Film reviews and more

Month: September 2016

#Ben Nicholson #Reviews

Film Review: Aloys

★★★☆☆ Convention dictates that relationship dramas are, at their core, about the connection between two people. Although Tobias Nölle’s Aloys ostensibly adheres to this formula, it spends more time probing a far more interesting and unorthodox relationship; that between a person and their physical surrounds. Before a single individual appears on screen, Simon […]

#Martyn Conterio #Reviews

Film Review: 31

★★★★☆ “Shall we do this Whitechapel-style, then?” Doom-Head (Richard Brake) asks, rhetorically, to final girl Charly (Sheri Moon Zombie), in the penultimate scene of 31, the latest offering from Rob Zombie, a director whose films are the very definition of marmite cinema. Some might find Doom-Head’s line dripping in misogyny – given he […]

#Matthew Anderson

DVD Review: The Commitments

★★★★☆ “Soul grabs you by the balls and lifts you above the shite.” Ne’er was a truer word spoken. Undoubtedly one of the greatest music films of all time, The Commitments marks its 25th anniversary this year with a home entertainment re-release bursting with the vibrancy, heart, humour and charm of Alan Parker’s […]

#Ben Nicholson #Toronto

Toronto 2016: Colossal review

★★☆☆☆ Sometimes a high concept premise can prove to be a film’s downfall, opening up a world of potential that the finish product just can’t live up to. So it is with Nacho Vigalondo’s psychological kaiju dramedy Colossal. The set-up sees Anne Hathaway’s Gloria at something of a crisis point in her life […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: The Infiltrator

★★★☆☆ The Infiltrator does exactly what is says on the tin. This Bryan Cranston-led real life crime drama, telling of a lengthy undercover sting operation to ensnare Pablo Escobar’s mid-80s Florida drug operations, may not reach the blood-splattered heights of The Departed or Donnie Brasco but like director Brad Furman’s former project, The […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

★★★☆☆ ‘Magestical’ isn’t necessarily a real word but it perfectly sums up Kiwi director Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Invented by Sam Neill’s gruff, illiterate grouch of an old codger, Hector, to describe a breathtaking mountaintop vista above New Zealand’s wilderness, in the company of hip-hop loving, fast-talking and lovable troublemaker Ricky […]

#Ben Nicholson #Reviews

Film Review: Blair Witch

★★★☆☆ Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the woods… It’s been seventeen years since unprepared audiences were first scared witless by a camping trip in the forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. The Blair Witch Project redefined the genre map, charting a new path through unfamiliar territory. Since then, that […]

#Ben Nicholson #Toronto

Toronto 2016: Mimosas review

★★★★☆ Ben Rivers’ The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers began with behind-the-scenes footage from two films being shot in Morocco before a film director, played by Oliver Laxe, disappeared into the wilderness. The latter half may be pure fiction, but the first was compiled with […]

#Ben Nicholson #Toronto

Toronto 2016: Austerlitz review

★★★★☆ “We who are still alive are unreal in the eyes of the dead.” This quote from W.G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz proves a useful reference when considering Sergei Loznitsa’s new documentary of the same name. The film takes its title from the German author’s book, but to suggest it’s an adaptation would be […]

#Ben Nicholson #Toronto

Toronto 2016: The Net review

★★★☆☆ Kim Ki-duk’s career has often progressed in distinct waves – from the nasty sexual violence of his dark early work to the magical realism that produced Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring and 3-Iron. Since the glorious grotesquery of 2013’s Moebius, he’s perhaps made a move into territory that nobody could have expected […]


DVD Review: Matinee

★★★★☆ Something of a forgotten gem, 1993’s Matinee sits between Gremlins and Toy Soldiers in director Joe Dante’s oeuvre. John Goodman steals the show as Lawrence Woolsey, a cigar-chomping director specialising in William Castle-esque theatrical gimmicks. Under the cloud of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he arrives in Key West, Florida to promote his […]


DVD Review: The Flight of the Phoenix

★★★★★ It’s not hard to see the appeal of Robert Aldrich’s The Flight of the Phoenix, a riveting adventure film featuring an all-star cast headed by Jimmy Stewart and Richard Attenborough. The premise, whereby fourteen men are stranded in the desert after a plane crash, is classic Saturday matinee material. The film’s success […]

#Maximilian von Thun

DVD Review: Embrace of the Serpent

★★★★★ Embrace of the Serpent is a film about the Amazon like no other. While Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, Wrath of God depict white European explorers losing themselves in the jungle, Ciro Guerra’s masterpiece is uniquely centred on the experience of an indigenous protagonist visited by white travellers. Through undertaking extensive research […]