Sicario (2015) Film Review

Kate (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent who is dealing with horrific situations happening around the US/Mexico border relating to the drug gangs and the police. She is enlisted into a task force to go into Mexico and try to follow several leads to resolve the situation, but her idealism and belief that she is able to make a difference is challenged at every step.

This is a horrible film- extremely good in many ways, but just awful and violent, and maddening and I just wanted it to end. I wouldn’t recommend this film to a lot of folks because I found it very hard to watch, but I think if you don’t mind feeling outraged at the world and angry that things can be so unjust, you might like it. I am in two minds about the end – I feel as though it suddenly became quite a Hollywood film when it had the chance to be more… I’m not sure if real is quite the right word, but different. Though maybe a more real story would be too long for a film.

Sicario was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Film Review


Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was abducted from Earth as a small boy and as an adult travels the galaxy stealing stuff for money. Stealing an orb turns out to be a bad idea, as he ends up with some nasties after him, led by Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) is a genetic creation – essentially a talking racoon and has a mate who is mostly tree, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and they kidnap people for cash, and end up after Peter too. Things go bad, they end up in jail and then escape with one more hanger on – Drax (Dave Bautista). And they have to fight together to find freedom. And friendship.

And it is that corny, but it is also extremely funny and clever and not so cheesy, with loads of fights and cool crazy special effects and really bright coloured creatures, and Glenn Close and John C. Reilly and Benicio Del Toro and Peter Seranfinowicz and I think I may be a little too excited over this one so I am going to go lie down for a while.

Guardians of the Galaxy was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Achievement in Special Effects and for BAFTAs for Best Make Up and Hair and Best Special Visual Effects/


Sin City (2005) Film Review

Sin City


Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name and filmed almost entirely against green screen, Sin City takes a dip into the sordid world of Basin City. This is a world with pedophilia, prostitute wars and corrupt cops.

Along with general action films, I really like the genre of films made from comics and graphic novels. Sin City takes this to a whole new level. The entire look of the film is like a dark comic strip, with lots of dark shadows and limited use of colour. What’s more, it is extremely and horrifically violent, but in a way that, even though it is clearly fake, it is uncomfortable to watch. I think this is a truly wonderful film, and I’m very excited to see that another Sin City is due to be released next year.

7 Days in Havana (2012) MIFF Film Review


If you have ever wanted to go to Cuba, this film is a great place to get a taste of the place. 7 Days in Havana gives us seven separate, although at times connected, stories told by seven different directors. It takes us throughout the city, and shows both locals and tourists in a variety of lights.

Being seven different stories, there could almost be seven different reviews, as each story had a stand-alone feel, both emotionally and artistically. Not all were strong, and I think each audience member would have their favourite. Perhaps it is the young American actor who has a drunken night on the town before starting film school, or the newly appointed diplomat who tries to fill in his day waiting for the president to stop talking.

For me, it was the little connections between the stories that were the most delightful, and I would have loved there to have been more of these.