RSS feed for Kevin
  • Altar 2014

    ★½ Watched 04 Jan, 2015

    Utterly generic haunted house tale. I'm usually entirely susceptible to a good ghost story. They get under my skin far more than say, demonic possession films. In the last couple of years The Woman in Black, Sinister, The Conjuring and The Awakening have all done enough within some fairly narrow genre parameters to go a fair way to freaking me out.

    Altar, or The Haunting of Radcliffe House as I saw it on British TV didn't even raise a hair…

  • The Dirties 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 03 Jan, 2015 2

    The Dirties is the debut film from young writer/ director Matthew Johnson. It tackles a potentially difficult subject matter in an engaging and intelligent manner, while also showing that the found-footage genre isn't limited to trope-heavy horrors.

    As a person who is never surprised by the darker recesses of human nature, I'm surprised that there aren't many more incidences of school shootings than there actually are, particularly in countries where it is easy to obtain a firearm. I'm also more…

  • Tokyo Story 1953

    ★★★★★ Watched 03 Jan, 2015

    After things went a bit wrong for me last year I moved back home to Scotland and back in with my parents. It's gone surprisingly well. I'm a better son than I used to be. My father isn't in the best of health so I'm able to help out and give my mother the chance to do her own thing a bit more often without having to worry. My grandfather is currently ailing rapidly, so again it's good to be…

  • Birth 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 03 Jan, 2015

    I wouldn't have been so startled by Jonathan Glazer's stylistic brilliance in Under the Skin, Birth opens with a breathtaking shot. In this instance a beautiful snowbound dolly-shot following a jogging man who collapses in a dark tunnel. It then cuts to a water birth. Life and death in a microcosm. It's audacious, engaging, and like Under the Skin's opening, has more than a dash of the Kubrickian about it.

    The dead man turns out to be the husband of…

  • Thérèse 2012

    ★★ Watched 28 Dec, 2014

    Handsome but empty tale of frustrated housewife Therese Desqueyroux (Audrey Tautou) who decides to slowly poison her husband. Tautou is great, but the story was sterile and really failed to engage me.

  • A Touch of Sin 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 19 Dec, 2014

    How far can you be pushed before you reach snapping point? Have you ever watched the aftermath of a school shooting or other public act of brutality, and found that, disturbingly, you can understand why someone would do such a thing?

    Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin offers four tangentially-related stories in which an individual is driven to an act of violence. Zhangke sets out to understand, but, and this is the important part, not necessarily to condone those actions.…

  • The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Dec, 2014

    The beautiful visuals help to prop up a fairly slight story, but The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet is otherwise everything you would expect from a a Jeunet film. It's charming and whimsical with just enough of a dark edge to stop it from becoming mawkish.

    Kyle Catlett is the titular 10-year-old genius who sets out on a freight train from his remote Montana ranch after receiving a call from the Smithsonian institute with news that he has won a…

  • Fruitvale Station 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 28 Dec, 2014

    Ryan Coogler's debut film is an undeniably powerful work with one notable flaw. It's let down by an uncomfortable balance between the gritty verite of the camera work and performances, and some of the contrivances of the story.

    Fruitvale Station tells the story of the final day of Oscar Grant III, who was fatally shot in the back by a Bay Area Rapid Transit policeman in the early hours of New Years Day 2009. Michael B. Jordan is wonderful as…

  • Maleficent 2014

    ★★½ Watched 04 Dec, 2014

    Now, this is a novel take on the Sleeping Beauty myth. Did anyone read this as a rape revenge movie? The symbolism is undoubtedly there in the brutal removal of Maleficent's wings after being drugged. After Wicked and Oz The Great and Powerful we're becoming used to revisionist readings of classic tales, but this is unbelievably dark territory.

    I approve of such a brave step to take, but unfortunately it jars with the slightly twee nature of the rest of…

  • The Look of Love 2013

    ★★★ Watched 18 Dec, 2014

    If like me you pity future generations who will miss that joyous moment when they find their first taste of pornography entangled in a hedge (this might be a specifically British thing) then The Look of Love could be the film for you.

    It harks back to more 'innocent' times and follows the life and career of porn baron and entrepreneur Paul Raymond from the late '50s to becoming Britain's richest man in the early '90s. Steve Coogan reunites with…

  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 2014

    ★★★ Watched 14 Dec, 2014

    Finally, we say goodbye to Middle Earth with a final installment that is like a corpse fished from a river - all empty air and excess bloat. I'm a little angry with myself for being sucked in to going along to the final slaughtering of the cash cow, and finding myself enjoying it despite the myriad flaws and the overwhelming stench of cynicism that has enveloped around this needless trilogy.

    That cloying stench is abated almost immediately by dropping us…

  • Miss Violence 2013

    ★★★ Watched 09 Dec, 2014

    Want a cheery evening's viewing? I'd recommend not watching Heli and Miss Violence as a double bill. I would have put my head in the oven if it wasn't electric.

    At her eleventh birthday party Angeliki wanders to her fourth floor balcony, calmly scales the railing and drops, smiling, to her death. Her family try to proceed with their lives like nothing has happened, for reasons that become chillingly clear.

    Alexander Avranas' film can't help but recall Yorgos Lanthimos' stunning…