Turning Red (2022) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/turning-red-moive-review-pixar/ SSP

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Best Animated Feature Oscar Winners Ranked

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/animated-feature-oscar-winners-ranked/ SSP

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CODA (2021) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/coda-oscars-movie-review/ SSP

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The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/mitchells-vs-machines-review/ SSP

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The Batman (2022) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/batman-2022-review-pattinson/ SSP

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Review in Brief: The House (2022)

THE HOUSE is an unexpected, twisted delight and is unlikely to be unseated as the most striking animated feature of 2022 until ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE arrives towards the end of the year. This is an anthology of stories revolving around the various residents of an uncanny, vaguely sinister dwelling across three time periods and realities. One tale follows a poor Victorian family gifted the house by a sinister benefactor; the next an aspiring developer has to fight an infestation in order to sell the house; and finally an optimistic landlord attempts to run it as a boarding house in a flooded end of the world. All chapters utilise stop-motion to realise very differently designed groups of characters, from tiny-faced doll-people to giant beetles masquerading as rats (it makes sense in context). All the film’s stories have a moral to them, Roald Dahl-esque dark fables full of gallows humour, mischief and memorable visual flourishes. SSP

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Review in Brief: The King’s Man (2021)

THE KING’S MAN just doesn’t work on so many levels. It has a big tone problem to begin with, and far too many scenes of people standing around explaining what World War I was. Sworn pacifist the Duke of Oxford Orlando (Ralph Fiennes) and his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson) undertake a clandestine mission in Russia at the outbreak of WWI, going up against Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) and a secret society aiming to destabilise superpowers and take over the world. It’s left far too long before we get to experience one of the Kingsman franchise’s trademark dynamic action sequences (RIP choreographer Brad Allen) and the one scene that’s the right balance of ridiculous fun and spectacle is a dance-fight against Rasputin set to a remix of the 1812 Overture. Everything else is narratively clunky, incredibly misjudged and rather than emphasising the waste of human lives in the most destructive of wars in our history ends up insultingly turning the conflict into a Saturday morning cartoon. SSP

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Parallel Mothers (2021) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/parallel-mothers-movie-review-almodovar-cruz/ SSP

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‘Cabaret’ at 50 – Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/cabaret-movie-musical-50-review/ SSP

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Review in Brief: Nightmare Alley (2021)

Following his Oscar win for THE SHAPE OF WATER, Guillermo del Toro could have done anything; Hollywood was his. He eventually decided on NIGHTMARE ALLEY, mounting a twisty and epic in scope noir-psychological-thriller based on an obscure novel from the 40s. Drifter-turned-conman Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) joins a traveling carnival and together with fellow carny Molly Cahill (Rooney Mara) develops a successful mentalism show that attracts the attention of the rich and powerful, including perceptive psychologist Dr Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett) and paranoid millionaire recluse Ezra Grindle (Richard Jenkins) leading Stanton down an inevitable, doomed path. This isn’t the kind of film for people who like concrete answers and neat resolution, but by golly is it one that provokes debate, envelops you in its murky sideshow world and leaves you guessing about its enigmatic and contradictory lead character, wonderfully realised by Cooper. Transfixing, bewildering and gruesome in equal measure, a very del Toro kind of circus attraction, basically. SSP

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