At first, I thought I was rather enjoying this. There was a nice dark fairytale edge to the proceedings, and the performances were really good. It does of course help to get someone as good as Jessica Chastain to carry the movie's emotional brunt, and I have to admit I enjoyed her rock chick look.
After a while though, I realised I hadn't jumped once. The scares were so telegraphed and the plot so generic that all semblance of tension…
A film that, like the education it takes its name from, perhaps spreads itself a little thin.
Josh Radnor writes, directs, and stars as Jesse, a 35 year-old who returns to his alma mater, an unnamed Ohio liberal arts college to attend his old professor's (Richard Jenkins) retirement dinner. He meets 19 year-old student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen). The two make an instant connection and begin a tentative courtship by letter.
I found a lot to like in this. Despite the…
I feel that if I was to accurate review this film it would involve five minutes of me wibbling and screaming like Vladimir Putin at a Gay Pride rally. And like Vladimir Putin at said rally (I suspect), I find myself rather liking it.
This movie is a mess.
Oliver Stone is a director I always associate with a certain soberness of execution (if not always of ideas). With Natural Born Killers he falls off the wagon in spectacular fashion.…
It’s rather strange that I could remember very little about this film from my first viewing, around seven years ago. I think I may probably have been a little drunk and sleep deprived (ironically). It is a devious little head-scratcher that does require pretty much complete immersion in its world to get the full benefit, which probably explains it.
It is the world of the titular machinist, Trevor Reznick (Christian Bale), a lathe operator who appears to have shed his…
The old adage that there is a thin line between genius and madness is a hoary old cliché. Milos Forman’s Amadeus, adapted from the Peter Schaffer play, riffs on this but subverts it beautifully. It is true that Mozart is depicted as having his demons, but it is Salieri who is driven fully mad. Not by genius but by a combination of jealousy, awareness of his own mediocrity, his anger at God, and finally his guilt.
The story is told…
A slow-burn ghost story low on outright shocks but oozing atmosphere and blanketed in a miasma of loss and melancholy.
It’s not so much a horror as an achingly tragic elegy to a lost soul whose faith has proved to be justified, but alienated her son to the point that they lost contact.
Vanessa Redgrave narrates as the titular Rosalind Leigh, and Aaron Poole is her son Leon who is bequeathed her house in her will. Of course, strange things…
The pursuit of the American Dream seems to be a recurring issue for filmmakers. American Hustle, The Bling Ring, Spring Breakers and now The Wolf of Wall Street. The scale of the protagonists of these movie’s ambitions vary, but there is one real connection. The means to achieving their ‘Dream’ is always nefarious. Honesty is a busted flush, and the old rhetoric that we live in a meritocracy has faded due to all evidence pointing to the contrary.
2004 was a decent year for high-school set comedies that weren’t completely witless and repellent. Both Mean Girls and Brian Dannelly’s Saved! demonstrate that likeable characters and a keen eye for satire are enough to put a shot in the arm of a moribund sub-genre.
While Saved! is probably the lesser of the two films, it is nonetheless a charming and intelligent film that skewers its targets efficiently but never nastily. It shows up the sheer teeth-grinding, arse-clenching insanity and…
Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows is an under-seen classic. Not appreciated at its time of release in the late-60s due to its arrival after the political upheaval in France in 1968, and its perceived glorification of du Gaulle and the resistance, it languished in obscurity compared to some of Melville’s other work and his nouvelle-vague contemporaries. It is only through a 2006 reissue that it has received the acclaim that is deserves.
It is a simple story of a French…
Reality TV has been a hot topic for longer than I care to remember. From the early days of ‘Big Brother’ onwards, there has never been a shortage of mooing cretins willing to shill themselves for a chance of easy fame. Warhol has proved as prophetic as Orwell in late 20th – early 21st century culture.
Predictably, filmmakers have picked up on this pervasive and seemingly unending trend. From the early likes of The Running Man, Series 7: The Contenders,…
"So what weapons do we have?"
"I've got a nailgun." thunk! "And a board, with a nail in it!"
I think I like Grabbers even more the second time around.
It absolutely drips with charm and wit.
It runs the risk of the characters being one-note 'Oirish' stereotypes, but they are written and played with genuine affection.
If you are a fan of Father Ted you will love this, and the special effects are really good for such a low…
The next instalment in what is now looking like a franchise, V/H/S/2 has been touted as a big improvement over its uneven predecessor. Fairness dictates I have a look at each sections merits or otherwise:
Simon Barrett directs the framing narrative. Larry, a private detective and his assistant and girlfriend Ayesha are investigating the disappearance of a young student. In his home they discover a bank of TVs and videos.
It is very similar to the framing story…