, the title itself referring to the … Continue reading Shazam!
The "In Association with Marvel" revival continues for Spider-Man, a character so long underserved by creative stultification at Sony. Now, between this dazzlingly realised animation and Tom Holland's new live action Peter Parker, the webslinger is getting a run of worthy film outings. This new story splinter follows Miles Morales, well-established as Spider-Man in the … Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
With a baseline of eccentricity and challenging motifs, Sorry to Bother You blazes a trail into brilliant, unpredictable territory. It is a flaming-hot debut for polymath Boots Riley. Lakeith Stanfield, so excellent in Short Term 12 in 2013 before a smashing reemergence on Atlanta and in Get Out, is Cassius Green. Cash to his friends, he's a low-skilled but … Continue reading Sorry to Bother You
It is perhaps a measure of director James Wan's baseless optimism regarding his vision for Aquaman that, partway through its bloated bulk, he gives himself licence to play a Pitbull cover of Totò's Africa as his characters enter the Sahara desert. This can only have been the culmination of a series of decisions that are almost … Continue reading Aquaman
J K Rowling, whatever her faults, has tremendous form when it comes to intricately planned plots and reveals. The Fantastic Beasts series, with this unintelligible second outing, is at risk of exposing her as more of an improviser than previously thought. The Crimes of Grindelwald opens with a series of changes to seemingly sensible conclusions from the … Continue reading Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Some films serve to illustrate not only their own excellence, but the failure of others. Steve McQueen's latest, Widows, is a stark reminder of how well-made thrillers can do more than just stress viewers out. They can be character studies in their own right, too. Viola Davis is the first of the titular widows encountered in … Continue reading Widows
A gentle and loving treat, Mirai is a perceptive film teaching lessons only the best of us really learn in childhood. Four year old Kun's domestic bliss is rudely interrupted by the arrival of an as-yet-unnamed younger sister at the film's open. He reacts as so many older siblings have before him, acting out and desperately seeking … Continue reading Mirai
Cementing its director's reputation as Hollywood's most frustratingly talented and successful person under the age of 35, Damien Chazelle's First Man is a terrific, taut film. Telling the story we all suspected we knew about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, it intelligently informs audiences' perceptions of the climactic event of … Continue reading First Man
Stumbling out of years of developmental uncertainty, Bohemian Rhapsody pays lip service to its inspirations, but doesn't cross thresholds it ought to. Neither a Freddie Mercury biography nor a Queen exposé, the film instead attempts to walk the line between these poles. Beginning with the repressive adolescence of the future front man, it soon skips … Continue reading Bohemian Rhapsody