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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of 2017

The past year on the whole was an impressive year for films. Here is what we consider the best and the worst of 2017.

The Best:

1. Blade Runner 2049: What should have been a disaster turned out to be a sequel almost as good as the classic 1982 original. Great script and fantastic stunning visual set pieces.

2. The Florida Project: Delightful coming of age drama with fantastic performances from mainly a young cast and a supporting role from Willem Defoe as a kindly motel owner.

3. IT: Finally a Stephen King adaptation that lived up to the novel. Not as scary, but as much fun as the original source material with a classic 80’s vibe.

4. T2 Trainspotting: 20 years in the making, the long awaited sequel was worth the wait with the story focusing on the original characters longing for the hope for the future they once had.

5. Detroit: Gripping and brutal true story revolving around riots and racial abuse in the 60’s from ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ director Kathryn Bigalow.

6. Paddington 2: Another sequel which is better than original with a surprisingly great performance from the smug Hugh Grant who plays a washed up theatrical actor.

7. The Levelling: A haunting tense drama revolving around death and the breakup of family set on a Somerset farm. Stunning feature debut from Hope Dickson Leach.

8. Okja: Charming, humorous and touching tale from one of Asia’s leading filmmakers, Bong Joon-ho. The tale of a young girl’s friendship with a genetically engineered pig.

9. Manchester by the Sea: Bleak, somber, but beautifully acted drama. Although very depressing it is also compelling at the same time.
10. Split: M Night Shyamalan returns to form with his best movie since Unbreakable and James McAvoy giving one of his best performances to date. Unsettling horroresque tale about a kidnapper with multiple personalities.

The Worst

1. Bad Kids of Crestview Academy: Extremely bad and insulting comic book inspired horror set in a posh American school.

2. The Emoji Movie: A really silly idea for an animated film which loses so much steam they have to incorporate Minecraft and Candy Crush as well as stealing story elements from the far superior ‘Wreck it Ralph’. Not even Patrick Stewart can save this turd of a movie.

3. Baywatch : A TV show ideal for a spoof, which results in a comedy without laughs.

4. The Snowman: Great source material, cast and director, even the trailer was great. But why is this adaptation so dull and predictable, we may never know.

5. Justice League: DC Comics gives audiences another boring , overloaded comic book movie.

6. The House: Will Ferrell is always hit and miss. This latest so called comedy is more of the latter with a pointless cameo by Jeremy Renner. Just watch the trailer all the amusing scenes are in that!

7. The Mummy: The much hyped Dark Universe franchise lands with a bump with this first feature. The movie really does not know what it should be apart, a Tom Cruise action movie with Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise.

8. Fist Fight: One idea, one joke comedy about two teachers who hate each other. That is all.

9. C.H.I.P.S.: Another TV adaptation except unlike Baywatch this one does have a few laughs.

10. Cars 3: Pixar improves on their latest instalment of the franchise. However all they have done is made an animated film that is not annoying and tedious. Just pretty boring.

Silence ****

Running time 161 mins Cert: 15

: The story of two Catholic missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Catholicism was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

Director Martin Scorsese returns with his passion project which completes his religious trilogy after making ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’.

Based on the 1966 novel of the same name about Jesuit missionaries sent to 17th century Japan, where they endure persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan (“Hidden Christians”) that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion, an uprising of Catholic Christian peasants during the Tokugawa shogunate’s rule. 

The story was influenced by the Catholic Endō’s experience of religious discrimination in Japan.
The scope of the film is beautifully envisioned by Scorsese along with his production designer Dante Ferretti, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. All involved give the film a kind of Malick and Kurosawa influenced vision. Japan’s Edo period has been painstakingly recreated.

All performances are equally strong, although at times a bit distracting as the Priests give a not entirely convincing Portuguese accents There are some great supporting turns by Tsukamoto, Kubozuka aka the Inquisitor and Tadanobu Asano as the Interpreter. 

The pace is fairly slow & with a lengthy runtime may test the faith for any audience. But it must be said that it is worthwhile for ambitiousness and complexity of the piece, while not a film that could be revisited unlike Scorsese’s other masterpieces.
A beautiful piece of art crafted by a filmmaker like no other, however not as strong as his other works.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

The Good, the bad & the Ugly of 2016

The past year on the whole was an impressive year for films. Here is what we consider the best and the worst of 2016.

The Best:

1. Zootropolis: A fantastic, funny and beautifully realised animated masterpiece from Disney with a great moral message.

2. The Jungle Book: Who would have thought a remake of an animated classic would be as good as the original.

3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople: A hidden gem of a comedy from the person behind ‘Flight of the Concords’.

4. Spotlight: A shocking controversial true story made in the spirit of ‘All the Presidents Men’.

5. Arrival: Slow, but beautifully made Sci-Fi with great performances.

6. Room: Powerful drama on how a kidnapping affects a family.

7. Pete’s Dragon: Another remake which should have not worked, but this fun and less campy version of the classic original was a joy to watch.

8. Hell or High Water: Perfect Sense’s David MacKenzie directsthis humorous    modern day western with fantastic performances by all.

9. The Nice Guys: Shane Black’s 70’s set comedic action flick was under appreciated at the time of the release. But    is definitely worth a watch.

10. Moana: Disney Animation appears to be going through another Golden Age. This tropical adventure story from the directors of Aladdin is a funny and touching piece of entertainment.

The Worst

1. Batman vs Superman: A dull, overblown with bad CGI comic book movie. Believe it or not Affleck is the only one who rises above this mess.

2. Yoga Hosers: Not even Kevin Smith fans, could defend this terrible comedy which involves Nazi Sausages taking over the world.

3. Inferno: Yet another Dan Brown adaptation from Ron Howard and Tom Hanks and yet again another boring piece of cinema.

4. Warcraft: Duncan Jones followed his first 2 great films with a boring action flick filled with dodgy CGI in a genre that has never worked.

5. Independence Day: Resurgence: 20 years after the original, it was a sequel nobody wanted or needed.

6. Ice Age: Collision Course: A franchise running out of ideas, which should have been thawed out a long-time ago.

7. Nine Lives: Not as bad as critics made it out to be. Christopher Walken has a few funny moments. However a badly animated cat and underwritten sugary script, makes you wonder by all involved agreed to sign onto the project in the first place.

8. X-Men: Apocalypse: Another disappointing comic book flick, but this time with a weak villain and a drawn out storyline.

9. Ride Along 2: The first film was fun, but the sequel was overblown and loud, funnily enough not all due to Kevin Hart.

10. Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising: A rehash of the first film with more or less the same ideas from the original.

Newsreel (W/e August 2nd 2015)


Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs to Screen at New York Film Festival.
Tommy Lee Jones joins Matt Damon for the latest sequel to the Bourne franchise.
Toronto International Film Festival will host the World Premieres of Ridley Scott’s The Martian, Jay Roach’s Trumbo and Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation and Michael Moore’s Where To Invade Next.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation accomplishes at the top spot of the U.S. Box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 23rd February 2014)


Infamous cinematographer Roger Deakins will not be returning for James Bond 24.


Ride Along sequel on the way.


Avatar sequels to be shot in 4K.


A Good Day to Die Hard’s Jai Courtney will play Kyle Reese in the Terminator reboot.


The Fantastic Four reboot is to star Michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Miles Teller.


Meryl Streep is to play Emmeline Pankhurst in the drama Suffragette.


Will Smith is set to star in an adaptation of Marcus Sakey’s sci-fi/superhero novel Brilliance.


The Expendibles 3 director Patrick Hughes, is in talks to helm The Raid, a big screen English language remake.


Marvel Studios has started looking for a director for Doctor Strange including Mark Andrews, Jonathan Levine, Nikolaj Arcel & Dean Israelite.


The Lego Movie 2 is set to be released on May 26, 2017.


The Man From U.N.C.L.E movie set for January 16, 2015 release.


The Lego Movie continues to build on success as it keeps the top spot of the U.S. Box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 22nd September 2013)


Billy Connolly has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.


Terminator reboot set to be released July 1, 2015, where it’s now set to face Independence Day 2.

The Walking Dead’s Laurie Holden is set to play the villain in the Farrelly’s comedy sequel, Dumb and Dumber To.

Rumour has it Arnold Schwarzenegger is to team up with James Cameron for Avatar 2 as the villain.

The Good Dinosaur & Finding Dory have been moved to November 2015 & 2016.

The Walt Disney Studios & Jerry Bruckheimer announce that they have decided not to renew their first-look deal when it expires next year.

RoboCop will open in regular and IMAX cinemas on February 7, 2014.

Neil Marshall is to direct the remake of Troll Hunter.

Prisoners takes none, when it hits the top of the U.S. Box-office.

World War Z ***




Run Time: 116 mins         Cert: 15


Synopsis: Former UN employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) attempts to save the world from zombies in Marc Forster’s latest horror film.


At the beginning of the film Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his wife Karin (Mirielle Enos) are taking their two daughters to school when Philadelphia is attacked by people who appear to have a lethal virus. As those around them are killed and the city is destroyed, the family escape in a camper van and hide in a block of flats. As they wait for a helicopter to rescue them, they are joined by a young boy named Tommy whose parents have succumbed to the virus. Following this, they are taken to a US Navy Vessel where Gerry is persuaded to help find the source of the virus in exchange for keeping his family safe.


The film follows the team of soldiers to locations all over the world including South Korea, Israel and South Wales. As they travel around attempting to identify where the virus has come from, the team accompanying Gerry are gradually killed leaving only Gerry and a woman named Segen (Daniella Kertesz) whom he has saved from death by removing her hand. Despite almost being killed themselves, the pair finally identify the source of the virus and find a way of preventing it.


“World War Z” is nicely shot and the 3D is excellent. There are some spectacular shots of cities from above that show the true advantages of 3D. The scenes in which the infected people morph and attack also benefit from this as it gives the impression the audience could walk into the screen.


The film is let down by a story that starts well but loses its way in the third act. It is fairly obvious the film has been edited a lot and the acts have been thrown together. This results in “World War Z” feeling somewhat like two separate movies. The ending is also disappointing and feels a bit too perfect.


Although it features good performances from Pitt, Enos and the supporting cast, the characters in the movie are not particularly memorable. Again their development may have suffered due to the excessive editing that has taken place throughout its lifetime but it would have been nice to see characters with more depth and “human like” features to complement a story that is predominantly driven by events.


Overall, the film has its strong points, particularly during the first two acts. However the lack of structure in the third act, lack of character development and cliched ending let it down.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan