Film reviews and more

Month: March 2014

DVD Review: ‘Frozen’

★★★★☆ Disney’s animated juggernaut Frozen (2013) comes to DVD and Blu-ray with a weighty reputation already in place. Critically lauded, a runaway box-office hit, and a double-winner at this year’s Academy Awards (for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song), Frozen has rightly been hailed […]

DVD Review: ‘The Family’

★★☆☆☆ Considering the talent involved, you’d be forgiven for thinking that The Family (2013) would make for a couple of hours of passable entertainment. Sadly, this new crime thriller (with supposed comedic twists) – starring Bobby De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, written […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Ealing Studios Collection: Vol. 1’

★★★★★ Collated for the first time on Blu-ray are three films from Britain’s Ealing Studios, each starring its most renowned star, Alec Guinness. In Kind Hearts and Coronets’ (1949), lowly sales assistant Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) reeks terrible revenge on his mother’s aristocratic relations the […]

DVD Review: ‘Dom Hemingway’

★★☆☆☆ Imagine Sexy Beast’s Don Logan suddenly developing a heart halfway through Jonathan Glazer’s film. Unfathomable, isn’t it. This is the unfortunate trajectory of Jude Law’s volatile, large-than-life parolee in Richard Shepard’s comedy drama Dom Hemingway (2013), which squanders its early promise with a pedestrian […]

DVD Review: ‘Carrie’

★★★☆☆ Carrie, Stephen King’s first published novel, has been adapted several times for the big screen, Brian De Palma’s 1976 version being the most well-known and successful. The latest incarnation hails from Boys Don’t Cry (1999) director Kimberly Peirce, who delivers an efficient, yet prosaic […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Blind Woman’s Curse’

★★★★★ From its opening scene, Terou Ishii’s Blind Woman’s Curse (1970) lays its cards firmly on the table. Against a backdrop of pouring rain, a clan of deadly Yakuza primed for action scuttle into shot with choreographed precision, their bare backs revealing a patchwork of […]

Film Review: ‘The Past’

★★★★☆ One of a number of talented Iranian creatives currently working outside their own country (some, like fellow director Jafar Panahi, are unable to vacate), Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi leaves behind the miasma of his home nation for the Paris-set The Past (2013), another fantastically […]

Film Review: ‘My Stuff’

★☆☆☆☆ Following a breakup with his girlfriend, My Stuff (2013) director Petri Luukkainen decides to put all of his worldly possessions into storage and retrieve them one item per day, ridding himself of the ennui caused by his cluttered life. Helped by friends who look […]

Film Review: ‘Muppets Most Wanted’

★★★☆☆ The lights have been lit once more for James Bobin’s Muppets Most Wanted (2014), a somewhat lacklustre follow-up to his 2011 comeback hit The Muppets, with Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais replacing Amy Adams and Jason Seigel as the film’s human points of interest. […]

Film Review: ‘Dangerous Acts’

★★★★☆ In Dangerous Acts (2013), Madeleine Sackler documents a year in the life of the Belarus Free Theatre (BFT), an acclaimed theatrical troupe forced to work underground in their native country. President Lukashenko, often dubbed Europe’s last remaining dictator, has ruled Belarus with an iron […]

Film Review: ‘Almost Married’

★☆☆☆☆ Exactly the sort of unforgivable dross that represents a stunning indictment of the British filmmaking machine, Ben Cookson’s Almost Married (2014) is a crushingly unconvincing sex comedy that may not surpass 2004’s Sex Lives of the Potato Men in its grotesqueness, but certainly reminds […]

Film Review: ‘Afternoon Delight’

★☆☆☆☆ With Afternoon Delight (2013), actress Kathryn Hahn and director Jill Soloway emerge from the shadows of male-centric comedy filmmaking. An apparently edgy, neurotic comedy about the awkward truths of contemporary middle-class culture, Soloway sadly lacks the sagacity required to unearth the roots of the […]