Film reviews and more

Month: March 2013

Film Review: ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

★★☆☆☆ G.I. Joe is a franchise based upon a collection of Hasbro plastic soldiers. What can we really expect from it? Director Jon M. Chu – whose credits include Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – knows exactly what his pre-adolescent audience wants: spectacularly ridiculous histrionics; mutually implausible sci-fi elements; sardonic and inappropriate wise-cracks; a dutiful, […]

Film Review: ‘Trance’

★★★☆☆ Having transfixed global audiences last summer with his Brunel-led London Olympics opening ceremony, it’s evolution not revolution for industrious director Danny Boyle with his latest film, the psychological head-spinner Trance (2013). His inaugural collaboration with potential McGregor-successor James McAvoy – as well as French journeyman Vincent Cassel and American actress Rosario Dawson – the Manchester-born Boyle delves deep […]

DocHouse Presents: One Mile Away review

★★★★☆ Penny Woolcock’s One Mile Away (2012) was the first documentary ever to be awarded the Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival back in 2012 – and it’s easy to see why. Woolcock hired a host of non-actors from Birmingham, including Burger gang member Dylan Duffus, for her 2009 fiction film 1 Day, and the pair […]

Film Review: ‘Finding Nemo 3D’

★★★★☆ In the seminal days of Disney Pixar’s past, there was a tendency to really pull on the strings of the quest narrative; toys were on a mission to escape from the box, bugs weren’t happy with their humdrum lives on the anthill, monsters were tired of being scary. But with Andrew Stanton’s and Lee Unkrich’s Finding Nemo (2003), […]

Film Review: ‘Point Blank’

★★★★☆ This March/April sees the BFI pay tribute to one of the UK’s most enduring and beloved directors. John Boorman has never been the type of filmmaker to be tied to one genre, hopping between a number of diverse projects which have ranged from the world of science fiction/fantasy (1974’s truly mind-bending Zardoz) to the coming-of-age yarn (1987’s bittersweet, […]

Film Review: ‘King of the Travellers’

★☆☆☆☆ The latest from writer-director Mark O’Connor, whose two previous features Between the Canals (2011) and Stalker (2012) were only given theatrical releases in his native Ireland, King of the Travellers (2012) is a contemporary drama about family devotion and the undying quest for revenge, set amongst the traditions of the Irish traveller community. In an effort to forge […]

Film Review: ‘In the House’

★★★☆☆ The refined, if slightly aloof new offering from French director François Ozon, In the House (Dans la maison, 2012) initially impresses thanks to its central triumvirate and jigsaw-style narrative, before petering out disappointingly as it approaches its convoluted conclusion. Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer and demi-Brit Kristin Scott Thomas all put in fine turns in their respective roles – […]

Film Review: ‘Good Vibrations’

★★★☆☆ Have you ever wondered what you might come up with if you dared to blend 1980’s thriller The Long Good Friday with High Fidelity (2000)? You probably haven’t, but rest assured that Good Vibrations (2012) would almost certainly be the result. Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn (Cherrybomb) bring us a biopic of Terri Hooley, an integral factor […]

Film Review: ‘We Went to War’

★★★★☆ The final film of celebrated British documentarian Michael Grigsby, who tragically passed away on 12 March of this year, We Went to War (2013) revisits the Vietnam veterans whom he interviewed over forty years ago in I Was a Soldier (1970). Considered to be the first film which discussed and dealt with the fallout of the Vietnam War, […]

Interview: Thomas Vinterberg, ‘The Hunt’

Prominent Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg returns to territory previously tackled in his much-lauded feature Festen (1998) this week with The Hunt (Jagten, 2012), a taught Scandinavian morality tale starring world cinema darling Mads Mikkelsen. Wrongly accused of molesting a young child (also the daughter of his best friend), kindly primary school teacher Lucas (Mikkelsen) becomes the victims of vitriolic […]

Interview: Ben Wheatley, director of ‘Sightseers’

Following on from the success of last year’s critically acclaimed occult horror Kill List (2011), rising filmmaker Ben Wheatley may not seem the most obvious choice for helming an off-beat British comedy set in the great outdoors. Yet, the world of comic drama was exactly where the Billericay-born director first cut his teeth, with a series of BBC Three sitcoms […]

DVD Review: ‘Baise-moi’

★☆☆☆☆ Infamous for its scenes of graphic real sex juxtaposed with acts of brutal violence (the latter thankfully simulated), Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi’s Baise-moi (2000) is released this week on DVD in its original uncut form, courtesy of cult film specialists Arrow Video. Sadly, thirteen years on from its initial, muted rallying cry, this sleazy exercise in […]

DVD Review: ‘Roundabout: A Year in Colour 1963’

★★★☆☆ Released by the BFI to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Roundabout: A Year in Colour 1963 is a collection of ‘cine-magazines’ from the titular year. Developed by the British government for distribution throughout Southeast Asia, these ‘propaganda’ shorts were produced monthly and designed to promote British values and manufacturing. Made by Associated British-Pathé Ltd, they covered a range of […]

DVD Review: ‘Polish Cinema Classics Volume II’

★★★★★ March saw the 11th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival take place across the UK – highlight being was a trio of rereleased masterpieces. Those films have now been pulled together for Second Run’s Polish Cinema Classics Volume II. The collection consists of Andrzej Wajda’s The Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, 1975), Wojciech Marczewski’s Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema (Ucieczka z kina […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Deadly Blessing’

★★★☆☆ Arrow Video continues their quest to unearth respected, semi-forgotten genre works and give them a loving home on DVD and Blu-ray with Wes Craven’s 1981 religious horror-drama, Deadly Blessing. A young farmer, excommunicated from his family who are involved in an archaic, fire and brimstone religious sect called ‘the Hittites’ (who, according to one character, “make the Amish look […]

DVD Review: ‘The Xavier Dolan Collection’

★★★★☆ Piecing together the impressive first three films in what could well become an illustrious and bountiful directorial career, La Folie d’Amour: The Xavier Dolan Collection offers the chance to experience the work of precocious enfant terrible and Quebecois hotshot Xavier Dolan. The writer, director, producer, sometimes-actor and editor of his own projects – with stakes in their respective […]

Special Feature: Jameson Empire DISS Awards 2013

Last Friday night (22 March), CineVue were invited to Google’s swanky London headquarters for the Jameson Empire Done in 60 Seconds Awards. The idea has evolved quite considerably in the five years since its inception, now inspiring amateur filmmakers around the world to test their talents. This year, the judges featured some of the most knowledgeable and respected names […]

DVD Review: ‘Thale’

★★★☆☆ An opening shot of a cassette-recorder playing and the screams of a woman give an instant suggestion that Aleksander Nordaas’ sophomore feature, Thale (2012), will be venturing into the territory of torture porn. Much like fellow Norwegian creature-feature Trollhunter (Trolljegeren, 2010), however, it subverts its immediate genre trappings to give audiences something a little more unique. With a […]