If you’re gay, there’s probably no movie you can watch this Halloween season that will scare you more than Call Me Kuchu, a documentary about life in the Ugandan LGBT community, focussing on activist David Kato. Whilst we in the West still have issues with homophobia and need to fight for things like marriage equality, in Uganda the debate isn’t even about whether gay sex should be legalised, it’s about whether homosexuals should be allowed to live. [Read more...]
Clowns have a had a lot of bad press as far as the cinema and TV is concerned. Coulrophobia (an irrational fear of clowns) has obviously been fuelled over the years by the likes of Pennywise from Stephen Kings It, John Wayne Gacy (notorious serial killer) and the clown from Poltergeist. And let’s not forget Ronald McDonald – that one puts a shiver down my spine! The image of a clown has been somewhat tarnished over the years and Stitches does nothing to help improve that image – Max Clifford anyone???
So back to Stitches. Comedy and horror is a hybrid genre that generally does not work for me. Yes, there have been a few classics over the years such as Braindead and Shaun of the Dead, but the bulk of these films fail miserably as they try and fuse two opposing senses – fear and fun – together in often disastrous ways. [Read more...]
Sinister should be rubbish. The plot is rather silly, numerous things happen that make little sense (and not just because of supernatural shenanigans), and it has a title so generic its feels like they simple couldn’t be assed. However thanks to some excellent make-you-jump moments, a mystery plot that holds enough interest to keep you watching and a creepy atmosphere, it’s a surprisingly effective chiller.
Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a writer of true-crime books who moves his family to a small town to investigate the murder of four members of a family, and the disappearance of a small girl, for which no perpetrator has ever been found. What he hasn’t told his wife and kids is that the house they’ve moved into is the one where the family were hung from a tree in the backyard. [Read more...]
Untouchable hits the UK after having extraordinary success across the rest of the globe. It’s now by far the highest-grossing French-language movie ever, taking an extraordinary $365 million around the world (although only $8 million of that is from the US, which still remains particularly resistant to foreign-language fare). It’s particularly impressive as not only does the world generally ignore the output of the French film industry, but it’s about a subject that many would usually see as something to shy away from – as it’s about a man who’s completely paralysed below the neck. [Read more...]
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had better now watch Circumstance, as he’s apparently convinced there are no gay people in Iran (although the fact his regime has arrested and even executed quite a few would rather undermine that position). Although he does watch the film, he can probably unfairly claim it’s all down Western influence and young people wanting that pesky thing called freedom.
Atafeh and Shireen are two teenage Iranian girls whose friendship extends into a romance and sexual relationship. They secretly frequent underground parties, flirt, drink and dream about being able to go somewhere they can do all these things openly and without censure. The first half of the film delves into this side of Iranian culture and young people straining against the confines of a system that wants to supress them, particularly if you’re a woman and/or gay. [Read more...]
Many have said that you should go into The Imposter not knowing anything, but the fact is not that many people about are going to pick a film at the cinema they literally know nothing about. So if you do fancy watching it completely cold, I’ll say you’re in for a fascinating ride but stop reading now, although if you do want to know a little more, then read on. However I’m not about to be a complete spoiler asshole, as I won’t tell you much more than you’ll discover in the first five minutes of the movie.
In 1994 in San Pedro, Texas, 14-year-old Nicholas Barclay went off to play basketball with his friends, but somewhere on his way home he went missing. Three and a half years later his mother receives a phone-call telling her that beyond all expectations, Nicholas has been found terrified and disoriented in a phone box in Spain, apparently after escaping from a child sex ring. [Read more...]
I still can’t quite believe the little girl from 1980s Canadian TV import Ramona is now all grown up and an accomplished actor, director and writer. Take This Waltz is Sarah Polley’s third movie as a director, following All I Want For Christmas and the excellent Away From Her. In some respects it’s a rather standard story – someone is tempted to cheat on their spouse when something seemingly more exciting than the dullness of everyday marriage comes along – but what make it slightly unusual is that in this one it’s the woman who’s thinking of playing away.
Michelle Williams – who’s fast become one of the most fascinating and accomplished actresses of her generation, and also oddly interested with starring in movie about the breakdown of relationships – plays Margot, who meets the dashing and rather good-looking Daniel (Luke Kirby) while on a research trip to a living-history colonial fort. [Read more...]
Very loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play La Ronde, Fernando Meirelles’ movie tells a series of interconnected tales, stretching across the globe, all of which are loosely ties by looking at sexual politics and the ties of human connections, no matter how brief.
Meirelles showed his skill with complex ensemble tales with City Of God, but 360 is a slower affair, more meditative than the driving energy of his Brazilian favela movie. Amongst the many stories are Jude Law and Rachel Weisz’s married couple, who both find themselves in adulterous situations. Anthony Hopkins is an older man looking for his lost daughter, who makes a random connection with a young Brazilian woman. Ben Foster is fresh out of prison after a six-year stretch for paedophilia, trying to withstand the temptations and distractions of the outside world. There’s also a prostitute sent to an appointment with a brutish Russian businessman, while her sister makes friends with a man outside, whose marriage is on the rocks. [Read more...]
Let’s just ignore the fact that I Against I is a truly horrible (and vaguely nonsensical) title, as plenty of decent films have been burdened by rubbish names. Sadly though in this case, the title isn’t any better than the film.
Ian Drake (Kenny Doughty) finds himself massively in over his head when he’s accused by hardnut Joseph Carmichael (Mark Womack) of killing his criminal underworld kingpin father, Tommy. Joseph offers Ian a possible way out, giving him 12 hours to kill a man called Issac (Sigurosson). Unbeknownst to Ian, Issac could also be the murderer, and he’s out to kill Ian. As the two men try to track each other and get their respective jobs done, the situation becomes ever more complex and they begin to suspect they may have been double-crossed, but why? [Read more...]
The Reverend hits UK cinemas on August 3rd and DVD on August 6th.
You certainly can’t knock The Reverend for ambition, even if it gets a few marks taken off for execution. It’s a semi-retelling of the biblical Book Of Job, set in modern day Britain and taking in elements of horror, revenge movies, graphic novels, vampire films, urban thrillers and superhero origin tales. That’s a lot to fit into 92 minutes and so it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s a little unwieldy and sometimes can’t match the scale of its ideas to the quality of its dialogue.
The film starts out with Rutger Hauer and Italian horror legend Giovanni Lombardo Radice (both of whom appear for just a single scene) as Satan and God-like figures who agree to a pact over one man’s soul, with Satan saying he can take a good man, challenge him and have him cursing God’s name. [Read more...]