Film reviews and more

Month: January 2012

Film Review: ‘Chronicle’

★★☆☆☆ The found footage formula – much like the recent trend of big budget, 3D filmmaking – appears to have just as many detractors as it does enthusiasts. The Paranormal Activity money train keeps trundling mercilessly on, and the occasional exorcist mockumentary will still manage to take the US box office off-guard, but the horror genre does seem to […]

DVD Review: ‘Cash’

★★★☆☆ It’s Oscar season and the film on everyone’s mind is Michel Hazanavicius’ directorial triumph The Artist (2011), starring Jean Dujardin in the lead role. The exciting buzz around Dujardin may explain the delayed DVD release date of Éric Besnard’s Cash, which originally hit cinemas in 2008 and also featured Dujardin as the lead, but doesn’t exhibit his ability […]

DVD Review: ‘Go to Blazes’

★★★☆☆ Marketed as something of a forgotten gem of British comedy by distributors StudioCanal and available for the first time ever on DVD to commemorate its 50th anniversary, Michael Truman’s Go to Blazes (1962) is a charmingly light, cheerfully petite film about a trio of motley amateurs and their attempts at planning and executing the perfect heist.After one of […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rolling Thunder’

★★★☆☆ When a film is unavailable to the public due to censorship or distribution issues, film geeks will always get sweaty with excitement at the thought of getting their filthy hands on an illicit copy. Although John Flynn’s Rolling Thunder (1977) was freely available on VHS, its rarity – and more significantly, Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth’s endorsement – […]

DVD Review: ‘Sasha’

★★★★☆ There are two distinct camps (no pun intended) within the genre of gay cinema – those which cater for the physical elements and those, like Sasha (2010), which approach from an emotional angle. Starring Sasha Kekez, Tim Bergmann and Yvonne Yung Hee, the latest film from writer/director Dennis Todorovic is a realistic depiction of the confusion and heartache […]

DVD Review: ‘A Bigger Splash’

★★★☆☆ The BFI reissue of Jack Hazan’s fascinating 1974 docudrama A Bigger Splash exploring David Hockney’s life between 1971-3 – after he separated from partner Peter Schlesinger – could not be more timely as it coincides with the opening of his new show at the Royal Academy of Arts, entitled A Bigger Picture. A Bigger Splash was filmed over […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Four Flies on Grey Velvet’

★★★★☆ The third film in Dario Argento’s patchy ‘animals trilogy’, Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) is one of the filmmaker’s most stylistically satisfying films. Following his astonishing debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and the somewhat weaker Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971), the film has been unavailable for many years due to disagreements with Paramount, with […]

DVD Review: ‘Perfect Sense’

★★★★☆ David Mackenzie is one of Britain’s most versatile and under-appreciated directors – his films are exciting, innovative and flawed, though these qualities might be somewhat linked by his wilful experimentation. Perfect Sense (2011), the filmmaker’s seventh feature, is by far his strangest and most unique to date – and this is a man who began his 2007 breakthrough […]

DVD Review: ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’

★★★☆☆ Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) – starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore – is an enjoyable, if flawed, US rom-com. Its multi-strand focus upon teenage obsession, twenty somethings dating, and a middle-aged couple trying to save their marriage is clearly meant to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Your average Mr. […]

DVD Review: ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’

★★★★★ Snubbed at this year’s Golden Globes, yet with 11 BAFTA nomintations and three Oscar nods for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Actor for its leading star Gary Oldman, Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was undoubtably one of the finest British films of 2011. One brief look at the cast list will tell you nearly […]

DVD Review: ‘Drive’

★★★☆☆ Much has been made of the American Academy’s apparent oversight in not fully recognising Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s effortlessly cool neo-noir Drive (2011) in the 2012 Oscar nominations – yet it’s easy to see why they came to such a decision. Refn’s thriller – starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks and Bryan Cranston – is a […]

Film Review: ‘Eliminate: Archie Cookson’

★★★☆☆ Independently financed and produced, Robin Holder’s directorial debut Eliminate: Archie Cookson (2010) is an offbeat espionage thriller that successfully transcends the limitations of it meagre budget, with a cast including Paul Rhys, Claire Skinner, Paul Ritter and Georgia King.Archie Cookson (Rhys) is a clumsy and naive government linguistic spy whose penchant for red wine has steadily resulted in […]