I spent the beginning of Dallas Buyers Club suppressing the odd giggle at the sight of all the aggressively macho Texan men riding their rodeo bulls and getting beer foam in their enormous and manly moustaches. It was like the entire cast turned up to a Village People party dressed as the same one.
When uber-hick Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with HIV, it begins a crusade that leads to him setting up the 'Dallas Buyers Club', in which…
For the best part of an hour, The Conjuring is pretty damn scary. As done to death as it may be, there is always something about a haunted house tale that will resonate with me if they're done well. It's not that I believe in ghosts per se, but I do have a really over-active imagination.
James Wan knows his stuff and for the larger part of the film it mainly hits. It throws every staple of the genre at…
While I had seen some positive ratings for Prisoners, I didn't know an awful lot about the story, and decided to watch it based on the excellent cast and my liking for director Denis Villeneuve's previous film Incendies.
At first, it seemed like it was another police procedural, albeit one with a distinctly dark sensibility, lensed with somber skill by the wonderful Roger Deakins. Then it took a much darker turn and I was pretty transfixed from that point on.…
Kim Ki-Duk has an affinity for outsiders. His films are full of the dispossessed, downtrodden and the depressed. I believe he also battles with quite severe depression, and again this is something that comes across in the mood of his film quite often. While they are often bleak I felt that they always fell short of outright nihilism.
Pieta is not an easy film to sit through. It features ones of the most unlikable protagonists put on screen…
There are some films that are created, I'm sure, entirely to polarise their viewing audience. I have the distinct that when Drive found its niche in the mainstream Nicolas Winding Refn was as surprised as anyone, and recoiled in a similar way that Kurt Cobain did when Nevermind went stratospheric. Am I saying that Only God Forgives is Refn's In Utero?
Erm, not really (Christ, this is what happens when you don't pre-plan your reviews!), In Utero was a fuzz-drenched…
Despite some negative reviews, my hopes were still fairly high for Neill Blomkamp's follow up to District 9. And it's... pretty decent. But really, I wanted more from this.
Firstly, the political commentary is pretty obvious and ham-fisted. Okay, District 9 Apartheid parable wasn't particularly subtle, but it was at least below the surface. Elysium wears its heart on its bionically-enhanced sleeve. The Earth, where... ooh let's see... 99%..? of humanity resides is a poisonous over-crowded hellhole. The wealthy 1%…
Finally, twenty-seven years after I started watching this film, I've seen it to the end. I started watching it in 1987 at my grandma's house after I sneaked downstairs to turn the TV on just as it was beginning. I was enjoying myself until I felt a parental hand on my shoulder and I was dispatched back to bed with a ticking off for watching stuff meant for adults.
After my fully licit viewing today, I'm not sure what must…
A stunning skewering of middle/upper class mores that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Of Luis Buñuel's feature length work I had only seen the dreamy, insouciant Belle du Jour so I wasn't expecting the seemingly straight narrative that I was initially presented with. It is only as the film progresses that the surreal nature of the film really unfolds, the strangeness presented as jarringly at odds with the quotidian, almost stagy scenarios. In this it reminded more of Rene Magritte's use of…
For some reason I had never got around to watching Todd Solondz's highly regarded debut. This was a wrong duly righted, for it is pretty damn magnificent.
Rarely will you see such a savage and surgical portrayal of adolescence. Heather Matarazzo is amazing as the put-upon twelve year-old Dawn Wiener. She is subjected to relentless cruelty and abuse at school, and a parental attitude that veers between indifference to outright neglect. It's a comedy, sure; but it's also a deeply…
Low-budget indie chiller that I watched simply because a friend of my girlfriend composed the music.
I was actually quite pleasantly surprised. Forget what it says on the poster - it bears no relation to either The Exorcist or Carrie. Instead it's a very slow-burn character study with a nice creepy edge. It certainly what I was expecting, and was better for it.
It's let down by dodgy dialogue and some iffy acting, but looks quite accomplished and has some decent cinematography. The music's good too!
This is a charming and witty family comedy/drama that explores the daily lives of a family in a rural area north of Tokyo.
It is filmed in an almost documentary style, but is shot through with a beautiful and lyrical surrealism that is as funny as it is strange. For instance, young Sachiko is followed around by a giant double of herself that noone else can see, and uncle Ayano spent his youth being observed by a bleeding tattooed man…
It's surprising that the story of the 1976 Formula One season has never been made into a film before. As a sporting narrative it had absolutely everything, and two tremendous sportsmen with conflicting values and personalities at its core.
I was a little apprehensive when I found out that it was Ron Howard who was taking up the reins of this challenge. I find him a slightly workaday and overly populist director. Competent but a bit bland. Happily though, this…