Film reviews and more

Month: July 2016

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

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 point an immovable fork in the road. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics […]

#John Bleasdale #Venice

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 mid-week – Venice has had hard times attracting major filmmakers. Without the glitzy […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

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 wants to cash in on the million kroner it’s worth. His bored wife, […]


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 Ethan Hawke, this film is well worth the watch. What comes through in […]

#John Bleasdale #Reviews

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 it has reached than its unhappy hero. Although, there will be at least […]

#Matthew Anderson

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 valuable lessons for humankind by way of the animal kingdom. It is a […]

#John Bleasdale

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 brush of Hollywood fame and Carol White, who had starred in the television […]


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 words? Yet the value of these early silents is delivering another perspective on […]

#Patrick Gamble

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 pseudonymous classic is a film of tremendous beauty but very little heart. The […]

#Reviews #Tom Duggins

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 visual field in an attempt to convince you that something exciting is going […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

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, in 2003, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment for housing a Bengal […]

#John Bleasdale #Reviews

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 nods and winks to mum and dad – except for some humour late […]

#Patrick Gamble

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 remaining taboos, Illegitimate avoids sensationalism, presenting the topic of sibling incest in an […]

#Patrick Gamble

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 Bloom have emerged from the Caucus region to resounding acclaim. Rusudan Glurdjidze’s haunting […]