Tag Archives: Ralph Fiennes

The Hurt Locker Review

An immediate tension grips The Hurt Locker, ahead of the curve in how thrillers hope to understand modern warfare. Fast cuts, grainy footage and a close-up piece of the action clutch the heart and eyes of the audience who can do nothing but watch a humanitarian crisis. Director Kathryn Bigelow is good at that, and it is a necessary factor for The Hurt Locker, possibly its most important. The false alarms, the second glances and split-second decision-making are at the core of an extremely tense and nervy feature that hopes to hold out against a barrage of modern filmmakers trying to have their say on prevalent American warfare.

Continue reading The Hurt Locker Review

The King’s Man Review

A blessing in disguise to see that the coronavirus pandemic had delayed The King’s Man from ever releasing properly. It was a sign of just how poor the quality of this latest Matthew Vaughn-directed piece was. It was not dumped online, so the faith producers had in this one to do well at the cinemas was either a misguided shakedown or a bit of tough love to throw at audiences just returning to the big screen. Either way, the dwindling quality of the Kingsman franchise has the enviable consistency that makes it simple to chart. The newer the release, the worse it is. That much can be said for the lifeless but mildly entertaining romps to be had with The King’s Man, a feature that, like the predecessors, relies on the big cast and the bigger events they find themselves thrown into.  

Continue reading The King’s Man Review

Red Dragon Review

For all the classic adoration and achievements it achieved, The Silence of the Lambs was the tip of a nasty iceberg. Beyond its creation and before its heightened relevancy in culture, adaptations of other Thomas Harris work swirled the drainpipe of culture. Red Dragon is an inevitability. It is not as engaging as the first adaptation of Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter, but it is a tumble down from the quality found in The Silence of the Lambs. To consider Red Dragon as anything more than a clumsy encounter with the Brian Cox, near-perfect original, would be shameful. For that is what it is. A tense and unorganised ensemble coming together to capitalise on the on-screen presence of Anthony Hopkins’ rendition of the iconic cannibal character.

Continue reading Red Dragon Review

The Grand Budapest Hotel Review

I do think that, for many, The Grand Budapest Hotel will have marked an introduction to film. It did for me, it feels like only days ago that I first watched this Wes Anderson piece, one of the films that started such an unequivocal, feverish interest in the arts. I remember studying this for an A-Level exam some years ago, between this, Reservoir Dogs, and, oddly enough, The Imitation Game, I found an appreciation for a form of art I had only engaged with in passing. It’s a tad embarrassing, to some degree, that this was the film that got me into a wider world of creativity, but there’ll always be a soft spot for this film in my heart.  

Continue reading The Grand Budapest Hotel Review

Spider Review

As director David Cronenberg steered himself towards projects set in the gloomy, destitute plains of England, it seemed that the earlier films from this era had trouble letting go of the shlock of his former career. In turn, Spider, starring Ralph Fiennes, Gabriel Byrne and Miranda Richardson, feels like Cronenberg toiling between mature, bleak expressions and an inability to bury the love he has for the gory horrors of his glory days. It’s an interesting mixture, one that falters from time to time in some unexpectedly bland moments. But Cronenberg’s style and confidence behind the camera make up for the occasional tedium throughout, with Spider setting off a new range of stylish choices for Cronenberg.

Continue reading Spider Review