Film reviews and more

Month: September 2011

Film Review: ‘Melancholia’

★★★★☆ It’s been over four months since Lar von Trier shocked the world’s press at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival by claiming he could “understand Hitler” and was himself  “a Nazi”, whilst discussing his new film Melancholia (2011). Whilst his choice of wording was obviously wildly insensitive, Von Trier’s outburst can be placed in context as a product of […]

Film Review: ‘La Piscine’

★★★☆☆ There are shades of vintage Chabrol in Jacques Deray’s 1969 psychological drama La Piscine, a tense but leisurely film starring French heartthrob Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Maurice Ronet. Digitally restored, Deray’s thriller is once again set to be released on the big screen.A young, attractive, bourgeois couple are spending their summer vacation in an idyllic villa just […]

Film Review: ‘The Green Wave’

★★★★☆ Breaking away from the traditional mould normally associated with documentary filmmaking, director Ali Samadi Ahadi’s The Green Wave’s (2010) unconventional approach to the genre is more akin to fictitious storytelling, resulting in a powerfully engrossing and uniquely presented account of Iran’s Green Revolution.The Green Wave follows the protests which accompanied Iran’s 2009 presidential elections – regarded by many […]

Film Review: ‘What’s Your Number?’

★★☆☆☆ Anna Faris, Chris Evans and Martin Freeman star in Mark Mylod’s romantic comedy What’s Your Number? (2011) based on the Karyn Bosnack novel Twenty Times A Lady. An early Apollo Cinema screening of the film was also followed with an interactive Q&A with lead actress, Anna Faris, courtesy of LOVEFiLM.A surprising amount of laughs and solid comedic timing […]

Film Review: ‘Broken Lines’

★★★☆☆ Broken Lines (2008) director Sallie Aprahamian has prior directorial credits for the BAFTA-nominated Teachers, This Life and The Sins, and was also hand-picked by writers/lead actors Dan Fredenburgh and Doraly Rosa to take the reins. It proves a wise decision, as her intimate knowledge of North London seen through French DOP Jean-Louis Bompoint’s camera helps to distract from […]

Film Review: ‘The Debt’

★★★★☆ A brooding air runs at the core of director John Madden’s The Debt (2010). With Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds, Jessica Chastain and Sam Worthington leading an impressive cast, and a screenplay by Matthew Vaughan, Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan, this dark thriller straddles the fine line between James Bond adventure and unflinching, interpersonal drama.East Berlin, 1966. […]

Film Review: ‘Red State’

★★★☆☆ A while back I posted a preview Red State’s (2011) history, writer/director Kevin Smith’s penultimate feature and first shot at horror. I’ve been waiting for it through initial mentions years back, to the last 12 months when Smith’s SModcast network has detailed the film’s fiercely independently-minded production and release. Red State finally opens in the UK on 30 […]

Raindance Film Festival 2011: ‘Another Earth’

★★★★☆ It’s back! The 2011 Raindance Film Festival kicked off earlier this evening with an opening gala featuring the UK premiere of existential drama Another Earth (2011), the debut fictional feature from American director Mike Cahill  – starring Brit Marling (who co-wrote the screenplay alongside Cahill), William Mapother and Matthew-Lee Erlbach – which also picked up the Special Jury […]

Film Review: Abduction

★★☆☆☆ Directed by John Singleton and featuring an all-star cast which includes The Twilight Saga star Taylor Lautner and young actress Lily Collins alongside Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs and Alfred Molina, Abduction (2011) is a new, glossy action-thriller about lost identities and the pursuit of truth.Lautner plays Nathan, a daredevil teenager who finds one of his old […]

DVD Review: ‘Way of the Morris’

★★★★☆ ‘Morris dancing’ is officially cool, and it can only be a matter of time before the likes of Jay-Z start sampling a few beats from the 1972 floral folk classic Morris On, simultaneously inspiring kids from Compton to Clapham to strap on wrist bells and get their handkerchiefs flapping. When the history of this new Morris revival is […]

DVD Review: ‘Boys on Film: Bad Romance’

★★★☆☆ Boys on Film: Bad Romance (2011), the latest anthology from arthouse distributors Peccadillo Pictures, is a selection of tender and sometimes shocking stories from such diverse directors as Christoph Scheerman and Tomer Velkoff. Starring – amongst others – Vincent D’Onofrio and Xavier Dolan, the ten short films mix love, mystery and twist-in-the-tail jolts (a la Tales of the […]

DVD Review: ‘As If I Am Not There’

★★★★☆ As If I Am Not There (2010), the second feature from Irish writer-director Juanita Wilson and starring Stellan Skarsgård, Miraj Grbic and Natasa Petrovic, opens on a young woman tearfully looking at her unwanted newborn baby, before taking a shower as blood trickles into the drain. Of all the films based around the conflict in Bosnia, few have […]

DVD Review: ‘Weekender’

★★★☆☆ Weekender (2011) – the latest film from director Karl Golden and starring Zawe Ashton, Jack O’Connell and Henry Lloyd-Hughes – takes us back to the manic highs and crashing lows of the 1990s rave scene. The film follows two happy-go-lucky crooks, Matt (Lloyd-Hughes) and Dylan (O’Connel), who we see attempting to steal a cigarette machine at the beginning […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Manhunter’

★★☆☆☆ For many, the infamous name of Hannibal Lecter will forever be synonymous with the performance of Sir Anthony Hopkins in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991). However, one of the big screen’s most notorious villains was first portrayed by fellow Brit Brian Cox in Michael Mann’s Manhunter (1986), which also stars William Petersen, Kim Greist and […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Cannibal Holocaust’

★★☆☆☆ Directed by Ruggero Deodato and with an international including Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi and Perry Pirkanen, 1980 Italian horror Cannibal Holocaust is commonly viewed as ‘the most controversial film ever made’. The story follows a film crew who travel to South America to make a documentary on cannibalistic tribes, and go mysteriously missing in the process.Cannibal Holocaust is […]

Watch This Space: Treasures from the BFI National Archive

CineVue were honoured guests of American Express this past Thursday for a screening of three extraordinary film treasures from the BFI National Archive, as part of the Watch This Space Festival at London’s National Theatre Flytower. The selected films – Momma Don’t Allow (1956), Lindsay Anderson’s Every Day Except Christmas (1957) and Nice Time (1957) – provided a compelling, […]

Film Review: ‘Pearl Jam Twenty’

★★★★☆ Directed by Cameron Crowe, Pearl Jam Twenty (2011) is largely geared towards fans of the band, but offers much more than the anecdotal ramblings of a group of musicians trying to recount the years spent in an alcohol/drug-induced coma. Neutrals should enjoy listening to an articulate group of talented musicians, discussing the 20-year journey from unknowns to mega-stars; […]

Film Review: Drive

★★★★☆ There’s something cinematically reassuring about smashing a human skull to pieces. Filmmakers from Martin Scorsese to Gaspar Noé have revelled in perhaps the ultimate act of human-upon-human violence. With noirish thriller Drive (2011) – starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston –  Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn joins this elite club.At the heart of Drive is Gosling, man of the […]