IT (2017)

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Everyone has a fear of something. Whether it’s as tangible as spiders. Or something psychological, where you wish time would simply stop so that you and the thing you fear never meet. Or it may be a moment of such disproportionate nonsensical anxiety, which in the moment keeps you rooted to the spot, yet with hindsight can seem mundane or perhaps even trivial. Continue reading

Detroit (2017)

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Director Kathryn Bigelow is certainly not shy of exploring darker subject matters, nor indeed darker moments in history. Rising to fame with the critically acclaimed ‘Hurt Locker’, a powerful war drama exploring a bomb squad during the Iraq War. The film won 6 Oscars and put both Bigelow and its star Jeremey Renner on the map. Bigelow followed this success with ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, a captivating and intense depiction of the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and although this film may not have won quite as many awards as its predecessor, with hindsight it certainly feels a more accurate representation of Bigelow’s directorial style.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

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I really wanted to like this, after all, it is a Star Wars film, not a prequel like ‘Rogue One’, where it quite honestly does not detract from your enjoyment of the series if choose not to see it. ‘The Last Jedi’ is the follow on from ‘The Force Awakens’, a much beloved return to the series which reintroduced our favourite characters after a long absence. So, the pressure was on to deliver something either on par with ‘The Force Awakens’ or to strive to create something better.

For this review, I’m going to split it quite clearly into two sections. A non-spoiler section to begin with, and then a spoiler section because frankly there is a lot to discuss.

NON-SPOILER

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Bright (2017) Netflix

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Will Smith is currently on the promotional tour for ‘Bright’, the latest Netflix original film. When asked to summarise the premise, his explanation is that the film is a combination of ‘Training Day’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’. This is certainly one ploy to generate interest for the film. After all, ‘Training Day’ is one of the best police dramas of its genre, and though I haven’t seen it for many years, I still remember it fondly. While ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a much beloved fantasy epic, one focused on destroying a powerful object. Where the heroes are required to travel across Middle-Earth, meeting various fantasy characters along their journey.
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Atomic Blonde (2017)

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As the credits began to roll for ‘Atomic Blonde’, my mind did two things. Firstly, it continued to compile a list of comparisons to other films that had begun during the opening moments, and secondly, it was trying to comprehend the twist in that last scene. For as I eased back in my chair, resting my hands on the back of my head, and intertwining my fingers. My brain automatically began the process of dissecting and analysing all I had just witnessed, and I was struck by the film’s blatant audacity to so heavily borrow from other films and adverts whilst also creating its own style.

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War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

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I will wholeheartedly, step forward, raise my hand, and admit that this is the first ‘Planet of the Apes’ film that I have managed to sit through in its entirety. Which is not to diminish the success or quality of the previous films. Merely that there is something about a war between humans and apes that I initially struggled to become fully immersed in, and I know I am not alone.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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If you were to ask a group of people who had neither read comic books, nor have watched a single superhero film, to name three characters from a comic book. I would place high odds that one of the names most frequently mentioned would be Spider-Man, next to perhaps Batman, Wolverine or Superman.
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The Death of Stalin (2017)

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This film, which you will hopefully have gathered from the title, is about Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953, where he died shortly after suffering a heart attack. ‘The Death of Stalin’ briefly depicts the last few days of Stalin’s life, before further exploring the effect this had on his cabinet, which is to say, total, hilarious, chaos. Continue reading

The Fate of the Furious (2017)

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The film opens in Cuba, an abundance of beautiful landscapes and low angled shots of girls dancing in skirts so short as to make them redundant. A race is about to start between Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and a local racer. Dom, ever the family man, is racing to help his cousin who just lost a bet, because if there is one thing that has been made crystal clear throughout the series, it’s that nothing is more important than family, and perhaps a Corona or two. Continue reading

Wonder Woman (2017)

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Wonder Woman marks the first female solo film since DC and Marvel began this journey of creating cinematic universes, because despite Marvel’s impressive 16 films since 2008, we have yet to see a female protagonist star in her own film, or indeed a solo female origin story, though god knows we have plenty of male stories to choose from. Surprisingly, it is DC who has taken the first step forward for equality, by not only producing an origin story for a female character, but with director Patty Jenkins at its helm. A comment on the sad state of the current gender political climate that a female director is still somewhat unusual, and though the number of well-known women directors is growing, progress is painfully slow. Continue reading