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  • Grave of the Fireflies 1988

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 16 Sep, 2013 31

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • Christmas Twister 2012

    Watched 16 Sep, 2013 6

    I was going to write a proper review for F6: Twister but it seems a little redundant when all I would be able to do is regurgitate the same crap I write for all these Syfy disaster movies. There is not a shred of originality here, even the film’s big star - Casper Van Dien - has already starred in several similar low budget offerings, as characters either stare intently at computer monitors or at the terrible special effects heading…

  • Cria Cuervos 1976

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2013 8

    Carlos Saura’s Cria Cuervos is an enigmatic and sombre drama about a child and country in transition. Made whilst General Franco lay on his deathbed it is a film haunted by Spain’s recent past and the legacy of fascism as the real world politics echo throughout the story. It is essentially a coming-of-age story about Ana, a melancholic eight-year old mourning the death of her parents. Her aunt and ill grandmother move into the family home but Ana seems incapable…

  • Tasmanian Devils 2013

    ★½ Watched 15 Sep, 2013 4

    Tasmanian Devils is another cheap and cheerful monster movie distributed by the Syfy network as a group of thrill-seeking base jumpers accidentally awaken monsters that were thought to be nothing more than Tasmanian legend. The big star name this time around is Danica McKellar (i.e. Winnie from The Wonder Years) as a park ranger caught up in the middle of the whole sorry affair.

    There is little here that you haven’t seen countless times before. Annoying characters you can’t wait…

  • This Is 40 2012

    ★★ Watched 14 Sep, 2013 18

    This is 40, Judd Apatow’s latest self-indulgent movie magnifies everything bad about his brand of comedy. Whilst he has happened upon a successful formula with improv-heavy routines and a regular cast of comic talent his style is beginning to look strained and threadbare. This Knocked Up spin-off reveals the difficulties of a married couple both hitting 40 as they deal with family issues and the economic downturn.

    Apatow’s films have always suffered from being flabby and indulgent but This is…

  • Silent Souls 2010

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Sep, 2013 5

    Aleksey Fedorchenko’s Silent Souls is a tender and spiritual film of surprising power. A man and his work colleague take a road trip in order to cremate the body of his dead wife by following the old customs of their dying culture. Both men are from the Meryan people of Russia, a small and forgotten culture, and as the pair travel to their final destination the film becomes an elegy both to his beloved wife and to a community on…

  • Monster 2008

    ½ Watched 13 Sep, 2013 2

    Is Monster the worst found footage movie ever made? Whilst I’m not quite sure I should bestow such an honour on the film just yet I am struggling to think of another quite as mind-numbingly awful. Produced by The Asylum to capitalise on the success of Cloverfield, this is a monster mockbuster featuring the same camcorder conceit as two sisters get trapped in Tokyo after a monster attack.

    The found footage format, when done well, can make for a tense…

  • Zero Dark Thirty 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Sep, 2013 25

    Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial drama about the ten-year manhunt for Osama bin Laden, comes with more baggage than most movies. It was released a mere year after the culmination of the investigation that finished with bin Laden being killed in Pakistan. The film has been plagued by vocal detractors criticising its stance on torture whilst the war on terror still remains a contentious subject for politicians and public alike. It is therefore a film that is impossible to…

  • Our Family Wedding 2010

    ★½ Watched 12 Sep, 2013 4

    Our Family Wedding sounds like it could be a twisted inbred horror movie but in fact this film is even more terrifying as it is a crappy romantic-comedy instead. In fairness to the film and director, Rick Famuyiwa, the film isn’t as obnoxious as some other recent wedding rom-coms (yes, I’m looking at you The Knot) but it is guilty of one of cinema’s great crimes - being unremittingly boring. The film is the bland and predictable story of a…

  • A Hijacking 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Sep, 2013 11

    Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking is a riveting and unsentimental drama about the hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates and the fraught and protracted ransom negotiations that followed. Split between the heat and squalor of the claustrophobic cabins aboard the hijacked ship and the nervous negotiations in the Danish offices, Lindholm has crafted an exceptional and emotional procedural drama that pulls you in from the opening minutes and refuses to let go.

    The film principally follows two key characters…

  • Piranhaconda 2012

    ★½ Watched 11 Sep, 2013 14

    Billed as a sequel to Sharktopus, this is another Syfy movie where two of the world’s deadliest predators are magically merged to terrorise the poor unsuspecting inhabitants of an Hawaiian island. This time a film crew shooting a low rent slasher film are kidnapped by mercenaries whilst Michael Madsen stars as a university professor (yep, he is as unconvincing as you’d expect).

    Executive produced by Roger Corman and directed by the perennially useless, Jim Wynorski, Piranhaconda delivers exactly what you’d…

  • Something in the Air 2012

    ★★½ Watched 10 Sep, 2013

    Something in the Air is a film set months after the revolutionary events of May 1968 in France where protests and mass strikes brought the country to a standstill. The film follows a group of students inspired by the events as they take to the streets in protest and vandalise the property of the state. When one of their stunts leads to serious injury they flee for the summer, traveling through Europe whilst becoming more involved with revolutionary movement.