Director: Hlynur Pálmason
Starring: Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir, Sara Dogg Asgeirsdottir. Iceland. 1h 49m
It doesn’t take long to get a good grasp of the top talent in Iceland, not only does a majority of the movies released there really hit a nerve and the industry continues to release one banger after the next, but with such a tiny population you’re going to see a lot of repeat offenders and not surprisingly a lot of the more popular faces have buckets of incredible talent and some of those come together in this study of grief.
Continue reading Hvítur, hvítur dagur / A White White Day (2019)
Director: Carl Strathie
Starring: Laura Fraser, Mel Raido, Sid Phoenix, Grant Masters, Spike White, Nicholas Pinnock, Alice Lowe, USA/UK. 1h 37m
Dark Encounter is another film in a long line up, of Intricately detailed thought provoking sci-fi, drawing more towards the side of hard sci-fi and yet remaining dreamily artistic, this bold attempt to to blend a missing person case in and around the most profound alien contact, proved to be very thought-provoking, and somewhat beautifully bittersweet.
With other epic sci-fi titles out there such as Interstellar and Arrival, Dark Encounter can proudy sit among them as a strong contender. Even without going full Christopher Nolanesque and devising a complex world that falls in and on itself, with surreal curveballs and slips within time and space, there is a palatable connection between our world and another. Were the reasoning why, being slightly baffling, it still proves to be an outstanding piece of work both visually and intellectually.
Continue reading Dark Encounter (2019)
Director: Jack McHenry
Starring: Tom Bailey, Maureen Bennett, Alfred Bradle, Robert Llewellyn, Timothy Renouf, Charlie Robb, Jessica Webber. UK. 1h 20m
Genre bending comedy horror doesn’t get much better than this frightful mini epic. Here Comes Hell, sees a small group of gorgeous 1930’s socialites hooking up to see one of their friends’ new purchases, which just happens to be a charming haunted mansion located deep in the British wilderness. The party includes a seance as getting a psychic grandma in on your party is thought to be terribly fun.
Continue reading Here Comes Hell (2019)
Director: Pedro C Alonso
Starring: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coppersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head. UK. 1h 37m
After a duo of short movies Pedro C Alonso was given free range for his first feature film. Seemingly going balls to the wall with his daring psychological thriller, it turns a night of work into a night of hell for one highly secretive and very questionable DJ. Alonso seems to enjoy throwing his characters into a vivid world maximised by raging colours sound and violence, chuck in a pair of leather gloves and more eyeliner and we’d have a semi decent Giallo.
Continue reading Feedback (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.
Continue reading Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)
Jiu long bu bai (original title)
Director: Fruit Chan
Starring: Jin Zhang, Anderson Silva, Kevin Cheng, Suet Lam .Hong Kong. 1h 25m
The UFC is an absolute goldmine not only does it make super fighters, but it and generally if you can nurture a dynamic Hong Kong action movie with at least one big name you’ll take in cash.. But blend the two poorly and you’ll end up with this disjointed mess, that feels as if the producers knew what they wanted to do, but wrote any bull in to make it happen.
What starts as a really engaging crime thriller following a determined gun happy cop, Officer Kowloon (Jin) who opens the film boiling in a cooking pot, in a seedy backstory restaurant, Lam Suet taunting him as the two compare Dragon tattoos, fortunate that our hero has a better back story featuring an adorable (brightly coloured cgi) Dragon that he met as a child…after the bonding he shoots Lams hand off in a function room and gets suspended, this becomes a trend with Kowloon even while investigating a spate of murders targeting female police officers he manages to fudge the operation, not only letting the only suspect go, but losing his fiancee\fellow officer. Continue reading The Invincible Dragon (2019)
Director: Mark Jenkin
Starring: Edward Rowe, Giels King, Chloe Endean, Simon Shepherd .UK. 1h 29m
You’ve probably heard about this being the best film of the decade, of 2019, the most arresting modern movie ever made, a total game changer and a host of other praises, along with a list of wins and nominations in various film festivals but what’s all the craic about? Simply put it’s a movie about the gentrification of a seaside town filmed by a vintage hand-cranked Bolex camera using 16mm monochromatic hand processed film. This labor of love is a total game changer in the aesthetic of this blistering movie. Continue reading Bait (2019)
Director: Espen Sandberg
Starring:Pal Sverre Hagen, Christian Rubeck, Katherine Waterston, Trond Espen Seim .Norway/UK. 2h 5m
Every explorer deserves some kind of detailed recognition of their sacrifices for their “art” and this sentimental epic really touches on the sacrifices made by Roald Amundsen, the first man to arrive at the South Pole.
From a historical perspective there’s a lot missing and a few facts that have been replaced by nurtured cinematography rather than being 100% factual, however the overall sentiment and gratitude from director Espen Sandberg is firmly stamped on every scene. Continue reading Amundsen (2019)
Director: Jim Klock
Starring:Jim Klock, Mike Capozzi, Chad Ridgely .USA. 1h 26m
This is quite a tidy moody piece of theology noir, as two investigators embark on a spiritual journey while searching for a missing police officer.
After watching the officer pass through a door while answering an emergency call he’s never seen again and his distraught wife asks for additional help to find him. Jim and Mike answer the call, each at different ends of the spectrum of religious belief, although Mike, while pious, had the remarkable skill of being highly psychic, and is reluctant to take this particular job but goes along to help his bestest bud. Continue reading Red Letters (2019)
Director: Nathan Catucci
Starring: Laila Robins, Santino Fontana, Dennis Boutsikaris. USA. 1h 24min
Part of the charm of Impossible Monsters is that it plays with ideas of sleep and dreams without really alluding to many of the schemas behind the expansive theology and science behind this complicated field. Often advertised as a film dealing with nightmare dreams and sleep paralysis, I don’t remember seeing much about it, and instead Impossoble Monsters falls into a rabbit hole of dark sexuality and crime de passion, ideas surrounding the opedious complex and a tutor who gets caught up in the murder of one of his students as the lines begins to blur between reality and a Ken Russellseque dreamworld. Continue reading Impossible Monsters (2019)