Guardians of the Galaxy Review

By James Mackney @JimMackney Six years ago Marvel set out its stall in bringing a series of high budget films initiating the world into everything Avengers based. Despite spending nearly $1 billion in the process (on that felt exhaustive and fundamentally unnecessary aside from Iron Man 1&3, Thor and the final culminating film Avengers Assemble), that doesn’t mean they’re going to stop making Avengers films… This year it is the turn of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series to...

Art, Censorship, and the Modern Horror Movie

By Dan Sampson @dan_sampson The debate over what constitutes ‘art’ is as old as art itself. Quite why there is such a divergence of opinion is difficult to tell but personal taste, whether admitted or not, is probably the most significant factor in the discussion and is also why it continues: people have different standards, dispositions, and preferences, and these drive their reaction to (and judgment of) works of art. A better question than what art is could be what...

Frank: 90% Soul 10% Paper and Glue

By Matthew Sanders, film critic This is not a music biopic like Ray or Amadeus. This is a fictionalised account of Jon Ronson's former life with Frank Sidebottom and his erstwhile band. Frank Sidebottom was a creative genius and a cult figure created by the late Chris Sievey. He was legendary in his own circle, and although his music never made it into public popular culture his large papier-mâché head certainly did. The story follows a struggling musician (Jon played...

Boyhood: Life affirming

By James Mackney, Film & TV critic Boyhood has the tonal feel of wandering across Hungerford bridge at 2am, you know you could walk across prettier bridges but you're here for the view and you can see everything from Hungerford bridge. There may have been more exciting coming of age films than Boyhood but very few achieve this level of sophistication. Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a sterling achievement and one that took me a while to take in. I will...

A trip down Diagon Alley

  By James Mackney With the release of J K Rowling’s new novel, published under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, I thought it would be an appropriate to head back and look at the filmic works of the her ever successful Harry Potter series. To date the Harry Potter films have collectively grossed a total of $7,723,431,572, a staggering achievement. Does this mean they are all works of cinematic brilliance? Of course not and I would be inclined to say...

Review, The Wind Rises

By Ollie Gayler  @OllieGayler As a career finale, The Wind Rises is suitably poignant.  Its message is not an overt warning as in Princess Mononoke.  Its fantasy is more subtle and human than that of Spirited Away and is not presented in opposition to reality, but rather woven into the film’s realism; realism that is rooted in historical context through its lead character, Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi A5M and A6M Zero fighter planes for the Japanese Navy in...

To sum up Godzilla in one word: Ridiculous.

  By James Mackney 4/5 Godzilla is old school both in terms of character and this fantastic re-boot. It is a proper monster movie with a heart. It contains nods to Spielberg left, right and centre and manages to tell a monster story a million times better than Peter Jackson did with King Kong. Over the last few years we have been treated or tortured depending on your inclination to summer blockbusters that have told us that everything needs to...

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