Film reviews and more

Month: October 2014

Film Review: ‘The Overnighters’

★★★★★ More American nightmare than American Dream, Jesse Moss’ Sundance award-winning documentary The Overnighters (2013) looks at the crisis at the centre of the economic collapse within the post-Empire confines of contemporary America. Coming at this point through the prism […]

Film Review: ‘Nightcrawler’

★★★☆☆ The inaugural directorial effort of The Bourne Legacy (2012) screenwriter Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler (2014) is a nocturnal exploration of media sensationalism and the individualistic entrepreneurialism that is so often perceived as an attainable escape route from social inequality. Boasting […]

Film Review: ‘Mr. Turner’

★★★★★ We see a long shot of two maids, rapt in their whispers, walking down the length of an embankment. The first flickers of dawn are in the air; the promise of a new day. The camera pans to the […]

Film Review: ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’

★★★★★ Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is a talismanic work of art, a piece of cinema that reaches through the ages to comment on present needs, wants and perceived existential threats. Even though it has been remade three times […]

Film Review: ‘Horns’

★★★☆☆ Daniel Radcliffe takes another unexpected step in his capricious metamorphosis, transforming from iconic boy-wizard Harry Potter, to a man-turned-devil in Alexandre Aja’s uneven adaptation of Joe Hill’s fantasy novel Horns (2013). Falsely accused of raping and murdering his childhood […]

Film Review: ‘Ghostbusters’

★★★★☆ Whether young or old, the 1984 classic Ghostbusters – directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Bill Murray (seemingly confirmed for the upcoming Ghostbusters 3 on IMDb), Sigourney Weaver and Dan Aykroyd – will always be enjoyable viewing. Rereleased in […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Youth of the Beast’

★★★★☆ There’s a great deal to admire about Seijun Suzuki’s idiosyncratic, jazz-infused gangster thriller Youth of the Beast (1963). Released shortly after the return of the director’s hallucinatory Branded to Kill (1967) to UK screens, this sui generis Yakuza caper […]

DVD Review: ‘Mystery Road’

★★★☆☆ The wilds of Australia play home to Ivan Sen’s latest in both a physical and metaphorical sense. The oppression of indigenous peoples was a topic explored in his previous film, Toomelah (2009), and it glints as a rich vein […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘I Clowns’

★★★☆☆ “Clown acts have to be short and make people laugh in ten minutes – give it some rhythm!” These are the words of wisdom bestowed during the first interview Federico Fellini conducts in his made-for-television pseudo-documentary, I Clowns (1970). […]

DVD Review: ‘Gomorrah’

★★★★★ Narrative is the base from which elemental passages are forced upon our gaze. In recent years the very idea of watching narratives unfold over 8-12 hours had been the preserve of formalist cinema and its adherents, whether that be […]

DVD Review: ‘Godzilla’

★★★★☆ It was sixty years ago that a gigantic and terrifying lizard first lumbered out of the Pacific Ocean and proceeded to leave its indelible footprint on cinematic history. Since Ishiro Honda’s Gojira (1954), the scaly titan has been repurposed […]

DVD Review: ‘God Help the Girl’

★★★☆☆ The filmmaking debut of Stuart Murdoch, frontman of indie pop band Belle and Sebastian, God Help the Girl (2014) is a wistful modern-day musical structured around tracks from the band’s album of the same name. Starring rising Australian actress […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Blacula: The Complete Collection’

★★☆☆☆ The Blaxploitation movement was renowned for bringing its own unique cultural spin to many well-trodden genres, and the world of classic horror proved to be no exception. Now Eureka Classics have brought their considerable restorative skills to a couple […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Animal Farm’

★★★★☆ Celebrating its sixtieth anniversary, the classic animated interpretation of Animal Farm (1954) by British studio Halas and Batchelor, captures perfectly the timeless message of George Orwell’s bestselling political satire. Voiced by Maurice Denham, with a sparse, minimalistic style of […]

Film Review: ‘Time Is Illmatic’

★★★★☆ Rolling off New York’s F line, 21st Street you find yourself in the maltreated bosom of North America’s largest public housing development. Paved in the warren of great geometric brickwork, residents of Queensbridge lived in cost efficient Y-shaped complexes. […]

Film Review: ‘This Is Where I Leave You’

★★☆☆☆ Shawn Levy, director of Night at the Museum (2006) and Date Night (2010), takes a break from his usual comedy-heavy fare to direct the sparse family drama This Is Where I Leave You (2014). After catching his wife in […]

Film Review: ‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman’

★★☆☆☆ Opening with an blurry-eyed, ethereal exposition that treats the audience to a brief taste of the film’s tragic climax, Fredrik Bond’s The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013) is a contemporary fairytale that imbues its tripped-out, quasi-romantic thriller with […]

Film Review: ‘Love, Rosie’

★★☆☆☆ Etching another notch on the bedpost of the already crowded will they/won’t they? vein of romantic comedy, Love, Rosie (2014) boasts a fresh-faced cast whose star power will inevitably be bolstered by appearing in this heinious exercise in ignoble […]