Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Roy Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, Neil Bell .UK. 2h 34m
Political riots just aren’t what they used to be, it seems like only yesterday innocent people were being shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed for arguing against the poll tax. WIth the Tories finally getting their wish to ban protesting it feels all that more poignant to remember our rights to speak out against matters we feel are unjust and wrong.
Continue reading Peterloo (2018)
La polizia chiede aiuto, lit. ‘The police ask for help”
Director: Massimo Dallaman
Starring: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi .Italy. 1h 30m
Genre blending can go horribly wrong be it apocalyptic horror and comedy which resulted in Sharknado or romantic comedy which results in boredom. You need to be careful how you mix and match established flavours, if dont right, it can birth a tremendous gripping film such as this stand out item from Italian maestro Massimo Dallamano, being a big contender with a host of really notable titles the classic cinematographer comes into his own with a trio of brilliant movies, for me the golden trio, for me at least are, Dorian Gray, What have you done to Solange and similarly titled, What have they done to our daughters? A film with takes a the best of the poliziotteschi movement, ultising daring police chases, shoot outs and crime sleuthing, and let’s lose a terrific Giallo serial killer, clad in leather this psycho deptaches their victims with a cleaver and rides a powerful motorbike.
Continue reading What Have They Done To Our Daughters (1974)
Director: David Twohy
Starring: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth. USA. 1h 34m
There’s a lot to like about this thrilling mystery and there’s a lot to appreciate about a psycho thriller which delivers some really cool (hard to kill) characters set on the beautiful islands of Honolulu. Two couples are travelling and enjoying the Eden-like surroundings, fully aware that there are a pair of serial killers on the loose, each couple are highly suspicious of the other but it’s up to the audience to look for the subtle clues and piece together who just might be a pair of deadly psychopaths.
Continue reading The Perfect Getaway (2009)
Director: Oren Peli
Starring: Micah Sloat, Katie Featherston . USA. 1h 26m
Sometimes it takes a great director to make a movie, other times it takes a great director to endorse a movie to make it a winner! Steven Speilberg couldn’t praise the movie enough, claiming that he had to stop watching as he was so afraid and had to continue the next day with the lights on! What on earth could freak him out that much?
The film was hyped up as the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, this instantly made it a target for criticism and doubt. The series of trailers were chock a block with clips of audiences reeling away and jumping with fright more than highlighting what the film is actually about. The most we know is there’s something going on in the pristine suburban home of two beautiful young hopefuls.
Continue reading Paranormal Activity (2007)
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)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Kim Bodnia, Zlatko Burić, Laura Drasbæk, Slavko Labović, Mads Mikkelsen .Denmark. 1h 45m
Debuts don’t often hit as hard as this ruthless epic from director Nicolas Winding Refn. as he kicks his cast into a twisting crime story that leaves them free falling without a net. Somewhere in the dank backstreets and hidden rooms behind the pretty façade of Copenhagen a vibrant underworld of dangerous characters are revealed as Frank has the worst run of bad luck I’ve ever seen, there really isn’t a dull moment in Pusher, so hold on to your seat while you watch the first of an incredibly raw and compelling trilogy. Continue reading Pusher (1999)
Director: Juan Frausto
Starring: Katherine Munroe, Johnny Ortiz .USA. 1h 33m
For a majority of my armchair criticism I am always asking for directors to try and bring something new to the genres that their film straddles, however in the case of the Possession Diaries, and similar uncreative movies, I see no problems with people trying their hand at the tried and tested tropes, but at least try to make your copy as solid as possible. For all the planning and effort going into this project, it just doesn’t come across as being as polished as it could and ends up being a tad boring. Continue reading Possession Diaries (2019)
Director: Aaron B Koontz
Starring: Melora Walters, Zachary Knighton, Noah Segan, Stan Shaw, Devin Druid, Bill Sage .USA. 1h 36m
While being blown away with the wild violence on Bone Tomahawk (2015) I wondered if it was going to mark a revival of the Horror Westerns and luckily it did, The Nightingale (2018) and The Wind (2018) soon followed and really kept up the momentum, pioneering new levels and atmospheres in the genre, then things started to spiral out of control and the low budgets are now having a bash at grisly film with a western feel.
The Pale Door has one of those movies titles that sounds poetic and could allude to a rabbit warren of possibilities, sadly they picked a really strange combination of events to try and build a story on. Continue reading The Pale Door (2020)
Director: Benjamin Ree.
Starring: Karl Bertil-Nordland, Barbora Kysilkova. Norway. 1h 42m.
From a selfish and despicable act of theft came a truly beautiful relationship erupts in Ree’s near perfect documentary that focuses on Czech artist Barbora Kysilkovaand a Norwegian career criminal, Karl-‘Bertil’ Nordland. This tale of forgiveness, obsession, friendship and love is what we need to see in this crazy climate where everyone seems to be lacking those tangible experiences, does it restore faith in humanity? It’s certainly a highlight of the simplistic Scandinavian ethos of rehabilitation. Continue reading The Painter and the Thief (2020)
Director: Konstantin Lopushansky
Starring: Viktor Mikhaylov, Vera Mayorova,Vadim Lobanov, Irina Rakshina, Aleksandr Rasinsky, Iosif Ryklin, Yu. Sobolev, Vladimir Firsov. Russia/Soviet Union/West Germany/Switzerland. 2h 16m
The jaw dropping, mind bending and highly disjointed follow on to Dead Man’s Letters (1986), shows that Lopushansky has lost none of this amazing vision of the world after an apocalyptic disaster. Usually history is written by the victors but who really comes out on top when the entire planet sinks into a nuclear winter?
From it’s dark crimson opening, it’s clear that the world is a very different place in this complicated post-apocalyptic future, that carries on from living memories of Chernobyl. The world attempts to keep things moving as a tourist attempts to traverse the barren landscape to visit a museum buried deep below the ocean. Clothed in a long black coat and carrying a single suitcase he stumbles through massive piles of waste, fights through clouds of dangerous dust and catches the saddest looking train I’ve ever seen limp down a track. Eventually he makes it to his “hotel” a house run by rich elites that looks out onto a vibrant shore that leads to a hidden fabled Museum. Continue reading Posetitel Muzeya / A Visitor to a Museum (1989)