Film reviews and more

Month: June 2014

DVD Review: ‘The Guillotines’

★★☆☆☆ From Andrew Lau, the renowned director of Infernal Affairs (2002), comes The Guillotines (2012), an erratic wuxia epic that struggles to conjoin the steampunk weapon-play of its elaborate and explosive overture, with the theatrically tedious staging of the historical epic which follows. Set during […]

DVD Review: ‘For Elisa’

★★☆☆☆ If your definition of a good horror film is one that both sickens and nauseates in equal measure, then Juanra Fernández’s debut feature and 2013 FrightFest select For Elisa (Para Elisa in the original Spanish) is for you. If, however, you possess even a […]

DVD Review: ‘Flu’

★★★☆☆ It’s hard to describe Kim Sung-su’s epidemic thriller – out now on DVD here in the UK – without mentioning other well-known entries in the sub-genre. Outbreak (1995) and Steven Soderbergh’s skin-crawling Contagion (2011) are obvious touchstones for this action-packed tale of a lethal […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films 1963-1974’

★★★★☆ The key scene in Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s cherished cinematic collaboration Last Year at Marienbad (1961) which was cut from the script was one of sexual violence, leaving the film with a lurking possibility of menace but nothing explicit to challenge its ‘U’ […]

Edinburgh 2014: ‘What Now? Remind Me’ review

★★★★☆ Winner of the Locarno Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize last year (amongst a host of other accolades), 2013’s What Now? Remind Me (E Agora? Lembra-me) is a revealing self-portrait and memoir by Portuguese filmmaker Joaquim Pinto that emerges as a moving examination of an […]

Edinburgh 2014: ‘We’ll Never Have Paris’ review

★★☆☆☆ Best known as the one of the lovable nerds around which CBS’s world-dominating The Big Bang Theory revolves, Simon Helberg has now moved behind the camera for his cinematic directorial debut alongside his wife Jocelyn Towne. Inspired by their own romantic history, We’ll Never […]

Edinburgh 2014: Shorts strand review

★★★★★ Edinburgh Film Festival is renowned for showcasing the best new feature filmmaking talent and hosting premieres of new work by established directors, but what’s less well known is the outstanding shorts programmes, curated by Lydia Beilby and her team of programmers. Though the Encounters […]

Edinburgh 2014: ‘The Owners’ review

★★★☆☆ To watch Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Owners (2014) is to be struck by confusion. A seemingly tragic premise – three siblings (including an epileptic child) inherit their mother’s home only to be thrown out by the aggressive and/or indifferent locals – is interspersed with frivolous […]

Edinburgh 2014: ‘To Kill a Man’ review

★★★★☆ The fourth feature from director Alejandro Fernández Almendras, To Kill a Man (2014) opens with a wide shot of a dense forest, the trees cut by light forcing its way through the canopy. We see a man in the right of the frame walking […]

Edinburgh 2014: ‘Stations of the Cross’ review

★★★★☆ Winner of the Student Critics Jury Award at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, German director Dietrich Brüggemann’s Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg, 2014) takes on as its burden the wry dissection of hardline Catholicism in fourteen supremely crafted long takes. Dividing each of his […]

Film Review: Secret Sharer

★★☆☆☆ Based on the 1909 short story by Heart of Darkness scribe Joseph Conrad, Peter Fudakowski’s debut feature film Secret Sharer (2014) is a handsomely made romantic drama which is ultimately sunk by its own clichés. Jack Laskey plays Konrad (a nod to the Polish […]

Film Review: ‘Love Me Till Monday’

★☆☆☆☆ The ongoing digital revolution that has placed the means of film production into the hands of budding indie directors everywhere stutters somewhat with the release of British director Justin Hardy’s Love Me Till Monday (2013). A painful 89 minutes of banality and boredom ensues […]