Film reviews and more

Month: August 2016

Film Review: Almost Holy

★★★★☆ How do we respond to tragedy and suffering when we encounter them? When our societal institutions are strong, we tend to see it as the state’s role to right wrongs and promote justice. Though altruism […]

DVD Review: The Shop on the High Street

★★★★★ The creeping grip of fascism has been a regular source of inspiration for filmmakers for decades, both in explicit reference to the Second World War and in more nuanced portrayals of corruptive ideology. It could […]

DVD Review: Microwave Massacre

★☆☆☆☆ Boutique home entertainment label Arrow Video has made a name for itself as a purveyor of premium cult schlock, specialising in the rediscovery and restoration of semi-forgotten video nasties and trans-Atlantic exploitation cinema of the […]

Criterion Review: The In-Laws

★★★★☆ Alan Arkin and Peter Falk send up their dramatic personae to great effect in Arthur Hiller’s 1979 The In-Laws, a wonderfully balanced and often hilarious comedy that benefits from the formidable talents of its leads. […]

DVD Review: Conversation Piece

★★★☆☆ A ‘conversation piece’ is an informal family portrait painting, primarily from 18th century Britain. Such a genre of artwork forms a perfect inspiration for Luchino Visconti’s penultimate film, Conversation Piece, which echoes both its painterly […]

Film Review: Wiener-Dog

★★★★☆ If you’re in the business of selling dog food, you’ll know that dog owners are in the habit of projecting their own personality onto their precious pooches. What then, does a Wiener-Dog have to say […]

Film Review: Valley of Love

★★★★☆ Rarely do we get treated to a moment so surprisingly amusing as the vision of Gérard Depardieu sporting a breezy, pineapple speckled button-up shirt and a baseball cap. It’s one of the precious moments of […]

Film Review: The Shallows

★★★☆☆ The monster is always a metaphor. Life, death, loss, grief, fears, desires. In Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows, the extravagantly proportioned great white shark relentlessly stalking surfer-meal Nancy (Blake Lively) represents the raw power that is […]

Film Review: Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words

★★★☆☆ “I am Ingrid. This is my story.” Without any air of superiority these straightforward intentions rather understate the life less ordinary laid bare during Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words. They do reflect, however, the […]

Film Review: The Confession

★★★★☆ For much of The Confession: Living the War on Terror its principle subject, Moazzam Begg – a British man suspected of terrorism, but never convicted of any crime, sits opposite a static camera responding to […]

DVD Review: Where to Invade Next

★★☆☆☆ Where to Invade Next is a collage of Michael Moore’s favourite progressive ideas from across the globe. From generous state-mandated holidays in Italy to debt-free education in Slovenia, Moore picks the policies and practices he […]

DVD Review: Solaris

★★★★☆ Science Fiction has regularly posited big timeless existential questions, even if the genre itself often superficially sports the kind of shiny furniture and fashion which rapidly dates. 2001: A Space Odyssey boldly offers the expanse […]

DVD Review: Female Prisoner Scorpion

★★★★☆ “Wanted for the murder of 8 police officers, 3 prison breaks, and 28 attempts…She’s evil incarnate!” This is how a detective describes Nami Matsushima (the iconic Meiko Kaji), better known as Matsu, or by her […]

DVD Review: Count Yorga Collection

★★★☆☆ There are few who now remember the Count Yorga films, loose, modern reworkings of Dracula. Both films were modestly successful on their 1970 and 1971 releases despite their slip into relative obscurity. Beating both the […]

Film Review: Up for Love

★★☆☆☆ Few rationally-thinking females jump out of planes at 10,000 feet with a smooth-talking chap they met only an hour previously. But this is the movies, so men and women are swept up in carefree spontaneity […]