Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Director: Rian Johnson

Writer: Rian Johnson (screenplay), George Lucas (characters)

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Domnhall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels

Cert: 12

Running time: 152mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: With the First Order hunting the Resistance into extinction, Rey (Ridley) seeks out Luke Skywalker (Hamill) to bring him into the fight.

What’s the verdict: Of the new wave of adventures set in a galaxy far, far away, The Last Jedi has the toughest mission to date. To do something different.

The Force Awakens and Rogue One recaptured the magic. Partly by leaning heavily into the nostalgia, mixing the new with the comfortingly familiar.

Writer/director Rian ...

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Sorcerer – William Friedkin’s zero hour contract masterpiece

When discussing Blade Runner, Ridley Scott said, “It’s as bad to be ahead of your time as behind it.”

Director William Friedkin can sympathise with this.

In the early 1970s he was a filmmaker in synch with the mood of the nation. He revitalised the cop thriller with The French Connection in 1971, nabbing Best Director and Best Film among a five Oscar haul.

Two years later he reinvented horror cinema for the modern age with The Exorcist.

Then, in 1977 he delivered to American audiences Sorcerer, a film fundamentally at odds with a country aching to slough off a decade of uncertainty and corruption.

A loose remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 thriller The Wages of Fear and Georges Arnaud’s same-name source novel, Friedkin’s movie was too bleak for a nation hungry for the escapist th...

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Justice League – The Electric Shadows Podcast

In episode 33 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Robs Daniel & Wallis take a look at Justice League. And, you know what? They find stuff to like in there!

Sure, it’s a mess and clearly the work of two different people. But, it’s entertaining and works to right the wrongs of Batman v Superman.

Rob Wallis comes up with a perfect classroom analogy for the current output from Marvel and DC. They also get a chance to do some voice work when discussing a little shonky CGI that was required on a particular cast member.

They also still have issues with Wonder Woman sitting out World War Two, despite this film trying to retcon her absence.

So, lots to go through. Shall we?



To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to www.ofallthefilmsites.com

Twitter: rob_a_daniel

iTunes Podcast: The E...

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Blade Runner, Orient Express, Thor Ragnarok – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 32 of The Electric Shadows Podcast is a bumper round-up. Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis take a belated look at Blade Runner 2049, deduce what they think of Murder on the Orient Express and it’s hammer time with Thor: Ragnarok.

There’s even space for a quick review of William Friedkin’s Sorcerer and George Clooney’s Suburbicon.



To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to www.ofallthefilmsites.com

Twitter: rob_a_daniel

iTunes Podcast: The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Criterion Collection: Jabberwocky

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Terry Gilliam, Charles Alveron (screenplay), Lewis Carroll (poem)

Cast: Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett, Annette Badland, John Le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell, Max Wall, Bernard Bresslaw, Deborah Fallender, John Bird, Rodney Bewes, Terry Jones, Gordon Kaye

Cert: 12

Running time: 105mins

Year: 1977


Film:
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: In a medieval kingdom, the peasant Dennis (Palin) finds himself on a wild adventure that leads him to battle the Jabberwocky, a ferocious beast spreading fear, famine and death.

What’s the verdict: Though based on Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem, from grimy exterior to fantastical core Jabberwocky is pure Terry Gilliam.

His full directorial debut (Gilliam co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Jones), this birth...

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Justice League

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Joss Whedon, Chris Terrio (screenplay and story), Zack Snyder (story)

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds, Joe Morton, Connie Nielsen

Cert: 12

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: With Superman dead, the world teeters on the brink of social collapse. Bruce Wayne (Affleck) and Diana Prince (Gadot), Batman and Wonder Woman, seek out superhuman recruits for a team of protectors when a cosmic threat looms in the form of Steppenwolf (Hinds).

What’s the verdict: A franchise with no future will always look to its past. Wonder Woman riffed on 1978 Superman’s fish out of water sweetness and noble derring-do. A perfect antidote to Suicide Squad’s cynicism and meanness.

Jus...

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Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Michael Green (screenplay), Agatha Christie (novel)

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Sergei Polunin, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

Cert: 12

Running time: 114mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: As the Orient Express travels through the mountain ranges of the middle east, one passenger is murdered. It falls to famed detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) to solve the crime.

What’s the verdict: The latest big screen go-round for Agatha Christie’s beloved whodunnit is much like the titular choo-choo. Handsomely decorated, but never building to a full head of steam and derailing halfway through...

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London Film Festival Round-Up – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 31 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Robs Daniel & Wallis rounding up their Top 10 highlights of the 2017 London Film Festival.

Lucky, The Shape of Water, Last Flag Flying and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri all feature highly. The two also recall the bone-snapping brilliance of Brawl in Cell Block 99. Brawl is out to rent now through various streaming services. Once you’ve done listening to the podcast, watch it!

Our intrepid podders also scratch their heads as the critical acclaim that gushed over the decidedly Emperor’s New Clothes You Were Never Really Here, by British director Lynne Ramsay.

So, for more on their opinions of the London Film Festival 2017, listen on…



To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to www.ofallthefilmsites.com

Twitter: rob_a...

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Tears and Laughter: Movie Reviews


Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama runs until Wednesday 29th November at the BFI Southbank. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

To read an interview with season curator and Sight and Sound features editor James Bell, click here.


OSAKA ELEGY

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Tadashi Fujiwara (dialogue)

Cast: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya

Cert: PG

Running time: 71mins

Year: 1936



What’s the story: To pay off her father’s debts and her brother’s university fees, young switchboard operator Ayako (Yamada) becomes her boss’ mistress. But, when he rejects her she is forced into prostitution.

What’s the verdict: A pre-war film from director Kenji Mizoguchi, the 1936 Osaka Elegy anticipates Japan’s rejection ...

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Criterion Collection: Carnival of Souls

Director: Herk Harvey

Writer: John Clifford

Cast: Candace Hilligoss, Sidney Berger, Frances Feist, Art Ellison

Cert: 12

Running time: 78mins

Year: 1962


Film:
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Young organist Mary is the only survivor when her friend’s car crashes off a bridge into a river. As she attempts to start a new life in a different town, a frightening stranger begins to stalk her.

What’s the verdict: British film fans skirting around the age of 40 are likely to have first encountered Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls courtesy of Alex Cox. Cox screened it in the summer of 1991 as part of his essential Moviedrome series (and his intro can be seen here).

Those of us who saw it that Sunday night were still reeling from the recently released The Silence of the Lambs...

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