The World According to Amy – Inside Inside Out with Amy Poehler

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel Amy Poehler is on the up. She’s already emerged as a comedy superstar in America off the back of a number of high profile gigs including Saturday Night Live, the lead role in hit sitcom Parks and Recreation, and as a highly lauded host, along with friend and fellow comedy superstar Tina Fey, of the Golden Globes. In the UK, her profile is lower, though this is not likely to remain the case for long. At...

Ruth & Alex : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel At least Ruth & Alex knows its strengths, opening with a patented Morgan Freeman voiceover, before offering the gentle pleasures of Freeman and Diane Keaton hanging out together in New York. It hardly makes up for the mess on display elsewhere as a tangle of sub-plots generate an awful lot of noise without saying very much at all. Keaton and Freeman are the title’s Ruth and Alex, a happily married couple living in a beautiful New...

Inside Out : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel With Pixar’s quite brilliant back catalogue comes great expectation. When they’ve raised the bar and leapt over it so many times before, each new release has to approach masterpiece status just to avoid disappointment. After a fallow half decade since Toy Story 3 (2010), a period that saw two entertaining, yet bland sequels (Cars 2 & Monsters University), and a pretty good original piece (Brave), the studio has come roaring back with Inside Out, once again reaching...

52 Tuesdays : Film Review

By Ellery Nick @Ellery_Nick With the eyebrow-raising presence of Caitlyn Jenner in our mainstream news, it would seem a timely moment to hear the story of a transgender parent wrestling with her identity. But, away from the snapping of courageous photos and din of mass trolling, it is a work of fiction, 52 Tuesdays, that provides a refreshing and understated look at what that might actually mean. Winning a Sundance award for her directing, Sophie Hyde’s debut follows sixteen-year-old Billie,...

Ant-Man : Film Review

By Ellery Nick @Ellery_Nick Ant-Man is here, riding on the back of ants to rid the planet of those who would seek to miniaturise themselves for all the wrong reasons. And so we meet Scott Lang, a soft-hearted criminal in the mould of Edward Snowden. Released from jail, Scott comes to the attention of retired hero Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, who’s been watching him through his teeny bug cameras and thinks he’s got what it takes become...

The Legend of Barney Thomson : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel If it wasn’t for the severed penis in a box, Barney Thomson’s amiable voiceover might signal the start of a relaxed jaunt through the life of a working class stiff in Glasgow. Alas, there is that severed penis in a box. And an arm, and a foot, and pretty much every other part all coming through Royal Mail delivery. I don’t know if their rules expressly forbid the posting of body parts from murder victims; if...

13 Minutes : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel 13 minutes is nothing. It’s a delay on the trains, the length of time it takes to get through adverts in the cinema, a quick walk around the block, a snoozed alarm at dawn. It’s a tiny, insignificant passage of time, the same tiny, insignificant passage of time that Georg Elser missed his target by. Just 13 minutes closer and no more Hitler. It’s impossible to know what the world might have been like had Elser...

All American High Revisited : Film Review

By Toby Venables @TobyVenables “I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet,” says Back to the Future’s metal-playing Marty McFly to his bemused 1955 audience. “But your kids are gonna love it.” First released as All American High in 1987 to critical acclaim – but with very limited distribution – Keva Rosenfeld’s fly-on-the wall documentary of life at a California high school also seems to have found its time. Now remastered, it incorporates and updates the original, featuring a...

Boychoir : Film Review

By Ellery Nick @Ellery_Nick After the success of Red Violin and Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould director François Girard returns once more to the realm of music, this time accompanied by a choir of young male sopranos. Along for the harmonic capers is a supporting cast that includes Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates and Eddie Izzard. Safe hands all round. View image | gettyimages.com We know how this one goes: Talented boy from wrong side of the tracks enters...

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