Stoker was a real audience divider on its cinemas release, with some feeling that Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook’s first English-language film was an underwhelming bore, while others went as far as to call it a horror masterpiece. To be honest I can understand where both sides are coming from, as your appreciation of the film completely depends on whether you fall for the film’s endlessly dripping style. If you don’t, it’s difficult not to notice the plot is slightly wanting. [Read more…]
Barbra Streisand hasn’t taken a lead role in a movie since The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996, so there was a fair amount of anticipation for The Guilt Trip. Unfortunately though, she should probably have spent a bit more time picking through scripts, as this certainly isn’t a triumphant return.
Seth Rogen plays Andy Brewster, an inventor who’s come up with a revolutionary cleaning product. He’s on a trip around the country trying to sell it to retailers, but nobody seems that interested, largely because his pitch is dreadful. He stops off to see his mom, Joyce (Streisand), and after she tells him a story about her first love, he decides to invite her along on the trip with the idea of secretly reuniting her with that old boyfriend. [Read more…]
Set in the 1980s, Paul (Bradley Cross) is a 16-year-old, shy, Rochdale lad who heads with his mum on holiday to a camp site in Wales. There he meets Londoner George (Joe Gosling), who’s far brasher than Paul and also unafraid to skirt the law, such as shoplifting and drinking. They strike up a friendship, which by the end of the holiday has developed into something more.
The lads agree to meet at the camp the following year, at which time they plan to run away together to Australia. Paul spends the next 12 months saving and waiting for the day he’ll be reunited with George, but will his boyfriend turn up? [Read more…]
With a title as awesome The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mum, this film has a lot to live up to, and thankfully it’s a pretty good and rather sweet movie. It’s also a fairly good example of what cinema is lacking because there are so few women directors, as when you get a movie like this, with a genuine female voice, you realise how rare it is and how lop-sided the movies generally are.
It’s 1976 and Elizabeth is on the verge of puberty. During a class assignment about how blood groups are hereditary, she realises that she cannot be her parents’ biological child. Understandably she’s a little upset and confused about this, and becomes gripped with the idea of find her ‘real’ mother. After thinking it over, she comes to the conclusion that perhaps Dolly Parton is her mum, due to the singer’s trailblazing ways and love of poetry. [Read more…]
Deadfall comes to us from Best Foreign Language Oscar winner Stefan Ruzowitsky (The Counterfeiters) and has an excellent cast of many well established actors and up and coming stars.
It’s about two siblings, Addison and Liza (played by Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde respectively), who are on the run from a casino heist. The two are then involved in a car accident leaving one officer dead. They end up stranded in the snowy mountainous terrain of North Michigan. Bana, being the protective brother, advises them to split-up, as police only have him as a suspect [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…]
Charlie (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Kristin Bell) are in love. When she gets the opportunity of a job at a major university, Charlie offers to go with her. There’s a bit of a problem though – Charlie’s in the FBI’s Witness Protection Program and if he leaves the small town they live in, he’ll have to leave the protection he’s got (largely Tom Arnold’s US Marshal) behind. [Read more…]
The Uninvited makes a welcome appearance on DVD – not the remake of the excellent Tale Of Two Sisters, but the stunning but much forgotten classic 1944 ghost story starring Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey.
The Uninvited is a spooky tale set in Cornwall. Roderick Fitzgerald (Milland) and his sister Pamela (Hussey) stumble across a deserted mansion on a clifftop that they immediately fall in love with it, although they have an odd sense about one of the rooms. They hunt down the owners and buy it for £1200 (if only we could buy them at that price now!!). After this, things start to go bump in the night, gradually building up momentum as the daughter of a woman who died at the house starts visiting the mansion. [Read more…]
Writer Ayub Karan Din scored quite a hit with his script for East Is East a few years ago, and now he’s back with All In Good Time, based on his Olivier award-winning play, Rafta Rafta. It’s another trip into the world of British Indian families and the generation gap between parents born half a world away and children who’ve only ever known life in the UK.
Young Atul (Reece Ritchie) and Vina (Amara Karan) have just gotten married, but their plans for a honeymoon in Goa are ruined when the travel firm they booked it through goes bust. Instead they stay at home with Atul’s parents, Eeshwar (Harish Patel) and Lopa (Meera Syal). Having saved themselves for marriage, Atul and Vina can now finally have sex – except they can’t, as for various reasons it doesn’t happen for them. [Read more…]
Despite the fact Elles’ director is Polish, this is the French-est of films – with an interest in bourgeois life, prostitutes, sex, nudity and a slightly pretentious tone, despite the fact it doesn’t really have anything that smart to say. And that’s about as French film-y as you can get.
Juliette Binoche is Anne, a middle-class wife, mother and journalist, whose latest assignment takes her into the world of students who pay for their education through prostitution. She interviews two of the women and is surprised that they don’t paint the picture of desperation and degradation she expected. The further she delves into their lives, the more it affects her own, as she gives up being teetotal and begins to rebel against the staid patriarchal aspects of her homelife. [Read more…]