Film reviews and more

Month: December 2012

DVD Review: ‘Total Recall’ (2012)

★★☆☆☆ Remaking a film is always a tricky proposition, yet this was the task undertaken by Len Wiseman with Total Recall (2012), reinventing the narrative shell of Philip K. Dick’s novel We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and Paul Verhoeven’s much cherished original, yet somehow also disregarding the lewd humour of its 1990 predecessor. Colin Farrell steps into […]

DVD Review: ‘Grabbers’

★★★★☆ After successful screenings at last year’s Sundance, the 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival and Film4 FrightFest, British director Jon Wright’s low budget sci-fi creature feature Grabbers (2012) finally arrives on DVD and Blu-ray after a limited theatrical run in late December. Combining the quintessentially Irish comedy styling of The Guard (2011) with the monster movie parody template of rom-zom-com […]

DVD Review: ‘There Are No Innocent Bystanders’

★★★☆☆ The renowned Roger Sargent – music photographer at the NME and cult indie band The Libertines’ official photographer and friend – directs The Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders (2011), an engaging yet hum-drum documentation of the group’s eagerly anticipated 2010 reunion. If you’re expecting the usual tabloid fodder footage of bust-ups, Pete Doherty’s drug-taking antics and band […]

DVD Review: ‘Berberian Sound Studio’

★★★★★ In what is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring cinematic works of the past twelve months, British director Peter Strickland’s sophomore feature Berberian Sound Studio (2012) – starring the ever-superb, chameleon-like Toby Jones – takes a rather unusual and unsettling look back at the world of 1970s Euro horror. The framework of this affectionate yet disturbing ode to […]

Special Feature: The Best Films of 2012

Yes, it’s that time of year again when critics and regular cinemagoers alike frantically put together their lists of the best cinematic produce of the previous twelve months. Whilst a number of high profile US blockbusters and comedies have failed to deliver the goods (we’re looking at you Prometheus), arthouse, documentary and experimental filmmaking has managed time and time […]

Film Review: ‘Zaytoun’

★★☆☆☆ Stephen Dorff stars – somewhat bizarrely – as an Israeli fighter pilot who through an unfortunate mechanical malfunction finds himself stranded in Beirut in the latest film from Lemon Tree (2008) director Eran Riklis. A Middle Eastern road movie-cum-buddy flick, Zaytoun (2012) uses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the catalyst for a coming together of cultures with all the […]

Film Review: ‘Midnight’s Children’

★★☆☆☆ Much like Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (2012), Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (2012) is another Booker prize-winning novel that has been dubbed unfilmable. Whilst Lee’s cinematic adaptation rose to the challenge admirably however, Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children is not as successful in making the leap from page to screen. For those unfamiliar with Rushdie’s novel, we follow the […]

Film Review: ‘Grabbers’

★★★★☆ Following its world premiere at this year’s Sundance and substantial positive feedback after its Film4 FrightFest outing, Jon Wright’s slick and entertaining Irish monster movie Grabbers (2012) finally makes its way into a small number of UK cinemas this week with some high expectations to fulfil. Thankfully, Wright’s low budget invasion comedy more than hits the mark, offering […]

Film Review: ‘Parental Guidance’

★★☆☆☆ Andy Fickman is one of those filmmakers who seems to have built a career for himself churning out mediocre movies every year or so, and this time around his latest gaffe comes in the form of Parental Guidance (2012), a film about two grandparents (played by Billy Crystal and Bette Midler) whose old school parenting methods are put […]

Film Review: ‘Boxing Day’

★★★★☆ Danny Huston taking the lead role in a Bernard Rose adaptation of a Leo Tolstoy novel has become something of a familiarity, following on previous projects Ivansxtc (2000) and The Kreutzer Sonata (2008). The pair reunite once more for Boxing Day (2012), based on Tolstoy’s Master and Man, as we follow a ruthless proprietor named Basil (Huston) who, […]

Film Review: ‘Lincoln’

★★☆☆☆ Steven Spielberg’s sprawling historical biopic Lincoln (2012), starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, gained near universal praise State-side for its depiction of the final four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life. This side of the pond, the rally cries have not been quite as potent, but interest has undoubtedly been piqued. We open to a country gridlocked by […]

Film Review: ‘West of Memphis’

★★★☆☆ In 1994, three teenage boys were jailed for the murder of three children in West Memphis, Arkansas. After the hysteria of the initial trial, with the murders being alleged to have been a part of a satanic ritual, campaigners have fought for over a decade to prove the innocence of the convicted teens. This fight for justice forms […]