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Review: We Still Kill The Old Way

Posted by Ed Williamson at 11:40 on 17 Dec 2014
We Still Kill The Old Way
I do enjoy a good London tear-up movie. A year after the unexpected pleasure of Vendetta, Richwater Films is back with We Still Kill The Old Way. Its charms are more uncomplicated and its politics are a bit iffy, but it continues to demonstrate that what Richwater delivers is a cut above the usual British crime fare.

Review: What We Do In The Shadows

Posted by Becky Mather at 20:30 on 21 Nov 2014
What We Do In The Shadows
Finding new ways to exploit the horror genre, particularly the subgenre of vampire lore, is always going to be a difficult task. Try and mix it with romance and you get Twilight. Try mixing it with oodles of sex and you get True Blood. Blend it with shit and you get Dracula Untold. Therefore it goes that flirting with comedy is certain to be the kiss of death, but then every so often, the stars align and you'll get the perfect blend, and mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows is that film. It's warm, charming and hilarious – I could have died from laughing.

Review: Get On Up

Posted by Ed Williamson at 10:00 on 20 Nov 2014
Get On Up
Pop star biopics don't really work, do they? They love to take great, heavy-handed pains to hint at the inspiration behind the subject's most famous work, like a whole film comprising Forrest Gump telling John Lennon how in China the people have no possessions, and no religion too. Get On Up, the story of James Brown, isn't quite as guilty of this as most, and boasts a standout lead performance by Chadwick Boseman, but by Christ, its script is funky, and not in a good way.

Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:20 on 19 Nov 2014
Horrible Bosses 2
Nobody expected a sequel to Horrible Bosses - least of all the people who made it. However, a $200 million box-office receipt was too big to ignore, so Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis are back with their horrible bosses (that aren't even really their bosses) along for the paycheque. There's a palpable sense here of making hay while the sun shines: some might see Horrible Bosses 2 as the most cynical of sequels, but just as the hapless characters wing their way through each step of their terrible, ill-thought-out plan with a wink and a smile, so do the filmmakers, making sure we know they're having fun while doing so. That kind of infectious goofiness can't be faked, thus Horrible Bosses 2 is a very easy movie to enjoy.

Review: The Drop

Posted by Ed Williamson at 11:00 on 13 Nov 2014
The Drop
Now look. You might have seen some pictures of Tom Hardy and a puppy. And yes, it's all very cute and everything, but I'd like it if we could just get past that and focus on what is after all a very atmospheric crime thriller that makes good use of AWWWW LOOK AT ITS WIDDLE FACE

Review: Interstellar

Posted by Ali Gray at 00:30 on 05 Nov 2014
Interstellar
As long as Christopher Nolan continues to exist, do we really need Steven Spielberg any more? Ol' King Noles is doing a darn fine job of delivering mega-bucks events movies with small and personal stories at the core; gigantic, universe-expanding motion pictures anchored by daddy issues, the kind which Beardo used to smash out on a regular basis. Interstellar is the latest Chris Nolan project to take a leaf out of Spielberg's playbook - once upon a time it was a Steven Spielberg project after all - and it bears the hallmarks of both directors: it's an ambitious, challenging sci-fi that takes one small step for blockbuster cinema but ultimately remains accessible to all. All the talk of Kubrick and 2001 is light years off the mark: Interstellar is the kind of space odyssey that has only shameless, monolothic entertainment on the agenda.

Review: Nightcrawler

Posted by Ali Gray at 18:00 on 02 Nov 2014
Nightcrawler
There's an uncomfortable undercurrent to Dan Gilroy's seedy thriller Nightcrawler that I didn't quite identify until after the credits had rolled and the stank had worn off. The tale of a grim opportunist named Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who weasels a career out of being the first lens on the crime scene, Nightcrawler is equal parts slick and sick, portraying the denizens of the neon-soaked Los Angeles nightlife as creepy-crawlies squirming under a rock. It's Gyllenhaal's unforgettable creation, however, that sticks in the memory: with bug eyes, sunken cheeks and a moral barometer on the fritz, I eventually realised that Lou Bloom is to paparazzi what Tony Montana is to gangsters - a totemic figurehead that suggests all you need to success is an excess of motivation and an absence of conscience. Filtered through this lens, Nightcrawler becomes the scariest movie you'll see all year.

Review: The Babadook

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 17:30 on 28 Oct 2014
The Babadook
It’s an impressively crowded market on the run-up to Halloween this year. For us sickos we have all manner of chilling treats lined up for our midnight viewing pleasure. There's the slightly shit looking Ouija, marketed as Hasbro’s first ever horror film (next up: ‘Spirograph’ a never-ending Saw style franchise that induces vertigo in every viewer). There’s Annabelle, a prequel and spin-off (Spinquel! Preq-off!!) to last year’s surprisingly not shit The Conjuring. Then there’s also the very shit Dracula Untold and The Boxtrolls which isn’t shit but is unfortunately also not a horror movie.

Review: LFF 2014: Foxcatcher

Posted by Ali Gray at 10:20 on 20 Oct 2014
LFF 2014: Foxcatcher
There is a subtle moment in the first few minutes of Foxcatcher - a moment between moments, really - that I just couldn't shake. Gold medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) sits down alone at his table in an apartment that seems almost comically small for a man of his size. He has prepared himself some ramen noodles, presumably for his evening meal. Sitting in silence, framed against blank, beige walls, Schultz raises the spoonful to his lips but pauses for several seconds, staring intently at the noodles before putting them in his mouth. There is so much unsaid in that arresting pause; even this basic act of nourishment seems to be a struggle. It's a moment indicative of Foxcatcher as a whole; a glacial, passive drama where true emotions seethe beneath a surface of calm - until they can be contained no more.

Review: Fury

Posted by Ali Gray at 23:45 on 17 Oct 2014
Fury
War movies. Huh. Good God. What are they good for? By now, it feels like every manoeuvre, every landing and every battle of the Second World War has been fought and won or lost on screen. Subsequently, each new WWII movie has to prove its worth before a single shell has been fired or bomb dropped. David Ayer's Fury doesn't even bother pretending it's based on a true story, jumping straight into action with an ambush, a dead Nazi and a knife through the eye socket - and it gets progressively more grim from then on in.
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Our review
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