Film reviews and more

Month: March 2015

Film Review: ‘Kidnapping Freddy Heineken’

★★☆☆☆ Take care to not place too much hope into the misery-inducing yet somehow star-studded caper Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015). It’s a head-scratcher of a flick if only for the fact that viewers will spend the duration of the film […]

Film Review: ‘I Used to Live Here’

★★★☆☆ There’s often an unfortunate tug-of-war going on beneath the surface of films made primarily with a social agenda in mind and by those who care deeply about the subject. Taking 2013’s No Fixed Abode as an example, its cause […]

Film Review: ‘The Decent One’

★★★☆☆ Even for a Nazi, Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was a monumentally unattractive person. With his pencil neck, his weak watery eyes, his Touché Turtle expression of prissy blandness, a less convincing example of Hitler’s theories of racial superiority would be […]

Film Review: ‘The Dark Horse’

★★★★☆ There’s a precipice that lies just out of frame throughout James Napier Robertson’s absorbing drama, The Dark Horse (2014). It represents different things to different characters, but they are all skirting its edge precariously, lending an air of danger […]

Film Review: ‘Blade Runner’

★★★★★ Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi Blade Runner (1982) begins with a dazzling yet hellish vision of a metropolis shrouded in smog so thick that the sun has disappeared from the sky. Is it day or is it night? Giant towers […]

Film Review: ‘Altman’

★★★☆☆ The central victory of Ron Mann’s fond portrait of the maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman is how personal he manages to make it. For a documentary about a director with such a strong authorial voice, it seems only fitting […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Wooden Crosses’

★★★★☆ Upon its initial release in 1932, Raymond Bernard’s early-sound war film, Wooden Crosses was hailed as one of the masterpieces of cinema. Since then, it has largely been overlooked in wider discussion of the genre which is a shame, […]

DVD Review: ‘Interstellar’

★★★☆☆ Christopher Nolan continues to demand viewers to stretch their minds as well as their attention spans in his recent addition to an already impressive oeuvre with Interstellar (2014). It is a film that poses to its viewers the simple […]

DVD Review: ‘Darling’

★★★☆☆ John Schlesinger’s Darling (1965), reissued this week for 50th anniversary celebrations, is at once a time capsule piece and an oddly prescient fable about vacuous, ephemeral celebrity which remains tartly relevant in 2015. It is perhaps best remembered as […]

Film Review: ‘Wild Tales’

★★★☆☆ Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales (2014) is a ferociously dark, hilarious ride that doesn’t just mock the corruption and social injustices of modern day Argentina, but also deeply relishes the resort to vigilante violence. His six vignettes’ over-the-top bursts of […]

Film Review: ‘The SpongeBob Movie’

★★★☆☆ Over a decade on from its first big screen outing, enduringly popular cartoon character Spongebob SquarePants returns to cinemas. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) is a prequel to the previous film and sees SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) […]

Film Review: ‘Sixteen’

★★★★☆ Rob Brown’s Sixteen (2013) is a beautifully realised debut that breathes new life into British cinema’s obsession with urban thrillers, fashioning a refreshingly gentle tale of redemption in a city frequently painted as the last refuge of the lost […]

Film Review: ‘The Signal’

★★☆☆☆ In 2011, first-time director William Eubank constructed a replica of the International Space Station in a driveway, out of odds-and-ends, and within it staged a flawed but ambitious science fiction saga called Love. For his next trick, he has […]

Film Review: ‘Seventh Son’

★★☆☆☆ Fantasy epic Seventh Son (2014) had potential to be a somewhat unique film in a genre abundant with echoing plot arcs and medieval-like worlds, but the amalgamation of different cinematic influences director Sergey Bodrov used to illustrate his story […]

Film Review: ‘Robot Overlords’

★★☆☆☆ At a point in Jon Wright’s Robot Overlords (2014), Robin Smythe – the film’s human Big Bad played by Ben Kingsley – asks “You know what ‘chav’ stands for? Council house and violent.” It’s delivered in an unsure northern […]

Film Review: ‘Get Hard’

★★☆☆☆ This sophomoric culture-clash comedy stars two comedy actors at different points on the career spectrum. Kevin Hart, a stand-up whose barrage of studio comedies have been huge financial successes, shares the screen with Will Ferrell, still a draw despite […]

Film Review: ‘Cinderella’

★★★☆☆ Courage and kindness (and perhaps a little magic for good measure) are the cornerstones of Kenneth Branagh’s sweet retelling of Cinderella (2015), a benevolent yet paradoxically cravenness reimagining of Charles Perrault’s classic fairytale. A live-action Disney production starring Cate […]

Film Review: ‘Blind’

★★★★☆ Arriving on UK screens a year after its Berlin bow, Blind (2014) – the debut feature from Norwegian screenwriter turned director Eskil Vogt – imbues cognitive visualisation and the mechanics of storytelling to achieve what many have tired and […]