Review: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

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Kurt Russell leads a top notch cast in the much buzzed about Bone Tomahawk, all of whom chew scenery with relish in S. Craig Zahler’s absurdly fun directorial debut. The clumsy arrival of a drifter sparks the kidnapping of several townsfolk by savages in the middle of the night. Eager for revenge, the local sheriff (Russell) leads a rescue party with the help of his deputy (Richard Jenkins), a crippled husband (Patrick Wilson) and a cocky killer (Matthew Fox). Continue reading “Review: Bone Tomahawk (2015)”

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Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious Chapter 2

Compelled to capitalise on the success of what many labelled the best supernatural thriller in decades, director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell reunite for its sequel, Insidious: Chapter 2. Picking up directly after the events depicted in the first film, Insidious: Chapter 2 frustratingly succumbs to many of the same problems – a convoluted narrative and an overt reliance on quick shocks rather than deep-rooted terror – that caused the first film to lose merit during its latter half. Continue reading “Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)”

Review: Young Adult (2011)

In recent years, American comedies have lost their way. Instead of eliciting engaging, prickly characters that resonate, Hollywood has become stuck in a rut, churning out bland, tedious and sex-obsessed comedies that offer little or no substance (think Bad Teacher and The Hangover Part II). Diablo Cody, in her third feature as screenwriter, subverts this new-fangled tradition with Young Adult, a film that ventures deep into the relatable shadow of human behaviour to pitch-perfect avail.

Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), an egotistical and reprehensible ghost writer of an ever-diminishing young adult series, has hit a road block in her life. Disillusioned Continue reading “Review: Young Adult (2011)”

Poster: Insidious

Director: James Wan

Starring: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins and Leigh Whannell

Review: The Switch (2010)

Originally titled The Baster, The Switch is an indie romantic-drama from the mind of Allan Loeb, who previously wrote screenplay’s for Things We Lost in the Fire and 21, and is loosely based on a short story by Jeffrey Eugenides.

The film centers on the overly anxious, perplexing and irritating Wally, who’s unmarried 40-year-old best friend, Kassie (Aniston), turns to a turkey baster in order to become pregnant. After moving to Michigan to raise her child, Kassie returns and reunites with Wally, who has been living with a secret: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own.

The Switch, which most would label as a female-centred rom-com, instead switches the focus onto the male’s point-of-view. It ponders serious, life-changing questions about pregnancy and fatherhood, in a heartfelt and humorous way. Bateman plays the role of Wally perfectly, highlighting his charming, wry personality in an endearing and well-natured way, showing Bateman has what it takes to carry a high-profile comedy film.

Aniston, in a much-welcomed departure from her previous films, holds her own, providing an appealing, yet restrained performance as a single mother, letting audiences see why she was Hollywood’s sweetheart in the first place. Jeff Goldbum and Juliette Lewis shine in their limited roles, each embodying their characters to the best of their ability, while never outshining the central leads.

Despite the source material being predictable, and the sometimes cringeworthy dialogue, the directors – Will Speck and Josh Gordon – manage to keep the film on track, heading toward an ultimate goal, maintaining the message throughout and never letting the films throwaway moments overshadow the light-hearted, rather brilliant ones that some critics seem to be ignoring.

The Switch may not break any boundaries, or attract a particularly wide audience, but it’s surprisingly funny and sufficiently light-hearted take on an often bland genre. Bateman proves himself as a male lead, while Aniston proves there’s more to her acting range than silly, generic comedies.