Film reviews and more

Month: February 2011

DVD Releases: ‘Cyrus’

Charming, witty, and quintessentially quirky, Cyrus (2010) is a slice of well-worked comedy from plucky lo-fi indie brothers, Jay and Mark Duplass. John C. Reilly plays John, a divorced down-and-out schlub who meanders through life alone and somewhat desperate. Upon the […]

DVD 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) […]

DVD 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 […]

DVD Review: ‘Due Date’

★★☆☆☆ When it came to co-writing his latest comedy, Due Date (2010), The Hangover (2009) director Todd Phillips took more than a few leaves out of Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ (1987) unblemished book. Perhaps Due Date is a loving homage […]

DVD Releases: ‘Another Year’

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 be […]

Oscars 2011: 83rd Academy Awards winners

As predicted, The King’s Speech was the big success story of this year’s “new look” Academy Awards ceremony, walking away with the Oscars for ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Actor’. Whilst not quite the whitewash the some had expected, […]

Oscars 2011: 83rd Academy Awards predictions

It’s time! The 83rd American Academy Awards kick off on Monday morning at 0100 GMT, so to celebrate the return of the world’s most significant film award ceremony we’ve compiled our Oscar predictions across each of the 24 categories. Bafta […]

Italian Film Festival 2011: Preview

In keeping with the current turmoil and unrest running amok in the world, Italy finds itself in a very confused state. Partly resigned, partly in denial, Italians have looked on as the recent recession has made worse what was a […]

Film Review: ‘Animal Kingdom’

★★★★★ Every once in a while, a film comes along that resolutely restores your faith in cinema, which is so often tarnished by predictable genre pieces, boring blockbusters and endless Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Australian director David Michôd’s debut […]

Film Review: ‘Howl’

★★☆☆☆ The hybrid Allen Ginsberg biopic/re-enactment/interview/adaptation Howl (2010) is a curious little picture. Written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film debuted at last year’s Sundance Film Festival to somewhat mixed reviews. Some reviewers praised the imaginative visual […]

Film Review: ‘Waste Land’

★★★★☆ There’s always a niggling feeling when you watch a film like Lucy Walker’s Waste Land (2010) that you’re going to be guilt tripped into sorting through your rubbish, essentially paying for a feature length advert on the benefits of recycling. […]

Special Feature: On style, taste and formalism

The director of a film is usually the person who is identified as the author (or auteur), because they decide primarily how the film should look. After all, film is a visual medium; the look of it is paramount. While […]

Ghost hunting with Paranormal Activity 2

On a cold, dark London evening, I had the chance to experience Tod Williams’ Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) – released on DVD this coming Monday (28 February) – in the scariest environment imaginable: the downstairs of a South London pub. This […]

Special Feature: ‘Eclectic Electric All-Nighter’

The Electric Cinema – the oldest cinema in London – will be celebrating its 100th birthday this Saturday (26th February) with the ‘Eclectic Electric All-Nighter’. The venue will be screening a selection of films from the Cinema Club’s 1970s programmes, and is […]

DVD Review: ‘The Living and the Dead’

★★★☆☆ Adapted by Josip Mlakic from his award-winning novel of the same name and directed by Kristijan Milic, The Living and the Dead (2007) tells the tale of two bands of soldiers who fight under exact same circumstances and in the same […]

DVD Releases: ‘Despicable Me’

In an attempt to establish themselves as genuine rivals to the sublime Pixar, Universal Pictures offers up its debut 3D animation in the form of Despicable Me (2010), directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud.With an output of unprecedented consistency […]

Film Review: ‘Inside Job’

★★★★☆ Nominated for Best Documentary at this year’s Academy Awards, Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job (2010) may not be the most enjoyable watch of those featured in the category but it is certainly the most horrific; which, considering the toxic nature […]

Film Review: ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’

★★★☆☆ Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011) details the almost overnight transformation of a small town kid from Canada into an international mega star. Around the world, thousands of young girls (or “Beliebers” as they’re commonly referred to) swoon over his appearance […]