Film reviews and more

Month: July 2014

Film Review: ‘A Promise’

★☆☆☆☆ It’s been almost two decades since idiosyncratic French filmmaker Patrice Leconte delivered a near-masterpiece in the form of 1996’s Ridicule, an opulent and hugely absorbing period drama of verbal sparring in the court at Versailles. It’s safe to say that A Promise (2013), the […]

Film Review: ‘The Nut Job’

★★★☆☆ Making a successful feature length cartoon is a hard nut to crack. For every animated hit, a dozen sink without trace, relegated to being stuck on the DVD player just to keep the kids quiet on a wet afternoon. Fortunately, though clearly no Oscar […]

Film Review: ‘Mood Indigo’

★★☆☆☆ French director Michel Gondry is well-known for his eccentricities and wild imagination. However, with his latest quirksome endeavour, Mood Indigo (2013), the director falls into the trap of artifice over art, neglecting both plot and themes in favour of wild flights of unsubstantiated fancy. […]

Film Review: ‘Hide Your Smiling Faces’

★★★☆☆ Partially funded by Kickstarter, Daniel Patrick Carbone’s Hide Your Smiling Faces (2013) arrives in selected UK cinemas this week having picked up a number of accolades from various film festivals across the pond. It’s easy to see why. While it may meander a little […]

Film Review: ‘Delight’

★★☆☆☆ The second entry in a proposed trilogy from British independent director Gareth Jones (2009’s Desire being the inaugural chapter), Delight (2014) isn’t short on lofty concepts and ideas but does rather struggle to lift itself above its budgetary limitations. A meditation on loss, memory […]

Film Review: ‘The Deer Hunter’

★★★★★ Structures within the time frame of empirical perspectives have a tendency to unknowingly look in the wrong direction. Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter (1978) overcomes this problem by focusing on an intensely felt portrayal of the characterisation within a closed community that allows us […]

Film Review: ‘Blackwood’

★★☆☆☆ The haunted house has become such a recurring trope in horror literature and cinema that it’s now a bona fide sub-genre in its own right. From modern semis to labyrinthine old mansions, there’s little that’s more innately spooky than feeling unnerved in one’s own […]

DVD Review: ‘We Are the Best!’

★★★★☆ Coco Moodysson’s autobiographical 2008 graphic novel Never Goodnight related the delight and difficultly of forming a punk band, aged 13, in 1982. Along with two friends, and against the expectations of their peers and the adults around them, Moodysson created a dark and poignant […]

DVD Review: ‘Venus in Fur’

★★★☆☆ For Roman Polanski’s latest, the now octogenarian director has adapted David Ives play Venus in Fur, which is itself based on the 1870 novel of the same name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Taking place entirely in a theatre setting, the chamber piece sees a […]

DVD Review: ‘Unforgiven’

★★☆☆☆ Released to widespread critical and audience acclaim back in 1992, Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning revenge tale Unforgiven is fondly remembered as a valiant last stand by an American movie genre that had been slowly dying a death for decades. The West, as it transpired, had […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Too Late Blues’

★★★☆☆ John Cassavetes was the blue-collard labourer of American arthouse. Like the atonal timbre of jazz that tested musical conventions, the director excelled when left to experiment. Frequently, his movies appear as dummy-runs rather than finished products. His style stemmed from spontaneity, mistakes and impulse. […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rapture’

★★★★☆ Another forgotten gem given new life on DVD and Blu-ray here in the UK, John Guillermin’s Rapture (1965) is a beautifully-made and challenging oddity. It’s a film which undoubtedly sent the top brass at Twentieth Century Fox (the studio who first brought it to […]