Mary, Queen of the Screen.

Stars take to the Scottish capital to watch premiere of new historical film. Mary Queen of Scots star Saoirse Ronan is one of the many famous names expected to attend the Scottish film’s premiere at Edinburgh Castle tonight. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is also on the list along with Scottish actors Jack Lowden, James McArdle and comedienne Karen Dunbar who also appears in the movie. Director Josie Rourke and producer Tim Bevan are also expected to attend the first Scottish screening of the historical drama, which conveys the story of the two rival queens. Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, who rose … Continue reading Mary, Queen of the Screen.


by Dominic V. Cassidy


BAD Times at the El Royale is a movie as much steeped in tension as it is dripping with the sweet Neo-Noir of late 1960’s Americana. The music, set design, cars, and clothes all feed into the almost timeless spaceless feel of the film, because even though you know it’s not happening now, it feels like a story some old guy is telling you, it jumps around in the story taking stops to describe the pasts and presents of the excellent cast characters.

Bad Times is the second film to be directed by Drew Goddard, and the first since 2012’s critically acclaimed Cabin in the Woods, and it definitely bats away any concerns that this feature would not stack up against the meta, introspective horror flick. Goddard has many writing credits under his belt, with Cloverfield, World War Z, and The Martian; and this really shows in his stay at the El Royale, with the story weaving perfectly between past and present, in a way only Tarantino of the Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill Era could ever hope for. His control of the cast is like that of an orchestra, with everyone playing their parts and working in perfect unison, every take could have been perfect for all the viewer knows; and with the stars of the film reportedly taking pay cuts for the off kilter picture, it really shows how much they were all behind it.

Moreover the cast all have their moments, but there is no hiding that the whole show is stolen by Cynthia Erivo, who plays Darlene Sweet, a hard on her luck soul singer, running from a purgatory of back up singing. Erivo mostly has credits as a theatre star, which is used to perfect effect in Bad Times, with her quaking, songbird voice erupts in every scene necessary used in ideal dichotomy with the heart stopping tension that bleeds through the movie. Jeff Bridges as always gives a great performance, akin to the kind of roles Clint Eastwood has done in years gone by, playing an aged outlaw, the substance and vigour of Bridges performance is fantastic however, offering up a real raw, pity-able character study, of someone lost. Across the cast list great performances are given, with short Pulp Fiction-y flashbacks which offer an audience only perspective of the character. While an excellent cast, it is not infallible, Dakota Johnson’s counter culture hippy Emily, seems the weakest link of the cast, doing things which seem out of character almost, and not being believable from the actress. Commendation should be tossed over to Chris Hemsworth also, who displays a real charisma which you won’t be seeing in the latest Avengers Continue reading “BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE: REVIEW”