Film reviews and more

Month: December 2013

Film Review: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

★★☆☆☆ Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), this festive season’s family-friendly dramedy. Based on a short story by James Thurber – already adapted for the big screen by Norman Z. McLeod back in […]

Film Review: ‘All Is Lost’

★★★★☆ J.C. Chandor follows up 2011’s talky but tense Margin Call with polar opposite All Is Lost (2013), a near-silent survival procedural that celebrates humanity’s psychological and physical resilience when faced with insurmountable odds. Stranded 1,700 miles off the Sumatran […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Jurassic Park’

★★★★★ Sixty-five million years in the making, Steven Spielberg’s spectacular 1993 dinosaur romp Jurassic Park returns to Blu-ray this week thanks to a brand new digital restoration, with the addition of 3D. Whilst certainly a lighter, family-friendly adaptation of the […]

DVD Review: ‘We’re the Millers’

★★☆☆☆ There are drawbacks to acting alongside Jennifer Aniston – mainly the fact that you have to take second-billing to everyone’s favourite Friend. Rawson Marshall Thurber’s We’re the Millers (2013) may co-star Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter, but […]

DVD Review: ‘Lovelace’

★★★☆☆ In 1972, Linda Lovelace shot to stardom as a sexually frustrated woman with an oral clitoris in the controversial porno Deep Throat (1972). The first mainstream pornographic film of its kind went on to become a phenomenal success and […]

DVD Review: ‘Killing Oswald’

★★★★☆ It’s over fifty years since the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy on 22 November and over recent months we have seen articles, documentaries and fictionalised accounts all offering a different take on the events of that fateful […]

DVD Review: ‘In the Shadow of the Sun’

★★★★☆ Western society’s love affair with superstition has quelled in recent decades. We no longer take solace in the extermination of those deemed ‘different. Yet Harry Freeland’s devastatingly moving documentary In the Shadow of the Sun (2012) encapsulates the immoral […]

DVD Review: ‘Child’s Pose’

★★★★★ A worthy winner of Berlin’s Golden Bear and a strong contender for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Academy Awards, Child’s Pose (2013) provides a fascinating insight into Romania’s affluent society and ubiquitous corruption. Calin Peter Netzer focuses […]

Film Review: ‘The Innocents’

★★★★★ A menacing adaptation of Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw, Jack Clayton’s 1961 chiller The Innocents is rereleased this week as part of the BFI’s long-running Gothic season. A sinister and deeply unnerving ghost story, Clayton’s horror […]

Film Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’

★★★★☆ After a slightly mixed response to the first instalment, Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-earth for the second part of his Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug (2013), should hopefully set fans and critics’ qualms aside, offering a rollicking adventure […]

Film Review: ‘Fill the Void’

★★★☆☆ New York-born, Jerusalem-raised director Rama Burshtein’s feature debut, Fill the Void (2012), is an accomplished social drama with potential appeal for international audiences. Set in contemporary Tel Aviv, where the local orthodox Jewish community continues the traditional practice of […]

Film Review: ‘Aroused’

★★★☆☆ Recognised for her work as a multimedia artist and candid photographer of A-list celebrities, Deborah Anderson follows up her renowned art books Room 23 and Paper Thin with her first feature documentary: the intimate, provocative Aroused (2013), an inquisitive […]

Blu-ray Review: The Three Colours trilogy

★★★★★ Forget Coppola’s The Godfather, Disney Pixar’s Toy Story and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films. Forget even the original Star Wars series. Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy is the cinematic triptych par excellence. Released for the first time on separate […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Schalcken the Painter’

★★★★☆ If the medium of film is to be considered a legitimate art form then this memorable BBC period piece from 1979 is probably as close as you can get to a living painting on screen. Schalcken the Painter, a […]

DVD Review: ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’

★★★☆☆ Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) is a monster of a movie in all senses of the word. The latest instalment in what looks like fast becoming the next big franchise series delivers action and noise aplenty, but perhaps […]

DVD Review: ‘Leviathan’

★★★★☆ In what could be described as an annus mirabilis for documentaries, Leviathan (2012) stands out as a monstrous marvel; something to inspire terror, confusion and awe. Taking the relatively unpromising subject of industrial fishing of the North American coast […]

DVD Review: ‘Kick-Ass 2’

★★☆☆☆ In 2010, British director Matthew Vaughn brought to the big screen Mark Millar’s ultra-violent and provocative comic book Kick-Ass. Filled with bad language, lashings of blood and a knowing take on the superhero genre, it was generally well-received, not […]

DVD Review: ‘Interior. Leather Bar’

★★★★☆ In 1980, Al Pacino starred in The Exorcist director William Friedkin’s controversial Cruising. The film focused on undercover cop Steve Burns (Pacino) who is sent onto the streets as a decoy for a serial killer who has dismembered several […]