• Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Sure, it's nice to see a few neat, fairly original (for Marvel) visual touches courtesy of Raimi, but the rest of this next to unbearable and arguably even thinner and more baseless than the MCU usually serves up. The film leans so heavily into its plot seemingly to try and occlude the very obvious matter of why the hell is any of this even happening? It's honestly baffling how unmoored from itself this entry is – nevermind other recent additions…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★½

    A droning, long-take laden bore. Trying for a sort hypnotic, meditative violence and all it manages is a numbing monotony of concept it's too intimidated to anything other than disguise. Tries to make metallic The Green Knight, right down to the CGI fox that guides the hero to a mythic vision. Far from a window into an/other religious world, this is a film lost between post-modern, modern and pre-modern perspectives on prior expressions of life. In spite of its confident…

  • Once Upon a Time in China IV

    Once Upon a Time in China IV

    ★★★★

    Vincent Zhao acquits himself admirably in next to impossible challenge of stepping in for Jet Li, just as Yuen Bun does the same in taking the helm of the series on from Tsui Hark. There's a lot of wonderful compositions in here (I was especially taken by the infrequent but beautiful plays with light), exceptional uses of reverse film roll, well-choreographed duels and a sterling and inventive use of wire-fu. Nevertheless, to do my due diligence, it's a film very…

  • Once Upon a Time in Calcutta

    Once Upon a Time in Calcutta

    ★★★½

    Contributed this on In Review Online for its New Directors/New Films 2022 coverage. Check it out here or below:

    Far from being a new director or a new film, Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s third feature Once Upon a Time in Calcutta speaks to a director fully versed in the grammar of the cinematic and language of storytelling. Sengupta’s prior works, unseen by this writer, appear to speak to a director acutely aware of the distancing effects implicit to the work of…

  • The Wandering Earth

    The Wandering Earth

    ★★★½

    "Ignite Jupiter!"

    Not even the myths, reality and threats of the heavens can match the indomitable, collective human spirit. Definitely a lesson or two to be learned from this Chinese blockbuster. Happy Labour Day.

  • The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger

    ★★★★★

    A modern masterpiece, no ifs no buts no maybes.

  • The Millionaires' Express

    The Millionaires' Express

    ★★★

    Sammo Hung makes Keaton's The High Sign into a full on feature length, revolving door plot of Chinese New Year nonsense. Hilarious, pandering, offensive, progressive.

  • Crippled Avengers

    Crippled Avengers

    ★★★★½

    Really god-level stuff from Chang Cheh here, with the crippling that's carried out leading to creatively individuated and combined action choreography alongside formal choices (i.e. no sound for the deaf, obscured images for the blind, varied speeds for the crazed and lame) that highlight the unique predicaments of the protagonists and underline the comraderie each find in one another in extending and showcasing their gifts. True dudes rock stuff when each of the avengers takes a moment to clasp and…

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    ★½

    A franchise, knowing it's dead, dying in front of your eyes.

    RIP Dougal, the platypus who I think is a stand-in for some kind of Aussie gold thievery (JK's geo-pol representation is weird).

  • The Convict Killer

    The Convict Killer

    ★★★★

    All-time bookending image/concept. Tons of rhythmic, balletic hits throughout. Loved the setting/fusion of warlord-gangsterism, lone warriors and Min Government absence of authority. Solid lazy evening film.

  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★★

    4K80 beta

    Looks good. Feels good. Utter magic.

  • War Horse

    War Horse

    ★★★★½

    The nature of the wind. Reality strikes, au hasard.