Archive for April, 2013

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Gimme the Loot (Adam Leon, 2012)

April 29, 2013

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In Adam Leon’s debut feature, two teenaged graffiti artists, Malcolm (Hickson) and Sofia (Washington), attempt to leave their mark on an iconic monument at a New York baseball stadium. Needing $500 to pay off stadium security, the pair manoeuvre through a myriad of loosely-conceived schemes and disparate characters over 48 hours, from flirtations with over-privileged slackers to break-ins with irritable tattooed thieves…

Full review for The Skinny

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Iron Man Three (Shane Black, 2013)

April 24, 2013

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 features a Christmas setting, a struggling protagonist caught in strange team-ups, two heroes sneaking into a dock for an action set piece, bursts of narration, and a consistent sarcastic streak. Essentially, just as Joss Whedon’s distinct storytelling voice was recognisable in Avengers Assemble, so too is that of Iron Man 3’s helmer Shane Black, writer-director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and scribe of films like Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout

Full review for The Skinny

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Oblivion (Joseph Kosinski, 2013)

April 18, 2013

Oblivion

Oblivion is what one might classify as an amalgamation sci-fi. Though many a contemporary feature in the genre is in clear debt to a prior work, Oblivion is one such example where the narrative similarities and likely intentional visual references cover a particularly wide array of films and literature, including WALL-E, La Jetée, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mad Max, Jin-Roh, I Am Legend, and one particular sci-fi of the past decade that simply mentioning would probably provoke likely guesses of a major plot development in one’s mind before seeing the film. Relating to director Joseph Kosinski’s own short filmography, M83’s score for this film even feels like a retread, albeit a still pleasant listen, of Daft Punk’s work for TRON: Legacy. This is not to suggest that Oblivion is unworthy of consideration because it has so many recognisable beats. Though the elements are familiar, the film doesn’t feel like a deliberate attempt to lazily, derivatively ape. Execution is what matters with tried concepts, and Oblivion is definitely a passionately realised creation…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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The CineSkinny 2013

April 15, 2013

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It occurred to me that I should probably have made a post chronicling the issues of The CineSkinny that I helped edit two months back. So this is that post. The CineSkinny is an offshoot of The Skinny that runs daily throughout the Glasgow Film Festival. I was part of the editorial team this year, as well as a contributor.

Issue 1, 14 February 2013
Issue 2, 15 Feb
Issue 3, 16 Feb
Issue 4, 17 Feb
Issue 5, 18 Feb (Featuring my review of Compliance)
Issue 6, 19 Feb
Issue 7, 20 Feb
Issue 8, 21 Feb (Featuring my review of The Thieves)
Issue 9, 22 Feb (Featuring my review of A Late Quartet)
Issue 10, 23 Feb (Featuring my reviews of The History of Future Folk and Vito)
Issue 11, 24 Feb

The Legend of Kaspar Hauser

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Trance (Danny Boyle, 2013)

April 10, 2013

Trance

Danny Boyle’s return to the thriller genre is also a return to the three character piece nature of his debut feature Shallow Grave, albeit placed within the confines of a heist film set mostly within the human mind. This is bound to draw comparisons with Christopher Nolan’s Inception, though Boyle’s film is actually based on an earlier TV feature from 2001, but Trance is a smaller beast scale-wise; a psychological thriller imbued with noir characteristics…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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Seen Your Video #16: We Need You To Get Naked Because Art

April 10, 2013

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The Seen Your Video podcast has returned after a long hiatus, which coincidentally followed my previous guest appearance on the show. I am now an acting co-host for the podcast’s film-heavy episodes, and the latest episode sees Chris Ward and I discuss two recent thrillers that have been getting lumped together, at least in British film circles: Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and Danny Boyle’s Trance. We also touch on the late Roger Ebert, as well as a highlight of each of our recent film viewings; Chris spotlights Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, while I talk about Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water.

Stream the episode here.
Alternatively, you can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast by looking up Seen Your Video on iTunes.

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Programme Notes: A Late Quartet (Yaron Zilberman, 2012)

April 6, 2013

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I was commissioned to write a set of programme notes for Glasgow Film Theatre, for their screenings of Yaron Zilberman’s A Late Quartet during the month of April. You can find an online copy of what I produced for them here.