Tag Archives: 2017

Una (2017)

Director: Benedict Andrews
Starring: Ruby Stokes, Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies .UK. 1h 34m
David Harrower (based on his play “Blackbird”)

From its moody opening juxtaposed with PJ Harverys iconic Down By the Water there’s a clear insight into how dark and difficult Benedict Andrews drama is going to be. There’s a long and complicated tale that has to be adapted from stage to screen, one that describes a relationship that too many of us couldn’t fathom and even after watching the sterling performances, it’s still a tainted pill to swallow.

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Three Days on a Cross (2017)

Director: Aaron Martinez Starring: Nathran Martinez, Luke Fowler, Jordan Tanner, Mark Gibbons. USA. 1h 48m

I think a trick was missed in this slightly confusing theological movie. The set up follows a pair of voyeuristic researchers in a lo fi sci fi bunker, their main objective is to follow a Jesus-esquema wandering in the desert searching for his daughter after an apocalypse, it’s never clear how they are filming him, who installed CCTV in the desert in this post apocalypse world..

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Demon Hole (2017)

Director: Josh Crook
Starring: Samantha Scaffidi, Samhain, Paris Campbell, Laura Barbiea, Summer Mastain, Steve Lipman. USA. 1h 21m

Trouble teens left to their own devices are supposed to clear up some rural land while as part of their tortured community service, but instead they find a cabin, decide to light up some blunts and start some hanky panky.. who would’ve thought this would lead to demonic possession?

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Brothers In Arms / Semper Fi (2019)

Director: Henry Alex Rubin
Starring:Jai Courtney, Nat Wolff, Finn Wittrock, Arturo Castro, Beau Knapp .USA. 1h 39m

It’s hard not to feel a little bit conflicted with the ending of Brothers In Arms AKA Semper Fi. The film successfully builds up a golden camaraderie between a pair of brothers Callahan (Courtney) and Oyster (Wolff) who, along with their Marine Corp Reserve Brothers, they manages to pull off the impossible and with the best intentions but in the big scheme of righter and wronger, was it really justified?

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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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My Friend Dahmer (2017)

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Director: Marc Meyers Starring: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Zachary Davis Brown. USA. 1h 47m

After the massive success of the indie graphic novel, this disturbing film steps into the shoes of the adolescent, much “loved” serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. A highly attuned retro aesthetically driven adventure, does what a lot of serial killer films avoid, it dives right into the beginning and shows that a killer was born and wasn’t nurtured into his sadism. Obviously there were shitty aspects to his childhood but the strange obsessions with dead flesh seemed to always be in him.

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Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sota Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara. Japan. 2h 20m

Miike’s career has turned into a long line of massive remakes of Japanese Classic cinema for some time now. I’ve been racking my brain why, but I’m still unsure what he’s trying to achieve, but it’s working out for him and I wonder what’s next? He’s making some solid and faithful remakes but I do wonder if we really need them all despite their powerful impact? This just seems to be another one, however even while watching the series after the film.. I found it’s expressionary style and character depth on a different planet entirely, and yet each are ridiculously impressive but in their own way. 

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The Man With the Iron Heart (2017)

AKA HHhH AKA Killing Heydrich

Director: Cédric Jimenez
Starring:  Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Jack O’Connell, Jack Reynor, Stephen Graham .UK. 2h 

World War II has a host of characters that will be eternally admired and despised, routinely Hollywood steps in to honour the brave hero’s with a rendition of their stories, just lately we’ve been finding more names of brave men who rose up to fight the evil tyrants of the SS. Hopefully these reminders will help remind future generations of the price of freedom!?

There seemed to be a race to release a homage to operation Anthropoid, this particular movie, with a working title of HHhH (Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich),  was put on hold and renamed to make way for a film released in  2016 which took the converted and obvious title of “Anthropoid” , starring Cilian Murphy but is this really the poor relation to the saga? Poor, no but an alternative perspective.. just maybe. Both cover the basics of the 1942 plot by Czech resistance who sent two young recruits from London to Prague to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the ruthless psychopath who came up with an evil plan known as the Final Solution. 

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Stratton (2017)

Director: Simon West
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Austin Stowell, Gemma Chan, Connie Nielsen, Thomas Kretschmann, Tom Felton, Derek Jacobi. UK. 1h 34m

British director Simon West has a huge action highlight reel consisting of succulent titles such as Con Air, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, The Mechanic, and even the mega blockbusters, The Expendables 2. But his latest addition, a smaller scaled Brit Espionage Thriller, Stratton, seem to have all the right components of a big budget action flick but just no heart and soul, which is bound to leave many viewers feeling cheated.

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Lowlife (2017)

Director: Ryan Prows
Starring:Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Adam Zarate, Jon Oswald, Shaye Ogbonna, Santana Dempsey, Mark Burnham USA. 1h 36m

From the unusual opening and until it’s bitter ending, everything about Lowlife blew me away! It’s a slow amble through the seedy side of Los Angles, connecting 3 reprobate lives together as they struggle against the same foe but for very different reasons. For some it might take some time to get into the aesthetic and bat shit crazy characters, but don’t fight it just go with the flow and the movie will take you places…. Places you might not want to go..

Lowlife works as a disjointed homage to a few lively characters who each deserve some sort of Folk Hero status. Jumping around through the timeline incorporates each person deeper into it’s whirlwind plot, a black motel keeper Crystal (Micheaux) who’s an ex addict and her drunken partner, a man on the verge of giving up on life but who needs an emergency kidney transplant. Then there’s a sly gangster Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Burnham) who runs a violent gang profiting from immigrants organs, the kinda guy who’s legendary amongst the worst f the worst on the streets and his loveable henchman ,El Monstruo (Zarate) who’s on a mission to protect his heavily pregnant wife Kaylee (also an addict). But the stand out are a couple of best friends Keith (Ogbonna) and Randy (Oswald) a couple of cons whose brotherly bond is spun into contention over Randy’s unusual prison tattoo.

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