The Cloverfield Paradox – Review

✯½

Plays out more along the lines of a really bad Black Mirror episode than an actual feature film. But given the odd marketing methods that have allowed the Cloverfield films to stand out amidst many, it also makes a case for what’s to be expected of The Cloverfield Paradox. While it’s respectable for someone like J. J. Abrams to allow a person of colour to helm a blockbuster whose diversity will undoubtedly shine, the film itself isn’t quite the game changer we would have wanted it to be since it happens to be the exact opposite. It’s the opposite because the fact it was released on Netflix less than 24 hours after it was announced also gives away the feeling that perhaps the film was never good enough to get a theatrical release and was merely dumped onto the streaming service like a direct-to-video film. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case for The Cloverfield Paradox because it certainly feels as if it was made as such.

Continue reading →

A Wrinkle in Time – Review

✯✯✯

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time is a film of a rather significant first, because it is the first film with a budget of over $100 million to have been directed by an African-American woman. While it’s certainly admirable on Ava DuVernay’s end that she managed to get this made, unfortunately talking about the film itself will be a whole other story. The film’s social significance cannot be overstated but because of that whole other story regarding the actual quality of the film, it also sets a worrying note for WOC filmmakers working in Hollywood. It’s worrying because of the possibility that this film will end up being weaponized against them, especially when it isn’t so much a failure as said concept would end up making it out to be.

Continue reading →

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Review

✯✯✯½

I’ve never exactly been a huge Planet of the Apes fan (I do really enjoy the original film, even though the rest never did much for me) yet coming out of the theater from Rise of the Planet of the Apes back when it came out was a thrilling experience. Years of not having seen it only left me feeling that perhaps I was far more impressionable considering how perfectly the original Planet of the Apes film had managed to stand the test of time, and yet as I watched Rupert Wyatt’s reboot of the franchise in Rise of the Planet of the Apes for my first time since then – so much of the joy that I remember having felt seems to have faded away. That’s not to say I dislike Rise of the Planet of the Apes because I still enjoy it well enough as it is, but considering what has only come forth within the future, it doesn’t feel as exciting as it was back in 2011.

Continue reading →

The Last King of Scotland – Review

✯✯✯

General Idi Amin’s rise to power and his own erratic behavior can already make for an interesting subject to capture on film, which is exactly what Kevin Macdonald aimed to capture in The Last King of Scotland. Yet for every trace this film has that can signify something far greater it unfortunately falls down at the hands of another story being told at the exact same time, and this portion isn’t nearly half as interesting. That’s not to say a bad film is what we’re left with but rather instead what we have been given is in part something that could have been great because of the craft behind how a story like this is being captured on film. Then amidst all of that, it stops to tell another. The mix that we are left with is exactly what Kevin Macdonald provides in The Last King of Scotland, forming a product that feels only serviceable at its very best.

Continue reading →