Reviews 270 results

Victoria and Abdul Movie Review

Set in the late nineteen hundreds, director Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) uses his actors as both visual and social symbols. Ms Dench’s face often fills the entire screen in extreme close up and both her expressive eyes and her lines of life really sell both her age and emotion. The actual Queen was in her eighties during this time in history.   //   Ali Faza (Furious 7, Bang Baaja Baaraat ) is perfectly cast as Abdul and he holds his own against the dame. ...

The Emoji Movie – Movie Review

The story is the well trodden tale of finding oneself in a busy and not always friendly world. Where things got interesting though is in the transformation of computer terminology and operation into both walking and talking characters with action and purpose. These actions took clever application and more than a little restraint to keep things in the youth realm. The film sits comfortably in the G rating camp but doesn’t lack a bit of grit in all that candy floss (both visually and ...

Patti Cake$ – Movie Review

Patty Cake$ is a white female rapper whose big persona and bravado behind the mic hide a life riddled with ridicule and self doubt. Her life at home is also far from ideal and watching her overcome these issues pulls you in and makes you more than just a casual observer. You care about the outcome of her life and wisely the filmmakers keep the unbelievable away in most instances. This only enhances the experience. The acting performances are universally good and the characters are wild ...

The Hitman’s Bodyguard Movie Review

Jackson as the hitman tries his best to drop more F bombs than any of his other films and Reynolds delivers a Deadpool lite performance that shows how well he has a handle on comic timing. Salma Hayek, who has little screen time but nonetheless gives Jackson a run for his money in the profane stakes, plays the incarcerated wife of the hitman. The story simplified to its core element is just a soon to be buddies road movie and almost all the characters are comic book deep, old school ...

Girls Trip Movie Review

There are not a lot of surprises in store via the script but what they get just right is the chemistry between the four friends and how shared time together actually does build a bond that can transcend time. The humour runs the gambit from adult humour to juvenile shenanigans that are every bit as childish as dude road movie’s stock in trade.   //   Friends getting back together after life has driven them apart is a tale often told on screen but there is a genuine ...

BIFF Movie Review – Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

The broad strokes are covered and some of John’s lesser angelic qualities are glossed over a bit. His drug and alcohol addictions are touched on but are reduced in the narrative. There is however a touching memory about him quitting cold turkey related by his step daughter Antonia Andrews.   //   The music in the soundtrack is well mixed, if a little repetitive as it seems the filmmakers only licensed a minimum number of track. It is great to hear JC’s music in a ...

Gifted Movie Review

Chris Evans hides his matinee idol good looks behind a scruffy beard and it’s a wise move as his compassion and intellect are what comes under close scrutiny. Few roles are written with this much humanity without dipping into unbelievable contrivances. Octavia Spencer is also very good, although it’s a bit of a shame her role is one of a cameo nature and is underwritten.   //   Lindsay Duncan is excellent in a mother role that tries its best to strike a realistic ...

American Made Movie Review

Tom Cruise in one of his strongest roles in years plays Barry Seal, a pilot, government operative, drug runner and so much more. As the number of government agencies he works with add up, so does the level of insanity. The actual sequence of events in Seal’s real life differ quite a bit from the movie’s timeline but why let the truth get in the way of a good story and what a story it is.   //   As a period piece, the clothes, hair and music reinforce a time that ...

The Dark Tower Movie Review

If this is tinsel town’s attempt to par down the series of eight books written by Stephen King into a more streamlined presentation, much is lost in transition. It is so thin on character development, that it is almost ghost like. If the intension was to create an on going movie franchise, it is a poor first salvo.   //   In the attempt to not overwhelm the viewer with detail, the filmmakers have relied too much on the audience being familiar with the book series by ...

BIFF Movie Review – Loving Vincent

It follows the last few days and mysterious death of the artist Vincent Van Gogh and is told in an almost police procedural manner. Where the film really soars though is in its visual presentation. Over 100 artists have created a hand painted animated look done in the appropriate impressionistic style and it makes every frame a visual work of art.   //   As the story evolves, there are a multitude of descriptions of the Dutch painter’s last few days and it is left up ...