Director: José Padilha
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Ben Schnetzer, Lior Ashkenazi, Denis Ménochet . USA/UK. 1h 47m
I think this film was made with the idea that it would be considered as a critically acclaimed masterpiece but while it’s based on a tough hostage situation from 1976 It seems to be more determined to connect the horrific events with a dance routine than to give a clear and “entertaining” account, and while the dance is interesting it feels like a failed attempt to add some art house to an already downtrodden film that in hindsight is just a series of the depressing sight of actors struggling through dreadful material. Continue reading 7 Days in Entebbe (2018)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m
Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.
This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)
Director: Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell
Starring: George Knapp, Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, Colm Kelleher .USA. 2h 07m
Based on the best-selling book by George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher, Hunt for The Skinwalker is a documentary about the most intensive scientific study of a “paranormal” hotspot in human history.
The film is an alluring documentation of a deep scientific look at highly strange paranormal events, in what seems to be a hotspot for a malevolent consciousness that is constantly changing a slowly becomes more disturbing as they investigators charge on with their experiments in the Uintah Basin.
Technically this is two documentaries for the price of one that haphazardly switches between new and older footage, some filmed over a decade ago but each scene is equally relevant and usually just as shocking. Continue reading Hunt for the Skinwalker (2018)
Director: Ian Bonhote.
Writer: Peter Ettedgui UK. 1h 41m
Having lived through the mastery and magic of McQueens stunning artistry until his untimely tragic death, I felt as robbed as anyone who was inspired by the brilliance that McQueen brought into the world. After reading several books and watching numerous documentaries about him and his beguiling muse Isabella Blow (another character I hold close to my heart), I thought I really knew it all, but this thought provoking film brings so much more raw emotion and in depth background to the surface, including very personal testimonies from those who lived and worked so very closely to the legend. Continue reading McQueen (2018)
Director: Michael R Roskam
Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Barbara Sarafian. Belgium. 2h 8m.
There is something majestically beautiful about Roskam’s savage mafia drama. That sees a man fight against his own nature using the same tools that he applies to nature for his own gains. Usually Belgium is seen as a boring country where nothing really exciting happens, but even with the crime connections in this film, they aren’t peddling class a drugs or trafficking humans, nothing that dangerous or “glamorous” instead this mafioso gang are pedding steroid laden beef, typical farmer stuff but filled with meaty treats. Continue reading Rundskop / Bullhead (2011)
Director: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Starring: Various, all cast as themselves .USA. 1h 08m
Asylums, homes, and other residential institutions are some of the least known places to the masses, more films and documentaries are made about prisons as there’s some sense that we know what life inside is like. The common perception is that the inmates of other houses don’t have interesting tales to share with us. The Patron Saints, is a stark reminder of the life and stories are still alive in the oldest generation and through this challenging piece of work I found a new respect for those who we should praise more than others in their golden years. Continue reading The Patron Saints (2011)
Director: Paco Plaza
Starring: Sandra Escanaba, Bruna Gonzalez, ana Torrent, Claudia Picer, Ivan Chavero, Carla Campra. Spain. 1h 46m
So much about Veronica is like all the other ouija, catholic demonic inspired movies although it does have a few quirks and charms which make it stand out, not as something inventive and new but something relatable.
Veronica and her best friend have planned secret ouija based seance to contact Veronica’s deceased father, their golden opportunity is when the entire catholic school will be on the roof and outside to watch an eclipse. There are are no awards to guess the rest of the movie, the ouija session goes terribly wrong and soon Veronica is the experiencing lots of paranormal activity around herself and home, but when this dark entity starts attacking her family, Veronica starts to research and does all she can to protect them.
Just because you close your eyes it doesn’t mean the world ceases to exist.
Plaza has found fame through a series of wholly gory Rec series which really broke through a new age of possession/zombie hybrids, and I believe like everyone else I was expecting the same from this movie which was initially billed as prequel. Continue reading Veronica (2017)
Director:Ross Hockrow, Gary Cohen
Starring: Eddie Hall, Hafthor Bjornsson, Brian Shaw, Zydrunas Savickas UK. 1h 25m
Back in the blistering 1970’s Arnold Schwarzenegger amazed us with Pumping Iron (1977), the summer of late/early 70’s was to be his final Olympia but the grimy insight into the back stage world of body building really fueled another generation. And while the sport is similar this vein of the weight lifting community is alive and thriving and this, much like Pumping Iron is an introduction to it’s hero and champions.
Born strong identifies the four strongest men on the planet and their journey to qualify for the Arnold Strongman Classic. This arm of the sport isn’t about aesthetics but in creating a body that is incredibly powerful, each of the men weight at least 400 lbs and while they are able to pull a train they can’t put on their own sock or at times successfully wipe their ass. Continue reading Born Strong (2017)
Director: Jeff Unay.
Starring. Joe Carman, Callie Carman, Mia Carman, Delanee Carman, Kira Carman, Norinda Reed, Clayton Hoy, Vernon Beach. USA. 1h 21m.
I have to admit that I didn’t really research this movie, and just assumed it was the Wrestler of the MMA universe, just a movie filmed in a documentary style about a fighter returning to regain some glory, but it wasn’t really until a candid scene where the protagonist Joe Carman is arguing with his father, that I realised… these people really aren’t’ acting and shit just got real!
So this awkward and insightful movie follows Joe, who allows cameras film his return to glory, the blue collar worker who breaks his promise to his family and begins his training to get back into the ring and unleash his unique brand of MMA destruction, the only problem is that Joe is 40 and is not only risking his health and life, he’s risking everything for a sport that has moved on without him. One scene sums it up, Joe is in the parking lot, turning a huge tire over and being spotted by a guy as he manhandles the rubber, “How old are you, 24? “Joe responds wistfully, “Oh I wish I was 24 again“. Continue reading The Cage Fighter (2018)
Director: Kevin Connolly
Starring: John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Spencer Lofranco, William DeMeo .USA. 1h 50m
The gangsters paradise seems to have had its heyday with bold releases such as Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), the amazing rag to riches backstories, garnished with riches and savage beatings really enthralled audiences, I was one of many who assumed that this release might just make the holy trinity of awesomeness, but who was I kidding, John Travolta as the Teflon Don!? I want to say that this abysmal movie is The Room (2003) of mobster movies but the room is so bad it’s good, it has some charm and is incredibly memorable where as this crumpled lackluster effort is easily forgettable and it pains me to have to write a review. Continue reading Gotti (2018)