By Jack Shanley

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it would only be right to review ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.Thirty years since its original release, it hasn’t aged, only grown better in time. This beautifully crafted heart-warming adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel is an amazing film which offers so much, from the wacky screwball comedy of the Muppets to the seriousness of Michael Caine as Scrooge. In my opinion this is the best adapation out there, for its fun wacky comedy aspect, seriousness and its lack of shyness for the true horror and essence the story holds. As dark as the material can be, we still must go to those dark places for the ending to be as joyous. Dark in periods, especially with the three ghosts, makes it far more memorable and interesting than any of the ghosts from other Christmas Carol movies. The film focuses on not just Scrooge’s life but his whole perspective of life too. We see examples of this in the introduction. We don’t see Scrooge’s face, only low shots emphasising his monstrous visage, and tilted shots to show his twisted view of the world. Something this movie does that I really appreciate is it really hits the serious tone hard during the third ghost. They remove the comic relief that’s kept our spirits up this whole time and force us to witness the horror that awaits Scrooge in the future thus making the ending strong, joyful and that bit more special. Apart from being vastly entertaining, the acting is also superb. Caine’s fantastic performance - changing from a menacing man to a warm, charming man who’s joy is so infectious - arguably carries the film. The songs throughout are fantastic quality too as they’re fun, catchy and will leave you humming the tunes for quite a while. I’d highly recommend watching ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’ this Christmas with the spirit of the season shining through in every frame. For that I can’t help but give it FIVE stars. You can watch ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ on Disney Plus or go see it at the Lighthouse Cinema on December 19th. Director: Jim Henson – Rating: PG – Genre: Family/Fantasy – Run Time: 1h 25m – Language: English. For more film content please follow @movies4fanatics on Instagram.

By Jack Shanley

Forty years ago, Ridley Scott released one of the most captivating Sci-fi films of all time. As it approaches its 40th anniversary, I just had to give ‘Blade Runner’ another rewatch and it never fails to amaze me.It’s an extraordinary film, both beautifully crafted and visually stunning. From the amazing Score by the late genius Vangelis to the phenomenal detail in every shot, it truly is a jaw-dropping cinematic experience. Although it’s a futuristic Sci-fi film from the ‘80s, it still very much clings to the classic film noir style of the ‘40s and ‘50s. Detective Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a masculine yet vulnerable character, a character we’ve seen multiple times throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s. ‘Blade Runner’ is influenced enormously by the film noir style and, of course, other movies such as ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Star Wars’ and probably its biggest influence, Fritz Lang’s 1927 futuristic classic ‘Metropolis’.There is still a freshness and distinctiveness in the material no matter how many times you watch it. One of the greatest elements is the spectacular visuals that suck you in, and as a viewer you can’t help but get lost in it.From the opening aerial shot of the beautiful mesmerising dream-like city, Scott has our attention, and we want to dive in there and then and explore every inch of this amazing city.

However, what’s rather interesting is we never really get the chance to, for up high it looks astonishing but down low it looks like an overpopulated, run down, damp claustrophobic city. Although ‘Blade Runner’ looks amazing, it also sounds amazing. Due to the spectacular visuals you can turn down the sound and still enjoy every second.The film also delves deep into the study of the human condition and essentially questions how we live life. It truly is a science fiction masterpiece and for that I give it a score of FIVE stars.You can watch ‘Blade Runner’ on Amazon Prime or pick up the final cut version for €9.99 in Tower Records. Director: Ridley Scott – Rating: 15 – Genre: Sci-fi/Action – Run Time: 1h 57m – Language: English. For more film content please follow @movies4fanatics on Instagram.

By Jack Shanley

With Jordan Peele’s third film hitting cinemas worldwide in early August, I felt it would be a good opportunity to write about this much-anticipated movie. Overall, I was quite disappointed in all honesty. I felt it took an eternity to really kick in and flow luxuriously to its end. It just felt like a film with no soul, one that is so dependent on its ending that that’s all there really is to it. There was nothing more in the material to get lost in, nothing a second watch could do for me. What Peele has in ‘NOPE’ is a situation and not particularly a story. It’s a situation that never develops and just stays where it starts with louder and grander versions of the same scene continually playing for the two hours’ duration. I also didn’t care for the characters. They were so far wrong that it bored me and punctured any excitement I had for the film. There was nothing really that I, as a viewer, could relate to or identify with. There was no connection to these people on screen. I felt the villain, being a huge UFO, to be so far from scary in any way, to the point of me almost forgetting it was a horror film. It took until the scene midway through, of a violent chimpanzee on a killing spree on the set of a sitcom, for me to remember the genre. That scene was the closest I felt to being uncomfortable for the entire two hours.Jordan Peele is a talented writer/director who certainly knows what he’s doing, and as a huge horror fan I remain ever poised for the next subconscious nightmare he deems fit to make flesh. But every so often an obviously talented person makes a bad movie, and that’s what we have in ‘NOPE’. The talent is there but the movie is dead on the screen. I’ll give ‘NOPE’ a score of three stars. • You can watch ‘NOPE’ at your local cinema today: Director – Jordon Peele - Rating: 16 - Genre: Horror/Sci-fi - Run Time: 2h15m Language: English. For more film content please follow @movies4fanatics on Instagram.