Month: February 2013

    The last thing you want when it comes to scary films is something that’s had money lavished on it. You don’t want a famous director, and you certainly don’t want a big star, their exec-producer-status ensuring their make-up never gets smudged. You want something that looks cheap, smells cheap and is packed with …

Ginger Snaps Read More »

DVDs/Blu-rays out in the UK this week     Thale (Metrodome, cert 15, DVD) This tense fantasy thriller about a Norwegian police clean-up team finding a mythical creature in a hidden cellar is this year’s Troll Hunter. Unexpected, refreshing, atmospheric and tightly plotted, it’s beautifully shot with vivid colours and unusual deep-focus photography, oh the …

4 March 2013-03-04 Read More »

Hostel II’s blood, gore and torture is generating column inches faster than a skillsaw can rip through warm flesh, but some people still don’t know what torture porn is. This is for them…       What is a splatter movie? Films like Hostel: Part II slot into the category known variously – depending on whether …

Torture Porn, a Beginner’s Guide Read More »

DVD/Blu-rays out in the UK this week       On the Road (Lionsgate, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation urtext about real gone cats discovering sex, drugs and fun in 1940s USA looks never less than sensational in director Walter Salles’s translation to the screen. Riffing experimentally like the jazz on the soundtrack, …

25 February 2013-02-25 Read More »

      Traffic started life as Traffik, a 1989 mega-mini-series following the heroin trail from Pakistan through Germany and into the UK. It was brutal, it was gruelling and it was a cracker. The decision to remake it as a leg-knotting 2hr 20 min single film, and transfer the action to Mexico and the …

Traffic Read More »

News that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to hang up the red papal slippers sets the mind a-wandering. Who are the great popes of cinema? Oddly, this is a harder question to answer than you might think. For starters, there are many films that feature a pope at the edge of the action but very …

Popes on Film Read More »

With the good burghers of the UK reeling from revelations that there’s more horse in their impossibly cheap frozen dinners and meat patties than in the 2.30 from Uttoxeter, I started thinking about food in films. Not the “food as scene setter” – though who doesn’t hanker after a cosy neighbourhood Italian restaurant with booths …

Great Films About Food Read More »

 Out in the UK This Week       Skyfall (MGM, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD) Towards the end of the 50th anniversary Bond the whole things starts feeling like a double page spread in a posh magazine – all whisky, heather and vintage vehicles. You feel it’s only a matter of time before Bryan Ferry is …

18 February 2013-02-18 Read More »

Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of those squeaky Olsen twins, is going into the family business. Is the business ready for her? Is our interviewer?     One of the hazards of this journalism game, particularly if you’re a middle aged man, is meeting attractive young female actors in the interview situation. They’re likely to look …

The Olsen It’s Cool to Like Read More »

    Thanks to the postmodern turn of our retro-fixated culture, even teenagers today have heard of the great Tamla-Motown label. And playing on nearly every one of the 110 top ten hits coming out of Detroit between 1959 and 1972 were a loose collaboration of crack musicians called the Funk Brothers. They played on …

Standing in the Shadows of Motown Read More »