Film reviews and more

Month: July 2016

Interview: Andrew Stanton & Lindsey Collins

The good folks at Pixar have done it again. Extraordinarily, twelve years have passed since Finding Nemo won hearts and minds all over the world and long-awaited sequel Finding Dory is another sure-fire hit for the peerless production studio. Writer-director […]

Film Review: The Fall

★★★★☆ Success and failure are separated by the finest of margins in all competitive sport, nowhere more so than track and field athletics. British filmmaker Daniel Gordon’s enthralling, well-considered and finely-balanced sports doc The Fall takes as its centrifugal starting […]

Venice 2016: 73rd lineup announced

In Rome earlier this morning, Alberto Barbera announced one of the most impressive Venice Film Festival lineups in recent years. With stiff competition from Berlin and the encroaching Toronto – which often sees Venice stripped of its North American journalists […]

Film Review: The Commune

★★☆☆☆ “You lose one another in a big house.” Prophetic words from the patriarch at the head of Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune. In the wake of his father’s death, Erik (Ulrich Thomsen) inherits an enormous Copenhagen property and […]

Film Review: Born to Be Blue

★★★★☆ Joining other films that revel in a bygone era (Inside Llewyn Davis, On the Road et al.), Born to Be Blue is a captivating portrait of the shadowy remains of jazz musician Chet Baker. Anchored by a wistful, wincing […]

Film Review: Barry Lyndon

★★★★★ Like the protagonist of his film, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon has risen from humble circumstances, but with a meticulously and glowingly remastered re-release courtesy of the BFI, it looks like the film will be more resilient in the pinnacle […]

DVD Review: Zootropolis

★★★★☆ Zootropolis is an absolute delight from first to last. With the kind of thought-provoking depth as seen in Inside Out, albeit not quite as emotionally stirring, it is packed full of charm, a riveting adventure and a number of […]

DVD Review: Poor Cow

★★★★☆ 1967 was the year of Carry On Doctor, Quatermass and the Pit and two James Bond movies. It also saw the feature debut of acclaimed television director Kenneth Loach with Poor Cow, starring Terence Stamp, fresh from his first […]

DVD Review: Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film

★★★★☆ In the ten-minute intro to Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film, we’re told that between 1899 and 1927 roughly 250-300 silent films were produced based on William Shakespeare’s plays. Why so many wordless productions for history’s greatest man of […]

Odessa 2016: Ali and Nino review

★★★☆☆ Ali and Nino marks an unexpected return to fiction filmmaking for Asif Kapadia. A tale of impossible love set against the backdrop of the First World War and the subsequent independence movement in Azerbaijan, Kapadia’s adaptation of Kurban Said’s […]

Film Review: Star Trek Beyond

★☆☆☆☆ If you go out into the furthest reaches of Star Trek’s filmography you’ll be in for an unsettling discovery – the final frontier looks oddly familiar. It’s brightly coloured eye-bait, Jim, exactly as we know it – outpacing your […]

Film Review: Ming of Harlem

★★☆☆☆ Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air could have been a stellar documentary given its subject. Alas, it’s not. The film’s principle voice – and limited success – lies with the eminently watchable, animal-loving Antoine Yates, who, […]

Film Review: The Killing$ of Tony Blair

★★☆☆☆ A documentary fronted by George Galloway, who narrates The Killing$ of Tony Blair as if he’s recounting a horror story around a campfire, must be taken with a grain of salt. A bitter Labour party reject, who has his […]

Film Review: The BFG

★★★☆☆ Steven Spielberg returns to cinema screens this week with an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s book The BFG, and the film is an old-fashioned children’s movie of sorts. Forget Pixar’s mutton dressed as lamb: The BFG eschews any […]

Interview: Athina Rachel Tsangari, dir. Chevalier

Six men, a captain and two chefs on a boat. A competition of points both positive and negative on each and every aspect of their being and conduct. The winner crowned ‘The Best in General’. With Chevalier, Greek director Athina […]

Odessa 2016: Illegitimate review

★★★★☆ Can time heal all wounds, or are certain indiscretions immune to the sympathetic ebb and flow of life? That’s the quandary posed in Illegitimate, the eye-catching incest drama from Romanian director Adrian Sitaru. Despite tackling one of society’s last […]

Odessa 2016: House of Others review

★★★★☆ If there was an award for best newcomer in world cinema then Georgia would be a great outside bet. In recent years, films like Rusudan Chkonia’s Keep Smiling, Levan Koguashvili’s Blind Dates and Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’ In […]