Review: Creed


Cinema has gone all nostalgic in recent times. Jurassic World, Star Wars of course and now the return of the Rocky franchise with Creed.

Nostalgia is not a bad thing in fact it can be great when executed in the right manner. Star Wars I felt carried this nostalgic feel off wonderfully. Reacquainting us with old friends and introducing us to new ones. I wish I could say the same about Creed.

Much like last years Mad Max review I fear I may be in the minority but Creed just didn’t hit the mark for me.

This is Rocky for a new generation and there should be nothing wrong with that but when you are of the generation that was blessed with Rocky first time round there really was nothing new or exciting to garner from Creed.

Even the first glimpse of Balboa himself was not enough to get a smile out of me during the film. All the old tropes are repeated again. The underdog story, the awkward love interest, it is all there rehashed for 2015 but now with added ‘gags’ about how old Rocky is.

Adonis Johnson (Michael B Jordan) plays the illegitimate child of Apollo Creed and much like his father in previous films he has a certain swagger and arrogance (as well a physical resemblance) that just make him unlikeable. I couldn’t invest the emotion in a character I couldn’t root for during most of the film.

However at the film’s climax my attitude shifted as the inevitable David v Goliath climax nearly brought me out of my seat. I have to say that the  fight sequences are very well staged, with some great camera work and a sense of realism that other boxing films could only dream of.

On leaving the screening I was amazed at how affected fellow viewers were. Some were emotional, tears had been shed, laughs had been shared. I came away wondering if I had watched something different?

If The Force Awakens receives a bit of flak for repetition of story and tropes how can Creed be received so rapturously??

Stallone won a GoldenGlobe for Best Supporting Actor. Did I miss something? If I did what was it?


Creed and I will spar again. I want to see what my friends and colleagues saw. I want to feel what they felt while they watched.  I want to get back in the cinematic ring with this film. Maybe next time I will be knocked out the way I hoped I would be first time round.

Creed is on general release from 15th January 2016.

Thanks to MovieHouse for advance screening access


Review: Joy


I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I got the opportunity to see Joy. David O’Russell reunites again with Jennifer Lawrence to bring us the story of Joy Mangano and her extraordinary rise to fame despite her circumstances.

This is the story of a woman fighting against her family history, her failed marriage and her place in society.

Part drama, part biopic and part black comedy the film sees Lawrence maintain her record of great performances and, also contains within it, a welcome return to form for Robert De Niro starring as her emotionally abusive Dad.

This is a compelling ‘American dream’ tale with much to say about what it means to be a creative person,  what it means to rise above oppressive circumstances and the importance of never giving up.

I am a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan. Even when discussing mop design she is probably the most compelling screen presence we have in modern cinema. Throughout Joy you are rooting for her, willing her to succeed and hoping that she finds the joy she so desperately seeks.

I’ve read several reviews that have been hard on this film and I have to say I don’t understand why. I found lots to love and while it is hard to pin down exactly what genre the film fits into I believe in time it will be viewed as a classic.

Joy is released on 1st January 2016

Thanks to MovieHouse for advance screening access