Tag Archives: 2016

Don’t you recognise me? (2016)

Director: Jason Figgis
Starring: Matthew Toman, Emma Dunlop, Alan Rogers. Ireland. 1h 20m

Please correct me but this noisy thriller is Dead Man’s Shoes but in a depraved reversal where the gang, all twisted and desperate, are the saviours of a vulnerable lad…let me lead you down this bloody rabbit hole.

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In Search of Balance (2016)

Director: Adam Pfleghaar
Starring:Various USA. 1h 14m

This detailed insight into how we fit into the bigger scheme of things as one element of planet earth, starts as an engaging documentary that slowly unravels into strange conspiracy theories and outlandish ideas which seem to sell a bitter snake oil.

Film-maker Adam Pfleghaar has devised a collage of interviews and compiled meticulous research , and constructed an audio-visual meditation on the themes of how we, as a species are only a tiny cog in a giant wheel, seeing the bigger picture is alluring and understanding how far detached we are from nature if eye opening but the end result of In Search For Balance had me scratching my head working out how these guys cured diabetes but The method and technique doesn’t seem something marketable for the rest of the public

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Hounds of Love (2016)

Director: Ben Young Starring: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Strephen Curry, Susie Porter. Australia. 1h 48m

This brutal film hits like a punch in the gut, it’s a slow drama but it gains power each step of the way. Youngs has a mixed bag of movies behind him and went onto to the sci fi thriller Extinction which was a side step in an odd direction, he needs to get back to the hard hitting drama as it’s something i’d does best.

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Personal Shopper (2016)

Director: Olivier Assayas Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigird Bouaziz, Nora Von Waldstratten. USA/UK/France. 1h 45m

At times it’s easy to forget that Personal Shopper is a horror movie. If you’re into something which burns slow but delivers a whack at the end then this might feel like it’s let you down, but there is a huge revelation at the end but it might not be what you were expecting. At times it’s mundane and even dull, but Assatas’ genius technique is to force the viewer to not to see what’s coming so when something does stand out it has a larger impact. It’s not hard to connect Kirsten Stewart to keywords such as “Blank” and at times it’s a perfect emotion for the film that deals all too honestly with grief, alienation and death.

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Mindhorn (2016)

Director: Sean Foley
Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis, Steve Coogan, Richard Cabe, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, David Schofield, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner. UK. 1h 29m

When your indie retro styled Brit Flick has major stars like Andrea Riseborough, Kenneth Brannagh and Simon Callow playing minor little cameos then you’d assume you’ve hit the big time or at least have an idea so crazy it might just work!? Mindhorn is a triumph of British comedy, starring Julian Barratt, who’s made us all laugh in comedy shows like The Mighty Boosh but has also astounded fans in solid trippy dramas like A Field In England, but let’s face it, if you don’t laugh at he antics in the Ben Wheatly classic then you’d end up in an asylum. But in this ridiocusly production he takes the lead and delivers an outstanding performance as a dated washed up actor who is called in by Isle of White police to help them fight a devious criminal.

It’s the truth time!

There has always been a strong comedy troupe, about that one guy who won’t let go of the past, He’s the chap in the corner of the pub, talking about his old band and possibility of being a Rockstar, but he just missed a great opportunity, all of this is maximised in Mindhorn. Julian Barrat plays the role of a hasbeen actor, who once had the role of a lifetime the lead in a hit TV show where he is a blend of 6 million dollar man and James bond, but today he’s washed up, he can’t get a role, drinks too much, no one takes him seriously and he still wears his retro 70’s clothing and a ridiculous mishmashed toupe.

“This isn’t the Bronx, this is the Isle of Man!”

Mindhorn is totally pathetic but he truly believes in himself as his tv character and with the chance to live that lifestyle again he jumps at the opportunity but fails miserably at every hurdle, the man can’t even make a phone call without wrecking the room. As a blend of Mr Magoo and Inspector Clouseau  he’s a tornado of antics but at least he’s hysterically funny for the audience otherwise this would be jarring. Any hero who wakes up part naked on a police officer’s desk, half naked and high on pills having to explain drawing a pair of tits on someone’s land rover, is worth a few minutes of your attention, am i right?

If you’re a fan of the Boosh and subversive British humour then this can’t be missed, let your hair down and don’t take life too seriously, alongside the cast and have a super funny night even is Barret does wear black face for part of the film, i doubt anyone will be triggered due to the circumstances.

TLDR:

Rating: 5/10

Related: Hot Rod (2007), Black Dynamite (2009)

Lists: Modern British Comedies

Spotlight:Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner.

Trailer

Kaleidoscope (2016)

Director: Rupert Jones
Starring: Toby Jones, Anne Reid .UK. 1h 40m

Rupert Jones, brother of lead actor Toby Jones, has curated a chilling deep cerebral exploration of an ex-con’s relationship with his domineering mother as he attempts to reason with a new insurrection and the secrets of his past. Kaleidoscope is only shy of being perceived as disturbing, because of TJ’s amazing character portrayal of a shy man searching for love. This down to earth portail is so poignant and beautiful raw, that the mystery surrounding his latest date is ever intertwining through reality and fantasy beings to pale in comparison. Maybe the two brothers working together was one of their best moves or maybe they are both just so brilliant at what they do anyway?

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Cure For Wellness (2016)

Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Ivo Nadi, Celia Imrie, Mia Goth. USA/Germany. 2h 26m.

Gore Verbinski’s hellish story of entrapment in a world filled with mysteries and a strange folklore is full of  disturbing quirks, but not enough to really step the film into the realms of greatness but instead it just comes off as  a bit weird.  The plot follows a young executive, Lockhart (DeHaan) who, after a misdemeanor at his firm, is sent to retrieve the company’s CEO, who is currently staying in a rehabilitation centre in the Swiss Alps. During this trip there’s hints of a sinister chapter from his childhood that still influences his life, but once he enters the secluded grounds of the wellness centre a dark fairytale atmosphere begins to take over.

Written by Ira Levin who gave us such classics like Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Stepford Wives (1975) and,  The Boys from Brazil (1978), but the biggest influence on the story is Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel, The Magic Mountain  (German: Der Zauberberg) . A book which does feature in the movie, those with a keen eye  may spot it, is already considered to be one of the most influential works of twentieth-century​ and centres on  a man unravelling a complex story from the backstories of key characters that he meets in a similar spar in the Alps. The war that’s faced in the novel is a World War, whereas Lockhart’s war is initially within him.

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Suntan (2016)

Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Starring: Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou. Greece. 1h 44m

Suntan is a movie that’s as slow burning as it’s lead characters’ heavily protected skin. An epic adventure into the darker races of the human condition that follows a middle aged man, who embarks to a remote Greek island to be the only doctor, but instead he thrust into a hedonistic paradise and once the holiday season beings, he finds himself shunted further into an unfamiliar world of casual free love and a dangerous obsession. Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, a Greek filmmaker whose work is totally unknown to me but after watching this shocking and incredibly sad story of sexual obsession. His outlandish style,ability to capture and develop hyper real character and throw some absurd black comedy into such a serious drama, he deserves to be recognised alongside contemporaries such as Yorgos Lanthimos.

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Dark Knight (2016)

Director: Tim Sutton
Starring: Robet Jumper, Anna Rose Hopkins, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias .USA. 1h 25m

Dark Night is an incredibly slow movie. Not necessarily a film in slow motion or involving lengthy still shots, but one which whimsically dances around the mundane sequences in the lives of it’s subjects instead of explaining exactly why they are important. The (unwanted) insight into the lives of a group of people who are all present on the night of a screening of an infamous Batman film that would go so terribly wrong when a deranged individual opened fire with bullets and tear gas. Many people will be more than aware of the case, one of the biggest one man shooting events in living memory. Tim Sutton has managed to bypass the hype and politics by somehow going back in time outlining the normaily before the shooting, trying to pay homage to the victims and show how fragile life is in a moody thought provoking arty drama, frequently highlighted with Robert Jumpers haunting stare.

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Possession Experiment (2016)

Director: Scott B Hansen
Starring: Scott B Hansen, Bill Moseley, Chris Minor, Nicky Jasper, Jake Brinn. USA. 1h 24m

Considering how popular Found Footage movies are, I’m surprised that this hasn’t been done by a bigger studio. Our fascination with watching online train wrecks, drama and spooky videos are all satisfied with this somewhat inventive horror that starts well but sadly falls into too many horror clichés before burning out.

The budget seems to have been spent on Bill Moseley 5 minute intro where he plays a priest performing a fairly clumsy exorcism on a young girl in the basement of a house, the lords prayer is used instead of Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and a few lines are missing, the scene is shot well but doesn’t make sense, at one point the girl with all the stereotypical garb, long dark hair, spewing Latin and a long white nightgown, levitates and attacks, everyone just watching her or running away and she’s only challenged after dispatching the unfortunate man not before. Personally I’d have believed the scene more if Mosley was the possessed and not a priest, could you imagine letting him rip in a role like this!!?? Either way the exorcism is an utter failure and the filming of it leaks out and sparks some interest from a young man who desires something meaty for his theology homework assignment, after investigating the original site and getting spooked by a potential haunting, he devises a kick starter to return to the site and actively offering himself up to be possessed on a live web cast. Continue reading Possession Experiment (2016)