Film reviews and more

Month: February 2014

Film Review: ‘Stranger by the Lake’

★★★★☆ An unnerving examination of promiscuity and infatuation, Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake (2013) combines the ethnography of gay cinema with an exhilarating mix of auteurist sadism and nail-biting suspense to craft a truly mesmerising […]

Film Review: ‘Stalingrad’

★★☆☆☆ There’s something altogether uneasy about the depiction of war in Fedor Bondarchuk’s Stalingrad (2013). It’s nothing to do with the flag-waving patriotism nor any kind of moral quandary, but instead the Russian blockbuster’s slick, stereoscopic […]

Film Review: ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

★★★★☆ Those cinemagoers concerned that the teenage adventures of Bella and Edward might have had a lasting negative impact on the movie vampire can rest easy. Last year, Neil Jordan’s Byzantium (2013) showed more than just […]

Film Review: ‘Nymphomaniac’

★★★★☆ Lars von Trier returns to UK cinemas this week with Nymphomaniac (2013), shortened and split into two volumes from a five-hour original cut. This dissection is unlikely to be the only divisive aspect of the […]

Film Review: ‘A World Not Ours’

★★★★☆ “The old will die and the young will forget. We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters”. The lethal words of statesman David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, […]

Film Review: ‘A New York Winter’s Tale’

★☆☆☆☆ Burdened by a plot as saccharine as a Nicholas Sparks novel unceremoniously mashed with all the very worst clichés of teen movie fantasy (looking at you Mortal Instruments), Akiva Goldsman offers his tiresome and bizarre […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Umbrellas of Cherbourg’

★★★★★ Jacques Demy’s poignant tale of doomed romanticism, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), is rereleased on Blu-ray this month through StudioCanal. Bold and incredibly vibrant, Demy’s reinvention of the movie musical arrived just as the genre […]

DVD Review: ‘Machete Kills’

★☆☆☆☆ The somewhat mixed response to Robert Rodriguez’s 2010 spoof trailer turned feature, Machete, was an indication that audiences were tiring of seeing him draw from his overused bag of visual tricks to deliver yet another […]

DVD Review: ‘Le Week-End’

★★★☆☆ Upholding the current vogue of films both targeted at an older tier of cinemagoers and depicting the romantic ups and downs of characters in their autumn years, Le Week-End (2013) sees director Roger Michell teaming […]

DVD Review: ‘How I Live Now’

★★★★☆ Adapted from Meg Rosoff’s young adult novel, How I Live Now (2013) is director Kevin Macdonald’s second narrative film in a row to feature young stars traipsing through the British countryside. The first was The […]

DVD Review: ‘Game of Thrones: S3’

★★★★★ Lovers of Game of Thrones have been waiting eagle-eyed for the imminent debut of Season 4. Before then, Season 3 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray to remind all why this series has come to command […]

DVD Review: ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’

★★★☆☆ Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) follows on from the phenomenal success of the surreal 2009 original, which came out of nowhere to challenge animation hotshots Disney Pixar […]

DVD Review: ‘Captain Phillips’

★★★★☆ Tom Hanks is an actor who has regularly provided an anchor for his audience; a steadfast and dependable rock regardless of whether the surrounding waters are choppy or still. He is thrust into a scenario […]

DVD Review: ‘Blue Jasmine’

★★★★☆ The Cate Blanchett-starring Blue Jasmine (2013) – for which she was awarded the Best Actress Bafta – has been billed by many as the clichéd ‘return to form’ for Woody Allen. Precisely how accurate an […]