In praise of Dwayne Johnson’s performance in Pain & Gain

With the release of Baywatch, Dwayne Johnson ventures into raunchy comedy mode, as the much beloved remembered TV show gets an affectionate piss-take update. Word of mouth on the reboot may be mixed, but that certainly isn’t a reflection of Johnson’s comic abilities. Cocksure humour was a key component of his wrestling persona, The Rock,… Read More In praise of Dwayne Johnson’s performance in Pain & Gain

How The Lost World taught me that films could be cruel

Twenty years on from its summer ’97 release, any reverence for The Lost World: Jurassic Park is largely restricted to people holding up for it as the best of the franchise’s sequels. Which is perhaps fair and certainly understandable, especially given that directors Joe Johnston and Colin Trevorrow, the series’ most recent torch bearers, have not managed… Read More How The Lost World taught me that films could be cruel

Review: The Secret Scripture (Jim Sheridan, 2016)

The most striking moment in Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture occurs in the very first scene, as a soft Irish voice repeatedly states, “My name is Rose McNulty. I did not kill my child.” Older and younger incarnations of Rose are played by Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara respectively. The former dictates an account of her misfortunes… Read More Review: The Secret Scripture (Jim Sheridan, 2016)

Review: Gary Numan: Android in La La Land (Rob Alexander/Steve Read, 2016)

With so many music documentaries around that focus on great artists with a tendency towards egomania, it’s refreshing to find one that’s about a musician – and a highly influential one at that – who seems entirely uninterested in self-mythologising. Android in La La Land profiles electro pop pioneer Gary Numan, who was derided and revered… Read More Review: Gary Numan: Android in La La Land (Rob Alexander/Steve Read, 2016)

Review: The Library Suicides (Euros Lyn, 2016)

After a string of high-profile TV gigs on the likes of Daredevil, Broadchurch and Happy Valley, The Library Suicides sees director Euros Lyn return to the feature filmmaking fold with a twisty psychological thriller. Adapted from the Welsh-language bestseller Y Llyfrgell by Fflur Dafydd, what sets the film apart in the current British cinema landscape is its retaining… Read More Review: The Library Suicides (Euros Lyn, 2016)