Film reviews and more

Month: March 2018

DVD Review: Score: A Film Music Documentary

★★★☆☆ Whether roaring fanfares, scything murderous strings or tear-jerking themes, film music is explored in Matt Schrader’s new documentary Score, boasting a wealth of contemporary interviews with jobbing composers as well as a history of Hollywood film music. The movies […]

Film Review: The Island and the Whales

★★★★☆ Documenting the lives of the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands and a way of life which is under threat from rising pollution levels, Mike Day’s The Island and the Whales offers an honest and uncompromising look at a community struggling […]

Film Review: Midnight Sun

★★☆☆☆ Starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger as star-crossed teen lovers, Scott Speer’s ‘Sick Lit’ inspired film Midnight Sun presents a rather weak, convoluted and, to be quite frank, a rather silly story about a girl afflicted with a rare […]

Film Review: Journeyman

★★★★☆ Paddy Considine gets back behind the camera – with what could be the final time according to the director’s own social media – for Journeyman, a boxing drama that combats its commonplace narrative with genuine emotion and first-rate casting. […]

Criterion Review: Yi Yi

★★★★★ Following a year in the life of a middle-class Taiwanese family, the late Edward Yang’s Yi Yi – his final feature – is a profoundly intimate expression of finding beauty in the everyday and meaning in the mundane. Without showy visuals […]

Film Review: A Wrinkle in Time

★★★★☆ On the surface, A Wrinkle in Time seems standard Disney fare: a family film with a predictable happy ending. But director Ava DuVernay has done much more with the source material, and the result is a beautiful work full […]

Film Review: The Third Murder

★★★★☆ As Misumi (Kôji Yakusho) awaits trial for a murder, his legal team desperately try to build a defence. It seems an open and shut case – he has two prior murder convictions, and he has openly confessed his guilt. […]

Film Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising

★★★★☆ With action films, you get what you pay for: exciting adventures, suspense, and lots of explosions on a big screen. Pacific Rim: Uprising does not disappoint: it does what it says on the tin. And boy, does this sequel […]

Film Review: Tomb Raider

★★★☆☆ Positioned as a prequel to the films from the early 2000s, and similarly based on the hugely popular video game, Roar Uthaug’s Tomb Raider is an attempt to explain the origins of Lara Croft. Overall, it’s an enjoyable watch, […]

Film Review: Ready Player One

★★★☆☆ There are few directors other than Steven Spielberg that could direct a film like Ready Player One. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, it’s a story that rides the current slipstream of nostalgia for 1980s pop culture as well […]

DVD Review: Legend of the Mountain

★★★★★ The scholar Ho Qinqyun (Chun Shih) is sent to General Han (Yueh Sun) to copy the Mundra Sutra, a powerful magic text. However, on arriving at Han’s apparently abandoned fortress, Ho meets Madam Wang (Rainbow Hsu) and her beautiful […]

Criterion Review: The Age of Innocence

★★★★☆ In 1870s New York, Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) prepares to marry the sweet-natured Mary Welland (Winona Ryder). But while their wealthy families look forward to consolidating wealth and influence through the match, Archer’s eye is drawn by the disgraced […]

Film Review: The Square

★★★★★ Swedish writer and director Ruben Östlund offers up another skin-crawling, hilarious study of the male ego battling against its own lack of self-awareness with The Square, winner of last year’s Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Ruben Östlund’s […]

Banking on a box office hit

There was a time when betting sites would only take punts related to the most popular sports like football, horse-racing and boxing. Today, betting now covers a number of niches and industries, and it seems that there’s a betting market […]

DVD Review: The Barefoot Contessa

★★★★☆ At the funeral of Hollywood ingenue Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner), the mourners recall their time with her. Among them are world-weary director Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart), slimy studio shill Oscar Muldoon (Edmond O’Brien) and amoral socialite Alberto Bravano (Marius Goring). […]

Film Review: A Prominent Patient

★★★☆☆ The always interesting Karel Roden is the MVP in Julius Ševčík’s A Prominent Patient, playing Czechoslovakian diplomat Jan Masaryk in this handsomely mounted Czech answer to a certain Oscar-winning Gary Oldman drama. This divergence comes in the very crux […]

DVD Review: Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

★★★☆☆ Hedy Lamarr is often remembered as “the most beautiful woman in the world” and one of the most glamorous stars to ever grace the silver screen. Her stunning looks and alluring screen presence offered her a successful Hollywood career, […]