Tag: Film Reviews

Film Review: Halloween

The Halloween franchise has taken many forms since the first film was released in 1978. In the subsequent years there have been no fewer than seven sequels, two reboots, several novels, and a series of comics. Rather than tangling itself in the franchise’s messy back catalogue, director David Gordon Green pretends that ...

Film Review: Bad Times At The El Royale

Drew Goddard’s Bad Times At The El Royale is a gripping Tarantinoesque Nixon era crime caper in which seven strangers find themselves battling it out through a stormy night at a dilapidated, and tastelessly decorated hotel which straddles the California and Nevada border. Written by Goddard himself, the film presents ...

Film Review: First Man

The opening to First Man is an intense, dizzying few minutes which you hope is a dream sequence as it cannot be real life. The sound is deafening, the rickety nature of the X15 aircraft Armstrong is flying, brought home with full force as he ascends further into the atmosphere than intended. Although we know how First Man ends this is a glimpse ...

Film Review: Columbus

In real life Columbus, Indiana is a rather unassuming small city located in the American heart land. With a population of around 50,000 people it would be easy to overlook Columbus in favour of the larger and more recognisable cities that can be found not too far away. Academic turned filmmaker Kogonada’s debut film ...

Film Review: A Star Is Born

1937. 1954. 1976. 2018. A Star Is Born has had a version for almost every generation of cinema, and the pull of its story can travel across eras with ease. In Bradley Cooper's latest version, he takes the '76 approach of transferring the story to purely music: self-destructive star Jackson Maine (Cooper) ...

Film Review: The Wife

In Björn Runge’s The Wife, Glenn Close offers a truly outstanding performance as the long suffering wife of an insufferably vain novelist (played by Jonathan Pryce). Adapted for the screen by Jane Anderson from Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 novel of the same name, the film is a beautifully understated, thought provoking and deeply affecting study in ...

Film Review: The Gospel According to André

Kate Novack has all the necessary ingredients for a fascinating study of one of the fashion world’s seminal players in her documentary, The Gospel According to André.  Sadly, however, Novack never quite manages to get under the skin of the films titular subject, and the end result leaves little food for thought. The Gospel According to ...

Heal the Living: Film Review

Heal the Living: Film Review

By Linda Marric Adapted from Maylis de Kerangal’s fantastic novel of the same name, Heal The Living is the third feature from critically acclaimed French director Katell Quillévéré (Suzanne, Love Like Poison). This beautifully atmospheric and truly devastating piece of filmmaking, is one of the most emotionally charged films of ...

Forgotten Film Friday: Seconds (1966)

Forgotten Film Friday: Seconds (1966)

By Michael McNulty The end of another work week and it’s time to kick back in front of the box and settle into another great film. TGIFF: Thank God it’s Forgotten Film Friday. John Frankenheimer’s Seconds is a science fiction thriller with a pinch of horror delicately sprinkled over top. ...

Ghost in the Shell: Film Review

Ghost in the Shell: Film Review

One could contemplate, for hours, the arguments for & against the judgment of director Rupert Sanders & his Hollywood moguls to cast a very caucasian Scarlett Johansson in the lead role of a live-action remake that’s based on an adored Japanese property, but the conclusion would ultimately be the same; ...

Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang: Film Review

Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang: Film Review

Shades of Spielbergian energy cast an endearing silhouette over this airy but assured big-screen adaptation of Spain’s much-loved 1950s comic book series ‘Zipi y Zape’; an affectionately adventurous vigour that matches the irresistibly mischievous vim of José Escobar Saliente’s original strip. Sent away to summer school as a punishment for ...

Neruda: Film Review

Neruda: Film Review

By Wyndham Hacket Pain @Wyndhamhp With all the attention around Jackie – the Jackie Kennedy biopic currently in cinemas – it would be easy to forget that Chilean director Pablo Larraín has another equally interesting film ready for release. Pablo Neruda, a poet and politician who won the Nobel Prize ...

Graduation: Film Review

Graduation: Film Review

By Linda Marric @linda_marric In Graduation (Bacalauriat), Romanian director Cristian Mungiu is back with a powerfully complex drama about compromise, parental responsibility and the lingering remnants of the old Ceausescu regime. Mungiu, who won the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 2007 for the critically acclaimed 4 Months, 3 Weeks and ...

Aquarius: Film Review

Aquarius: Film Review

By James McAllister Those who are familiar with Kleber Mendonça Filho’s 2013 debut feature, Neighbouring Sounds, will no doubt recognise the impassioned socio-political discourse that emanates from the narrative ornamentations of his intriguing but inconsistent sophomore effort. Returning to his hometown of Recife in northeast Brazil, Aquarius sees the critic-turned-director ...

Another Mother’s Son: Film Review

Another Mother’s Son: Film Review

By Linda Marric @linda_marric In Another Mother’s Son, Jenny Seagrove plays a widow shopkeeper living in Nazi occupied Jersey during World War II. The film is a well meaning piece of historical drama, but sadly for its makers, this messy production is let down by way too much schmaltz and ...

Death Race 2050: DVD Review

Death Race 2050: DVD Review

Review By Leslie Byron Pitt At 90 years young, Roger Corman is still shucking and jiving his way through the film world. He may no longer be in the director’s seat (Frankenstein Unbound was his last directed piece in 1990), yet this hasn’t stopped him from wearing his producer's hat. ...

The Age of Shadows: Film Review

The Age of Shadows: Film Review

Wyndham Hacket Pain @WyndhamHP Set during the Japanese occupation of South Korea in the 1920s, Lee Jung-Chool (Song Kang-Ho) is a former member of the Korean independence movement, who has betrayed his former loyalties and become a member of the Japanese police force. An order for him to take down ...

The Olive Tree: Film Review

The Olive Tree: Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel Some narratives are so obviously constructed to hit a series of emotional highs; the power begins to ebb away. The Olive Tree is like that, marching along a transparently pre-ordained path. And yet it remains a mostly charming experience through the sheer weight of emotion brought ...

The Salesman: Film Review

The Salesman: Film Review

By Wyndham Hacket Pain The Salesman beings with what at first appears to be an earthquake. A high-rise building is at risk of collapse and those within it are escaping, fearing for their lives. The opening sequence may be an obvious visual metaphor for events to come, but brilliantly sets ...

The Chamber: Film Review

The Chamber: Film Review

By Linda Marric @linda_marric Tempers run high and relationships start to instantly disintegrate in Ben Parker’s claustrophobic thriller The Chamber. Set in a single location, the film offers a promising premise, but sadly falls short of bringing anything new to the horror/thriller genre. Trapped in a small submarine off the ...

Catfight: Film Review

Catfight: Film Review

By Linda Marric @linda_marric There’s one thing Catfight director Onur Tukel cannot be accused of, and that thing is lacking in originality. However you chose to read his film, one thing is for sure, this curious little production manages to pack more punches and raise more laughs than the majority ...

Elle: Film Review

Elle: Film Review

By Linda Marric The opening scene to Elle is perhaps one of the most shocking scenes you will encounter in recent cinema. The film opens with a brutal rape sequence which will have you ask yourself, what have I let myself in for? Directed by Paul Verhoeven and staring the ...

A Silent Voice: Film Review

A Silent Voice: Film Review

Wyndham Hacket Pain @WyndhamHP Outside of Akira, the odd Studio Ghibli production, and a couple episodes of Dragon Ball Z watched as a child I haven’t really seen much anime. Despite an almost constant supply of acclaimed Japanese animation these films have never quite seemed to have established the audience that many ...

What We Become: DVD Review

What We Become: DVD Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt There’s nothing worse than a film that goes through the motions. Even if a film is considered bad, it usually has something distinguishing about it. Something memorable. What We Become struggles with this for the simple fact that we’ve seen Zombie movies like this before, often ...

Trespass Against Us: Film Review

Trespass Against Us: Film Review

Wyndham Hacket Pain @WyndhamHP It takes some time to adjust to the accents of the characters in Trespass Against Us, not because they are difficult to understand, but because gangsters and criminals are not meant to sound like this. The rural west of England is not the traditional location for ...

It’s Only the End of the World: Film Review

It’s Only the End of the World: Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel On cursory inspection, the new film from French-Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan, the sixth already from a man not due to turn 28 until next month, is a distant proposition. It seems sterile and forbidding, full of stagey artifice, which is not necessarily a surprise given it’s ...

We Are The Flesh: DVD Review

We Are The Flesh: DVD Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt I’m sure some will consider me a philistine for my dislike for We Are the Flesh. Some may perhaps consider me a wuss. Indoctrinated on too main mainstream cinema to deal with the more shocking aspects of Emiliano Rocha Minter’s transgressive art film. It’s clear that ...

Sweet Dreams: Film Review

Sweet Dreams: Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel Massimo is a man who should have it all. He lives in a world of elegant apartments and swanky parties before heading out to fashion shows, football games, and war zones, the varied diet that comes with his journalism job. Yet for a man living such ...

Fences: Film Review

From Stage To Screen: Ten Films That Were Plays First

Stage to Screen dramas are composed of powerful and heavy dialogue, focusing heavily on the commanding performances of actors and their ability to deliver lines. This enables the audience to decipher the messages that lay otherwise hidden within the dialogue and actions. August Wilson’s long awaited stage to screen adaptation ...

I Am Not A Serial Killer: DVD/Digital Review

I Am Not A Serial Killer: DVD/Digital Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt Troubled adolescent John Wayne Cleaver is surrounded by death. In his small quiet Midwestern hometown, he balances school with a part-time role working at his mother’s funeral home. Recently diagnosed as a sociopath, John spends his work life cracking dark jokes about the cadavers and freaking ...

Ouija: Origin of Evil

Ouija: Origin of Evil

By Leslie Byron Pitt The output of Platinum Dunes can often be considered questionable trash. The film company either offers shiny, toothless, re-treads of horrors gone by, or, with the matter of the purge series, they deliver tight yet awkward b-movies which could offer more if finely tuned. Ouija: Origin ...

Hidden Figures: Film Review

Hidden Figures: Film Review

It is easy to get caught up in the annual awards coverage and forget that entries are films, and not just news stories. Articles surrounding Hidden Figures have placed a large emphasis on its diverse cast and how it is somehow an antidote to the failings of last year’s nominations. ...

The Founder: Film Review

The Founder: Film Review

By Wyndham Hacket Pain With a McDonald’s seemingly in every town centre and motorway service centre in the world it’s hard to imagine a time before the fast-food chain. Whether in the small island of Réunion off Madagascar or the Negev Desert in Israel you know the familiar burger and ...

Prevenge: Film Review

Prevenge: Film Review

Wyndham Hacket Pain @WyndhamHP It must be hard enough to write, direct, and star in a film at the best of times, so I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Alice Lowe to do all these things while heavily pregnant. Prevenge has a simple but interesting ...

The Wailing: DVD Review

The Wailing: DVD Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt @afrofilmviewer The first question which left my lips after viewing The Wailing was a simple one? Why so Long? Na Hong-jin’s (The Chaser, The Yellow Sea) third feature is by no means a bad movie. Far from it. Like many of the more successful Korean exports ...

Manchester By The Sea: Review

Ten Films About Grief

By Linda Marric @Linda_Marric Depiction of grief on film can sometimes prove problematic if not handled with a certain amount of lucidity and nuance. As portrayed in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, guilt can be a cataclysmic force capable of destroying anything standing in its way if not confronted ...

The Eagle Huntress: Film Review

The Eagle Huntress: Film Review

By Linda Marric @Linda_Marric Directed and produced by Otto Bell, The Eagle Huntress is a beautifully executed documentary account of how a teenage girl from a nomadic khazkh minority in Mongolia broke thorough a gender barrier upheld by hundreds of years of tradition, to become the first female to ever ...

The Birth Of A Nation: Film Review

The Birth Of A Nation: Film Review

By Linda Marric @linda_marric Sharing the title of D.W Griffith’s 1915 racist ode to The Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy, Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation’s message couldn’t be more different. The film tells the little talked about story of a slave rebellion in 1831 lead by Nat ...

Bleed For This: Film Review

Bleed For This: Film Review

By Linda Marric @Linda_Marric Miles Teller puts in a robust performance in Bleed For This as Vinny Pazienza, a working class boxing hero from Rhode Island, who against all odds manages to overcome personal tragedy to make it all the way to the top. Written and directed by Ben Younger, ...

The Wailing: Film Review

The Wailing: Film Review

By Wyndham Hackett Pain It would all too easy to think of The Wailing as the South Korean version of The Exorcist. There is a lot the two films share in common: an uneasy tone, a worried family, a young child possessed by the devil. Yet The Waling is much ...

Bad Santa 2: Film Review

Bad Santa 2: Film Review

By Linda Marric @Linda_Marric Thirteen years after the original, we finally have a sequel for Terry Zwigoff's Bad Santa.   Directed by Mark Waters, Bad Santa 2 is every bit as mean and nasty as the original. Billie Bob Thornton reprises his role as Willie, the lazy, drunk, sex obsessed ...

Dog Eat Dog: Film Review

Dog Eat Dog: Film Review

By Linda Marric  @Linda_Marric Fresh from a very public falling out with the producers of his last project, Dying Of The Light, which he says was taken away from him, Veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader’s is back with an astonishingly bonkers new production which will confuse even some of his most ...

Little Men: Film Review

Little Men: Film Review

By Linda Marric @Linda_Marric Fresh from the highly acclaimed Love Is Strange, Ira Sachs is back with a new production which deals with similar themes of New York real Estate and its devastating effects on human relations. Little Men tells the story of how the gentrification of a formally working ...