Review: Okja (2017)

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Korean director Bong Joon-ho directs this soul-satisfying fantasy adventure that’s as entertaining as it is relevant. Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun, a marvellous discovery) lives in the countryside with her grandfather (Byun Heebong), where she’s been raising Okja, the biggest and most developed of the many superpigs engineered by the Mirando Corporation. Continue reading “Review: Okja (2017)”

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Review: God’s Own Country (2017)

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God’s Own Country – chosen to open this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival – depicts a harsh existence for young Johnny (Josh O’Connor), whose life taking care of his family’s farm on the Yorkshire moors has taken its toll both physically and emotionally. He’s battered, bruised, detached, wiling the lonely nights away with heavy drinking and casual sex. Continue reading “Review: God’s Own Country (2017)”

Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

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Wonder Woman, brought to the screen by Monster director Patty Jenkins after years in development hell, is far and away the best entry into DC’s Extended Universe yet. It stars Gal Gadot as the titular superheroine, otherwise known as Diana, Princess of Themyscira. Her life is one of peace and quiet until she rescues American pilot Steve Trevor (a winning Chris Pine) after he crashes his plane off the shore of Amazonia. Continue reading “Review: Wonder Woman (2017)”

Review: The Handmaiden (2017)

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This erotic thriller from director Park Chan-wook weaves an intoxicating web of love, lust and secrets in Korea, at a time when it was under Japanese control. Sook-hee (Tae-ri Kim), a minor criminal, is recruited as a handmaiden to wealthy heiress Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim), who is the focus of an intricate deception. Continue reading “Review: The Handmaiden (2017)”

Review: Get Out (2017)

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Jordan Peele, best known as one half of Key & Peele, unnerves with his feature debut, skilfully adopting a horror framework to poke and prod at existing racial tensions. In it, Daniel Kaluuya delivers a breakout performance as Chris, a young black man travelling to the suburbs to meet his significant others’ family. The innocence of an otherwise normal situation is undercut by a sense of unease that’s extended – and built upon – to brilliant effect. Continue reading “Review: Get Out (2017)”

Review: Power Rangers (2017)

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This moderately successful reboot of the 90s TV show pulls the multi-coloured heroes into the 21st century, all shiny and expensive like. It’s in no way intricately plotted – five misfit teens become saviours of their quiet town when a villainous alien threatens destruction – and the melodramatic angst feels at odds with the tongue in cheek nature of the characters. Continue reading “Review: Power Rangers (2017)”

Review: Free Fire (2017)

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Ben Wheatley blends dark comedy and thriller to deliver a wickedly fun 1970s inspired shootout set within the confines of a dilapidated warehouse in Boston. The bullet bonanza is a result of an arms deal turned sour, with the likes of Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer along for the ride, each one determined to walk away with their lives and a briefcase full of money. Continue reading “Review: Free Fire (2017)”

Review: The Lost City Of Z (2017)

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British explorer Perry Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) and his search for an ancient civilisation deep within the Amazonian forest is the focus of James Gray’s existential, slow-burning adventure. It’s sumptuously shot by cinematographer Darius Khondji, the expanse brimming not only with dangers, but also with endless possibilites for both discovery and enlightenment. Continue reading “Review: The Lost City Of Z (2017)”

Review: Kong: Skull Island (2017)

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The Kings Of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts transitions to big-budget tent pole with relevant ease; his Kong a mammoth creature discovered during a scouting mission to an unmapped island in the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War. Roberts wastes no time in introducing the ape, keen to make him the main focus, to the point where both narrative and characters are sorely underdeveloped. Continue reading “Review: Kong: Skull Island (2017)”

Review: Personal Shopper (2017)

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Kristen Stewart continues to distance herself from Twilight, reteaming with her Clouds Of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas for this unusually fascinating drama. Her role here is similar to that film; she plays Maureen, a psychic-cum-celebrity’s assistant who’s haunted by the death of her twin brother, while running errands. Continue reading “Review: Personal Shopper (2017)”