Mom and Dad

Director: Brian Taylor

Writer: Brian Taylor

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Zachary Arthur, Robert Cunningham, Samantha Lemole, Lance Henriksen

Cert: 15

Running time: 83mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Brent (Cage) and Kendall (Blair), both in the grip of mid-life crises, live in a state of increasing resentment with their kids Carly (Winters) and Josh (Arthur). Then, without warning, parents all over the country begin violently turning on their children.

What’s the verdict: Reportedly, Nicolas Cage declared this the most enjoyment he has had making a film in ten years. We’re right there with you Nic. What seemed like another direct-to-rental dud, Mom and Dad is a short, sharp, sensational satirical shock.

American Beauty meets 28 Weeks Later, this is a film for...

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Den of Thieves

Director: Christian Gudegast

Writer: Christian Gudegast (script), Christian Gudegast, Paul Scheuring (story)

Cast: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Dawn Olivieri

Cert: 15

Running time: 140mins

Year: 2018


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What’s the story: Career bank robber Ray Merrimen (Schreiber) is planning the ultimate heist. Can loose cannon LA County Sheriff’s Dept. cop “Big” Nick O’Brien stop him?

What’s the verdict: Den of Thieves is a film so derivative it would be simpler to list the ways in which it fails at being Heat.

Michael Mann’s 1995 crime opus was an icy-cool, blue-tinted study of flawed cops, code-bound criminals, and the blurred moral distinction between them. The type of film of which Jean-Pierre Melville would have been proud.

Den of Thie...

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The Cloverfield Paradox

Director: Julius Onah

Writer: Oren Uziel (screenplay), Oren Uziel, Doug Jung (story)

Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Chris O’Dowd, David Oyelowo, Zhang Ziyi, Roger Davies

Cert: 15

Running time: 102mins

Year: 2018 


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What’s the story: Astronauts aboard space station Cloverfield discover reality is lethally twisted after they successfully complete a particle accelerator experiment designed to solve a global energy crisis.

What’s the verdict: Cloverfield is about everyday life jolted by a seismic event. Fitting then that home entertainment giant Netflix surprise released this third instalment in producer J.J. Abrams’ anthology franchise.

Unsurprisingly, expectations were high...

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Hatchet (2006)

Director: Adam Green

Writer: Adam Green

Cast: Kane Hodder, Joel Moore, Tamara Feldman, Mercedes McNab, Robert Englund, Tony Todd

Cert: 18

Running time: 85mins

Year: 2006


Review originally posted 5th Oct 2007 on www.skymovies.com


What’s the story: A motley crew of characters board a Louisiana haunted boat ride, but are soon on menu of deformed murder machine Victor Crowley (stuntman Hodder).

What’s the verdict: It’s Mardi Graaaaaaaargh as a boatload of New Orleans tourists is splayed and slayed in Adam Green’s canny mix of gore and guffaws. The ghosts of Friday the 13th, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Deliverance are resurrected and horror fans will be elbow deep in the slaughter, star cameos and neat twists on the slasher movie.

Hatchet believes in doing horror the old fashioned ...

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Eureka! Blu-Ray: The Housemaid

Original title: Cô Haû Gaí

Director: Derek Nguyen

Writer: Derek Nguyen

Cast: Nhung Kate, Jean-Michel Richaud, Xuan Kim

Cert: 15

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Vietnam, 1953. An orphaned young woman finds work as a housemaid at a large rubber plantation. When she and the French plantation owner begin a relationship, ghosts from the past return.

What’s the verdict: Derek Nguyen’s confident feature debut, the third highest grossing horror movie in Vietnam’s history, proudly wears its genre finery. But, amidst the J-horror and K-thriller borrowings it boasts surprises of its own.

With Nguyen permitting himself a healthy ration of spectral jolts lifted out of the Ringu and Ju-on playbook, at surface level this is a traditional tale of ghostly goings-on...

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Oscar Nominees 2018 – The Electric Shadows Podcast

In Episode 38 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Robs Daniel & Wallis provide their take on the 2018 Oscar nominations.

They run through what they agree with – hello Get Out, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, Lady Bird. They umm and ahhh over that particular film they really don’t like – seriously, how can Darkest Hour be up for Best Picture when it is not nominated in Best Director or Best Screenplay? The Robs run through the films that seem to have been snubbed – Wonder Woman, The Disaster Artist and Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me By Your Name.

They also have fun saying Call Me By Your Name… it’ll all make sense in the podcast. Although the pair do become quite punchy running through lists of nominees. Wait til you hear their theory on how the Visual Effects in War for the Planet of th...

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Arrow Video Blu-Ray: The Cat o’ Nine Tails

Director: Dario Argento

Writer: Dario Argento (screenplay), Dardano Sacchetti, Luigi Colli, Dario Argento (story)

Cast: Karl Malden, James Franciscus, Catherine Spaak, Cinzia De Carolis, Tino Carraro

Cert: 15

Running time: 115mins

Year: 1971


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What’s the story: When blind crossword puzzle designer Arno (Malden) overhears a blackmail plot, it pulls him, adopted daughter Lori (De Carolis) and reporter Giordani (Franciscus) into a world of intrigue and mass murder. Do the head of a local scientific institute (Carraro) and his daughter Anna (Spaak) have anything to do with the mayhem?

What’s the verdict: Traditionally regarded as Argento’s disappointing sophomore effort after The Bird with the Crystal Plumage wowed audiences, time has been kind to The Cat o’ Nine Tails...

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Three Billboards… & Darkest Hour – The Electric Shadows Podcast

In Episode 37 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Robs Daniel & Wallis look at one of the best films of the year and a contender for one of the worst.

Impressing them is Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. A dramatic, witty and compassionate tale of a mother’s anger at the local police for not finding her daughter’s killer, it is a powerhouse of adult storytelling, populated with some of the best characters yet from the man behind In Bruges.

At the other end of the spectrum is Darkest Hour. Joe Wright’s film presents Winston Churchill as the eccentric man of the people popular history likes to portray him as. It all amounts to little more than Sunday afternoon TV fluff, until Wright and co present a scene so misjudged and tin-eared it ruins their movie...

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The Man with the Iron Heart

Director: Cédric Jimenez

Writers: Cédric Jimenez, Audrey Diwan, David Farr (screenplay), Laurent Binet (novel HHhH)

Cast: Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Stephen Graham, Jack Reynor, Jack O’Connell, Geoff Bell, Mia Wasikowska

Cert: 15

Running time: 120mins

Year: 2017




What’s the story: After joining the Nazi party, disgraced Naval officer Reinhard Heydrich swiftly becomes Himmler’s second-in-command and an architect of the Holocaust. In 1942 in Prague, while escalating the Nazi’s genocidal policies, Heydrich becomes the target of an Allied Forces assassination plot.

What’s the verdict: Operation Anthropoid, the plot to assassinate Heydrich, has quietly become a sub-genre of World War Two cinema.

Two high profile versions of the event were released in 1943...

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Darkest Hour (2017)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Anthony McCarten

Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Stephen Dillane, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn, Ronald Pickup

Cert: PG

Running time: 125mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: As Britain stands alone against the Nazis, and its army awaits capture at Dunkirk, newly appointed prime minister Winston Churchill clashes with critics in his own party about fighting Germany or negotiating for peace.

What’s the verdict: Unlike those brothers who shared his family name, Joe Wright has yet to successfully land a project. Sometimes his films soar briefly. But, audience expectations crash to earth with a sense of frustrated disappointment (Atonement) or outright annoyance (The Soloist).

Darkest Hour promises to be the director’s most sustained movie yet...

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