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American Hustle

So it seems that ‘third times a charm’ didn’t quite come true for American Hustle director David O. Russell.  After the one-two sucker punch of The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, both of which garnered R...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nebraska

Never one to concern himself with Hollywood sentimentality Nebraska director Alexander Payne delivers a typically dry yet endlessly endearing slice of middle-American life.  Payne’s work always gives a brilliant insight into re...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Unlikely Hero

You have to wonder how a film such as Unlikely Hero, that stars Hollywood darlings Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone and Jeff Daniels, can find its way straight to DVD rather than getting a glitzy cinema release.  That is until you see...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carrie

Given this year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Stephen King’s iconic novel Carrie it seems only apt that a new imagination of the material should return to screens.  And a ‘re-imagining’ is what director Kimbe...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Orca: The Killer Whale

Towards the end of Orca: The Killer whale Richard Harris bellows; “What the hell are you?”  It’s a fair question that could just as easily be aimed at this obvious Jaws rip-off. The story sees Captain Nolan (Richard Harris), a ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oldboy

While Hollywood becomes saturated in superheroes and remakes it seems inevitable that films deemed ‘untouchable’ will invariably be on the receiving end of the remake treatment.  That includes cult classics such as Oldboy, the ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wake in Fright

Immortalised in films such as “Crocodile” Dundee and revisited in the form of TV personalities like Steve Irwin, the bushman stands as a representation of how part of Australia sees itself: Sure, Australians may inhabit a vast ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jeune et Jolie

Jeune et Jolie is a frank coming-of-age tale told through the experiences of one 17 year-old girl and her family. And that’s what this film is all about: experiences. Not romanticised nostalgia of what teenage experiences were ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dom Hemingway

‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ seems to be the adage of Dom Hemingway which comes close to falling into the realms of British cockney geeza gangsters cliché.  Like Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels though it ma...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Machine

The Turing Test is an idea that plays an important part in The Machine.  It is the concept that a true artificial intelligence is one that a person could communicate with, and not be aware that they are not conversing with a hu...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Philomena

Given last year finally saw Alan Partridge make his big screen debut you’d be forgiven for assuming Philomena was just ‘that other Steve Coogan’ film of 2013.  The truth could not be further from all the Aha-ing of Partridge’s ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Don Jon

The whole ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ thing has been done to death in cinema but Don Jon finds a modern and unique way of exploring it.  Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen, clichéd and normally forgettable, some...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blue Is The Warmest Colour

Blue Is The Warmest Colour is based on a graphic novel.  That may sound strange given it’s normally superheroes, serial killers or gangsters who appear in the comic medium but what worked for a frisky Tamara Drewe more than wor...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Short Term 12

Flying firmly under the indie radar Short Term 12 is one of those films you’ll see, fall in love with and then immediately tell your friends about.  It’s a film that deals with harsh and difficult subject matters and yet still ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Phantom of the Paradise

Originally a dutiful student of the French New Wave, Brian De Palma soon migrated towards populist films with a hint of artificiality: Carrie and The Fury mused over psychic powers while thrillers such as Body Double and Dresse...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine has been heralded as Woody Allen‘s return to form after a string of stinkers. Owen Wilson and the Academy Award that Allen won for 2011’s Midnight in Paris might protest, but there’s no doubt that...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Safety Not Guaranteed

Some how failing to gain traction at the UK box office Safety Not Guaranteed makes a long over-due appearance on the home entertainment market.  And it’s a good thing too, for this is a film that will almost invariably find its...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Fifth Estate

Too soon. Had The Fifth Estate, aka The Wikileaks Story, been released this year instead of last, it may have got a nod from Oscar. That’s not to say it’s an especially remarkable film but as ‘based on true ev...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Filth

It’s been nearly two decades since Filth writer Irvine Welsh saw a great adaptation of his work in the form of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting.  Given his bleak subject matter it’s perhaps not surprising that filmmakers are so fasc...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Léon 20th Anniversary Special Edition

These days Léon director Luc Besson deals more in producing Euro-action-thrillers that are both formulaic and predictable, we’re looking at you Taken and Transporter franchises.  But looking back at Léon, twenty years after it’...