Richard Hayden

Richard Hayden

UK-based former journalist. Now a full-time dad of toddler twins.

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  • The Quick and the Dead

    The Quick and the Dead

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    As a title, The Quick and the Dead has a poetic ring to it, calling back to Hamlet and the New Testament. It is also broadly accurate. Sam Raimi’s 1995 western gives itself plenty of opportunities to explore the nature of the gunfight, but also finding that the consequences of speed and the manner of death are not as binary as the title suggests.
    The basic premise seems a little modern. The Lady (Sharon Stone) returns to the scene of…

  • Drive

    Drive

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    Nicholas Wending Refn’s Drive is neo-noir exactly as I like it. The Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a shady but possibly decent character stuck in the dirty Hollywood jobs, while also making some extra cash on the side by acting as a no-nonsense getaway driver (when setting up jobs, he makes it very clear that he will not carry a gun or wait beyond five minutes for a crew in the event a heist goes wrong). Throw in an emerging love…

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  • Kiss Me Deadly

    Kiss Me Deadly

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    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    For historical context, Kiss Me Deadly was made during a cooler period of the Cold War, long before the Cuban Missile Crisis, the space race, and the building of the Berlin Wall. In international terms, the Cold War would get a lot hotter. However, at home in America, the scrutiny of domestic Communism had been a serious and dangerous topic for several years. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Senate hearings had given people cause to suspect the threat from the…

  • Cemetery Without Crosses

    Cemetery Without Crosses

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    With the exception of Sergio Leone’s work, Robert Hossain’s Cemetery Without Crosses is the most visually interesting European western I’ve ever seen. For the most part, it achieves this by heavily borrowing ideas from the Italian master film-maker.
    Although a French production (with a French actor/director at the helm), the film is firmly in the Italian style (and is even presented in the Italian language), tracing the typical violent revenge story, and even going so far as to borrow its…