Film reviews and more

Month: January 2014

Special Feature: Balabanov at the Academia Rossica

To celebrate a year of cultural exchange between the UK and Russia, London’s ever enlightening arts hub, the Academia Rossica, will be presenting a retrospective of the late Russian director Alexei Balabanov over the coming months. Balabanov sadly passed away last year at the age […]

Film Review: ‘That Awkward Moment’

★★☆☆☆ On paper, That Awkward Moment (2014) was an appealing proposition; a rom-com told from the male perspective with talented up-and-coming actors in the lead roles. So it’s unfortunate that Tom Gormican’s debut feature, which might have offered a refreshingly astute perspective on young relationships, […]

Film Review: ‘Out of the Furnace’

★★★☆☆ Scott Cooper made his directorial debut with Crazy Heart (2009), a film that won Jeff Bridges an Oscar for Best Actor. For his sophomore effort Out of the Furnace (2013), Cooper once again manages to get the very best from his star-studded cast, but […]

Film Review: ‘Lone Survivor’

★★☆☆☆ Peter ‘Battleship‘ Berg returns to UK cinema screens this week with Lone Survivor (2013), a film which – depending on your own personal sensibilities – comes across as either a rousing testament to America’s men of valour or a teeth gritting exercise in patriotic […]

Film Review: ‘I, Frankenstein’

★★☆☆☆ Unless you’re a fan of the original source material on which a film adaptation is based, you’ll likely derive more pleasure from the viewing experience if you go in knowing nothing about it beforehand. This is certainly the case with Stuart Beattie’s action fantasy […]

DVD Review: ‘The Selfish Giant’

★★★★☆ After making a distinguished filmmaking debut with the widely acclaimed The Arbor (2010) – a documentary hybrid portraying the late, Bradford-born playwright Andrea Dunbar, British director Clio Barnard returns with her sophomore feature The Selfish Giant (2013), a fictional work inspired by the Oscar […]

DVD Review: ‘Rush’

★★★☆☆ Roaring onto DVD and Blu-Ray this week comes Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama Rush (2013), starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as his arch-rival, Austrian driver Niki Lauda. Although bookended with a slightly broader context, the main thrust of […]

Interview: Xan Cassavetes on ‘Kiss of the Damned’

Xan Cassavetes’ debut feature, Kiss of the Damned (2012) – released this week in the UK on both DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Eureka Entertainment – is a wonderfully flamboyant vampire film that manages to successfully combine genre tribute with arthouse aspirations. It’s a cineliterate […]

DVD Review: ‘Kiss of the Damned’

★★★★☆ We’ve seen a fair few vampire films do the rounds recently, but none of them are quite like Kiss of the Damned (2012), Xan Cassavetes’ throwback debut. It’s a hugely enjoyable and flamboyant work that combines sleek, cool aesthetics with giddy Eurotrash sensibilities. Like […]

DVD Review: ‘Hannah Arendt’

★★★☆☆ Set around the publication of the incendiary New Yorker article on the heinous deeds and belated trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann by its titular German-American political theorist, Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt (2012) is a glossy, plainly televisual depiction of one woman’s […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Epic of Everest’

★★★★☆ In 1921, the first attempt to scale Everest was launched. The expedition was exploratory in nature rather than a full–on assault, and although it failed to reach the peak, pioneering photographer and filmmaker Captain John Noel came back with footage and stills so remarkable […]

DVD Review: ‘Cutie and the Boxer’

★★★★☆ Amassing a considerable amount of buzz during last year’s festival circulation and now in the running for the Best Documentary Oscar, Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer (2013) arrives on DVD this week boasting a veritable trove of plaudits and awards, particularly for Heinzerling […]