Review: Logan

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Logan (Hugh Jackman) has a habit of begrudgingly being dragged into situations rather than make the first move, and that’s no different here, but where before he refused because he didn’t care or couldn’t be bothered, this Logan is battered and bloodied, physically unable to keep up.

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The Oscars could learn from the Grammy Awards

The Grammys, the crowning jewel of the music industry’s calendar year, happen a fortnight before the film industry equivalent, the Oscars. The musical awards pit peers against each other like every other awards ceremony, but do so in a way that makes more sense than most. It means excellence is rewarded across the medium, rather than have everyone fight for the same title.

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Review: Rings

A bad film rarely sets out to be a bad film. Sometimes it is a matter of opinion, sometimes production becomes messy, sometimes what the director was trying to convey gets lost in translation. In order to be a fan of film, you have to believe no one sets out to make a bad film. It is doubtful F. Javier Gutiérrez set out with the intention of making a bad film, and at times Rings is fine, since it does have the iconic imagery and attempts to update the VHS-based story for the Snapchat generation. Except, one thing worse than a bad film is a pointless film, and Rings is pointless in every way.

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Review: The Lego Batman Movie

After the shock of just how great The Lego Movie was, the idea of another focusing solely on Batman looked like cashing in on a success for the sake of it. He may be the best iteration of Batman in quite some time, but The Lego Movie’s ensemble approach brought out the best in everyone without overexposing any character and their personality. Everyone in the audience was accounted for, with vibrant visual gags for kids and meta humour for the adults.

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Review: The Love Witch

The success of The Witch, followed by the similarly titled by wholly unrelated The Love Witch, will hopefully herald in a new wave of witchcraft related films. Through a modern lens, what we associate with witchcraft can be viewed differently than what has come before, and both of those films manage to tell refreshing stories with a dark aesthetic. Applying present-day feminist knowledge to the historical persecution of women makes sense, plus witches are downright cool.

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That’s the bottom line cuz Jackie Kennedy says so

There are films out there dealing with the world of professional wrestling, plenty of them decent enough, from the intensely melancholic The Wrestler to the inspirational documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. They capture the devotion performers have to that artful and artificial way of life, and how the highs keep people in the lows. No film is able to portray the appeal of immersing yourself in the world of professional wrestling as a fan the way Pablo Larraín’s Jackie does.

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Review: Jackie

Intentionally, something always feels slightly off throughout Jackie. Natalie Portman’s performance is also a performance. Mica Levi’s score is unsettling and disorientating. A time of great stress jumps between being intimately devastating and simply another part of the job. A biography this may be, but it is much more artistic than it first appears.

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Review: Beware the Slenderman

The Slenderman mythos is undeniably seductive. The change from urban legends being passed on through word of mouth to coming alive on the internet also changed the scares they could create. Where once on the playground tales like Bloody Mary were escapable by simply not carrying out the appropriate ritual, online horror requires you to hunt it down and opt-in. Lovecraftian creatures and tales of terror spread through chain mails, and have come to be collected and showcased on Creepypasta.

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Review: Moonlight

Hollywood teaches us to reach for the stars. “Romantic” means longingly gazing at a cloudless night sky from a lookout point in California as much as it means a kiss. Life for dreamers in film never seems to dish up the roadblocks Chiron deals with in Moonlight. You can only look at the stars once you have learned to look straight in front of you. Chiron struggles to look anywhere but the ground.

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