18 September 2014

Review: A MOST WANTED MAN

It doesn't feel like so long ago that Tomas Alfredson's take on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was garnering huge acclaim for its measured and deliberate pace. Anton Corbijn brings another, more contemporary John Le Carré spy novel to the screen in A Most Wanted Man, a film which is both like and unlike Alfredson's take.

The film is set not in the 1960s, but within the last decade or so, following a catastrophic oversight in catching the ringleader behind the September 11th attacks while he was planning from Hamburg. German intelligence is fraught with in-fighting and back-stabbery, and spymaster Gunther Bachmann is fed up with it. When a Chechen Muslim enters Germany to stake his claim on an enormous fortune, Bachmann must investigate the possibility that the money will be used to fund terrorist organisations, without succumbing to pressure from other departments, both in his own organisation and abroad.

13 September 2014

Review: PRIDE

There's something undeniably uplifting about Pride. Universal critical praise and comparisons to The Full Monty and Brassed Off have seemed to pre-empt the film's box office success even before it's out on general release, but it's not merely the fact that it's a working class underdog story. This is the kind of film that makes you go away wanting to tell other people to see it, because for the most part, it's a bloody riot.

Stephen Beresford's script takes place in 1984 and follows the true story of the formation of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, (LGSM) a group of young activists who notice that the striking miners are now enduring a similar kind of police brutality to which they've become accustomed. Led by the irrepressible Mark, the group treks to the Welsh mining village of Onllwyn to throw their support behind the locals and help them through the bleak midwinter inflicted by Margaret Thatcher's government.

12 September 2014

Review: THE BOXTROLLS

The national treasure that is Aardman generally takes quite a while between making films- their first film since 2012's The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists will be next year's Shaun the Sheep. In meantime, American studio Laika Animation has been flying the flag for stop-motion animation, as well as making some pretty impressive technical advances with the goal of being able to produce features annually. Even more impressive is that they've turned out three cracking family films in the process.

Their latest is The Boxtrolls, based in part on the novel Here Be Monsters! Beneath the town of Cheesebridge, whose council consists of four white-hatted cheese-munching toffs, there dwells a race of Womble-like trolls who scavenge what they need to survive from the folk who live above. Ruthless social climber Archibald Snatcher will do anything to upgrade from red hat to white hat and having turned the town against the Boxtrolls, he vows to exterminate every last one of them to cement his position.

10 September 2014

Review: BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP


In lieu of a proper introduction, that video says everything that annoys me about knowing there's a plot twist before you see a movie. It's not hard to catch me out with a really good one, because that's the one part of my brain I tend to switch off during cinema visits, but Before I Go To Sleep is really built to disorient ahead of its one big reveal, which leaves you with little to do except guess.

This is based on an acclaimed debut novel by British author S.J. Watson, about Christine Lucas, a woman who wakes up each and every day with no memory of her life. She forms new memories during the day with the aid of her doting husband Ben and a neurologist called Dr Nasch, but forgets it all while she's asleep. When Nasch suggests recording a video diary to help her recover, she realises that certain things are being hidden from her and starts to record as much of the truth as she can manage.

7 September 2014

Review: THE GUEST

Delivered straight-up and without compromise, The Guest may be the best genre movie of the year. The only trouble in declaring it so, is in telling you which genre it actually is. However Netflix ends up classifying it in the future, writer-director Adam Wingard (You're Next) manages it all masterfully, delivering another subversive and unpredictable exploitation flick that makes an instant movie star of Dan Stevens.

Read my full review on Den of Geek »

The Guest is now showing in cinemas nationwide.