Tom Hardy: The Ocean in 'The Drop' (2014)

Showing more woof than Warrior (2011, O'Connor), London's hard-hitting actor recently showed a soft spot for Battersea Dogs Home in an online clip that quickly went viral. The star seemed to be in his element as he sat on the floor and introduced several pets in need of rehoming. While his upcoming hit Venom (2018, Marvel) has no time for sweetness, Hardy's canine company reminded me of an underrated film that deserves to be adopted; The Drop (2014, Roskam).

The Ocean in The Drop (2014)

Whilst the image of a chiselled male lead nursing a puppy might befit the pages of Tom Hardy’s little-mentioned modelling portfolio, hushed neo-noir The Drop (2014, Roskam) is all bite and no bark. Emerging from novelist Dennis Lehane, who has authored such suspenseful triumphs as Mystic River (2003) and Shutter Island (2010), the film presents an understated tale of violence and unsettled faith – a mood which stays close to the heels of its master. Set shortly after the festive period in a …

Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Supa Modo (2018)

As the impact of Marvel's hard-hitter Black Panther (Coogler, 2018) continues to be felt around the world, kick-butt Kenyan feature Supa Modo (Wainaina, 2018) swoops in to confront a less visible nemesis; terminal illness. The film's close-knit rural village is home to Jo (Stycie Waweru) - a nine-year-old girl with one foot in the grave and the other practicing Kung-Fu jabs in honour of her favourite Hollywood superheroes. Kept home by her overprotective mother, Jo creates red caped alter-ego Supa Modo to take to the streets and dazzle locals with her comic-book powers. Kind residents go from practicing their surprised faces and staging crime scenes to chipping in for the production of Supa Modo: The Movie in tribute. While Jo's health fades, the community strengthens around her  - proving it takes a hero to save a village and a village to raise a child.

As Jo is caught between whiz-kid and sick-kid, Supa Modo's (Wainaina, 2018) real world (i.e. one of loss, endless pre…

Disenchantment (2018) Casts Its Spell

A world of medieval muck and rowdy antics stakes its claim on Ye Olde Netflix as Matt Groening’s latest TV series Disenchantment (Groening, 2018) finds its glory; living-proof that the imagination of The Simpsons (Groening, 1987-) creator is far from antiquing. Set in Dreamland, the story follows the wilful Princess Bean as she fights for her independence in a kingdom tyrannised by a stout, red-headed leader with a major PR problem (sound familiar?). Aided by gullible side-kick Elfo and a cigarette-puffing demon, she flees an arranged marriage and steers her life down a wacky course of misadventures and bizarre fantasies. With enough of the "inconceivable" to rival The Princess Bride (Reiner, 1987), this makes for a wild ride.

While dictionaries describe it as the feeling of being let down by a former champion, Disenchantment (Groening, 2018) exceeds expectations. The show is like an unsupervised match of Dungeons & Dragons that turns into a drinking game; crowded with in…