Monthly Archives March 2013

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Layout 1Director: Adrian Grunberg

Cast: Mel Gibson,Kevin Hernandez,Dolores Heredia,Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Peter Stormare

Cert: 15

Running time: 95 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: Mel Gibson’s back in mad mode to play a career criminal called Driver who is grabbed by the Mexican authorities and incarcerated in a hardcore prison where he learns to survive with the help of a 10-year-old boy. However, a gang of heavies – led by Peter Stormare – are heading down Mexico way to retrieve the $2m that Driver stole from a crime boss.

How I Spent - carMel Gibson (Driver) in How I Spent My Summer Vacation

The full verdict: It’s a shame about Mel. That trademark temper and tendency to badmouth anyone not white, male, Catholic or Mel has landed him in hot water again (at the time of writing it is Basic Instinct writer Joe Eztherhas accusing him of bigotry).

All of which means th...

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When the Lights Went Out

WTLWO QUAD@50%_Artwork.inddDirector: Pat Holden

Cast: Kate Ashfield, Steven Waddington, Natasha Connor, Hannah Clifford, Martin Compston

Cert: 15

Running time: 86mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: England, 1974, and one Yorkshire family has more to worry about than the energy crisis, rising unemployment and Noel Edmonds hosting Top of the Pops. Their new council house home is host to a violent poltergeist known as “The Black Monk” and none of them are safe, particularly not the teenage daughter. This modest, but unnerving British horror, reportedly based on a true story, is a natural born chiller.

WTLW - hugWTLWO - Virgin Mary

The full verdict: We Brits are good at ghost stories, probably to do with a history written in blood and our dramatically bleak landscapes.

When The Lights Went Out is a solid addition to our ghostly gallery, drawing u...

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The Dark Knight Rises

TDKR posterDirector: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cottilard, Matthew Modine

Cert: 12

Running time: 164 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: The most eagerly awaited film of 2012 arrives with an Everest of expectation resting on its caped shoulders. But, with Christopher Nolan again at the helm and series familiars Bale, Oldman, Caine and Freeman joined by hot new blood Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard and a purr-fect Anne Hathaway, there was no doubt The Dark Knight Rises would deliver the goods. And it does so in awesome and ambitious style, mixing blockbuster spectacle with a gripping story that weaves in the Occupy Movement, banker bashing and the War on Terror...

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The Master

The-Master-Quad-Poster-1024x712Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jessie Plemons

Cert: 15

Running time: 137 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: Paul Thomas Anderson follows the oily gothic of There Will Be Blood with another American obsession – self-help – in this masterly drama. Philip Seymour Hoffman is devilish dynamite as the charismatic cult leader of The Cause, a self-improvement “religion” not a million miles away from Scientology. Joaquin Phoenix, back from the wilderness of in-joke mockumentaries, also scores as a violent misfit who falls in with Hoffman’s gang of goofballs and is seen by the leader as a perfect test case for his outlandish theories...

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Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths - quad posterDirector: Martin McDonagh

Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson

Cert: 15

Running time: 110 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh and star Colin Farrell reunite for more foul-mouthed fisticuffs and firearms in this twisty, turny, violent and funny journey through Tarantino country. Farrell is a one-time promising scriptwriter having trouble with his latest screenplay who becomes entangled in a madcap plot of hitmen, dognappers, and of course, the titular septet of dangerous individuals. Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson turn the weirdness up to 7 and then add 4 in a crime caper blast destined for cult status.

Seven Psychopaths - Rockwell, FarrelSeven Psychopaths - Walken, Harrelson

The full verdict: Surprise hit In Bruges was not going to be an easy follow-up...

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Oz – The Great and Powerful

Oz quadDirector: Sam Raimi

Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff

Cert: PG

Running time: 130 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: We’re off to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz in Spider-Man director Sam Raimi’s prequel to the cherished 1939 classic. James Franco is the man behind the curtain here, a sideshow magician whisked away to the Land of Oz via a tornado and shown what real magic is care of the witchy triumvirate Mila Kunis, Rachel Wiesz and Michelle Williams. A family friendly Good vs. Evil plot is wrapped up in gorgeous, CGI-popping visuals that will make this one of the year’s most beautiful looking movies.

Oz - 4x3 stareOz - 4x3 - balloon

The full verdict: The Terry Gilliam-esque opening credits claim this is based on the works of L...

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The Raid

The_Raid_UK_quadDirector: Gareth Evans

Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Ray Sahetapy, Yayan Ruhian,

Cert: 18

Running time: 101 mins

Year: 2011

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The lowdown: Welsh-born writer director Gareth Evans throws down the action gauntlet with this must-see-it-to-believe-it siege drama. Taking the slimmest of stories – a SWAT team heads into a derelict 30 storey Jakarta apartment building that houses the city’s most dangerous criminals – he delivers a non-stop barrage of bullets, broken bones and bloody hell that will leave you reeling, gasping, applauding and cheering. If you’re an action junky, prepare for the ultimate hit.

The Raid - buildingThe Raid - gun aiming

The full verdict: Director Gareth Evans’ mission statement must have gone something like this: Hard Boiled + Assault on Precinct 13 +Aliens x (Ong Bak + Die Hard) = The Raid.

Believe th...

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Rob Daniel Film Reviews – 2013-2014

105 reviews selected from 1st Jan 13 – 31st Dec 14.

 

1. THE WOMAN IN BLACK: ANGEL OF DEATH
http://www.electric-shadows.com/woman-black-angel-death/

2. THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (2/12/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/hobbit-battle-five-armies/

3. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (18/11/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/shadows/

4. SPIRITED AWAY BLU-RAY REVIEW (16/11/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/blu-ray-review-spirited-away/

5. LEVIATHAN (8/11/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/leviathan-2014/

6. NIGHTCRAWLER (29/10/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/nightcrawler/

7. FURY (22/10/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/fury-2014/

8. FOXCATCHER (18/10/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/foxcatcher/

9. THE DROP (16/10/14)
http://www.electric-shadows.com/drop/

10...

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Evil Dead (2013)

evil_dead-poster2Director: Fede Alvarez

Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Cert: 18

Running time: 91 mins

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: First time director Fede Alvarez and Jennifer’s Body writer Diablo Cody tackle the seemingly impossible task of remaking one of horror cinema’s most cherished shockers.  But, what looked like another moronic retread in the tradition of those Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th botch jobs emerges as a darkly effective and grueling experience.  Needles, nail guns and, yes, chain saws are all misused in an atrocity exhibition that stays just the right side of fun...

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Kill List

kill-list-poster01Director: Ben Wheatley

Cast: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring, Emma Fryer, Struan Rodger, Mark Kempner

Cert: 18

Running time: 95mins

Year: 2011

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The lowdown: The best British thriller since Dead Man’s Shoes, Kill List is heart-stopping in its shocks and as difficult to pin down as a moving target. Part hitman thriller, domestic drama and horror film, it’s hugely ambitious and sticks Ben Wheatley right alongside such established genre masters as Danny Boyle and Neil Marshall. But be warned, although there are laughs to be had, they’re of the darkest variety and it’s the terror and incredible violence that haunts your thoughts long after the stark end credits. Breathtaking, but it’s worth having a shot of something strong before viewing.

Kill List - family fightKill List - Burning

The full verdict: British...

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