directors, horror, Movies, new releases, Reviews

Post-It [Comes At Night] Notes

Claustrophobic horror thriller It Comes At Night is the latest film to land in an ongoing culture war (actually more of a skirmish between factions) for the soul of the genre, between films considered mainstream and art-house. I feel I have to write something about this about once a year. The last time being when Bret Easton Ellis went on a diatribe against ‘art horror’ coinciding with the UK release of Austrian horror movie Goodnight Mommy, you can read that here.

Such think pieces and debates are frustrating to me, as the often obscure the qualities of the film at hand. So is to worth spending your hard earned case on seeing It Comes At Night at the movies, or should you just wait for VOD or streaming?

Find out after the jump… Continue reading

Best of 2016, Movies, new releases

Waiting to put on a black shirt – how Brady Corbet’s The Childhood of a Leader is a chilling totalitarian parable

Yesterday (the 18th of August 2016) was not a good day for the European film industry (yes,  until Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered I do still consider the British film industry part of a wider European industry). Dutch sales agent Fortissimo Films and UK based distributor Metrodome shuttered. Both companies had a strong history of supporting international independent filmmakers.

Metrodome straddled the divide between genre and art house fare, they had solid hits releasing films like Donnie Darko and Monster. More recently their acquisitions team had punched well above their weight, securing and releasing a string of significant art house films such as White God, Tangerine, The Falling, and What We Do In The Shadows (to name just my personal favourites.

The loss of both companies is a testament to the alarming shrinking of the independent film sphere, but Metrodome’s hits particularly hard as it removes a key distributor from a UK market now largely saturated with American studio product in which independent films across the spectrum from art house to exploitation increasingly struggle to be seen on a large format screen.

That Metrodome were to have released The Childhood of a Leader in the UK this week, and that it is on of the interesting films of the summer, is just pouring salt in the wound.

Anyway, on to the review… Continue reading

Movies, new releases, Reviews

Sometimes I am frightened but I’m ready to learn ’bout the power of love! -or- Fifty shades of quite decent actually

I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend. Or more accurately I was taken to see Fifty Shades of Grey by the woman in my life. I wasn’t given much choice in the matter, from the moment the first trailer dropped it was clear to me that I was going to see this film whether I wanted to or not. I can’t say it was something I relished. I don’t consider myself a prude, but sexually explicit films in public scare me.  Continue reading

british film, bullet-proof bespoke tailoring, Movies, new releases, Reviews, uncorking a fizzy bottle of fisticuffs over every last blighter in the ruddy room

Review – Kingsman: The Secret Service

Garry ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) is to all intents and appearances an archetypal ‘chav’ hanging around the Sarf Lahn-dan housing estate where he lives with layabout mates, trying to avoid getting a thick ear from his mother’s scuzzy boyfriend. But there is more here than meets the eye. An opening credits sequence establishes that Eggsy’s soldier father died saving the lives of Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and his fellow soldiers whilst on a super-classified mission in the middle east. Hart bestows upon the infant Eggsy a boon, in the form of a medal. If the keeper of the trinket is ever in serious trouble a call to an unlisted number etched on the reverse, and the code ‘oxfords not brogues’ will grant a one-off favour.

And so, when he is arrested after a joyriding incident (a sequence filmed with exuberant glee) Eggsy calls the number and is instantly sprung from the 18 months hard time he is facing. That is supposed to be the end of it, but Hart sees potential in the borderline delinquent. Hart, codename Galahad, is a ‘Kingsman’, a member of an elite private covert intelligence agency operating at the highest levels of espionage free of the corrupting influence of political affiliations.

And it just so happens that there is a job opening.  Continue reading

London Film Festival, Movies, new releases, Reviews

LFF review – ’71


Directed by Yann Demange

Written by Gregory Burke

Starring Jack O’Connell, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris

The Belfast depicted in this exciting new British thriller is a city spiralling out of control so fast that none of the factions involved have a handle on the situation.

’71 opens in deceptively generic fashion with a standard basic training sequence of the kind seen in film’s that seek to mythologise the experience of the soldier (see Lone Survivor from earlier this year). While the training looks uncomfortable in the extreme it is also the stuff of recruitment adverts. The sequence introduces nominal ‘hero’ Private Gary Hook (O’Connell). We learn a few key things about the character, he is from the North and grew up in care with a younger brother who sees him as a surrogate father. He is earthy, working class, enjoys a game of footie, but that is about as much depth as we are given. Continue reading

Home ents, Movies, new releases, Reviews

New on DVD and Blu Ray – Only Lovers Left Alive

Out now on UK DVD and Blu Ray from the great Soda Pictures is Jim Jarmusch’s fantastic existential drone-rock vampire romance comedy Only Lovers Left Alive. Here is a link to my review of the film from last year’s London Film Festival for Verite.