Month: November 2014

  That sound? The plane taking off from LAX taking a great Asian director back home, sobbing with disappointment. It happened to John Woo, who did at least manage to crank out Face/Off, but his sad run of Hollywood films include Windtalkers, Mission: Impossible II and Hard Target. To the Pang brothers too, whose The …

Snowpiercer Read More »

  A powerful and formally austere German drama that does exactly what it says on the label, Stations of the Cross charts the sad journey of one vivacious Catholic girl to an early grave in 14 grim instalments which echo those of Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary. The Catholics also knew the Stations …

Stations of the Cross aka Kreuzweg Read More »

    Home entertainment releases this week in the UK   The Inbetweeners 2 (4DVD, cert 15) Four go mad Down Under in the “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” follow-up to the British box office hit of 2011. The initial idea behind writer/director Damon Beesley and Iain Morris’s TV series was that the four misfits …

1 December 2014-12-01 Read More »

    After Insomnia and Batman Begins, big Hollywood numbers taken on to show studio willing – or so it seemed – Christopher Nolan is back to being master of his own destiny, writing with his brother Jonathan and also producing this lavish smoke and mirrors cat-and-mouser. Clearly an attempt to “do another Memento”, it’s about …

The Prestige Read More »

    Anyone for a Danish western, a great one? Made by one of the Dogme boys? If you look up Dogme in the Wikipedia, it will tell you that this particularly austere style (no music, no lights, no effects) was founded by two Danes, Von Trier and Vinterberg, who were soon joined by two …

The Salvation Read More »

    Out in the UK This Week     Ida (Artificial Eye, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD/digital) Pawel Pawlikowski’s thematic follow-up to 2004’s My Summer of Love is a drama about a novice nun in early 1960s Poland, made in the style of a Polish film from the early 1960s – black and white, old-school Academy …

24 November 2014-11-24 Read More »

It’s not every fantasy film that comes complete with a scene of a brutal fascist captain sewing his own face up, but that’s what you get in Guillermo Del Toro’s best film since The Devil’s Backbone (better, certainly, than Blade II and Hellboy). It’s a dark fantasy reminding us that the Grimm brothers’ original tales …

Pan’s Labyrinth Read More »

Out in the UK This Week     22 Jump Street (Sony, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD/digital) Since the undercover cops went to high school first time out, this time they must go to college. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and boss writer Michael Bacall clearly know the Jump Street premise is exhausted. More obviously, they …

17 November 2014-11-17 Read More »

    For decades Cohen’s music has been misrepresented as the soundtrack to suicide. In fact the old (now 73) groaner is something of a comedian, though his wit is so dry it’s taken non-aficionados decades to catch on. He’s also something of a master of self-mythology, the sort of performer who seems to back …

Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man Read More »

    Looking on paper like something better than it actually turns out, Hollywoodland is one of those films purporting to lift the lid on Hollywood, LA Confidential style. It tells the lightly fictionalised story of George Reeves (Ben Affleck) the man who played Superman on 1950s US TV, and asks the simple question – …

Hollywoodland Read More »