Film reviews and more

Month: February 2014

Film Review: ‘We Are What We Are’

★★★★☆ Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are (2013) – his follow-up to blood-soaked vampire drama Stake Land (2010) – is so convincing that it almost makes the case for the horror remake as a viable, rich art form in and of itself. Not only […]

Film Review: ‘Non-Stop’

★★★☆☆ Action movies are typically a young man’s genre but an older man’s game. The real tough cookies have been thickened by years of experience, driven to solitude by guilt, and are embittered by the system they have operated in for too long. At the […]

Film Review: ‘Funny Face’

★★★★★ Stanley Donen’s Funny Face (1957), like the industry it so wittily satirises, is beguiling, effortlessly stylish and always in vogue. This evergreen classic receives a timely rerelease from Park Circus this week, coinciding conveniently with the bi-annual fashion circus currently making its way around the […]

Film Review: ‘As the Palaces Burn’

★★★★☆ Metal’s reputation has tolerated the most unfounded social clichés. Hackneyed variations of ink-coated sweat-riddled aggressors lacking in any emotion other than sightless rage. However, an ongoing throng of documentaries – including Don Argott’s As the Palaces Burn (2014) – have sought to disassemble this […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Roma’

★★★★☆ A landmark work in the lexicon of 1970s art film, Federico Fellini’s highly venerated opus Roma (1972) arrives in a pristine restoration as part of Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series, giving it the Blu-ray treatment it deserves. Coming after perhaps his most notable works […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Phantom of the Paradise’

★★★★☆ Coming two years before his breakout commercial horror hit Carrie, Phantom of the Paradise (1974) finds revered seventies “movie brat” Brian De Palma in a lively and altogether more playful mode – and all the better for it. For anyone yet to see this […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Killers’

★★★★☆ Don Siegel was one of the key directors in the undervalued period of American cinema that took place just before the New Hollywood palette cleanser. His 1964 effort The Killers is pure pulp bliss; a testosterone-driven comic book noir that simmers with violent intent. […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Classe Tous Risques’

★★★★☆ History tells us that the neophyte directors who emerged in sixties France made films that challenged the established aesthetic tradition. It forgets to tell us about a director like Claude Sautet, whose hard-nosed thriller Classe Tous Risques (1960) was thrust into almost immediate obscurity […]

DVD Review: ‘Thor: The Dark World’

★★★☆☆ Alan Taylor’s ‘Phase Two’ offering Thor: The Dark World (2013) sees Chris Hemsworth’s thunder god return in his second standalone movie, and provides much of the humour, full-on special effects and breathtaking set pieces we have come to expect from the Marvel Studios production […]

DVD Review: ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’

★★★★☆ Admittedly, a “time-travelling indie comedy” may not be the most appealing concept upon first glance, but much like the characters in this charmingly offbeat yarn, initial perceptions differ from what is eventually achieved. On the strength of Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) alone, director Colin […]

DVD Review: ‘Mister John’

★★★☆☆ With their feature debut, Helen (2008), British directing duo Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy toyed with notions of identity as they followed a young woman playing the role of a missing girl as part of a police reconstruction. They plunge into similar thematic waters […]

DVD Review: ‘Lubitsch in Berlin’

★★★★☆ What did the “Lubitsch touch” look like before it was the “Lubitsch touch”? There are plenty of clues in this welcome reissue of Masters of Cinema’s Lubitsch in Berlin box set, subtitled Fairy-Tales, Melodramas, and Sex Comedies – an indication of the thematic breadth […]