Film reviews and more

Month: November 2013

Interview: Edgar Wright talks ‘The World’s End’

Having migrated from the small to the big screen following the sleeper success of cult TV show Spaced, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have amassed an enormous army of fervent fans thanks to their high concept – and […]

Film Review: ‘Saving Santa’

★★☆☆☆ Released just in time for the festive period, Saving Santa (2013) is yet another animation given the cinematic treatment despite being planned as a DTV feature. Directed by Leon Joosen and Aaron Seelman, it’s a fairly watchable jaunt that’s […]

Film Review: ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

★★★★☆ The tone for John Lee Hancock’s pleasingly sentimental and richly layered Saving Mr. Banks (2013) is effectively set by a well-chosen verse from Disney’s seminal colour musical, Mary Poppins: “Wind’s in the east, mist coming in/Like something is brewing, […]

Film Review: ‘No Fixed Abode’

★★☆☆☆ “What if you woke up homeless?” reads the tagline for low-budget British drama No Fixed Abode (N.F.A., 2012), evoking the kind of vexing slogan you might hear on an advert for a homelessness charity. This may seem like a […]

Film Review: ‘Leviathan’

★★★★☆ The latest remarkable offering from Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab (whose additional credits include Sweetgrass, Foreign Parts and the upcoming Manakamana), Lucien Castiang-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s hulking behemoth of a documentary, Leviathan (2012), rightly caught the eye after scooping […]

Film Review: ‘Free Birds’

★★☆☆☆ This year has seen the family animation arena dominated by sequels despicable, monstrous and concerned with a chance of meatballs. The Croods (2013) aside, children’s cinema has had something of a subdued year; for every inventive sugar-high there’ve been […]

Film Review: ‘Dirty Wars’

★★★★☆ “We were told that the battle for hearts and minds was being won, as soldiers dug wells or drank tea with tribal elders – but I knew I was missing the story.” These are the words of warzone correspondent […]

Film Review: ‘Carrie’

★★★☆☆ Why would a director take it upon themselves to remake a film which has achieved near mythical status? Take Carrie (1976), Brian De Palma’s iconic visualisation of Stephen King’s seminal shocker, which set the standard for the high-school horrors […]

Film Review: ‘The Best Man Holiday’

★★★☆☆ Although fourteen years have passed since Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man (1999), the characters resonated in such a way that the idea of seeing them together again was an enjoyable one to ponder. It’s been a long time […]

DVD Review: ‘World Cinema Project – Volume One’

★★★★☆ Martin Scorsese has always been a dedicated cinephile as well as a lauded filmmaker. Even his 3D fantasy Hugo (2011) extolled the virtues of film preservation. Looking to champion forgotten gems from around the globe, he has now found […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Heaven’s Gate’

★★★★★ Beginning with a graduation and ending with tears of regret, Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980) is a monumental piece of American cinema; an opulent leviathan that moves to its own strange rhythm. While its troubling conception and destructive aftermath […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Betty Blue’

★★★★★ One of the most iconic French offerings of the eighties, Jean Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue (1986) not only filled cinemas and earned itself BAFTA and Oscar attention, but its César Award-winning poster found itself adorning the bedroom walls of […]

DVD Review: ‘The World’s End’

★★★★☆ Marking the third and concluding instalment of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End (2013) serves up a superb concoction of sharp dialogue and pathos, along with a stellar cast, to provide a fitting, if occasionally muddled, end to […]

DVD Review: ‘The Wolverine’

★★★☆☆ Hugh Jackman returns to the franchise that made his name for a fifth time in The Wolverine (2013), a serviceable if somewhat anaemic entry that continues to investigate the X-Men series’ chief protagonist in a more personal fashion, all […]

DVD Review: ‘Stuck in Love’

★★★☆☆ Debut director Josh Boone’s Stuck in Love (2012) is an intelligent romantic comedy about love, loss, the consolations of literature and the familial bonds that tie. Divorced novelist Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear) still lays a place for his wife […]

DVD Review: ‘Red 2’

★★☆☆☆ Robert Schwentke’s Red (2010) came as a minor surprise. This first story of ageing spies being hunted out of retirement was an enjoyable romp; an action film that didn’t merely coast on the names of its high profile stars. […]

DVD Review: ‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’

★★★★☆ Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s provocative documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013) follows the trial of Nadia (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova), Katia (Ekaterina Samutsevich) and Masha (Maria Alyokhina), three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who last year […]

DVD Review: ‘The Heat’

★★★☆☆ Raking in some serious dough at this summer’s box office, Paul Feig’s follow-up to his equally lucrative mega-hit Bridesmaids (2011) once again takes that riotous comedy model and captures it from a distinctly female perspective. Using the traditionally masculine […]