Unsane (Cinema Review)

Claire Foy in Unsane (2018)

15 – 98mins – 2018


 

THE GIFT OF FEAR

Magic Mike maestro Steven Soderbergh bounces back after what was, for me, an unengaging misfire (2017’s heist dramedy Logan Lucky) with a bold and unconventional low-key experiment: psychological thriller Unsane was filmed entirely on iPhones! While the film isn’t shot as though diegetically through a mobile phone (fear not, shaky cam haterz!), Soderbergh ratchets up the paranoia and tension with many tight angles and close ups. Combine this with murky, natural lighting and a lack of cinematic sheen and Unsane certainly succeeds in evoking a dark, unsettling tone.

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Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Cinema Review)

12A – 142mins – 2018


 

SHANKS AND BIG WALLS

Back up and, err, running again (if you’ll pardon the wordplay) after a hefty-but-unavoidable production delay following lead actor Dylan O’Brien’s on-set accident, The Death Cure is a scintillating and welcome conclusion to returning director Wes Ball’s trilogy of dystopian sci-fi action-adventures based on author James Dashner’s hit series of Maze Runner novels.

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The Greatest Showman (Cinema Review)

PG – 105mins – 2017


 

THE PRINCE OF HUMBUG

Eight years in the making, this original musical ring-mastered by Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman and directed by first-timer Michael Gracey is a spectacular if haphazard showpiece which often struggles to marry song and story with a true feeling of authenticity. Ironically for a film about a purveyor of hoaxes, The Greatest Showman has been criticised for taking giant liberties with its biographing of circus founder P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and his unconventional star attractions.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Cinema Review)

12A – 114mins – 2017


 

NO BEACH-SIDE HOLIDAY

Kenneth Romeo & Juliet LIVE Branagh has dual duties as both headliner and director of this fourth adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic 1934 mystery novel, featuring “probably the greatest detective in the world” (self-professed), Hercule Poirot, the Dickens-loving gentleman with the distractingly-iconic moustache which successfully upstages a train-full of Hollywood A-listers.

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War for the Planet of the Apes (Cinema Review)

12A – 141mins – 2017 – 3D


 

APE-POCALPYSE NOW

In my time as webmaster of The CR@Bpendium, I have noticed that a guilty tendency of mine is to lavish blockbuster sequels in franchises I adore with 5-star ratings. The Force Awakens and Rogue One, for instance, were always destined to be looked upon kindly by me, a long-time Star Wars fan. Yet more casual movie watchers may recognise issues, however minor, with both films which would impede a perfect score in the eyes of the general public.

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Alien³ – Theatrical Cut (Blu-ray Review)

18 – 114mins – 1992


 

AIN’T NO FURY LIKE A RIPLEY SCORNED

I had planned to watch all five of the legitimate Alien films (as in, skipping over Alien v. Predator and its turgid sequel) prior to Alien: Covenant’s theatrical bow on 12th May, however I failed spectacularly, only getting as far as immediate predecessor (and chronological starting point) Prometheus and Ridley Scott’s 1979 original. As it turns out, they were all I technically needed to get the most out of Covenant (which, as my REVIEW details, I enjoyed immensely), however I tardily sustained my franchise re-watch undeterred.

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Alien: Covenant (Cinema Review)

15 – 123mins – 2017


 

THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP

Five years ago, when movie maestro Ridley Scott returned to the monster franchise he spawned back in 1979, the reaction from fans and critics alike was decidedly… mixed. To me, 2012’s Prometheus was a beautifully filmed sci-fi epic which teased appetisingly at the grander mythos of the Alien saga while introducing deeper and more universally resonant themes about faith, creation and the dangers of answering the unanswerable. I loved it, and have proudly rewatched it many times since, floored every time by its grace and grandeur.

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Keeping Up with the Joneses (DVD Review)

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12A – 105mins – 2016


 

SOCCER DAD SPIES

Unadventurous husband and wife Jeff (Zach Lego Batman Movie Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Nocturnal Animals Fisher) fear they may need an injection of fun to spruce up their “stupid little lives.” Could hot-on-the-block new neighbours Tim (Jon Absolutely Fabulous Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gal Batman v Superman Gadot) provide the impetus they need? Gorgeous, sophisticated, funny, worldly, fit, wealthy and super-skilled, they are the envy of Maple Circle.

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A Cure for Wellness (Cinema Review)

18 – 146mins – 2017


 

EELS ON FIRE

After transforming into the sickly Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dane DeHaan once again plays a strong-minded and cock-sure twenty-something whose health deteriorates before our eyes in an overlong and overcomplicated genre piece. Wearing its multitude of influences brazenly on its sleeve, A Cure for Wellness marks Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski’s first foray into horror since 2002’s The Ring remake.

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Logan (Cinema Review)

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15 – 137mins – 2017 – 3D


 

WOLVERINE: THE X GENERATION

13 months ago, Deadpool delighted 20th Century Fox by making a pretty penny at the box office despite being the first superhero blockbuster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be certified 18. In a profit-minded climate where tentpole releases are skewed towards the money-maximising 12A rating, Deadpool took a risk and it paid off. Perhaps this is why Fox were more supportive of The Wolverine director James Mangold’s grisly-toned concept for the ultimate send-off for the X-Men’s signature star.

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