Archive for August, 2014


Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt, 2013)

August 29, 2014


In her follow-up to Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt’s trademark languid, stripped-back style is maintained for her most narrative-driven film to date. The seductively shot Night Moves sees three activists (Eisenberg, Fanning and Sarsgaard) collaborate to destroy a hydro-electric dam in order to stir public consciousness, only to confront growing senses of paranoia, futility and remorse when their plan proves misconceived for multiple reasons…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller, 2014)

August 23, 2014


Belated (and noticeably cheaper-looking) Sin City sequel A Dame to Kill For opens with the line, “This doesn’t look good at all. I’ve gone and done something again.” It’s said by Mickey Rourke’s Marv about his getting into another wacky, ultraviolent mishap, but it’s also an appropriate commentary on the downward career trajectory of co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, who helmed both the first film and this abysmal follow-up that somehow increases the lurid, gritty caricature and numbskull notions of sexuality from its already problematic predecessor…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Lucy (Luc Besson, 2014)

August 23, 2014


Rock legends Spinal Tap once philosophised that there’s a fine line between stupid and clever, and Luc Besson’s loony Lucy may be the filmic epitome of those wise sages’ words. It applies that oft-mocked notion that we only use up to 10% of our brain capacity (which Morgan Freeman’s scientist admittedly describes as a hypothesis rather than full-blown theory) to an action fantasy template, wherein the title character (Scarlett Johansson on spirited form) goes from unwilling drug mule to transcendent superhuman when an experimental pharmaceutical leaks all over her innards…

Click for the full review of The Skinny


Frank (Lenny Abrahamson, 2014)

August 15, 2014


The look of Frank’s title character is based on English musician and comedian Chris Sievey’s guise Frank Sidebottom, very much a cult figure in the UK during the 1980s and 90s but virtually unknown outside of the island. (International audiences may recently have got a glimpse of the late Sievey’s material as Sidebottom in one memorable sequence of Filth.) Lenny Abrahamson’s film, however, is not the story of Frank Sidebottom, with co-writer Jon Ronson instead taking inspiration from his own time as a keyboardist for Sievey in order to explore fictional territory…

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight


We Gotta Get Out of This Place (Simon Hawkins/Zeke Hawkins, 2013)

August 14, 2014


Love, betrayal and escape in rural Texas drive the pulpy small-town noir We Gotta Get Out of This Place, the promising feature debut of director brothers Simon and Zeke Hawkins. With best friend Bobby (White) and girlfriend Sue (Davis) heading to college in a few weeks time, reckless, swaggering teen BJ (Huffman) robs the safe of his boss (Pellegrino) to give the pair a lavish send-off vacation. After spending the money, BJ’s sleazebag boss works out they’re responsible, and forces them to commit an additional robbery to reclaim the cash, which actually belongs to an infamous gangster…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Welcome to New York (Abel Ferrara, 2014)

August 8, 2014


Abel Ferrara’s blunt-force Welcome to New York is a thinly-veiled fictionalisation of the sexual assault incident that disgraced former IMF chief Dominic Strauss-Kahn, one that posits its lead as indisputably guilty of the crime. As Devereaux, Gérard Depardieu gives a warts, balls and all performance as a brutish sex addict, whose standing in wealth and power have fuelled a complete removal from contemporary morality…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


My Month in Films: July 2014

August 1, 2014


13 films, 7 first time viewings

Job and flat-hunting dominated this month, so I saw very little. Even lower numbers than those back in April.

Best first time viewings
1. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014, USA)
2. Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 1939, USA)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2014, USA)
4. Cold in July (Jim Mickle, 2014, USA/France)
5. The Red Detachment of Women (Jin Xie, 1961, China)


Best rewatches
Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968, USA)
Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki, 1967, Japan)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Rupert Wyatt, 2011, USA)