Reviews

  • slide

      Passengers


        A giant starship is on a century-long journey to a recently colonised planet, carrying five thousand colonists plus crew in suspended animation. The ship is highly advanced and is self-repairing and self navigating, so no human crew are required; this ship’s complement will be woken when the ship nears its destination. The film opens when one of them, an engineer called Jim (Chris Pratt) is awakened from his sleep, and quickly discovers that he is not only the only one awake but that there are still ninety years left in the journey. Needless to say, this is unwelcome news…


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Green Room


        A punk-rock band, The Ain’t Rights, aren’t particularly successful, and if they can even get a gig, they still don’t get much of an audience it seems… So when they get a last minute booking somewhere in the Oregon woods to play for a bunch of skinheads, they accept it as it may bring in some cash at least.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Our Kind of Traitor


        Perry (played by Ewan McGregor) is a teacher on holiday in Marrakech with his barrister wife Gail (Naomie Harris). They are dining in a restaurant opposite a boisterous group of Russians, and when Gail has to head off early to take a work call he is invited over for a drink by one of the Russians – Dima (Stellan Skarsgard). The Russians are pretty evidently mafiosa, but despite this Perry heads off to a party with them after the restaurant, and agrees to play tennis with his new-found friend Dima the next day, and a further party that night…


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Morgan


        Lee Weathers (played by Kate Mara) is a corporate risk assessment analyst, which doesn’t sound a promising job for an action thriller until you realise that this is Hollywood, where considerable latitude to is given to job descriptions in big companies. She is tasked by her boss (played by Brian Cox) to investigate unsettling events at an isolated scientific laboratory where Dr Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones) and Dr Lui Cheng (Michelle Yeoh) and running an experiment into creating artificial life.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Don’t Breathe


        Three teenage kids break into a house in a desolate part of Detroit, where they believe they will find a safe full of money. Rocky (Jane Levy) hopes this money will give her a way out of her desperate home situation; and Alex (Dylan Minette) is nurturing his not-so-secret crush on Rocky; and Money (Daniel Zovatto) is in it, well, for the money. This should be an easy target: Dylan steals the house keys from his father’s security business, and the home owner is a blind man…


        Continue reading

  • slide

      In My Father’s Den


        When you watch a movie like this, you cannot help but think that New Zealand must be full of small towns with frustrated people with limited experience of the world beyond – and they don’t really understand their immediate environment either as that seems to be filled with unspeakable family secrets and other skeletons… Luckily, that can make for an interesting movie.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Equity


        The financial crisis of the late 2000s has reinvigorated the ‘financial thriller’ genre, and Equity brings a new perspective to this: it is an all-female film – from actresses to director to producers. Yet it is not a very feminist movie; other than claims like ‘it is ok for women to like money too’, the female angle isn’t overplayed in the storyline. This would be a strength if the plot was strong in its own right, but as it isn’t, the movie lacks a bit of a point to make.


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Arrival


        Arrival is a thoughtful science fiction film, about as far from “Independence Day” as it is possible to get, though the special effects are impressive in their own way. The basic premise is that aliens have landed around the world in twelve huge spaceships, but their intent is unclear. At intervals the ships open a gate and admit visitors, and the aliens show themselves behind a huge screen, but what do they want?


        Continue reading

  • slide

      Hell or High Water


        Two brothers rob banks together. But they don’t go for the big vault – they just take the petty cash in the tills. Then they move on to the next bank, and do the same again. As the story unfolds, we slowly find out why Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) are specifically targeting Texas Midlands branches. In the meantime Marcus (Jeff Bridges), a Texas Ranger near his retirement, is slowly picking up on their trail, and together with his sidekick Alberto (Gil Birmingham) starts to catch up on them…


        Continue reading

  • slide

      A Hologram for the King


        A movie about cultures colliding, midlife crises, flailing careers, fear, hope, and love with Tom Hanks heading the cast – sounds like a winner. Unfortunately the major themes get burried deep under the Arabian sand in this mostly bland and uninspired movie.


        Continue reading