I like a good gory piece of schlock as much as the next person. Sometimes it's nice to gorge on fast food in-between fine dining, and a swift knee-trembler down a dark-alley can be just as nice as ten hours of tantric gymnastics.
However, whereas darkness can be a definite bonus in the case of a back-alley swifty, it certainly isn't in a gore movie. I want to see brash excess; luridly red blood squirting and deep purple organs flying.…
Probably the least celebrated of Kieslowski's feted trilogy, Trois Couleurs Blanc would appear to be perhaps the most personal from his point-of-view, concerning as it does the experience of a Pole in France.
Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) is a hair-dresser living in Paris who is being divorced by his wife, Dominique (Julie Delpy). He is humiliated in the divorce court by the grounds given for the split: since their wedding he has been unable to perform sexually, and the marriage remains…
There has been a lot of debate on this site about the relative merits or otherwise of this movie, based on the most extreme of around seventy hoax calls made across the USA.
The story is pretty well known. A man claiming to be a police officer calls a Midwestern fast food establishment and claims that he has witnesses saying that one of the workers, a young, attractive blonde girl has stolen money from a customer's purse. The harrassed store…
Decent little horror with a neat body-horror premise that it almost let down totally by a weak ending and shakey-cam so ridiculous it looks like extreme sport helmet camera footage.
There is a lot to like about this though. Along with Inside it makes the best use of an enclosed space I can remember in recent horror, and the characterisation and acting are higher calibre than most in the genre. Director Toby Wilkins conjures a slow-burn sense of unease, and…
From the stunning opening sequence with the familiar wail of 'Rhapsody in Blue', Woody Allen guides us round the nooks and crannies of his home city. His fractured voiceover introduces the city as one of the main characters; as complex, loveable and frustrating as the movie's human populous.
He introduces other cities this way in his later, 'European tour' movies, but he only ever gives us a tourist's picture postcard of the likes of London, Barcelona and Paris. Here, it…
"Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion,
Reason and Energy, Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil.
Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing
from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell." - 'The Proverb of Hell', William Blake.
Johnny Depp's character in Dead Man, a meek accountant named William Blake is ignorant of the work of his famous namesake. we first encounter…
A film that manages to be both very smart and incredibly silly, Love and Death acts as an obvious bridge between the slapstick antics of Sleeper and the intellectual self-reflexivity of Annie Hall.
To paraphrase various job adverts I've seen recently, a vague knowledge of Russian literature would be beneficial but not essential, as it refers to the likes of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin, and if you're familiar with their work then you'll smile at some of the references. Even…
***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***
One could almost make a case that, as his spiritual progeny Woody Allen had his "early, funny" movies, so did Ingmar Bergman. The comparison is entirely relative of course. Smiles of a Summer Night was Bergman's fifteenth theatrical production as director, but many of his films of the 1950s, such as this, Summer With Monika, Wild Strawberries and even The Seventh Sealin places, have a noticeably lighter touch than many of the films that followed.
On the surface, Woody Allen's jazz-age comedy-drama seems to be a retelling of the old Faust myth. Playwright David Shayne (john Cusack) has the chance to have his latest play performed on Broadway. The catch is that the funding is coming from a local mob boss under the condition that his moll, aspiring actress Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly) is given a part. This scenario seemed to me to be similar to Thomas Mann's novel Mephisto, also featuring a playwright, this…
One of the best horror movies of the 1980s. There was no shortage of inventive shockers made on a relative shoestring in that decade and Re-Animator is notable for both its gruey and icky special effects and the effectiveness with which it mixes its horror with a neat streak of black humour. Its imprint can be seen in the likes of Peter Jackson's early efforts and more recent classics like Slither.
There are many plus points, apart from the effects.…
I stated a few reviews back that nothing dates as quickly as a vision of the future. Woody Allen realised this as far back as the early 70s. Set in the year 2173, Sleeper has a kitsch future aesthetic that is heavily reminiscent of the sci-fi of twenty years earlier.
The plot itself is fairly slight but amply demonstrates that the young Woody had some fair chops as a physical comedian, and there are a few obvious homages to the…