Mini Review - The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man (out Feb 27) an effective, memorable thriller. It's the story of a woman who is terrorised by her invisible husband (who she believed was dead). There's tension from start to finish, Elisabeth Moss is outstandingly credible in the lead role, and the crew make great use of sound and visuals. Grade: A.
Mini Review - Miss Fisher and The Crypt of Tears
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (out Feb 27) is based on a television show which is based on a book series. Set in the 1920s, it revolves around a woman who is best described as part detective, part socialite. I realise I’m new to these characters and the film is pitched at existing fans but, in giving an honest appraisal, I’m struggling to see the fuss. I liked the production values but they're not enough to overcome the dull dialogue and ham-fisted premise. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - The Lodge
The Lodge (out Feb 20) is a sticks-with-you thriller that begins innocuously and builds to a great climax. It's the story of two children and their soon-to-be stepmom who become stuck in a remote house during an intense snow storm. The less you know about it going in, the better. Grade: A-.
Mini Review - The Call of the Wild
The Call of the Wild (out Feb 20) is a family drama that follows a muscular St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix and his journey across the United States. I wasn't convinced by the CGI animals and the content feels very safe and "watered down" compared to Jack London's 1903 novel. It’s an unadventurous adventure. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - The Professor and the Madman
The Professor and the Madman (out Feb 20) is the story of two men who had a major part in writing the first Oxford English Dictionary in the late 19th Century. Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, sporting thick beards and equally thick Scottish accents, are doing the best with the material but ultimately, the finished product doesn’t make an impact. Grade: C.
Mini Review - Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog (out Feb 13) is a simplistic family film that lacks creativity. More for kids than adults. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island (out Feb 13) puts a horror-thriller spin on the popular 1970s TV series. A group of strangers meet on a mysterious island where they expect to have their fantasies fulfilled. There's a nice build of intrigue in the first half but the choppy screenplay, dumb characters and weak finale add up to a not-so-memorable whole. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - Emma.
Emma. (out Feb 13) is a light-hearted comedy based on Jane Austen's famed novel. From the stunning costumes to the striking, symmetrical cinematographer, first-time director Autumn de Wilde has created a beautiful, intoxicating world. That said, the richness of the setting doesn’t fully stretch to the characters themselves. Star Anya Taylor-Joy is terrific but a few of the supporting players are shallow and simplistic. Grade: B.