Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Standard
despicable-me-3-image-2

Image via collider.com

3.5_orange_sm

Gru is my favourite villain. And now there’s the breakdancing Balthazar Bratt, who comes in at number two. And number three is Gru’s twin brother Dru, who’s like a more optimistic Gru with a blonde wig. Sequels are usually something to endure but this third installment of the Despicable Me franchise was almost as good as the first and definitely more entertaining than the second.  Continue reading

The Girl on the Train (2016)

Standard

3.0_orange_sm

The book or the film, the film or the book? Like fellow literary bestseller and psychological thriller Gone Girl, I had read the book before seeing this US film adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train. Although the book is always better, when it’s a story that relies heavily on mystery and suspense, knowing the ending significantly affects enjoyment of the film. The subsequent lack of curiosity about what is going to happen also leaves too much time to notice differences. Continue reading

From Nowhere (2016)

Standard

I knew nothing about this film when I bought a ticket. Screening as part of the American Essentials Film Festival, it suited my schedule and its story about undocumented teens at a US high school trying to make a future sounded interesting. What completely surprised me was to find out, during the closing credits, that it was directed by Matthew Newton. Yes, that Matthew Newton. He’s not my favourite person but he did a remarkably good job at showing the vulnerabilities of people whose human rights are threatened. Continue reading

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Standard

2.5_orange_sm

Oh Ridley. You forgot what made Alien so great. It wasn’t the iconic HR Giger design, it wasn’t the special effects or complicated world-building narrative. It was two things – character and suspense. We got to know Ripley and Lambert and Kane and Ash. We cared what happened to them. We held onto our seats and sheltered behind cushions as Ripley navigated her way through the Nostromo, we cheered when she and Jonesy made their final report. Continue reading

Get Out (2017)

Standard

3.5_orange_sm

Touted as a horror, this is really a suspenseful thriller that keeps you guessing right up until the satisfyingly violent ending. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is getting ready to visit the parents of his new girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) for the first time. Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener), Rose assures him, will be totally cool that he is black as her Dad ‘would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could’ and they are ‘definitely not racist’. Continue reading