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Daniel Craig has given us ‘woke’ James Bond, says Charlie Higson

Young Bond author highlights how much the spy has changed since Ian Fleming created him in 1953He’s the brooding bad boy who drives luxury cars, jumps through windows and wrestles on top of moving trains, all while having an array of beautiful women on his arm. But the one thing James Bond has never been is “woke” – until now.Charlie Higson, the author...

Percy vs Goliath review – Christopher Walken battles Big Agriculture

The New Yorker makes no effort to sound Canadian or look like real life Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser, but he still steals the showA dispute between a Canadian farmer and an agribusiness behemoth over intellectual property rights might sound a trifle dull, but Percy vs Goliath just goes to show casting can make all the difference. That’s not to...

Mussolini’s Sister review – interestingly quirky portrait of a grumpy octogenarian

This acute documentary gets under the surface of its Palestinian film-maker’s sharp-tongued grandmother to the loneliness and resentment withinJuna Suleiman’s documentary about Hiam, her octogenarian grandmother who lives in Nazareth, is no journey through a picture-perfect family album. Hiam is not the cake-baking kind of grandmother. In fact, she...

Gaia review – attack of the killer mushrooms

A terrifying contagion spreads in this chilling South African eco-horror that takes the fun out of fungi The mushroom is having a moment. Its magical qualities and deep connection with the Earth have been explored in numerous recent releases, including Louie Schwarzberg’s Fantastic Fungi. Also journeying into the curious kingdom of the fungus, this...

Balloon review – playfulness and melancholy in Tibet’s sheep-herding life

Writer-director Pema Tseden tells this story of a clash between modernity and tradition as a woman is dismayed to find she is pregnantThe latest of Pema Tseden’s empathic and intimate portraits of Tibetan pastoral life begins with an intriguing cloudiness. A misty, blurry view of lush farmland accompanied by childlike chatter is seen through the inflated...

Why the heavily criticised digital revolution has been good for cinema

Director Patty Jenkins recently condemned films produced by streamers as “fake movies”, but the evolution has opened doors for diversityIn 1993, digital technology was revolutionising cinema; now it threatens to destroy it. The omens were there 28 years ago: the highest-grossing movie that year was Jurassic Park, whose dinosaurs ironically represented...

Nino Castelnuovo obituary

Actor best known for playing Guy Foucher in the French musical film classic The Umbrellas of CherbourgThe actor Nino Castelnuovo, who has died aged 84, starred in one of the indisputable masterpieces of 1960s French cinema: Jacques Demy’s heartbreaking and visually ravishing musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964).Castelnuovo was tender and compelling...

Prisoners of the Ghostland review – Nicolas Cage outdoes himself in deranged action movie

Brace yourself as Cage at his most OTT and Japan’s barmiest director wreak havocA fantasy action movie starring Nicolas Cage as a bank robber tasked with rescuing the niece of the power-crazed Governor from a cursed netherworld, Prisoners of the Ghostland is an outlandish proposition even before you learn that it’s directed by Sion Sono, arguably the...

Gunpowder Milkshake review – ‘John Wicks with chicks’ does no one any favours

A secret society of assassins is played by a stellar cast – but does it really matter that they’re all women?Gunpowder Milkshake takes its “John Wick with chicks” premise and runs with it, scything through swathes of the supporting cast and creating a secret society for assassins, with a lending library of killing kit, that bears marked similarities...

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie review – superficial charmer with a star turn

Newcomer Max Harwood sparkles in this adaptation of the musical about an aspiring young northern drag queenThe movie adaptation of the West End musical based on the real-life story of an aspiring teenage drag queen from Sheffield, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie wears its feelgood message of acceptance and empowerment as proudly and showily as young...

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