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.
Continue reading Una (2017)
Director: Peter Mullan
Starring: Connor McCarron, Greg Forrest, Joe Szula, Mhairi Anderson,. UK. 2h 4m
There’s no doubt that whenever Peter Mullan is in front or behind the camera there’s some kinds of magic occurring, one of the least talked about and yet most cherished and influential actors/directors in the UK, this personal project about a young boys decent reom Academic glory to Violent Street Culture has to be one of his deeper shining titles.
NEDS is a tragic drama about a young and gifted boy who’s obsession is with the kids from the wrong side of the tracks and his own inner anger help carve his future. Directed and co-starred by the british Meistero Peter Mullan, who in my opinion can do no wrong, NEDs is one of his top films as Mullans nostalgic eye behind the camera sets the scene for the most realistic British coming of age drama, something a lot of people wouldn’t want to face but admittedly couldn’t deny is plausible and engrossing.
Continue reading NEDS (2010)
Director: Neasa Hardiman
Starring: Hermione Corfield, Dag Malmberg,Jack Hickey, Olwen Fouéré, Dougray Scott, Sonnie Nielsen, Ardalan Esmaili, Elie Couakaze. UK/Ireland. 1h 25m
Sea fever, much like cabin fever strikes when everyone least’s expects it, sometimes it can be contained and only affects one person, other times it turns into group hysteria and it can be a struggle to figure out what’s real and not., but in Hardiman’s offbeat body horror, with ties to Celtic mythology, emerges a story that becomes a deep dive into our small part in the ecology of this watery planet.
Continue reading Sea Fever (2019)
Bare Knuckle (2018) Director: Duncan Napier-Bell
Starring:Stu ArmstrongJ oe Brown, Jim Freeman USA. 1h 20m
Bare Knuckle fighting, possibly the oldest form of one on one combat, has always struggled with its seedy history and gruesome reputation, but with the rise of UFC and it’s contaversional and multi talented fighters, Director Duncan Napier-Bell casts an insightful eye to the roots of combat, but without detailing at historical icons, he instead looks at the current bare knuckle fighting scene as it emerges from it’s gloomy backstreet habitat and reveals a bold attempt at adapting for a bigger and brighter future.
Continue reading Bare Knuckle (2018)
Director: Simon Curtis
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald. UK. 1h 47m
For years people had been probing for Winnie the Pooh, the character holds a lot of sentimental charm for so many generations, the profitability of this really came to be noticed, not after the museum was set up but when Disney basically bought it. For a long while I just assumed this was going to be a mushy Hollywood rendition of the creation story pasted with a rose tint and lateyed in the good times Disney branded family fun, but it couldn’t be further from what was magically achieved in this heartbreaking, thought provoking biopic.
Christopher Robin is the boy who, we all seem to know and love and yet no one really knows at all, well I’m sure the die hard fans weren’t shocked about any ot the revelations within Curti’s period piece but I did have my eyes opened to a life that seemed so charming, and yet through the creation of a cult classic book, part of what should have been a charmed childhood was ruined and all for the success of a book that reminds us all to care and take our time with life.
Continue reading Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)
Director: Tom Hooper
Starring:Brian Clough, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Henry Goodman, Colm Meaney. UK. 1h 37m
This is a classic example of a movie, that despite its inaccuracies, and a niche target audience, is so well made and superbly acted that it is just an amazing film that is easy to love. I’m not into football so I couldn’t fathom how historically accurate the movie is but in fairness the larger more prominent moments of the film are documented and if you’re prepared you can watch some of the tv interviews alongside the movie and they are almost frame for frame.
Much of the movie rests on the shoulders of the lead Michael Sheens’ amazing ability to mimic other mortal humans, while he doesn’t physically look like Clough, it’s so easy to believe it’s the man who possessed Sheen’s body. The movie isn’t intended to be a documentary but some of the dramatisation has rubbed a few characters up the wrong way, and lawsuits were filed.
Continue reading The Damned United (2009)
Director: David Lowery
Starring:Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Barry Keoghan, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, Ralph Ineson, Sarita Choudhury, Kate Dickie .USA/Canada. 2h 5m
With everyone and the dog wanting to reboot classical literature and and give it some kind of modern twist, we can be thankful that David Lowery didn’t take easy route of , yet another, King Arthur retelling, as I find it hard to find anything that comes close to John Boorman‘s glittery Excalibur (1981) Instead Lowery casts his poetic eye over an equally aged text that, for some reason, is more enchanting but remains lesser known. The adaptation of the 14th century chivalric romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight into film has masterfully crafted into one of the more memorable films of the year.
Continue reading Green Knight (2021)
Director: Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett
Starring: Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett, Criselda Cabitac UK. 1h 28m
There’s been a big trend in making found footage movies, where the cast head out to investigate something unusual and paranormal, only to find themselves running around in the darkness screaming with terror, and if done well this chilling concept can really get under the skin of a lot of audience participants, however if done with the wrong pace and little care, then the unsettling can become uninteresting.
Continue reading Paranormal Diaries : Clophill (2013)
Director: Dom Rotheroe
Starring: Bradley Cole, Brittany Ashwood, Angela Forrest, Oliver Lee. UK. 1h 25m
The allure behind Exhibit A is getting an insight in the raw details behind the case of a brutal family annihilation case. While Dom Rotheroe and curated a really authentic feeling found footage movie on an independant budget I feel that story is lacking a genuine USP. I personally felt cheated, thought I’d missed some fine detail, but after re watching the movie, I had to step back and look at it with fresh eyes, so often found footage relies on adding a touch of creepy paranormal or something sly and devious into the mix to make the voyeuristic audience shudder with fear and delight. Exhibit A doesn’t bend to those rules, and doesn’t really go anywhere into the deep waters of the typical Found Footage Horror, however if the systematic psychological breakdown of a middle england family is your thing then step in.
Continue reading Exhibit A (2007)
Director: Penny Woolcock
Starring:Alec Newman, Sienna Guillory, Marc Warren, Julian Barratt, Lara Clifton. UK. 1h 48m
In a heated conversation between a couple of shabby fellows after a night of debauchery, a poignant line is shouted, the definition of the film title and ethos of what you have spend an hour watching… it goes something along the lines of “meeting someone fucking their brains out and when you get bored you move on”. This dry argument is a key to Penny Woolcock’s vibrantly disturbing drama surrounding the most powerful bouts of writer’s block that Paul might ever have in one lifetime.
Continue reading Princples of Lust (2003)