Film reviews and more

Month: April 2017

Film Review: Suntan

★★★☆☆ There’s something about the brightness of the Greek sunshine that leaves the blackest of shadows. You can see it in the tragi-comedies of Athina Rachel Tsangari and Yorgos Lanthimos. Now, Argyris Papadimitropoulos joins the fray with Suntan, a study […]

Film Review: Lady Macbeth

★★★★☆ The blunt moors of the British countryside provide the backdrop to Lady Macbeth, a caustic drama adapted by playwright Alice Birch from Nikolai Leskov’s controversial novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District. Its star is Florence Pugh, a relative […]

Film Review: LA 92

★★★☆☆ The essence of Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s LA 92 is that many, many wrongs do not make a right. Branching out as a pulsing artery of Ezra Edelman’s monolithic O.J.: Made in America, this bracing but slightly uneven […]

Interview: Katell Quillévéré, dir. Heal the Living

Is death really the end? Katell Quillévéré’s Heal the Living argues that death is merely the start of a much larger process. Adapted from Maylis de Kerangal’s International Booker Prize-nominated novel Mend the Living, Quillévéré’s latest is a medical procedural […]

Film Review: Heal the Living

★★★★☆ For a movie concerned with death, French director Katell Quillévéré’s Heal the Living begins with a shot that manages to capture just what it means to be alive. The film opens on 17-year-old Simon (Gabin Verdet), lying in bed […]

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

★★★☆☆ Three years on from their first outing, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy return with Volume 2. The result is a difficult second album that attempts to rekindle the hijinks of the first with a popping-candy aesthetic, but sadly […]

Film Review: Casting JonBenet

★★★★☆ The unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a six-year-old American pageant queen who was killed in her family home in Boulder, Colorado in 1996, is an ideal story for the Making a Murderer model of investigatory non-fiction filmmaking.Blending and bending […]

Film Review: A Moving Image

★★★★☆ Do you dabble in kale? Nina (a wonderful Tanya Fear), the lead protagonist of Shola Amoo’s docudrama A Moving Image, jokingly says she could eat it all day, every day. While chomping down on the unappetising health food, the […]

Criterion Review: The Life of Oharu

★★★★★ Of the countless films director Kenji Mizoguchi made over his career, The Life of Oharu is said to be among his favourites, and Criterion’s welcome home release of his 1952 masterpiece is proof of both its aesthetic quality and […]

DVD Review: Hard Times

★★★☆☆ Eureka Entertainment have been fortuitous in releasing this debut from famed action director Walter Hill while he’s enjoying a renewed interest in his past works. In actuality, this is probably more down to the fanfare around Edgar Wright’s upcoming […]

DVD Review: Drunken Master

★★★★☆ Amongst the Rush Hours and the Spies Next Door of his latter-day career, it’s easy to forget that Jackie Chan was once the rightful successor to the screen’s greatest martial artist, Bruce Lee. Eureka’s new release of the 1978 […]

American vs. British gangster cinema

There’s something about gangster movies that makes them incredibly appealing to a broad cinemagoing audience. Sometimes people watch them to get the adrenaline rush, on other occasions they are more interested in the story. Top-notch acting is always the recipe […]

Film Review: Their Finest

★★★★☆ Their Finest is a nostalgic, jolly hockey sticks moving picture. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. “Authenticity informed by optimism” is the name of the game for British propaganda productions concerned with the morale of a blitzed public […]

Film Review: The Transfiguration

★★☆☆☆ A public bathroom. Noises are coming from one of the stalls. Sucking and slurping sounds. A man takes a peek underneath and makes a quick exit. It’s revealed that Milo (Eric Ruffin), a black youth in Queens who believes […]

Film Review: Rules Don’t Apply

★★★☆☆ Howard Hughes has long been an object of fascination for Hollywood. The reclusive mogul carved a trajectory from youthful genius to self-watering stuff of legend as clear and elusive as the vapour trails of one of the airplanes that […]

Film Review: Letters from Baghdad

★★☆☆☆ Viewed in its entirety, perhaps the most striking element of Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum’s Letters from Baghdad is a mildly galling sense of history repeating itself. Contemporary Western excursions, military offences and ulterior motives in the Middle East […]

Film Review: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

★★★★☆ The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is Juho Kuosmanen’s chronicle of a Finnish pugilist. A unique and beautiful boxing movie shot on 16mm in black and white, it’s like Wild Strawberries meets Raging Bull – although […]

Film Review: Clash

★★★★☆ Chief in the accomplishments of Mohamed Diab’s hard-hitting sophomore feature Clash is the director’s decision to conduct, and construct to astonishing effect, his entire film from the back of a police van. Perhaps eight foot wide and a dozen […]