• Saltburn

    Saltburn

    Fennell has a flair for wicked dialogue, using conversational scenes to upend each character’s place on the ladder. Only Felix doesn’t move. In shots, one constantly watches to see who is presented higher in the frame. Who currently holds the upper hand? The introduction of Felix’s sister Venetia (Alison Oliver) reconfigures the film considerably. Everything that follows escalates into the type of pulpy thriller one don’t see much in theatres. But viewers might be inclined to say this could’ve just been on HBO.

    Read Colin Biggs' full review: thatshelf.com/napoleon-and-saltburn-two-films-that-trolled-us-to-varying-success/

  • Napoleon

    Napoleon

    The assumption of a Ridley Scott-directed Napoleon is that it would exhaustively cover his military record and the tumultuousness of his rule. Whether one expects the majority of the film to be a bedroom farce instead of war on the battlefield largely dictates one’s enjoyment of the film. What Scott and screenwriter David Scarpa offer is Napoleon’s marriage as a microcosm of his reign. Unable to control his wife, it’s not difficult to see why the tyrannical general couldn’t keep…

  • The Iron Claw

    The Iron Claw

    Far from following the familiar tropes of standard biopics, The Iron Claw coalesces around Kevin, the oldest surviving member of the Von Erich clan. As the second son in a family of sons, Kevin treats his responsibilities and obligations to his family in and out of the ring with near monk-like severity. In an early montage, we see him devote every waking minute to improving himself physically: going for a run on the family farm in the early morning, hitting…

  • The Boys in the Boat

    The Boys in the Boat

    It may be hard to picture now, but rowing was one of the most popular spectator sports around in the 1920s and 1930s. With their country behind them, the University of Washington team would ultimately win the gold medal in Berlin, just narrowly besting Italy and Germany in a morale-boosting win.

    But therein lies the problem with The Boys In The Boat. From the outset, audiences already know that the crew will defy the odds to win. It’s a feel-good…

  • Ferrari

    Ferrari

    It comes as no surprise that Mann brilliantly executes the technical aspects of the race that defines the second half of Ferrari. The camera is restless during the pivotal race, convinced that danger lingers around every corner. Those familiar with the history of the 1957 event will feel that same pull of danger in their chest. Like any character in a Mann film, the drivers’ choices define them. Because he was also behind the wheel when it mattered most, Enzo…

  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

    Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

    The year of our Lord 2023 A.D. (C.E.) has not been kind to DC’s big-screen comic-book adaptations. Between the widely reported news of the DCEU’s (DC Extended Universe) demise as an interwoven franchise, a divisive mega-merger between Discovery and Warner Bros., and a new creative team of James Gunn and Peter Safran controlling this year’s DCEU releases (e.g. The Flash) audiences have recognized the increasingly diminishing returns involved and responded accordingly (i.e. negatively). They’re but throwing up their hands in…

  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

    Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

    Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget hums along at a pleasantly engaging clip, reintroducing its two central characters, Ginger (voiced by Thandiwe Newton), the de facto leader of the fowls who made a great escape from a prison camp-like chicken farm, and Rocky (Zachary Levi), a burly, one-time circus performer and Ginger’s significant other (fowl). They enjoy the collective fruits of their labour, a pre-industrial sanctuary built on an island. Everyone works for the common good, everyone has more than enough to eat, and everyone has more than enough protection from the elements to live happily.

    Read Mel Valentin's full review: thatshelf.com/chicken-run-dawn-of-the-nugget-aardman-makes-a-welcome-return-to-stop-motion-animation/

  • The Color Purple

    The Color Purple

    By their nature, adaptations across media tend to be viewed as safe, presumably because they rely on a built-in audience already familiar with the source material either directly or tangentially, elevating interest in an adaptation as a result. The same, however, doesn’t necessarily apply to a second adaptation of the same material regardless of whether it’s another straightforward adaptation or like Blitz Bazawule’s (Black is King), an adaptation of both Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, The Color Purple, and…

  • Good Grief

    Good Grief

    Dan Levy gave audiences the ultimate gay wedding with the series finale of Schitt’s Creek. He’s now probing the weight of the phrase “til death do us part” in his feature directorial debut Good Grief. The film, which has no relation to Charlie Brown but might inspire use of his favourite expression from cynical viewers, is an earnest drama about love, relationships, and the long messy road to figuring life out. However, fans expecting the solid laughs of Schitt’s Creek…

  • All of Us Strangers

    All of Us Strangers

    The memories of things unsaid profoundly haunt All of Us Strangers. The film offers a masterclass in writing, acting, and directing as Haigh (Weekend) brings to the screen a personal adaptation of the novel by Taichi Yamada. The story remains loosely the same as Adam meets a mysterious stranger in his apartment and they begin a relationship. As they gradually fall in love, Adam takes trips back home and makes up for lost time with his parents. Adam, a writer,…

  • Night Swim

    Night Swim

    Haunted houses are well-trodden paths through the history of horror film. But haunted pools? Outside of a few notable scenes of terror in these suburban, man-made swimming holes there is not much to look back at. Night Swim aims to be a squarely wet and dripping haunted horror film about these cement ponds, but largely misses the mark.

    Read Deirdre Crimmins' full review: thatshelf.com/night-swim-review-stay-in-the-shallow-end/

  • Mean Girls

    Mean Girls

    Mean Girls is a delightfully funny and fresh take on high school teenage girl clique-dom with engaging characters, witty, highly-quotable dialogue, and a cast of future stars. It’s just too bad that particular movie came out in 2004.

    Unfortunately for the new Mean Girls (confusingly also called Mean Girls, so will henceforth be known as Mean Girls 2.0 for clarity), the love of the OG movie still runs strong. No matter how hard the musical version tries to capture the…