Many years ago I stayed at a friend's house, sleeping on a mattress on his bedroom floor. He had a boxer dog that slowly and gradually edged me off the mattress while I was asleep until he was on the mattress and I woke up on the floor. This film is like that.
It started off for me a solid enough film. Obviously, I'd heard excellent things about it. Emanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant are Anne and Georges Laurent, a…
It's sci-fi, but not as we know it.
Andrei Tarkovsky's philosophical mind-bender has a timeless quality and barely any special effects shots, and the few there are are very subtle. This makes it an unusual and low-key entry in the canon of post-apocalyptic depictions. The film concerns a 'Stalker', who acts as a guide through the mysterious 'Zone', where the laws of physics work differently and can be fatal to the unwary. Stalker is leading a professor and writer through…
What an opening sequence that is: DeNiro's Jake LaMotta skips and paces in slow motion to the soaring strains of Mascagni's 'Intermezzo' from the Cavaleria Rusticana. It's poised and graceful, framed by the ropes of the ring. Flash bulbs pop in the distance. They twinkle like stars and LaMotta is the centre of this universe. I read somewhere that the ropes fill the screen like a musical stave. Whether Scorcese meant it or not it's incredibly apt.
It could be…
Oh dear - I think I may be beginning to like romantic comedies; especially when they're done as well as this.
Although I thought the ending descends into normal genre mawkishness, the journey there was definitely the route less travelled. It was suprisingly dark in places, and certainly didn't make light of the mental health issues that forms the basis of the plot.
I was also slightly surprised, pleasantly so, at how unshowy Jennifer Lawrence's performance is, considering she now…
This was a film I was really looking forward to seeing. The English-language debut of Park Chan-Wook. It's one of the few movies I deliberately made sure I knew little about, staying away from reviews and going in virtually cold; and I'm glad I did.
It's not without its flaws sure, and I'm not sure how well it will hold up to repeat viewing, but I found it an immersive experience. The sound and visual design is nothing short of…
Entertaining head-scratcher with some really top-notch visuals and a decent cast.
Ewan McGregor (with distracting American accent and even more distracting half-mast trousers) is a psychiatrist who takes on the case of Ryan Gosling's student, who claims he is going to kill himself three days later. McGregor, with the aid of girlfriend and former patient Naomi Watts attempt to stop this from happening.
It sound like a hackneyed idea, until the investigation starts getting weirder, and weirder still. In all…
I think Hanna's greatest achievement is that it isn't a complete and utter mess. In fact, it comes close on several places.
But somehow, and I'm still not completely sure how, it manages to stay within the realms of plausibility. Without this, I think it would fail completely. The vast bulk of the credit must go to Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana. They work completely as father and daughter, even when he is jumping out at her from all angles…
I think I need to stop recommending movies to my girlfriend. Too often she's left unimpressed and I'm forced to admit that it wasn't as good as I remember. Black Sheep is the latest in a growing list.
Not that there isn't anything to recommend about this low-budget Kiwi effort. The special effects have the charm of early Peter Jackson (WETA did the honours here) and the carnage is undeniably funny, but pales next to the sheer OTT mayhem of…
When actually watching this, I wasn't as taken with it as I had been with the previous film in the 'faith' trilogy, Winter Light but it has been simmering in my subconscious for a couple of days now and I had some thoughts about it rather than a straight review:
The setting: Esther and Anna are sisters and are travelling back to Sweden by train via a fictional Eastern European country that seems to be…
The second part of Bergman's unoffical 'faith' trilogy Winter Light is a spartan tale of a village pastor's crisis of faith. Like the first of the trilogy, Through a Glass Darkly the story takes place over the course of one day and uses a limited cast of characters.
The film opens with Pastor Tomas (Gunnar Björnstrand) leading a Communion mass. The scene is played in real time, and the camera switches between Tomas' intonation of…
Plot-wise, Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical road movie following a young boy's experiences following a rock band on tour is pure fluff. It's almost difficult to pinpoint exactly why it's so good.
It's full of generic road-movie and coming-of-age tropes. Backstage squabblings, groupies, loss-of-virginity, drug-fuelled party shenanigans. Somwhow though, Almost Famous transcends all of these and becomes a genuinely affecting and effortlessly fun movie.
Mainly it's the performances. I don't think anyone hits a false note here: Kate Hudson's Penny Lane is…
A hymn to the transcendent power of music, as an artistic and a political force. This is both beautifully filmed and told with real passion.
The tale of the search for the enigmatic and mythical Rodriguez, who released two albums that flopped in his native USA, but achieved huge success in South Africa, where his music played against the backdrop of the struggle against Apartheid.
That's all I will say about the story, as it's best to go into this…