Green Knight (2021)

Director: David Lowery
Starring:Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Barry Keoghan, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, Ralph Ineson, Sarita Choudhury, Kate Dickie .USA/Canada. 2h 5m

With everyone and the dog wanting to reboot classical literature and and give it some kind of modern twist, we can be thankful that David Lowery didn’t take easy route of , yet another, King Arthur retelling, as I find it hard to find anything that comes close to John Boorman‘s glittery Excalibur (1981) Instead Lowery casts his poetic eye over an equally aged text that, for some reason, is more enchanting but remains lesser known. The adaptation of the 14th century chivalric romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight into film has masterfully crafted into one of the more memorable films of the year.

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Short Movie Roundup 30 January 2022

The House Abandon

This movie brought back a lot of nostalgia for me, a young boy is playing one of those retro option games on his computer, the computer flashes up a situation “you see an old creepy house” the boy types “I enter the home”.. If you’re as old as me you’ll want to plug in your commodore 64 and wait 3 hours for it to load a game. Unfortunately in this vaporwave tech bedroom his choices seem to have a bearing on his own real home and his safety is in question when someone enters his home. It’s an ingenious blend of reality and game clashing together, something that outdoes all of Tron, from pionering director Clint D’Souza.

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Shootfighter Fight to the Death (1993)

Director: Partick Alan
Starring: William Aabka, Michael Bernardo, Maryam d’Abo, Martin Kove, Bolo Yeung, Edward Albert. USA. 1h 40m

Slightly lesser known but wildly loved, Shootfighters plays on a few fight to the death tournament tropes but there’s a lot of genuine talent, not much love interest based distraction and tongues of sweaty muscles and heart, just like it should be!

Starting out with a disgraced fighter being kicked out of a legal fighting ring, Mr Lee (Kove) then travels from the Far East to Tiuana and starts up a similar righting ring but the winner of each match is only crowned when one man is unconscious or dead. Mr C (Albert) is a sly fox sidekick to Mr Lee and his job is to entice down and out fighters with bills to pay into the tournament with the promise of winning big, he manages to rope Ruben (Zabka) into the next tournament and his best friend Nick (Bernardo) tags along to keep an eye on his friend during this dangerous fight game. Somewhere back home there’s a couple of love interests but they really don’t add anything to the guy action packed adventure.

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Relatos Salvajes / Wild Tales (2014)

Director: Damian Szifron Starring: Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Darío Grandinetti. Argentina. 2h 2m

There has been a breakthrough in modern horror anthologies, from V/H/S (2012) to Southbound (2015), Dark Tapes (2016) to ABC’s of Death (2012), there’s been a highly dedicated sense of the bizarre and foreboding squeezed in alongside a curative surreal and darkly comic backdrop of horror. With Argentina becoming the forefront of genuine wholesome and brilliantly crafted cinema lately from superb freaky titles like Terrified (2017) and Cold Sweat (2010), there’s no wonder that this combination of short dark thrillers sets a new bar in the horror genre.

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An Honest Liar (2014)

Director: Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein Starring: James Randi, Jose Alvarez, Penn and Teller, Adam Savage, Alice Cooper, Bill Nye, Uri Geller USA/Canada. 1h m

I tend to get my fangirl cap on when James Randi is mentioned, his insightful analysis of the world of tricksters and snake oil merchants has been a huge source of inspiration and entertainment. His brief TV show that airs in the 90’s really opened the eyes of many people to the simple tricks of the big names of mystery, Poppof and Geller were among those who were unmasked as charlatans, willing to make a quick buck claiming they have rare gifts only to have Randi rip the carpet out from underneath them. In this quaint and personal documentary, directors Measom and Weinstein spend some time with Randi and give him a chance to express his past and current life with candid insights into his biggest moments in Magical history.

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Hatsukoi / First Love (2019)

Director: Takashi Miike Starring: Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori, Shota Sometani, Jun Murakami, Sansei Shiomi, Masaaki Uchno .Japan. 1h 48m

A strangely beautiful and violent thriller from cult classic director Miike, who, in recent years has slowed down and mellowed a little but swinging back with this sophisticated drama with slick fighting scenes and the odd touches of animation and quirkness really elevates an already brilliant story that’s acted out to perfection.

Miikes track record of outlandish movies really made a huge impact, and after a short stint of re rebooting iconic Japanese cinematic pieces such as Seven Samurai and Hara Kiri, his approach to bigger and bolder cinema has been fine tuned. This charming little piece follows Leo, an emerging boxer who is facing the darkest chapter of his life after he passes out in the ring and his doctor warns him that he might have a brain tumor. On his way home he rescues a screaming woman who’s being chased by an unknown man and the two catch feelings.

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Paranormal Diaries : Clophill (2013)

Director: Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett
Starring: Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett, Criselda Cabitac UK. 1h 28m

There’s been a big trend in making found footage movies, where the cast head out to investigate something unusual and paranormal, only to find themselves running around in the darkness screaming with terror, and if done well this chilling concept can really get under the skin of a lot of audience participants, however if done with the wrong pace and little care, then the unsettling can become uninteresting.

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Erskineville Kings (1999)

Director: Alan White Starring: Hugh Jackman, Andrew Wholley, Joel Edgerton, Leah Vandenberg, Aaron Blabey, Marty Denniss. Australia. 1h 30m

When Barky (Denniss) returns home for his fathers funeral he thinks is safe from the pain and attempts to reunite with his brothers and find some closure however the mood isn’t quite what he expected, his presence sets off a keg of love, hate, resentment and frustrations. After two years of living away, the young 20-something has no regrets about leaving the grip of his fathers violent rages which are painfully detailed in flashbacks.

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Short Movie Roundup 23 January 2022

Short Movie Roundup 23 January 2022

The Ghost

Everything about Sueng-Hyeun Lim’s creepy short is aimed to really scare the audience. A young mortuary cosmetologist, Mi-young, who makes a few extra bucks by pulling gold teeth and robbing corpses, but when an unidentified body is brought in, he really starts paying out when Mi-young finds a diamond in his butt, after rifling around in his sphincter she ends up with a bag of diamonds, before she can celebrate it seems the dead want their belongings back. Sueng-Hyeun Lim seems to be influenced by the comedic side of Miike as he conjures a ghostly story that feels like a chapter of The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

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D Railed (2018)

Director: Dale Fabrigar Starring:Lance Henriksen, Dwyane Standridge, Frank Lammers, Giovannie Espiritu, Catherine Healy. USA. 1h 20m

What starts out as a lavish murder mystery on a train, soon turns into a bizarre nonsensical run through the forest from a devious gruesome monster, or something like that.

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