Film reviews and more

Month: October 2010

My French Film Preview

Unifrance, in partnership with Allociné and with the support of the Centre National de la Cinématographie and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is organizing the first French online film festival open to internet users around the world. The objective is to […]

LFF 2010: ‘127 Hours’ review

★★★★☆ Foresight is a wonderful thing. With the gift of foresight, British director Danny Boyle – perhaps best known for the cult classic Trainspotting (1996) and 2008’s Academy Award-winning, feel good hit Slumdog Millionaire – would probably have thought twice before […]

Barbican Film: ‘Instant Swamp’

Instant Swamp (2009), Satoshi Miki’s quirky comedy about the disillusionment of the contemporary Japanese lifestyle certainly doesn’t disappoint. As part of The Barbican’s ‘Girlsworld: Women in Contemporary Japanese Cinema’ series, Instant Swamp artistically and hilariously highlights the struggles of modern women in […]

Theatrical Releases: ‘The Hunter’

The Hunter (2010) is Iranian-British director Rafi Pitts’ follow-up to his acclaimed 2006 film It’s Winter. Again, we are in Iran, just before the elections. Progress is evident in the vast cranes that dominate the skyline, but the film’s opening shots reveal […]

Theatrical Releases: ‘Paranormal Activity 2’

Paranormal Activity (2007) was the infamous movie that spooked Steven Spielberg (who quickly jumped in to help distribute the film), and had audiences jolting out of their seats last year. It centred around the lives of a couple, Katie (Katie Featherstone) […]

Special Feature: Hammer Horror – the Resurrection

If you mention the name of Hammer Horror to any forty-plus film enthusiast (or similarly, any cinephile worth their salt), it’s more than likely that they’ll begin nostalgically harking back to the “Golden Age” of UK horror cinema that took […]

Theatrical Releases: ‘Saw 3D: The Final Chapter’

Someone could argue (though probably not myself) that the supposed finale to the seemingly never-ending Saw saga, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010), is also the end of a defined horror movie era, with the franchise having been with us […]

LFF 2010: ‘Black Swan’ review

★★★★★ Black Swan (2010) is a work of chilling beauty. Its excellent cinematography, dance, and music all accompanied by the performance of an exciting cast makes it a delicacy for the eyes and ears but much like any other Darren […]

LFF 2010: ‘The King’s Speech’ review

★★★★☆ The King’s Speech (2010) delves deep into the relationship between two men – one a common man and the other a royal – by exploring the romance of true friendship and asks us to invest ourselves emotionally in such […]

DVD Releases: ‘Night of the Demons’ (2009)

Night of the Demons (2009) director Adam Gierasch said he wanted to make the “ultimate film that my seventeen year old self wanted to see”, with “punk rock, demons, scantily clothed women, gore and big scares”. Excluding the “big scares”, […]

DVD Releases: ‘Iron Man 2’

US multi-billionaire Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) superhero ‘alter ego’ was revealed to the world at the end of Iron Man (2008), and John Favreau’s follow up Iron Man 2 (2010) picks up where we left off, with Stark attempting to market his new Iron Man ‘brand’. However (as […]

DVD Releases: ‘Black Death’

A truly bleak world view permeates Christopher Smith’s Black Death (2010), which is as much about the 21st century world as it is the 14th century one in which it is set. The film’s oppressive vision of the brutality and […]

Barbican Film: ‘Metropolis’

Over 80 years after its initial cinematic release, German expressionist Fritz Lang’s silent dystopian masterpiece Metropolis (1927) has now finally been re-assembled back into its near-original form, with the 25 minute addition of several long-lost, restored scenes discovered in 2008 […]

LFF 2010: ‘Loose Cannons’ review

★★★★☆ From his opening shots of a bride striding through the Italian countryside before turning a gun on herself, Italo-Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek plays with our expectations. Drama, melodrama, domestic tragedy, family comedy…Loose Cannons (2010) has it all.Set in Lecce, […]

Film Review: ‘Mary and Max’

★★★★★ In recent years there has been a rapid decline in the output of clay animation films. This would appear to be due to the huge increase in CGI animation films from Hollywood, such as Disney Pixar’s WALL.E (2008), Up […]

Film Review: ‘The Stoning of Soraya M.’

★★★★☆ Just so you know right off the bat, The Stoning of Soraya M. (2008) is not an Iranian version of Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke (1978), but if you occasionally enjoy the taste of a herbal cigarette and […]

LFF 2010: ‘Another Year’ review

★★★★★ Disappointment and regret loom large in Mike Leigh’s latest film, Another Year (2010). From the opening shots of Janet’s (Imelda Staunton) pained expression as she desperately tries to recall a happy moment from her past, you know Leigh will […]

LFF 2010: ‘Conviction’ review

★★★☆☆ Tony Goldwyn’s Conviction (2009) treads the well worn path of many of its BFI London Film Festival contemporaries this year – Julian Schnabel’s Miral (2010) and Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours (2010) to name but two – in prefacing their story with […]