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WraithApe has written 52 reviews for films during 2020.

  • The Limehouse Golem

    The Limehouse Golem

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    WARNING: major spoilers ahead! I want to discuss the adaptation of the book in this review, so if you haven't seen it and plan to, then stop reading now!

    Having just finished Peter Ackroyd's novel of the same name (actually Dan Leno and The Limehouse Golem, renamed in the wake of the film), it seemed like a good time to check out Juan Carlos Medina's adaptation. It's actually a creditable re-working. It lacks the post-modern playfulness that marks Ackroyd's prose…

  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    ★★★★½

    Given how little screen time he has, it's perhaps puzzling that the film is named after Dr. Strangelove but Strangelove is the war room's Rosetta Stone, key to making sense of their insane situation: he enlightens them about the Soviet's Doomsday Machine and in his final appearance, provides the deus ex machina of the fallout shelter that will allow everyone to see the mushroom cloud's silver lining.

    Buck's eyes light up, "Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to…

  • The Road

    The Road

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Father and son hit the road through a monochrome hellscape, heading south for the coast. The events that led to the apocalypse are never specified because, I guess, that's not the point; John Hillcoat's film, like the novel perhaps (not sure, I haven't read it), is concerned with effect rather than cause. The physical and psychological travails the father, played by Viggo Mortensen, and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) have to go through on a day-to-day basis in order to…

  • Tumbbad

    Tumbbad

    ★★½

    Another day another dollar, or in this case, another 15 years, another buttload of Hastar tokens from the slots at Tumbbad's Godess Earth casino. I don't recommend a visit here on your next trip down the Jagbudi. After passing through faux medieval doors, proceeding down the dimly lit entrance hall, and through the ostentatious ornamental trap door, it opens up into a cavernous lobby that's peculiarly visceral; I might even say womb-like, with its blood red decor and squelchy underfoot…

  • Massacre Gun

    Massacre Gun

    ★★★★½

    I was supposed to go see Jaws on the big screen last night but the BFI has now officially closed Southbank b/c COVID-19 so I headed over to Wizborne's for a game of Elder Sign (we got our asses kicked by Shub-Niggurath) and a sealed 矢 from his voluminous quivver of Arrows. We quickly realized we'd plucked out and unwrapped a bit of a gem in Massacre Gun.

    The title menu, smooth tracking accompanied by smoother jazz boded well and…

  • Yellow Sky

    Yellow Sky

    ★★★½

    I decided to watch this off the back of a couple of positive reviews and I'm happy to report I didn't get a bum steer! A bunch of outlaws, on the run from the law after holding up a bank, take to the salt flats where the lawmen are happy to give up the chase; "Let 'em go! Save us the trouble of hanging 'em". After a few days slogging it out under the blazing sun, Stretch's gang make it…

  • For No Good Reason

    For No Good Reason

    ★★★★

    Some have been critical of Johnny Depp's attachment to this project, but I don't have a problem with it - he's clearly genuinely inspired by both Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson's work and pretty much keeps out of the way, allowing Ralph to tell his own story. He really just acts as a proxy for the audience; a receptive eye and ear.

    The most rewarding aspect of this documentary is in watching the artist at work. Starting with a single…

  • The Deep End

    The Deep End

    ★★½

    A more modern adaptation of The Blank Wall that suffers less from the melodramatic excesses of Max Ophüls's The Reckless Moment but has its own issues with plausibility as the film plunges into an overwrought final act. I prefer the Ophüls version by a slim margin, but if I'm honest I'll normally plump for classic film noir over the neo variety. Anyway, despite the source material, I wouldn't really call this a neo noir; it's not highly stylized - the…

  • Snowpiercer

    Snowpiercer

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Sorry y'all but Snowpiercer is all kinds of stupid. It doesn't get off to a good start - some sort of gas, or something, used to prevent global warming accidentally sent the world into a new CGIce age but it's OK cos some rich dude called Willy Wilford has preserved an enclave of humanity by loading them onto a train and sending them round the world in perpetuity. Not the brightest and the best though, a ragged bunch of ne'er-do-wells…

  • Tourist Trap

    Tourist Trap

    ★★★½

    20something teenagers do battle with a telekinetic hick in the Hollywood Hills, having ill-advisedly rocked up at a forgotten tourist spot, Slausen's Lost Oasis. This was a lot weirder than I was expecting. It feels like it should be campier but there's a actually a real mean streak running through it. Mannequins are creepy af at the best of times, let alone when they're shrouded in deep shadow and have a tendency to become animated when you least expect it.…

  • The Mule

    The Mule

    ★★★

    Old man Eastwood saddles up and heads across state with a truckful of dust and a headful of regrets. For a film about cartels and feds, it's a surprisingly quiet, gentle ride - no explosions or shootouts, no high octane car chases, just Eastwood and his truck. But then it's not really about cartels and feds; it's about Earl Stone gradually coming to terms with the fact that he's given his family a lifetime of short shrift in favour of…

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    ★★★★★

    "I had witnessed the start; I was sure of that much. But what now?"

    The desert race is the jumping off point for Raoul Duke alias Hunter S. Thompson, tasked with covering it but actually in Vegas with his own agenda to penetrate the dark heart of the American Dream through the ultimate in embedded journalism; the originator and living embodiment of gonzo. Like the finishing line of the race, the line between objective research and active participation is lost…