Film reviews and more

Month: September 2014

DVD Review: ‘The Wind Rises’

★★★★☆ A celebration of craftsmanship and the creative process, legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki’s mooted swansong, The Wind Rises (2013), examines the delineation between truth and beauty, questioning whether you can separate cause and effect when it comes to the work of an artist. Unlike much […]

DVD Review: ‘The Walking Dead: Season 4’

★★★★★ The collective disaffection expressed by the geek contingent when it was revealed that Frank Darabont was exiting as showrunner on The Walking Dead during the show’s second season proved ultimately redundant. The show has only grown in reputation and quality since his departure and […]

DVD Review: ‘In a Bedroom’

★★☆☆☆ “Show, don’t tell” goes the old screenwriting adage. In the case of some avant-garde cinema, however, certain filmmakers don’t even attempt to show, leaving the audience to deduce their own meaning from the images and words on-screen before them. This is certainly the case […]

DVD Review: ‘Goltzius and the Pelican Company’

★★★☆☆ “The nipples to itch, the scrotums to tighten, the pricks to rise, the mount of Venus to swell…” goes the piquant promise of British auteur Peter Greenaway’s latest, Goltzius and the Pelican Company (2012). Bare bodies rotate around static, inactive camerawork. Baroque theatrics smudge […]

DVD Review: ‘Fading Gigolo’

★★☆☆☆ The fifth film in his decidedly varied career as a feature director, Fading Gigolo (2013) sees John Turturro helming, writing and starring in a pet project with an altogether different story than those of his previous directorial outings, which dealt with music and theatricality. […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’

★★★★★ To speak of cinema without The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) would be to speak of filmmaking without Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb. Today’s dramas, horrors, noirs and thrillers have undoubtedly supplied from the infinite mastery of Robert Wiene’s staple showpiece. Approaching […]

DVD Review: ‘300: Rise of an Empire’

★★☆☆☆ Watching 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), a belated sequel to Zack Snyder’s blockbusting swords and sandals breakthrough 300 (2006), you can just envision the simple studio proviso submitted to director Noam Murro this time around (“Do what the last guy did but crank […]

Film Review: ‘Salvatore Giuliano’

★★★★★ Cinema is a form that forgets its relative youth at times, for that explanation is what can only be reasoned why Francesco Rosi is not remembered in the way he should be outside of his native Italy. Hopefully, this beautiful reissue of Salvatore Giuliano […]

Film Review: ‘Maps to the Stars’

★★☆☆☆ David Cronenberg has had a tough time of late. Though his last two efforts, A Dangerous Method (2011) and Cosmopolis (2012), arguably lacked the shocking cut and thrust of his most visceral outings, they were both far from abject failures. Neither is Maps to […]

Film Review: ‘The Last Impresario’

★★★★☆ There’s a certain suspicion about hieroglyphic documentary portraits of individuals of a generational span (the enjoyable Supermensch springs to mind), but The Last Impresario (2013) constantly surprises both by what it is and what it’s not. Gracie Otto (sister of Miranda) helms this portrait […]

Film Review: ‘Ida’

★★★★☆ British-based director Paweł Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) has spent his entire career thus far outside, geographically at least, his native Poland. Now, with his fifth feature film, he journeys back to rediscover his homeland along with his two lead characters in the stunningly […]

Film Review: ‘I Origins’

★★☆☆☆ With sophomore feature I Origins (2014), American independent director Mike Cahill once again utilises the theoretical landscape of the science fiction genre to analyse the human condition. Similar in style and tone to his high-concept, low-budget debut Another Earth (2011), this science-versus-faith puzzler looks […]