Blog Archives

The Master

A challenging study of chaos and order told through two particularly charismatic characters in post WWII America, Paul Thomas Anderson's latest outing is likely to compel and confound in equal measure. The story, as much as there is one, revolves around two lost souls in 1950s America. Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a naval veteran whose life is torn apart at irregular intervals by his post traumatic stress disorder. After one such breakdown, he stumbles onto the boat of The Master, aka Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a cult known as The Cause. Freddie is drawn into...

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LFF Review: Ernest & Celestine

A charming French animation fully capable of winning the hearts of old and young audiences around the world. (more...)

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The Campaign

Jay Roach’s new comedy is in the vein of his slapstick work of Meet The Parents/Fockers and Austin Powers, so those expecting a clever political satire ridiculing the recent Romney and Ryan shenanigans, say, of current US politics will be mildly disappointed. However, there are enough subtle undertones to admire, and which suggest that writers Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell and leads/producers Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have more than studied the absurdity of being in a political spotlight, spilling over into personal life. And there are some immensely funny gags within the constantly...

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Everything or Nothing

There's a little film out towards the end of this month. It goes by the name 'Skyfall'. It is the latest in the ongoing adventures of a rather brutish British spy. This is the story of how the character found his way from the pages of Ian Fleming's novels onto the big screen. It's really quite a story... (more...)

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Sinister

Desperately in need of a best seller to revive his struggling career, true crime writer Ellison (Ethan Hawke), moves his family to the scene of his most recent story; the unsolved, gruesome murder of a loving, happy suburban family. Shunned by the local community and strained by his obligations to his family, the discovery of a batch of home movies in the attic offers Ellison shocking proof to the crime he is investigating. Ellison notices the same unidentified figure appearing in each of the 8mm films, leaving him convinced that all the incidents are linked by a truly bizarre connection. As his investigations...

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

There is a lot that could have gone wrong with this coming-of-age drama, but it's refreshing and heartfelt approach to the anxieties of growing up make it a particularly powerful film. (more...)

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Looper

It's been a long time coming, but this superlative action thriller manages to deliver a sci-fi blockbuster that easily reaches the cult status it is aiming for. Whether there is enough on offer for more mainstream audiences remains to be seen... Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper, a profession in the year 2042 that sees him doing the dirty work for the mob. When the bad guys want to get rid of someone in the future (30 after Joe's timeline), they send back the target to be killed... and that's a loop. To confuse matters even more, rather than serve a polite redundancy notice when their...

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The Sweeney

Those hard-boiled cops from the Flying Squad (aka 'the Sweeney') have been given a glossy revamp and new cockney incarnations in the form of veteran geezer Ray Winstone and up-and-coming hood rat (as I think the kids say) Ben Drew, aka Plan B. If you're a fan of the '70s series, you'll bloody hate this you slags! Much of the grimy realism been stripped away in favour of making London look bizarrely like Nolan's Gotham City and the cops more like Hollywood archetypes than tough London coppers. If you've never heard of John Thaw and his unit, then you might look a little more favourably on Nick...

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Dredd (3D)

Judgment from the UK comic 2000AD’s Judge Dredd has taken nearly 30 odd years to finally arrive onscreen in a form that would make most avid fans happy. The 1995 version by Danny Cannon and starring Sly Stallone may have resembled almost exactly what was seen in the long running comic from huge city blocks to the Judges’ uniform (famously designed by Versace); but it was ultimately a weak and watered down version of the legendary character. Worst of all he took his helmet off within the first 15 minutes! Sacrilege. So when it was announced in 2008 that producer Andrew Macdonald and writer...

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Lawless

It's kind of ironic, but this is a film that resolutely refuses to bend the rules of the gangster genre - or even the now popular 1920s bootlegging sub-genre. What it does have though is oodles of atmosphere and some mighty fine acting. Set in prohibition-era Virginia, dubbed 'the wettest county in the world' for its ability to flaunt the Volstead Act, the film track the bootlegging business of a legendary band of brothers. Local mythology likes to paint the Bonurant brothers as indestructable, primarily on account of oldest brother Forrest (Tom Hardy) and his unlikely escape from The War. Next...

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