Review: La La Land (2017)

la-la-land

This stylish, exuberant crowd-pleaser spectacularly revitalises the sorely missed Hollywood musical. In it, two aspiring artists – Mia and Sebastian, played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling – fall in love, while each pursuing their dreams of success in LA. Damien Chazelle, who last made Whiplash, infuses an abundance of warmth and charm into this love story, which emerges from a big-scale highway dance number. Continue reading “Review: La La Land (2017)”

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Review: Birdman (2014)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/924/13942284/files/2015/01/img_0106-1.jpg Twenty five years after starring as the titular caped crusader in Batman, Michael Keaton takes on the role of another superhero, this time in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s thrilling and ambitious Birdman. Put out actor Riggan Thomson (Keaton) attempts to reinvigorate his stalled career by staging a Broadway play. His efforts are hindered, however, by one complication after another and his increasingly cloudy state of mind. Continue reading “Review: Birdman (2014)”

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

If the entirety of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was as convincing as the scenes shared between returning stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, then the film would be an unmitigated success. Unfortunately, as it stands with its overstuffed narrative and cavalcade of uninspired villains, the film isn’t much better than its predecessor. With alter-ego Spider-Man riding high, Peter Parker (Garfield) is trapped, unsure how to sustain his relationship with Gwen without putting her in danger and failing in his efforts to understand more about his past. Continue reading “Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)”

Review: The Croods (2013)

The Croods

It’s been a bumpy ride for DreamWorks Animation since its conception in the mid-90s. For every good film they released (Antz and Chicken Run), innumerable mediocre films followed (Shark Tale and Bee Movie). In recent years though, with the success of both the Shrek and Madagascar franchises and How To Train Your Dragon, they’ve displayed what they’re truly capable of. With their recent release The Croods, however, it seems as though they’ve misplaced some of that spark. Continue reading “Review: The Croods (2013)”

Review: Gangster Squad (2013)

Gangster Squad

Taking a break from zombies and delivery boys, director Ruben Fleischer fashions a stylised and star-studded, yet vacuous entry into the cops vs. mob genre with Gangster Squad. Disappointingly, the American director tries far too hard to recreate 1987’s The Untouchables for the modern day audience, instead of making an engaging, moody and powerful film that can stand on its own two feet as a bold statement. Set in 1940s Los Angeles, crook and mob boss Mickey Continue reading “Review: Gangster Squad (2013)”

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is an outsider with a passion for science and a crush on fellow high schooler Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). When Peter comes across a briefcase left after his father’s death, he’s lead to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s research partner, and to an incident involving genetically modified spiders that leaves him with superhuman abilities. Assuming an alter ego of “Spider-Man”, he uses his powers to the benefit of the citizens of New Continue reading “Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)”

Emma Stone: Hollywood’s New ‘It’ Girl

Who is Emma Stone?

It’s a question that has an array of different answers. Asked a mere five years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who had a clue. Aside from a few brief appearances in Malcolm in the Middle and the Medium, she was an unknown, studying away at acting school, doing whatever she could to get herself noticed. Asked today, however, and most people would probably reply with something along the lines of “OLIVE PENDERGHAST FROM EASY A”. Okay, maybe not Continue reading “Emma Stone: Hollywood’s New ‘It’ Girl”

Review: The Help (2011)

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s phenomenally successful and influential novel of the same name, The Help centers on Aibileen Clark: (Viola Davis), a devoted housekeeper in 1960′s Mississipi, who, after being approached to help local writer Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan (Emma Stone) write her first novel, recounts her life as a black servant in a time of extreme racial discrimination, bigotry and classism.

Moving, compelling and insightful, The Help is a highly commendable cinematic triumph, hitting the nail firmly on the head in almost every field: from well-honed cinematography to a beautifully serene score. Tate Taylor, who also penned the screenplay, has managed to do something of a rarity Continue reading “Review: The Help (2011)”

Review: Friends With Benefits (2011)

After Ivan Reitman’s unbalanced No Strings Attached, director Will Gluck and screenwriting duo Keith Merryman and David A. Newman take a stab at ridiculing the stereotypical relationship between a man and a woman, and the modern-day conventions of a romantic comedy.

Jamie (Mila Kunis), a New York headhunter, enters into a no-strings-attached relationship with Dylan (Justin Timberlake), her latest client, after they’re both left wounded by previous romantic commitments. However, when real-life starts to complicate their pact, their “purely physical” affinity is tested to the max. Continue reading “Review: Friends With Benefits (2011)”

Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

In a year of disappointing and miscalculated comedies (Larry Crowne and Chalet Girl are two that immediately spring to mind), Crazy, Stupid, Love is a wonderful return to form. Co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s follow up to last year’s surprisingly sincere I Love You Phillip Morris is a suitably mature addition to the oft-contrived rom-com genre.

Happily married simpleton Cal’s (Steve Carell) life is thrown into turmoil when his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), suddenly demands a divorce. Now Cal, a man set in his ways, has to adjust to being single, with a little help from ladies man Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Continue reading “Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)”