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.
… Keep Scuttling!
Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 8th October 2017
Series created by: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman
Written by: Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite
Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi
“Let’s send our Klingon friends a message they won’t forget.”
Settling into its new post-‘second pilot’ direction, episode 1.4 of Star Trek: Discovery gave me the distinct impression that it was panicked about how grand, impressive and memorable it was, and frequently felt the need to throw everything at the audience in a shallow attempt to impress. While it’s by no means a complete shipwreck, “The Butcher’s Knife…” is both the busiest and my least favourite of the new series thus far.
… Keep Scuttling!
BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 1st July 2017
Written by: Steven Moffat
Directed by: Rachel Talalay
HANGING ON IN A HURRICANE
“We’re not going to get out of this one, are we?”
On the day when fandom is anxiously awaiting the reveal of who will be the new face of the Time Lord’s 13th regeneration, I finally bring my run of reviews of Peter Capaldi’s final series to a close. Episode 10.11, “World Enough and Time” (reviewed HERE), had me impressed and enthralled, if ultimately frustrated that the entire instalment felt like little more than a tease for this hour-long finale. My anticipation, therefore, was high, especially as this concluding part was written and directed by the same duo as last week, exiting showrunner Steven Moffat and director Rachel Talalay. Safe hands, right?
… Keep Scuttling!
12 – 98mins – 2016
Quote-heavy and gif-friendly in its all-round over-exuberance, 2001’s first Zoolander is considered a modern classic of the Brat Pack comedy era – much like Will “Mugatu” Ferrell’s Anchorman. I can never proclaim to being that enamoured with either if I’m being honest, although both have remained so prescient in the public consciousness that sequels – whether necessary or not – were guaranteed money-makers.
It took co-writer, star and director Ben Stiller some 15 years to resurrect his chique-but-stupid fashion model Derek Zoolander, who has been in icy exile (like a “hermit crab”) since the collapse of his Centre For Kids Who Can’t Read Good, death of his wife (Christine Taylor) and some seriously poor spaghetti-based parenting skills saw Child Protection services take his son, Derek Jr (Cyrus Arnold), into care.
But now a mystery assassin is gunning down the world’s most famous pop stars, all of whom take a “Blue Steel” selfie before they pop their beautiful clogs. Chances are only the creator of the trademark look and his former fashion rival-cum-BFF-cum-rival-again Hansel (Owen Wilson) hold the key to cracking this deadly plot – but can they be trusted to work full-stop, much less undercover and together?! And how will they fit in to a much-changed, androgyny-embracing industry?
Bringing back every successful element from the first film and adding a walk-in wardrobe’s worth more, Zoolander No. 2 is a messy maelstrom of outrageous outfits, flashy visuals, dumb expressions, stupid jokes and more celebrity cameos than your mind can reasonably comprehend. At least the similarly overcrowded Absolutely Fabulous never got to the point where they needed to write the names of the famous people on screen to tip off the audience!
It’s not high art – in fact most of it is as eye-rollingly embarrassing as Kristin Ghostbusters Wiig’s near incomprehensible foreign accent – but the game cast and even-gamer cameoists (Justin Bieber, Kiefer Sutherland and Benedict Cumberbatch in particular don’t mind putting their pride to one side) just about save this from being a stinky No. 2 of a catwalk catastrophe – it’s just a shame so much of it is recycled from last season and should have been left on the hanger.
CR@B’s Claw Score: