Film reviews and more

Month: January 2017

#Ben Nicholson

DVD Review: Two films by Marc Isaacs

★★★★☆ Philip is a self-professed king, ordained directly by God and living with a harem of wives on a horse farm in Sussex. Laura-Anne is a ten-year-old girl searching for love in the windswept two-street town of Siddick in Cumbria. As protagonists in a pair of films by British documentarian Marc Isaacs, they […]

#Jamie Neish #Reviews

Film Review: T2 Trainspotting

★★★☆☆ Two decades after cult hit Trainspotting tapped into the zeitgeist of the 1990s its sequel – the oddly titled T2 – reaches screens, propelled by an overbearing sense of nostalgia. Not only does the film’s narrative bear a striking resemblance to that of the original, but returning director Danny Boyle also finds […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: The White King

★★☆☆☆ A highly contrived script, weak performances across the board and aimless direction make The White King a remarkably dull, at times laughable Orwellian tale. Set in a dystopian nation very originally named The Homeland, located somewhere in the past, present or future, the lack of clarity regarding where and when it occurs […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Sing

★★★☆☆ Have you ever wanted to see an elephant overcome stage fright and belt out Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing by Stevie Wonder to adoring fans? Or hear a gorilla tinkle the ivories to Elton John’s I’m Still Standing? Perhaps a mouse in a fedora and purple suit crooning to a little […]

#John Bleasdale

Film Review: Hacksaw Ridge

★★★☆☆ No one would mistake Mel Gibson for the embodiment of subtlety. From his blood-soaked Scottish romp Braveheart to his blood-soaked The Passion of the Christ, Gibson has always made his films with sledgehammer blows, a simplistic moral universe and thumping melodramatic beats, usually in slow motion. Anyone worrying that the topic of […]

#Lucy Popescu #Reviews

Film Review: Denial

★★★☆☆ Mick Jackson’s courtroom drama Denial focuses on the 1996 British libel suit brought by David Irving (Timothy Spall), the infamous Holocaust denier, against American historian Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) and her publisher Penguin Books. Based on Lipstadt’s book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, and adapted for screen by David Hare, Denial offers […]

#Matthew Anderson

Film Review: Cameraperson

★★★★★ “She sees everything but is totally blind,” says Jacques Derrida crossing a New York City street as Kirsten Johnson tracks him with her camera walking backwards, half stumbling in the process. The French philosopher thinks himself frightfully clever with this witticism at the Big Apple-based filmmaker’s expense but a viewer of her […]

#Christopher Machell

DVD Review: Varieté

★★★★☆ Part romance-revenge story, part cautionary fable, E.A. Dupont’s Varieté is a sophisticated melodrama with a unique setting and gorgeous imagery courtesy of Karl Freund, master cinematographer of Metropolis and Dracula. Newly released as part of Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series, the title is largely up to Eureka’s high standards. Three distinctive musical […]

#Adam Lowes

DVD Review: The Glass Shield

★★☆☆☆ Director Charles Burnett made perhaps one of the greatest cinematic accounts of marginalised black lives with his 1978 classic Killer of Sheep – a film which was offered a thoroughly deserving retrospective and re-release by the BFI a few years back. Made almost two decades after his breakthrough feature, The Glass Shield […]

#Patrick Gamble

DVD Review: El Sur

★★★★★ Heralded by Pedro Almodóvar as “one of the best in Spanish cinema history”, Victor Erice’s El Sur is re-released on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of the BFI. Best known for his spellbinding debut Spirit of the Beehive, Erice’s follow-up also uses the recollection of childhood to explore the psychological scars of the […]

#John Bleasdale

DVD Review: Creepy

★★☆☆☆ The unnerving neighbour is a shopworn trope of domestic thrillers and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Creepy is only an occasionally effective entry into the genre. Following a face-off with a psychopath that almost costs him his life, Detective Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) resigns from the force, and retreats to the relative tranquillity of academia. Along […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Lion

★★★☆☆ Lion, the debut feature from Australian director Garth Davis, is the tale of a tiny needle in a very large haystack and perseverance against all odds. By turns tragic, deeply moving and heartfelt, it tells the remarkable true story of a young Indian boy, played in his childhood by Sunny Pawar and […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Jackie

★★★★★ Does a picture really paint a thousand words? When something is written down, does that make it true? With an increasingly spellbinding command of cinema’s visual language and capability, placing him firmly in the rarefied air of the most gifted filmmakers of our time, Chilean director Pablo Larraín muses upon these ideas […]

#Ben Nicholson #Reviews

Film Review: Christine

★★★★☆ Christine Chubbuck used to be a name you were most likely to come across on an internet listicle about the strangest things to have been seen on television. That was until not one but two films about her premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. One was Robert Greene’s documentary Kate Plays […]

#Patrick Gamble #Reviews

Film Review: Godless

★★★☆☆ Ralitza Petrova’s Locarno Golden Leopard winner Godless is the latest in an outpouring of punishing portraits of life in the New East. Rigidly conforming to the stark, unforgiving aesthetic now synonymous with post-soviet social realism, Petrova’s debut is a gruelling exploration of the new political and cultural identities being forged in Bulgaria […]

#Christopher Machell

DVD Review: Metropolis

★★★☆☆ Japanese director Rintaro’s anime feature Metropolis, adapted from Osamu Tezuka’s 1949 manga, is a spectacular if tonally incongruous reworking of Fritz Lang’s 1927 original, with Rintaro’s Metropolis taking its cue from the Lang’s visuals and political and philosophical themes while distilling elements of the original’s plot and characters into something quite new. […]

#Christopher Machell

Criterion Review: His Girl Friday

★★★★★ In arguably his best screen performance, Cary Grant heads the terrific His Girl Friday, Howard Hawks’ classic 1940 comedy about fast-talking journalist Walter Burns (Grant) and his morally circumspect schemes to win back his ex-wife Hildy (Rosalind Russell). As well as Walter’s better half, Hildy was also once one of the best […]