“The Shallows” review: A film that offers little to think about and even less excitement

“The Shallows” arrives in theatres with a great deal of anticipation. The film’s marketing campaign has focused on its minimal setting and straight forward narrative—a drawn out game of cat and mouse as a surfer tries to make it out of the ocean without getting eaten by a shark—and Blake Lively’s figure in a bikini. This is, it seems, enough to generate great anticipation. Written by Anthony Jaswinski (“Kristy”) and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, whose previous directorial efforts include the Liam Neeson vehicles “Unknown” and “Non-Stop”, the film proper delivers on the marketing campaign’s promise and little more.

“Approaching the Unknown” review: Artistry limits the dramatic understanding of human existence

Mark Elijah Rosenberg writes and directs his first feature, “Approaching the Unknown”, with a keen appreciation of scientific ingenuity and human life but without an understanding of the artistry required to translate these ideas into a cinematic experience. The story focuses on astronaut William Stanaforth (Mark Strong), as he embarks on a near two-year journey to Mars to make the foundations of a human colony on the planet. He is followed by Emily Maddox (Sanaa Lathan), who leaves several weeks after Stanaforth, I can only presume as a redundancy, given that Stanaforth seems very much capable of running his own operation.

Exploring Michael Haneke's compositions and patriarchal criticism in “The White Ribbon”

Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” is one of those films that I fell in love with from the opening shot, much like his earlier film “Cache”. The strength of this film comes from its visual compositions—you could watch it silently and still work out what the film is trying to say. Set in rural Germany before World War I, we are introduced to the townspeople through a series of accidents. The Doctor gets caught up in tripwire on his horse.

Time capsule — “True Grit” & “Black Swan” reviews

I stumbled across the original copies of my reviews for “Black Swan” and “True Grit” which were published on a now-defunct site. From another life. Best left there. Black Swan With his last film The Wrestler, director Darren Aronofsky sliced through the sheen and entertainment of semi-professional wrestling to reveal it as the bleeding art it can be. Black Swan is a similar vehicle, only this time he takes away the pomp and romantic grandeur of ballet to reveal the battered and bleeding artists behind the dancing.

“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” review: A film too timid and limited in vision to really matter

On September 11, two thousand and one, four commercial airliners were hijacked in the United States and used to attack key US landmarks. Three days later the United States Congress passed the Authorised Use of Military Force (AUMF) bill, authorising use of the US Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks. Nine days after September 11, then American President George Bush told Congress “every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”.

“The Witch” Review: A thrilling dream that explores the heart of fanaticism and American fundamentalism

“The Witch” arrives in Australian cinemas thirteen months after its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, during which time the initial, glowing reviews have helped establish the film’s own mythicism. Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” is a horror film in the most classical sense. Banished from a pioneering New England settlement, a Puritanical family resettle in a small clearing surrounded by woods. Not long after arriving, the eldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) is playing with her newborn brother when he vanishes practically before her eyes.