DVD Review: George A. Romero Between Night and Dawn

★★★☆☆ Following the success of Night of the Living Dead, the late George A. Romero became something of a one-man movie studio in his adopted city of Pittsburgh. Romero didn’t opt for the obvious and took a much more unconventional, challenging route.Given that reluctance to adhere to expectations, it’s a pity that his sophomoric effort…

Film Review: Double Date

★★★☆☆ There’s blood and banter in equal measure throughout Benjamin Barfoot’s dark, irreverent comedy horror Double Date. The thundering opening credits, accompanied by Swedish psych-rockers Goat, are indication that a unique spin on ‘lad culture’ lies ahead. The well-meaning but wet Jim (played with comic aplomb and a sweet sincerity by the film’s writer (Danny…

DVD Review: My Beautiful Laundrette

★★★★☆ An Asian gentleman boisterously raising a glass to “this damn country, which we love and hate” perfectly encapsulates the conflicted nature of the immigrant experience in Stephen Frears’ wry take on capitalist-era London through the prism of first generation British Pakistanis.The third feature from the hugely prolific Frears (and the first of Working Title’s…

DVD Review: Peppermint Soda

★★★★☆ It’s rare to see a rites of passage film told exclusively from the female perspective. With this BFI-sanctioned re-release, we’re privy to not one but two young women as they awkwardly navigate their way through adolescence. Diane Kurys’ 1977 autobiographical debut – known in its native country of France as the altogether more enticing…

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 homage to the director Baby Driver than Hill’s own recent, poorly-received feature Tomboy (aka The…

DVD Review: House: The Complete Collection

★★☆☆☆ While 1980s comedy horror series House may not have been greeted with quite the same fanfare as other similar offerings from that era (many may probably be unaware it spawned a fourth film), Arrow Video have forged ahead and put together yet another great-looking Blu-ray set, complete with the usual informative and carefully compiled…

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 is certainly…

DVD Review: Roxanne

★★★☆☆ Cast your mind back to a time when Steve Martin assumed the mantle of comedic king of the box office, sharing the title with the likes of Chevy Chase, John Candy and Eddie Murphy. Amongst the more inherently zany, audience-pleasers of that era like The Jerk and The Man with Two Brains, Roxanne marked…

DVD Review: The World of Kanako

★★☆☆☆ Punctuated with kind of casual bursts of grim violence which will be familiar to anyone versed in Asian extreme cinema, The World of Kanako is a mixed bag of cinematic influences and styles. With opening titles that wouldn’t look out of place in a low-rent 1960s US action TV show, what initially starts out…

Film Review: Train to Busan

★★★★☆ If you want to see the beautiful and highly improbable spectacle of your nearest and dearest in floods of tears at the end of a zombie film, Train to Busan is your ticket. While Sang-ho Yeon’s film doesn’t do anything particularly radical with the rulebook in a way which Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later…

DVD Review: Paris Blues

★★★★☆ Much like the multitude of heady jazz numbers that flow throughout the film, Paris Blues is a cool, breezy and laid-back character-led romantic drama with strong turns by the four likable leads, not least the late, great Paul Newman, effortlessly exuding that trademark piercing blue-eyed intensity and magnetism. The second of five memorable collaborations…

DVD Review: Odds Against Tomorrow

★★★★☆ Now available on DVD and Blu-ray, Odds Against Tomorrow is also another welcome addition to the BFI’s Black Star slate. One of the most striking things upon viewing this admirably dark and gritty crime yarn is the realisation that the filmmaker behind it is the same person who unleashed a singing nun and seven…