‘The Man from Toronto,’ directed by Patrick Hughes

Movie, 2022 Comedy thriller based on the mistaken identity of a hapless, hopeless dreamer, who’s then coerced into the life of a cold-blooded assassin. A bit of a splodge film, with extended action sequences and set-pieces, with the comic tone not quite fitting the action throughout. Still, it’s all fairly enjoyable with some decent highlights, not least the leads, who play things nice and crisply. … Continue reading ‘The Man from Toronto,’ directed by Patrick Hughes

‘Metal Lords,’ directed by Peter Sollett

Movie, 2022 Fairly fresh, contemporary take on the outsiders-making-good, coming of age film, with all the tropes dressed up, the unlikely jumps smoothed over and the whole thing given a heavy metal theme. While this might all sound hugely unpromising, this is a hard film to totally dismiss or dislike – while there’s no mistaking the baddies as baddies, the goodies have a little nuance … Continue reading ‘Metal Lords,’ directed by Peter Sollett

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” directed by Adam McKay

Movie, 2013 Crass, disjointed, ridiculous but funny reprise of a gang of newsreaders and their resurrection following their appointment to the fledgling world of ‘rolling news.’ A film which doesn’t take itself in any way seriously and doesn’t really invite much in the way of comment or critique either, but which delivers some high octane, daft action, plenty of throwbacks to the original film and … Continue reading “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” directed by Adam McKay

‘Trafic,’ directed by Jacques Tati

Movie, 1971 Comedy about a small, struggling French car manufacturer preparing a camper car for an Amsterdam motor show. The story is little more than that, and the attempts of Altra – the car company – to get their vehicle from Paris to the show. There are a few set pieces, including an intriguing pile-up, after which the occupants of each car seem to indulge … Continue reading ‘Trafic,’ directed by Jacques Tati

‘Late Night,’ directed by Nisha Ganatra

Movie, 2019 Story of a complacent and barbed chat show host who, when threatened, begins to mend her ways, sharpen up her act and work with her writers and presentation. The casting of the very British Emma Thompson is a good choice in what, otherwise, feels very slick and American. The main story chugs along and the various relationships and situations look at the role … Continue reading ‘Late Night,’ directed by Nisha Ganatra

‘The Maiden Heist,’ directed by Peter Hewitt

Movie, 2009 Enjoyable comedy-thriller about three art gallery security guards and a plot to save each of their respective works of art from being callously sold off and shipped to Denmark. This is a film which touches on the veneration of old art and its displacement by flashier, more twinkly pieces, but which focuses right down on the relationships between the three main characters, which … Continue reading ‘The Maiden Heist,’ directed by Peter Hewitt

‘The Sellout,’ by Paul Beatty

Novel, 2015 Terrific, fast-paced novel, in which black identities, cultures and essences are examined and explored with and through old minstrel actors, vanishing city names in Los Angeles ghettos and various intellectuals and bus drivers, fighting questions of who they are and how they should behave. A real gritty and trippy ride, with some great angles and attitudes along the way; the questions of other … Continue reading ‘The Sellout,’ by Paul Beatty

‘Fright Night,’ directed by Tom Holland

Movie, 1985 A movie of its time, with dated effects, dollops of self-referential genre shenanigans and a refreshing lack of subtlety and nuance. That said, the worn down tropes and the mismatch on the tricky accomplishment line of ‘comic-horror, weighs the film down, as do the high school protagonists and their interactions with each other. A film which probably  seemed neat and clever at the … Continue reading ‘Fright Night,’ directed by Tom Holland

‘Eaten by Lions,’ directed by Jason Wingard

Movie, 2019 One part coming of age, one part social commentary, which is well done, wears its heart boldly on its sleeve, has some decent performances, but ultimately falls over itself, and just doesn’t deliver enough gags. A problem for a comedy and a shame, as the issues and challenging of norms all pay off nicely. Things feel a little flat, however, and some of … Continue reading ‘Eaten by Lions,’ directed by Jason Wingard

‘They Live,’ directed by John Carpenter

Movie, 1988 One of those full-bloodied action films, where the excuse of the machismo being ‘of its time’ partly but doesn’t wholly expunge the embarrassment of some, and particularly the longer buddy punch-up scene. And yet, ‘They Live’ offers plenty of invention and wit in the way things are set up at the beginning of the film. Things are believable and persuasive and the dystopia … Continue reading ‘They Live,’ directed by John Carpenter