Film reviews and more

Month: April 2014

Film Review: ‘Paths of Glory’

★★★★☆ The fourth feature of what would later evolve into a glittering directorial career, Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory (1957) is not only a fine extension of the moral concerns towards war raised in his debut, 1953’s Fear and Desire, […]

Film Review: Patema Inverted

★★☆☆☆ Here’s a film that Hollywood should be planning to remake; essentially a feature-length version of the zero gravity scenes from Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010), which shares even closer DNA with the Kirsten Dunst US box office bomb Upside Down […]

Film Review: ‘In Bloom’

★★★★☆ The opening film of this year’s Bird’s Eye View Festival, Georgian director Nana Ekvtimishvili combines with German counterpart Simon Groß for In Bloom (2013), a brilliant coming-of-ager set in the suburbs of Tblisi, circa 1992. Featuring two outstanding lead […]

Film Review: ‘Ilo Ilo’

★★★☆☆ East-Asian cinema has long been a leading producer of meditative family dramas, from the quietly profound work of Ozu all the way through to the present day. With his acclaimed debut feature, Singaporean director Anthony Chen looks to follow […]

Film Review: ‘Brick Mansions’

★★☆☆☆ The latest in a long line of trashy action thrillers spearheaded by French producer extraordinaire Luc Besson, Camille Delamarre’s Brick Mansions (2014) – an American remake of 2004 parkour-driven French adrenaline-pumper District B13 – is just about as mindless […]

Cannes 2014: ‘Winter Sleep’ preview

Unquestionably one of the most eagerly awaited films set to screen at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Winter Sleep (2014) is also one of those most shrouded in mystery. Very little is known about the new offering from acclaimed Turkish […]

Cannes 2014: ‘Mr. Turner’ preview

Along with fellow British veteran Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (2014) will be in the running for the coveted Palme d’Or in the next fortnight. A biopic of Victorian painter J.M.W. Turner, the film stars Timothy Spall […]

Cannes 2014: ‘Maps to the Stars’ preview

Acolytes of body horror master David Cronenberg will be hoping for a late career revival when his new film, 2014’s Maps to the Stars, has its grand unveiling at Cannes this May, particularly after the joint disappointment of 2011 psychoanalysis […]

Cannes 2014: ‘Jimmy’s Hall’ preview

Whether or not it turns out to be Ken Loach’s final narrative film, Jimmy’s Hall (2014) looks like being a favourite when it lands on the Croisette in competition at this year’s 67th Cannes Film Festival. Cannes has commonly been […]

Cannes 2014: ‘The Homesman’ preview

Fresh from the dusty plains, American actor Tommy Lee Jones will present his second directorial offering, The Homesman (2014), in competition at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. Following on from Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff (2011) and anticipating Gavin O’Connor’s much […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Violent Saturday’

★★★★★ With Violent Saturday (1955), the recent Richard Fleischer reappraisal comes full-circle. A brazenly eclectic studio man who directed films as disparate as the Tony Curtis-starring The Boston Strangler (1968) and fantasy epic Conan the Destroyer (1984), Fleischer is near-impossible […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Sisters’

★★★☆☆ Made in 1973, a whole three years before his breakthrough Stephen King adaptation Carrie, Brian De Palma’s Sisters (previously released as Blood Sisters in the UK and now available on DVD and Blu-ray through Arrow Video) begins with a […]

DVD Review: ‘Honour’

★★☆☆☆ “Without it, life means nothing” according to a quote that fills the screen in the opening moments of British director Shan Khan’s twisting London-set thriller, Honour (2014). Attempting to straddle the potentially conflicting identities of cultural expose and nerve-shredding […]

DVD Review: ‘Fossil’

★★★★☆ Having carved out a career with music documentaries like 2008’s We Dreamed America, director Alex Walker dips his toes into waters new with debut feature Fossil (2014), a psychological thriller that follows a couple on holiday in the south […]

DVD Review: ‘Big Bad Wolves’

★★☆☆☆ Quentin Tarantino last year lauded Big Bad Wolves (2013), the second feature from Israeli filmmakers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (following on from their well-received 2010 debut, Rabies), as his favourite film of 2013 and it’s easy to see […]

DVD Review: ‘Bastards’

★★★★☆ A nihilistic examination of how patriarchy is fundamental to social oppression through the interrogation of defined gender roles, Claire Denis’ Bastards (2013) is a post-modern film noir that feels like observing the world through two black eyes. Paris has […]

DVD Review: ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

★★★★☆ In the summer of 2004, a pair of American comedies arrived at the box office within just two weeks of each other. The first was Dodgeball, which starred the Saturday Night Live giants of the day and quickly became […]

DVD Review: ‘All Is Lost’

★★★★★ Drifting away from his dialogue-heavy and tightly-wound financial crisis drama debut Margin Call (2011), J.C. Chandor’s sophomore directorial feature All Is Lost (2013) is a stripped down and incredibly gripping story of one man’s struggle for survival after his […]