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  • 20 Feet from Stardom 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Jul, 2014 6

    20 Feet from Stardom is an affectionate and uplifting crowd-pleaser from documentarian, Morgan Neville. When it pipped The Act of Killing to the best documentary Oscar more than a few eyebrows were raised but it is easy to see why this appealed to Academy voters as it is not only touching and soulful but also a film that offers a potted history of America through the lens of contemporary music.

    It is a documentary that is a tribute to the…

  • Eight O'Clock Walk 1954

    ★★ Watched 30 Jul, 2014 2

    A British courtroom drama starring a young Richard Attenborough - surely a recipe for success? Alas Lance Comfort’s Eight O’Clock Walk is anything but a success. Perhaps that is a little unfair, after all Attenborough is decent enough, but this is a film that manages to disappoint on practically every level. No wonder you rarely hear people talking about the movie.

    Attenborough stars as a taxi driver accused of child murder and put on trial. With circumstantial evidence stacked against…

  • In Darkness 2011

    ★★½ Watched 29 Jul, 2014 8

    In Darkness tells the true story of Leopold Socha, a Polish sewer-worker who hid Jewish refugees for over a year in the underground tunnels of Nazi-occupied Lvov. It is a moving and inspiring tale of courage and survival that is only marred by its disappointingly conventional approach. It is hard to be too critical of a film that does shine a light on one of the ordinary heroes of World War II but it is a shame it feels like…

  • Poseidon Rex 2014

    ★½ Watched 29 Jul, 2014 12

    The Syfy network are currently airing an entire season of TV monster movies meaning I can catch up with all those classics I’ve missed: Hooray! Deep sea divers searching for Mayan gold accidentally awaken a monster long thought extinct. Pissed off and hungry the prehistoric king of the sea sets its sight on a small island off the coast of Belize. Will anybody survive? Does anybody care?

    The only real notable thing about Poseidon Rex is that it was directed…

  • The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Jul, 2014 47

    The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese back to his confident best. At 71 he should be producing respectable work destined to please ageing Oscar voters (something perhaps like Hugo) but instead he’s making swaggering, debauched and sprawling epics about obscene levels of excess and one man’s fall from grace. This is Scorsese’s best work since Casino.

    In three spritely and surprisingly brisk hours, Scorsese brings to life the true story of Jordan Belfort and his meteoric rise from…

  • Smiley 2012

    Watched 28 Jul, 2014 6


  • The Coward 1965

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Jul, 2014

    The Coward could be described as one of Satyajit Ray’s lesser films, both in its slender running time and its stature amongst the rest of his work, but this is still a predictably accomplished film from one of cinema’s truly great filmmakers. Running just over an hour this is a slight but no less perfectly formed story about commitment and the past.

    A scriptwriter (Soumitra Chatterjee) is invited to stay at a tea plantation at the behest of the estate…

  • Believe 2013

    ★★ Watched 27 Jul, 2014 2

    Believe is a predictable and overly sentimental crowd-pleaser that provides few surprises. David Scheinmann’s feelgood football film is supposedly inspired by true events as former Manchester United legend and manager, Sir Matt Busby, comes out of retirement to help a gifted yet wayward boy and his teammates to glory in a seven-a-side football tournament.

    There are many reasons to hate Manchester United but surprisingly this film isn’t one of them. It’s not a good film by any stretch of the…

  • About Time 2013

    Watched 26 Jul, 2014 49

    Disclaimer: I hate Richard Curtis films. I’d rather watch Uwe Boll’s entire back catalogue than be subjected to Love Actually again and his other films, either as writer or director, aren’t a great deal better.

    Given my disclaimer above it probably comes as little surprise that I wasn’t looking forward to watching his latest film. Sometimes low expectations can help a film and other times those expectations prove to be 100% correct. About Time is a schmaltzy wet blanket of…

  • Promised Land 2012

    ★★ Watched 25 Jul, 2014 9

    I suspect I would have disliked this more if I hadn’t watched it back-to-back with Richard Curtis’ About Time. After suffering through his latest sickly sentimental rom-com anything seems palatable. Unfortunately, Promised Land is still far from a good film as director Gus Van Sant has created a preachy and hollow ecological drama.

    Co-written by its stars, Matt Damon and John Krasinski, Promised Land has been ripped from the headlines as an ambitious salesman from a natural gas company (Damon)…

  • Footsteps in the Fog 1955

    ★★½ Watched 25 Jul, 2014 2

    Footsteps in the Fog is a mildly diverting murderous melodrama set in Victorian London. Directed by Arthur Lubin it is a rather unusual mix of romantic melodrama and crime thriller as a maid (Jean Simmons) blackmails her employer (Stewart Granger) into romancing her when she discovers he murdered his wife with poison and inherited her great wealth.

    Complicating the story further is another young woman who has fallen in love with the deadly charms of Granger thus threatening Simmons’ own…

  • The Punk Singer 2013

    ★★★ Watched 24 Jul, 2014 2

    The Punk Singer is a documentary portrait of singer, feminist and activist Kathleen Hanna. Back in the 1990s she formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the riot grrrl movement in response to the male dominated scene at the time. Through various band iterations, including the electroclash band Le Tigre, she continued to be a vocal and inspiring figure in music until she shied away from public life to illness.

    This debut feature from director, Sini Anderson, is an…