Film reviews and more

Month: November 2010

DVD Releases: ‘Sex and the City 2’

There is no doubt that the Sex and the City franchise is one of the most successful in television history. The series is popular with teenagers and women alike, and its stars have become style icons for fans to the point where many have dressed for theatre showings in attire that wouldn’t seem out of place in a city nightclub.The […]

DVD Releases: ‘Splice’

Vincenzo Natali’s Splice (2009) crept into cinemas earlier this year well out of reach of most cinemagoer’s radars. Tackling some unsettling scientific ethics as well as grappling some thorny moral issues, Splice offers an engrossing and, rather uniquely, fresh story that sets it apart from most other recent cinematic releases.When Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) […]

Barbican Film: Japanese Halloween Schlockfest Double Bill

Why is Japanese cinema loved on a world wide scale? The simple answer is because it dares to tread the ground that mainstream, westernised film will not. Whilst movies like Scream (1996) and Saw (2004) attempt to display the motives and reasons behind inhumane, bloodthirsty violence, J-Horror makes no such excuses and even attempts to portray such sadism and […]

Film Review: ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest’

★★★☆☆ To say Stieg Larsson’s novels are popular would be an understatement, and the first two film adaptations The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009) and The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) (both released theatrically in the authors’ native Swedish) have been both critically and commercially well-received.The third and final adaptation in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the […]

Film Review: ‘Leap Year’

★☆☆☆☆ A depiction of intense loneliness and psychosexual torture, Michael Rowe’s minimalist debut feature Leap Year (Año bisiesto, 2010) raises many a difficult question with regards to its seemingly complex gender politics. It follows the life of Laura, played with vulnerable perfection by Monica Del Carmen, a lonely freelance journalist who lives alone in a small Mexican apartment. After a series of […]

Film Review: ‘The American’

★★☆☆☆ As an artist known primarily for his work as a music video director and band photographer, Anton Corbijn’s latest project The American (2010), starring George Clooney, could well be seen as a drastic departure from his well established roots. His debut feature Control (2007) yielded great critical acclaim, although some may have noted that being a biopic of […]

DVD Review: ‘The Hammer and Tongs Collection’

★★★☆☆ Anyone with even a passing interest in the world of film and music videos will no doubt be familiar with the work of director/producer duo Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith, a.k.a. Hammer and Tongs. Whether this be as a result of their more recent feature films such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) and Son of […]

DVD Releases: ‘Toy Story 3’

Fifteen years after the release of the groundbreaking Toy Story (1995) and eleven years after the release of the arguably superior Toy Story 2 (1999), Pixar returned to cinemas this year with the final instalment to the Toy Story trilogy.Director of both prequels, John Lasseter, handed the reigns to first time director Lee Unkrich, who had been known more […]

Curzon Screentalks: ‘Peeping Tom’ 50th Anniversary rerelease

“The only really satisfactory way to dispose of Peeping Tom would be to shovel it up and flush it swiftly down the nearest sewer”, wrote Derek Hill in his review for The Tribune after seeing Michael Powell’s 1960 psychological thriller, Peeping Tom. A vicious and petulant outburst to say the least, it is perhaps the most memorable of offensive […]

Theatrical Releases: ‘Mammoth’

After producing a string of super low budget features in his native Sweden, Mammoth (2010) is the first multi-national picture by acclaimed writer-director Lukas Moodysson, and “multi-national” really is the adjective of choice.Mammoth is structured around the New York-based Vidales family: the father, Leo (Gael Garcia Bernal), an internet game designer; the mother, Ellen (Michelle Williams), a doctor; their […]

Theatrical Releases: ‘Chico and Rita’

Refreshingly cast in eye-popping animation of a more traditional, “pre-digimation” variety, Chico and Rita (2010) softly commences on a steamy night in Havana in 1948. Born out of a close collaboration between Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba and celebrated Spanish artist Javier Mariscal, this visually distinctive feature details a classical story of love, loss, fame and success.On said steamy night, […]

Film Review: ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’

★★★★★ This year’s winner of the coveted Palme d’Or Prize, the magical-realist Thai oddity Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), was one of the most unforeseen, yet unanimously welcomed Cannes Film Festival award winners of all time. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s magnum opus has perhaps been best summarised, by US magazine Variety, as “apparitions, out-of-body experiences, (and) sex […]