Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Director Taika Waititi wisely abandons the many things that weren’t working for the Thor series of films, and makes what basically amounts to an outright comedy, with “Thor: Ragnorak”. The occasional glimpses of what a non-comedy version of the film may have looked like are actually pretty intriguing (I felt damned teased by the gorgeous…

Geostorm (2017)

Geostorm wasn’t directed by Roland Emmerich, the man behind many iconic disaster movies, but by Dean Devlin, the man who wrote many of those iconic disaster movies. It plays like an attempt at a “best of” those movies, its ludicrous premise (Gerard Butler goes into space to uncover a political conspiracy sabotaging a satellite system…

King Lear (2008)

An eminently well-performed staging of King Lear. Ian McKellan stuns in a fantastic turn at the title role, but Philip Winchester also does very admirable work as a magnificent Edmund. Sylvester McCoy also did magic with McKellan, they played very well off each other and it was difficult to take eyes off McCoy’s magnetic performance…

King Lear (1910)

Fascinating short film adapting King Lear. The hand-tinted colouring is striking, otherworldly, the quality of the transfer and the level the performances are pitched at, the tight constraint of the frame, all coming together to make a dreamlike, fairytale-esque take on the tragedy. The story is extremely condensed but the performances do an admirable job…

King Lear (1606) by William Shakespeare

A timeless tale of renunciation and insanity. How mad is it for a play to muse over the powerlessness and ineffectiveness of language? But that’s how King Lear begins, with Cordelia’s refusal to bandy about words for the sake of it (”Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave / my heart into my mouth”), for…

The Village of Stepanchikovo (1859) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Bit toothless and rote for Dostoyevsky, though I appreciate why he’d be wary at this time of his writing life. Some of the social farce works, but it lacks Dostoyevsky’s usual pathos. There’s arguably some development of archetypes Dostoyevsky is honing here, but all the rug-pulling dulls much consistent development. Enjoyable enough, but inessential. Three…

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

There’s no saxophone in Blade Runner 2049. There’s barely any Harrison Ford. The aesthetic are strikingly different from the original film. More or less gone are the pervasive cramped neon-drenched streets, the melded Asian aesthetic, the acoustic instrumentation. Hampton Fancher may have been a writer on both films, but 2049 isn’t a sparse moody tone…