Monthly Archives April 2013

The Look of Love

Look of Love posterDirector: Michael Winterbottom

Cast: Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots, Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton, Chris Addison, James Lance, David Walliams

Cert: 18

Running time: 101 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Paul Raymond, Britain’s most successful smut baron, gets the 24 Hour Party People treatment in Steve Coogan and Michael Winterbottom’s latest collaboration.  Another Coogan creation to cherish, imagine a less likable Alan Partridge and more exposed breasts than a teenage lad’s internet browsing history.  The heady allure and ultimate emptiness of a drug-and-sex-fuelled life is laid bare in a funny, sobering, and fascinating movie, with knockout performances from all involved, particularly Coogan and Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton and Imogen Poots as the women in Raymond’s life.

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The full ver...

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Iron Man 3

Iron-Man-3-Quad-1835070Director: Shane Black

Cast: Robert Downey, Jr, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle, James Badge Dale, Paul Bettany, Miguel Ferrer

Cert: 12

Running time: 130 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Robert Downey, Jr dons the red and gold armour for the first time since Avengers Assemble rocked our world. The good news is the iron’s still hot as new director Shane Black takes Tony Stark away from the intergalactic threat of Joss Whedon’s epic into an espionage thriller pitting him against Bin Laden-a-like baddy The Mandarin. Ben Kingsley has bags of fun as the villain, as do Guy Pearce as a twitchy rival genius, Rebecca Hall as an old Stark flame and series regulars Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle...

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Martyrs

martyrspostbDirector: Pascal Laugier

Cast: Morjana Alaoui, Mylene Jampanoi, Catherine Begin, Robert Toupin, Patricia Tulasni

Cert: 18

Running time: 97 mins

Year: 2008

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The lowdown: The film that had hardgore horror fans retching in the aisles at 2008’s London FrightFest became the most ferocious, uncompromising horror movie released in the UK in 2009. French director Pascal Laugier’s dark, twisted spin on a traditional revenge story should carry a government health warning. The fact that the BBFC passed it uncut is a minor miracle – it’s a movie that will not be quickly forgotten by those who can stand it.

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The full verdict:

Depending on personal thresholds for graphic violence, the French New Wave of Gore (Irreversible, Switchblade Romance, Frontier(s), Inside) reaches its zenith or nadir with...

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The Tall Man

The-Tall-Man-2012-Movie-Title-BannerDirector: Pascal Laugier

Cast: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Samantha Ferris, Eve Harlow, Stephen McHattie, William B. Davis

Cert: 15

Running time: 102mins

Year: 2012

The lowdown: Director Pascal Laugier follows his ferocious sophomore movie Martyrs with another first-class shocker.  Jessica Biel is a doctor in an economically depressed mining town whose children are vanishing at an alarming rate.  Locals believe “the Tall Man” is spiriting the kids away into the nearby woods and over one terrifying night the truth is uncovered, but this is just the beginning.  Shocking, unusual and with raw emotion and smarts to spare, this is one of the year’s biggest surprises.

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The full verdict: Martyrs was an extraordinary love-it-or-hate-it horror movie with plenty of plot twists among...

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Me And You

MAY posterDirector: Bernardo Bertolucci

Cast: Jacopo Olmo Antinori, Tea Falco, Sonia Bergamasco

Cert: 15

Running time: 2012

Year: 2012

The lowdown: Bernardo Bertolucci’s first film in Italian for 30 years is a gem, bursting with the vibrancy of 1960s and 70s European cinema.  Jacopo Olmo Antinori is the surly 14-year-old Lorenzo who skips a school skiing trip to hide out in his building’s basement.  But, seven days of nothing turn into an unexpectedly emotional journey when Lorenzo’s half-sister Olivia (Tea Falco) shows up looking for a place to crash.  What threatens to be another mopey-teen flick from a filmmaker well past his flush of youth becomes a rewarding, moving story of sibling affection.

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The full verdict: Director Bertolucci’s last film was 2003’s The Dreamers, a dire, creepy...

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Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus-Has-Fallen-Quad-Poster-UKDirector: Antoine Fuqua

Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Rick Yune, Radha Mitchell, Robert Forster

Cert: 15

Running time: 120 minutes

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: Gerard Butler goes Die Hard 9/11 in an absurd rip-off of Bruce’s finest hour, plus liberal liftings from Air Force One and every Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal movie ever to darken Channel 5’s 9pm slot. A preposterously jingoistic and xenophobic replay of September 11th as a shoot-em-up console game, the charmless Butler is secret service agent Mike Banning, forced to rescue President Aaron Eckhart when North Korean terrorists storm the White House. Eckhart, plus co-stars Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo and Training Day director Antoine Fuqua should all know better.

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The full verdict: Gerard Butle...

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The Place Beyond The Pines

TPBTP posterDirector: Derek Cianfrance

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Dane DeHaan, Ben Mendehlson, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Emory Cohen, Harris Yulin

Cert: 15

Running time: 140mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Ryan Gosling reteams with Blue Valentine director Cianfrance for a sprawling, ambitious crime story that packs an unexpected emotional wallop. Gosling is a funfair motorbike stunt rider, turning to crime to care for one-time fling Eva Mendes and the son she had by him, while joint lead Bradley Cooper is a rookie cop facing his own battles. Fathers and sons, atonement for past wrongs and the inevitability of history repeating itself across generations is all here in a bold and daring movie likely to end up on a lot of Top 10 of the year lists.

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The full verdict: The Plac...

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