A couple of years ago, if you’d put a bet on Dustin Hoffman’s first movie as a director being about a bunch of musicians in a British old folks home, you would have been very rich when Quartet opened. It’s a surprising choice for the veteran actor, especially as it’s such a quintessentially British movie, but he has a steady hand behind the camera, and also ensured he had some pretty powerful acting talent in front of the camera. [Read more...]
DVD & BLU-RAY REVIEWS
The latest reviews from the world of home entertainment
The shortest acting performance ever to win an Oscar is Beatrice Straight in Network, who picked up the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award despite only being on-screen for five minutes and forty seconds. Anne Hathaway can’t beat that, as her Fantine gets a comparatively lengthy 15 minutes of screen time in Les Miserables. However I’d argue she won the Best Supporting Actress gong purely for the 277 seconds she spends singing I Dreamed A Dream. [Read more...]
I’m finding is difficult to write a review of Suits, because much of what I want to say about it sounds like an insult, but I don’t really mean it like that.
Okay, imagine you’re one of the contestants on The Apprentice. You know, the ones who think they’re god’s gift to business and that they crap genius – and whose favourite activity is telling everyone else how brilliant they are. [Read more...]
Having found fame in front of the cameras in the likes of X-Men and Goldeneye, Famke Janssen turns writer and director with Bringing Up Bobby. Milla Jovovich gets to take the central role as a Ukrainian immigrant to America Olive, who’s raising a young son called Bobby (Spencer List).
Olive’s idea of parenting isn’t exactly textbook, as she’s a full-on con-woman, happy to say and do whatever she has to in order to get by, whether it’s convincing a salesman to let her go on a test drive so she can steal a car, or pretending she’s raising cash for poor foreigners. [Read more...]
Sometimes you watch an old movie and it’s difficult not to wonder what the filmmakers thought they were producing when they made it. Konga is now seen as a b-movie cult classic of trampy camp. But when director John Lemont was making it, did he think his man in a monkey suit was good and would terrify audiences? Did he think he was making a sci-fi thriller in the vein of King Kong that would impress people in the same way the 1933 movie did? Or even at the time did he know he was making silly nonsense that would be a guilty pleasure at best (perhaps the fact it’s called Konga suggests he did)? [Read more...]
We’ve rather missed out on Tyler Perry here in the UK. While his self-written and directed movies have proved big hits amongst African-American audiences in the US and turned him into a multi-millionaire, many of his films never got cinemas releases in Britain. Some did get belated DVD releases, but a few have never come out here at all. Alex Cross is Perry’s attempt to segue over into the worldwide mainstream cinema success, as well as being the first film to have him in the lead that he didn’t also write and helm himself (he did pop up in a small role in Star Trek though). [Read more...]
The fact 1963’s Billy Liar is classed as one of British cinemas ‘kitchen sink dramas’ makes it sound as if it’s going to be a dull, slice of ‘it’s grim up north’ verité, but it’s actually far more charming and funny than that. Indeed, while the way it’s shot and its working class roots are rather British New Wave, it as much hints towards the groovy cinema of the late 60s as it fits with the ‘angry young men’ cinema it’s often grouped with. Either way, it’s a great movie that’s been given a remarkably sharp brush-up for its 50th anniversary. [Read more...]
A group of people head for a secluded clinic to take part in a medical trial, with the promise that if they stay for two weeks, they’ll get £2,000. After being introduced they’re taken off at hourly intervals to be given the drug, Pro9, and are then left to get to know one another.
That night the side-effects turn out to be far more dramatic than expected. The first of the guinea pigs to be given the drug is found doubled-over in pain and is taken off by the medics. Some time later, a second participant starts screaming. It soon becomes clear that the drug has extreme side-effects, which essentially turn people into unconscious psycho-killers, who are more than willing to inflict violence on those who get in the way. As the other patients realise escape is going to be difficult, they also know that everyone who’s been given the drug is potentially going to go off their rocker too, and the only reason more haven’t already turned is due to the hour-long gaps between the administrations of the first dose. [Read more...]
Bait is a movie about the unluckiest people in the history of mankind. An armed robbery is going on in an underground supermarket in Australia when a tsunami hits and completely floods the place. Many people are killed but the few survivors manage to find safety perching on top of the supermarket shelves. That’d be bad enough, but they soon realise they’re not alone, as the tidal wave has washed a man-killing great white shark into the shop with them.
Oh, and there’s also a live electricity wire sparking, which could kill them all if it hits the water. Suffice to say, nobody in this film is having a good day. [Read more...]
Rob Zombie has made his name as a filmmaker manking extremely gory films that seem designed to make the viewer want to constantly wince, such as The Devil’s Rejects and House Of 1000 Corpses. For The Lords Of Salem he sticks with horror but tones down the blood, guts and truly gruesome violence for a film that deliberately harks back to the movies of the 60s and 70s, although still with a modern feel. [Read more...]