Category Archives: Romance

Princples of Lust (2003)

Director: Penny Woolcock
Starring:Alec Newman, Sienna Guillory, Marc Warren, Julian Barratt, Lara Clifton. UK. 1h 48m

In a heated conversation between a couple of shabby fellows after a night of debauchery, a poignant line is shouted, the definition of the film title and ethos of what you have spend an hour watching… it goes something along the lines of “meeting someone fucking their brains out and when you get bored you move on”. This dry argument is a key to Penny Woolcock’s vibrantly disturbing drama surrounding the most powerful bouts of writer’s block that Paul might ever have in one lifetime.

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Another Earth (2011)

Director: Mike Cahill
Starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother. USA. 1h 32m

A ponderous piece of philosophical science fiction that features an emotive pair of damaged characters and a golden opportunity leads to a Pandora’s box of horrorful delights that remain just beyond human touch..

In a shock opening, a horrendous car crash starts the slow decline of both lead characters but their personal sorrows become eclipsed when a second planet earth comes into sight in the night sky where everyone’s doubles live. Under the shadow of this outstanding astronomical breakthrough there remains a tough pill to swallow.

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Una mujer fantástica / Fantastic Woman (2017)

Director: Sabastian Lelio Starring: Daniela Vega, Franxisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Amparo Noguera Chile, Spain, Germany. 1h 44m

There’s a necessary moment near the end of Sabastian Lelios eye opening movie where the lead is jogging with her dog, a carefree run as her favourite track plays and she can finally take a deep breath and attempt to just live the best life, like anyone else. It’s at this moment where we, as an audience, can also take a breath as the entire film is just filled with small minded petty people who do nothing to wind up anyone with a rational thinking mind as the film zeroes in on intolerance and unbiased love.

A Fantastic Woman is a strangely lighthearted take on a pretty deep and complex story. And there was definitely a vibe going on at the time as it almost duped with Disobedience an equally challenging love struggle but with a heavy religious setting. This thought provoking movie will drag you to places that you wouldn’t imagine a person would need to go based purely on their choice of gender.

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Curse II -The Bite (1989)

Director: Frederico Prosperi (as Fred Goodwin)
Starring: J. Eddie Peck, Jill Schoelen, Jamie Farr, Bo Svenson .Italy/USA. 1h 37m

After the success of The Curse (1987), an indie effort to breathe cinematic life into the classic HP Lovecraft story The Color Out of Space. An Italian/American sequel, in name only manages to cobble together a strange blend of body horror and romance and in some respects it stands strong as a very strange orphan.

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An American Woman (2018)

Director: Jake Scott
Starring: Sienna Miller, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul, Will Sasso, Pat Healy, Amy Madigan  .USA. 1h m

What starts out to be a melodrama about a woman, almost down on her luck but making the best of her life. Eventually turns into a homage to the resilience of all women, especially those mothers who have had to fight adversity and their own demons and manage to come out bigger and stronger on the other side.

Sienna Miller stars as Debra, a gorgeous thirty something year old single mother, who lives with her daughter and grandson, life is simple in their small town in Pennsylvania. Debra is forever young, she jokes around, enjoys her freedom and is more of a friend to her daughter, Bridget (Sky Ferreira), offering advice about men more than good wholesome patenting, but their bonds is strong, so when Bridget goes missing and Debra is left to look after her grandson Jesse.

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer,Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Lois Smith. USA. 1h 59m

“So Andrew’s new girlfriend is turning out to be a right bunny boiler”
“A what?”
“You know.. Fatal Attraction.. “

This was the conversation that made me realise how influential movies have been on the English language. The term Bunny Boiler, referring to a person, usually a woman who’s a bit psychotic and clingy, was born from this literal potboiler that, when it really gets going, is hard to look away from.

Adrian Lyne went straight from 9 1/2 weeks (1986) to Fatal Attraction and then straight into Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He’s often quoted to be intrigued to make moves that create a discussion, a movie that’s not forgotten by dinner time and still arguing about it the next day is a winner for him and it’s safe to stay that this run of movies all hold a powerful grip on their audiences many years later. His ability to pull the carpet on an unsuspecting audience and touch on surreal symbolism is quite masterful.

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Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)

Director: J P Valkeapää Starring: Pekka Strang, Ester Geislerova .Finland. 1h 45m

Sometimes those big life events can shake a person from one life into another, after moving through a period of massive grief and shock, J P Valkeapää’s lead Juha (Strang) finds himself in some sort of sado sexual purgatory, a surreal life path, which happens to become fantastically gripping in this somewhat violent dark comedy.

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is one of the ultimate sad stories. It begins after the lowest part of Juha’s life, his soulmate had died after a tragic drowning accident. Struggling on with his crippling grief he does his best to look after his teenage daughter and keeps his head down at work. There are hints that Juha is already a bit of a perv, no idea what life was like before, we can only assume his creative adaptation of self gratification is new as he tries to find some kind of satisfaction alone.

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Love at 2nd Sight (2020)

Director: Adim Williams. Starring: Frederick Leonard, Peggy Ovire, Onny Micheal, Rita Arum, Philldella Yve, Adim Williams. .Nigeria. 5h +

Falling in love just might be the easy part in this explosive Nigeria classic, not only do a couple of friends both find the women of their dreams, they manage to lose them due to irrational reactions and lack of attention and empathy.

Frederick Leonard plays an attractive bachelor, who’s hooked up with an old flame and within months of reuniting they are getting married. The love is lost and all goes bad on the wedding night when his new bride wakes up, and before she’s got her faculties together and in a total daze, she’s asking to be paid for her nightly rate! Utterly shocked Frederick realises he’s married ex prostitute, disgusted and pained verbally beats the woman down, leaving her in their hotel suite with some cash, the message is clear, the arrangement is over. At her most vulnerable state her best friend also takes advantage of her and ashamed she moves on with her life.

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Crimson Peak (2015)

Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Starring:Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam. USA. 1h 59m

With the lack of modern genuine gothic literature making it to the big screen, Crimson Peak had a lot to make up for, however despite it’s well crafted story, delicious cast amongst opulent sets, I wasn’t blown away by this epic ghost story. There’s a massive divide between Guillermo Del Toro’s Spanish and American work. Crimson Peak battles with its style and substance, for the most part it will wow it’s audience with an oil slick blend of colours but it seems to pluck the worse elements of gothic literature to mix but remains true and doesn’t step a foot out of the box. Continue reading Crimson Peak (2015)

The Invisible Man (2020)

Director: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen . Australia/USA. 2h 04m

So many years after the temptatious story of the Invisible Man by the legendary H G Wells, later made into a Black and White Classic by Universal Studios. The implausible idea of a chemical formula to make humans invisible has now been cleverly updated to an optical genius and a camera suit but why would we need such an application in this day and age? Infiltrating rival governments? To make an invisible army to take over the world or just a tool to torment an ex girlfriend who dared to leave a toxic relationship?

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