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All reviews - Movies (20)

Time of the Wolf review

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 10 December 2014 01:38 (A review of Time of the Wolf)

How on earth is this film rated so low?
This is a brilliant film. Amazing intensity from the outset. Utterly captivating. Beautifully shot. Wonderful performances. Couldn't keep my eyes from the screen.
Haneke doesn't do things half-heartedly. This is a masterpiece.

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Instellar - Ambitious epic

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 7 November 2014 02:19 (A review of Interstellar)

Many will no doubt flock to Christopher Nolan's latest Sci-Fi blockbuster. His movies are always rated extremely highly by the masses and there is usually a buzz around anything associated with his name. There is no denying that Nolan is an ambitious director and since The Dark Knight he has focused solely on creating loud, big-budget Hollywood blockbusters.

Interstellar continues the trend. It is a highly ambitious film about how love can transcend time and space. Does this sound a bit cheesy? Yes? Well, that's because it is. Does Hans Zimmer's soundtrack slap you over the head for close to 3 hours with a sledgehammer? Absolutely! In fact, this film is so loud that there are certain points where there is no audible dialogue whatsoever. And this is not intentional. It's not like what Terrence Malick did in Days of Heaven where the the music takes precedence over dialogue in order to merge with the visuals. Here Zimmer's deafening orchestra simply annihilates the dialogue that we are supposed to hear. This happens in a few very intense scenes. This Zimmer dude lacks subtlety and loves to hammer his point home. Cue: intense scene. Cue: you should be emotional now. Cue: this is deep. Cue: this is a turning point. OKAY OKAY! I understand! Relax Zimmer.

Apart from its preachy tone and over-the-top soundtrack, I enjoyed Interstellar for what it is: a visually impressive Hollywood blockbuster. It has its flaws and its certainly not a masterpiece. Matthew McConaughey delivers another top rate performance in the lead role. There are some very emotional scenes that will melt the coldest of hearts.

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Pasolini review

Posted : 6 years, 7 months ago on 15 October 2014 12:03 (A review of Pasolini)

A return to form for Ferrara. Pasolini retains the uncompromising edge that distinguishes his earlier films. This is a brilliant portrait of a great filmmaker. Willem Dafoe delivers a great performance as Pasolini. This is a hard-hitting, bold and daring film.

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Red State - Action / Thriller

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 14 November 2013 04:28 (A review of Red State)

I'm not Kevin Smith's biggest fan. Besides Red State, I've only seen Clerks, Clerks 2, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. His light hearted comedies didn't impress me all that much. They were mildly entertaining.

Red State, on the other hand, really surprised me in that it shows Kevin Smith going in a very different direction from his previous films. He deserves credit for taking a huge risk with this film but it has been very poorly received. I completely disagree with the haters. People say it's an inconsistent, incoherent mess. Blah, blah, blah......

It's very intense and gripping and I would argue that it's better than most of the so-called action movies that I've seen over the last few years. It has a great hook at the beginning and Michael Parks is brilliant. Parks plays the role to perfection. You don't have to agreee or disagree with the stance of the characters or the filmmaker. People seem to be offended by the film but it should only be judged as a piece of cinema, not as a document of real life.

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Funny Game U.S. = Tension

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 14 November 2013 12:29 (A review of Funny Games)

Funny Games U.S. grabs you by the balls from the outset and doesn't leave you go 'til the end credits roll. Haneke toys with the viewer, tapping into the contemporary fears people have of senseless acts of violence that are commited. I can easily imagine this scenario taking place in America.

All of the acting performances are outstanding, but Naomi Watts and Michael Pitt are utterly convincing.

Haneke's trademark dead-pan, matter-of-fact camera works very effectively throughout as it intensifies the helplessness of the victims while, at the same time, keeping the viewer outside the story as a sort of impotent mute observer who is forced to witness the taumatic events. The static camera therefore creates much of the tension, adding to the slowly unfurling mind-fuck wrought upon the family. One of the most disturbing elements of Pitt's character is his cold patience and impeccable manners. He insists on keeping up an air of politeness and remains ice cool while playing mind games.

Haneke delivers again.

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Spellbinder (1988) review

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 13 November 2013 12:12 (A review of Spellbinder (1988))

Spellbinder is a devastatingly bad film that fails on all counts. Essentially, it takes the idea of luring a vulnerable male into a sacrificial ceremony, where everyone around him has plotted against him, and amps up the eighties cheese-on-toast factor. It's basically Robin Hardy's The Wickerman (1973) transplanted to L.A. in the 80s. But, and there's a huge but......it has none of The Wickerman's atmosphere or brilliance. Instead it's a campy, tedious, idiotic film that's neither strange nor unsettling. And don't get me wrong, I do appreciate some cheese-on-toast when the mood is right but this is lowest quality cheese.

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Spring Breakers review

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 11 November 2013 02:33 (A review of Spring Breakers)

Watched November 9th

Harmony Korine's latest film resembles an obnoxious over-the-top music video for a Lil Wayne track.
This seems to be the look he was going for and the film is certainly successful at looking repulsive.

In terms of the films' characters, he has created a bunch of naive, brainless girls who think getting screwed-up for spring break is the perfect way to discover oneself. Whether he's being critical of this type of attitude or not I'm not sure because he seems to revel in it at times.

These characters are irritating and the story is completely ridiculous. I was actually embarrassed by how awful it was.

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Streets of Fire review

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 6 November 2013 01:22 (A review of Streets of Fire)

Walter Hillโ€™s rock opera is an over-the-top, ridiculously loud and excessive film in every sense. But it fulfills its claim to be a โ€œrock operaโ€ precisely because of its no-holds-barred attitude.

It begins with a lively rock anthem being performed at a local venue in a run-down, unspecified urban location, and from the very outset the story gives the viewer a hook when the lead singer of the band (Diane Lane) is kidnapped by a local biker gang.

Streets of Fire is visually rich, with vivid primary colours saturating the interiors, creating a strong mood. The sound of the film also gives it a real in-your-face attitude. Everything is amped up to the extreme: the sound of motorbikes revving, people clapping, guns firing, bikes exploding, people getting punched and slapped, bottles getting smashed.

All in all itโ€™s an explosive, save-the-girl, eighties affair that is very entertaining, Diane Lane is one of the sexiest women to ever grace the screen. What more could one ask for on a Friday evening to accompany a few beverages?

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Stoker review

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 4 November 2013 03:54 (A review of Stoker)

Watched on Blu ray - November 4th

Chan-Wook Park's first foray into the hollywood mainstream resembles a hitchcockian thriller in many ways, but it also displays the distinctive visual touches of the South Korean filmmaker. Unlike the director's previous work, Stoker takes a noticeably more restrained approach to dark themes.

Although the actual on-screen gore and violence is reduced, the focus on creating a foreboding atmosphere leads to the viewer having to use their imagination to fill in the missing pieces. In this regard, Stoker is very impressive. It's visuals and tempo weave their way into a disturbing tale of familial conflict and violence. As the great Hitchcock once noted, the most disturbing type of violence comes from within the family home. The threat posed by your own flesh and blood is far more disturbing than that of an unknown outsider.

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Friday review

Posted : 7 years, 7 months ago on 15 October 2013 12:17 (A review of Friday)

Friday is a feelgood summer classic that's endlessly
watchable. Chris Tucker is hilarious and there are so many funny characters in this film. I first saw this nearly 10 years ago and it stills holds up really well in my opinion.

It has an excellent soundtrack - some killer Curtis Mayfield tracks.

Apart from its comedic brilliance, the film is also impressive visually and aurally. The use of colour is perfect. It uses strong primary colours to convey the heat of a summer afternoon. It harkens back to Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. Much in the way that Lee's film moves towards an explosive encounter, hinted at by the expressionistic colour palette, Friday gravitates towards a confrontation with the neighbourhood bully. A clear difference between the two is that Friday is a far more light-hearted affair.

It remains one of my favourite comedies.

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