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Non-Review Review: Broadcast News

Broadcast News feels like it has lost a bit of its bite as the years went on. Originally released fifteen years ago, it undoubtedly seemed like a prophetic commentary on trends in news media, voicing an understandable unease at the line blurring between merely reporting the news and “selling” it to an eager and unquestioning population. Back then, these trends were undeniably present and one could sense a none-too-subtle shift in the approach to news. Unfortunately, it looks like those trends are to stay, and I think that has aged Broadcast News considerably. It doesn’t feel like James L. Brooks’ telling media satire is attacking a coming change so much as it is making one last stand against it. It’s still a very clever, very powerful and very well put together piece of film, but it sadly feels like it’s fighting a battle lost long ago.

That, perhaps, makes Broadcast News the most depressing comedy I’ve seen in quite some time.

They let an Tom, Dick or Harry host the news…

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Non-Review Review: The Firm

The Firm would be an entertaining little thriller, if it ran maybe half-an-hour shorter. John Grisham’s legal thrillers were pretty much the gold standard for lawyer-related movies during the nineties, with any number of movies adapted freely from his books (notably in the format of “The [insert noun here]” like “The Firm”, The Client, The Rainmakerand so on). It’s a shame, because I believe that The Firm might have, with a little judicious editing, had the capacity to be the best Gresham adaptation out there. Instead, it’s too bloated to really make an impact.

It's no coincidence that "lawyer" and "liar" sound so similar...

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Non-Review Review: The Incredibles

I think Pixar’s The Incredibles must stand as one of their best productions – alongside Finding Nemo, perhaps. It’s certainly one of their more conventional entries in the Pixar stable, in that it’s offered in the blockbuster format of the decade (superhero adventure), but – like the very best of their work – it’s so much more. A whole host of Pixar’s films – Toy Story and Finding Nemo chief among them – deal with the notion of paternal abandonment (though perhaps more fond of addressing the story of parents abandoned by kids, rather than kids abandoned by adults), but The Incredibles is perhaps the one which best deals with the challenges that managing a ‘functioning’ family.

That's one incredible family...

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