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  • JohnnyExpress 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Sep, 2014

    Written, directed and animated by Kyungmin Woo, Johnny Express is a funny and perfectly formed animated short. Set in the year 2150 the film follows the exploits of a lazy intergalactic delivery man who delivers a parcel to a planet not well suited to his arrival. This is basically how I imagine Parcel Force would be if they ever end up delivering parcels in space.

    Employing an amusing use of dual perspectives, both from the slobbish delivery guy and his…

  • Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan 2014

    Watched 21 Sep, 2014 6

    From its title and equally misleading poster you’d think Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan was yet another film about British football thugs. Instead it is yet another British film about cockney crooks which seems to happily borrow from The Usual Suspects, Leon and The Dark Knight. Sadly, none of the quality of its influences have rubbed off on this silly and amateurish crime craptacular.

    Written and directed by Greg Hall (a filmmaker I’d quite happily avoid in future), the film…

  • Thirst 1979

    ★★★ Watched 20 Sep, 2014 8

    Although undoubtedly dated (particularly with the naff glowing eyes of its villainous cult), Rod Hardy’s Australian horror movie proves a remarkably fresh take on the vampire story. Australia produced a number of unique and atmospheric genre films during the 1970s and ‘80s and whilst Thirst may not compete with the best of these movies its novel perspective and creepy atmosphere make sure it is a worthy watch for horror fans.

    Chantal Contour stars as an ordinary girl from down under…

  • Somebody 2014

    Watched 20 Sep, 2014 25

    When I discovered that Miranda July had made a new film (mercifully it was only a short) I immediately sent a link to my gullible guinea pig, Steve Grzesiak. If he could survive ten-minutes in her company then I knew it would be safe-ish for me to try too. Somebody is not actually a proper film but rather an extended commercial for July’s very own social media messaging app.

    Being a July film this is a nauseating and self-consciously quirky…

  • Ilo Ilo 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2014 6

    Winner of the Camera d’Or last year, Ilo Ilo is a beautifully observed and nuanced drama of family life from first-time feature filmmaker, Anthony Chen. Set in Singapore in the late 1990s and at the height of the Asian financial crisis it tells the story of an ordinary middle-class family coming to terms both with domestic issues and the impact of wider economic uncertainty. Yet it is not simply a dour exploration of a difficult period but also a warm,…

  • Magic Magic 2013

    ★★★ Watched 18 Sep, 2014 9

    A cursory glance through the ratings on this site show just how divisive Sebastián Silva’s psychological horror is. It isn’t difficult to see why opinion is so widely spread as the film is light on answers and sympathetic characters making it a rather prickly proposition. Yet what is such a turnoff for so many is also what makes Magic Magic appealing for others with its unorthodox creepiness and escalating hysteria.

    Made alongside the less appealing Crystal Fairy after the film…

  • Muppets Most Wanted 2014

    ★★½ Watched 17 Sep, 2014 9

    The Muppets was a joyous and affectionate cinematic return for everybody’s favourite felt troupe. James Bobin’s sequel-cum-reboot nailed the irreverent and often cheesy humour of Jim Henson’s most famous creations whilst injecting it with a loving sense of nostalgia for those lucky enough to grow up with Kermit and company. In many ways this direct sequel, picking up immediately after the events of the last film, still shares the same spirit but something is off on their latest globe-trotting tour,…

  • Solo 2013

    ★★ Watched 16 Sep, 2014 2

    There is a level of technical competency on display here that makes Solo (showing in the UK as the equally nondescript Alone) difficult to hate but it doesn’t help make it any less uninspired. Marking the feature debut by writer-director Isaac Cravit, Solo tells the story of a teenage girl who experiences a nightmare initiation as a new camp counsellor.

    Taking a summer job following a personal tragedy, the young Gillian is forced to spend two days alone on a…

  • Café de Flore 2011

    ★½ Watched 16 Sep, 2014 8

    I have a real aversion to these types of films where contrived narrative trickery tries to conceal such superficial stories. Jean-Marc Vallée’s hollow and indulgent film attempts to connect a single mother in 1960s with a DJ in present day Montreal. Unfortunately, the connection is so ridiculous that it made me wish I hadn’t even embarked on the journey in the first place.

    A good soundtrack can only go so far when the storylines are so shallow. The constant narrative criss-crossing and jumbled timelines only hides its slightness for so long until you actually crave some substance to go with Vallée’s showy direction.

  • The Raid 2 2014

    ★★½ Watched 15 Sep, 2014 13

    Following the breakout success of the first movie, director Gareth Evans has gone large in every possible way with his sequel. The Raid 2 is no simple retread of the first film, clumsily shoehorning in Rama, the resilient good cop, into yet another claustrophobic encounter against insurmountable odds. Instead, Evans has broadened the canvas to explore the wider criminal world of Jakarta and its ties to a corrupt police force.

    I should be applauding the director’s instincts to not simply…

  • Wish You Were Here 2012

    ★★½ Watched 14 Sep, 2014

    Wish You Were Here is a solid feature debut from director Kieran Darcy-Smith that, to its credit, does attempt something different with the thriller genre. Set in the exotic and sweaty climes of Cambodia as well as the sun-kissed concrete sprawl of Sydney, this assured debut is part mystery thriller and part marital drama as the lives of two couples are forever altered by an evening of poor drunken decisions.

    Four friends embark on a carefree South-East Asian holiday that…

  • The Truth About Emanuel 2013

    ★½ Watched 13 Sep, 2014

    There really is no truth about Emanuel other than she is an annoying pretentious brat. I was sorely tempted to turn the film off during her strained and overwritten opening voiceover but being the glutton for punishment that I am I stuck with it until the end. Sadly, things didn’t improve in this incredibly silly and melodramatic trifle.

    As we are bluntly told in the aforementioned opening, Emanuel is a troubled teen who is fixated on the death of her…