Monthly Archives June 2015

Porn Again

Porn chic has made the adult film industry more accepted, if not respected, than ever before. Where once the idea of a grot star appearing in a mainstream TV show or movie was unthinkable, now it’s commonplace to see that person who popped up in a completely accidental Google search in a film, music video or TV series.

So, as Bree Olsen stars as pretty much the only female character in The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence), we take a moment to salute those stars who downed tools to go straight, either permanently or just as a breather from meat movies.


BREE OLSON
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With her nom de porn a mixture of a high school friend’s first name and a spin on the Olsen sisters’ last name, Bree Olson (real name Rachel Marie Oberlin) spent five years in the skin trade from 2006 to 2011.

Aside fro...

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Slow West

Slow-West---posterDirector: John Maclean

Writer: John Maclean

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorious, Rory McCann

Cert: 15

Running time: 85mins

Year: 2015

 

The lowdown: John Maclean, founder of cult rock group The Beta Band, makes an auspicious movie debut writing and directing this striking Western. The story is standard fare: Scottish aristocratic greenhorn Jay (McPhee) has pursued his love Rose (Pistorious) to the new world of America. He enlists the help of soft-spoken bounty hunter Silas (Fassbender) to help traverse the rough terrain and copious ne’er-do-wells who risk his reunion. Violent, funny, surprising and poetic, this spins fresh silk out of an old genre.

Slow-West---Michael-Fassbender,-Kodi-Smit-McPheeSlow-West---Ben-Mendelsohn

The full verdict: The Western is currently having a quiet renaissance...

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The Overnight

The-Overnight-posterDirector: Patrick Brice

Writer: Patrick Brice

Cast: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godrèche

Cert: 15

Running time: 79mins

Year: 2015

 

The lowdown: A successful example of that most difficult beast, the sex comedy, The Overnight is a sophisticated, smutty delight. Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling are a couple recently moved to LA with their young son, who have a night not easily forgotten when invited to Jason Schwartzman’s house for dinner and a play date for their boys. Unpredictable and laugh-out-loud hilarious, this is grown-up comedy with the dick jokes purely in service of character… well, mostly.

The-Overnight---Jason-Schwartzman,-Judith-GodrecheThe-Overnight---Adam-Scott,-Taylor-Schilling

The full verdict: In the tradition of Carnage or While We’re Young, The Overnight is a textbook example of how to make a nightmare comedy of social awkwardn...

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Minions

Minions---posterDirectors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Writer: Brian Lynch

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Pierre Coffin

Cert: U

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2015

The lowdown: It’s Minions Begins in this prequel to the outrageously successful Despicable Me franchise. The DM formula, a simple story is merely the clothesline on which to hang a series of gags, is again stuck to, but it’s these gags you’ll remember when the lights go up. All good fun, beautiful to look at and frequently chucklesome, with Sandra Bullock giving good panto in her first villainous role as the fiendish Scarlett Overkill. While never reaching the giddy heights of Despicable Me 2, your kids are still gonna love it.

Minions---Kevin,-Stuart,-BobMinions---Stuart,-water-hydrant

The full verdict: They may look like early Simpsons concept drawings, but m...

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Going-Clear---posterDirector: Alex Gibney

Writer: Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright (book)

Cast: Paul Haggis, Sylvia “Spanky” Taylor, Jason Beghe, Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright (interviewees), L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, John Travolta (archive footage)

Cert: 15

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2015

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The lowdown: Incendiary account of the Church of Scientology’s fascinating and disturbing history from Alex Gibney, who previously wrestled with the Catholic Church in Mea Maxima Culpa. Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology’s most famous members, are featured though predictably declined interviews. But, the talking heads, including Oscar winner Paul Haggis, suggest a dark centre in the superstar religion far from Travolta’s claim that “joy is the operative concept”...

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Mr. Holmes

Mr-Holmes---posterDirector: Bill Condon

Writer: Jeffrey Hatcher, Mitch Cullin (novel), Arthur Conan Doyle (characters)

Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hattie Morahan, Hiroyuki Sanada, Roger Allam, Frances de la Tour, Nicholas Rowe

Cert: PG

Running time: 103 mins

Year: 2015

 

The lowdown: Evergreen super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes gets the revisionist treatment once more in Mr. Holmes. But, in the hands of star Ian McKellen and director Bill Condon, it’s a beautifully crafted gem. Playing games with the legend, this take on an aged Holmes is warm, intelligent and affecting.

Mr-Holmes---Ian-McKellen,-Milo-ParkerMr-Holmes---Ian-McKellen,-Hattie-Morahan

The full verdict: 1947, and a 93 year old Sherlock Holmes is enduring retirement in the South Downs and tending to his bees (as per Holmes tale His Last Bow), irritating his housekeeper Mrs...

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Entourage

Entourage-movie---posterDirector: Doug Ellin

Writer: Doug Ellin

Cast: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Billy Bob Thornton, Haley Joel Osment, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ronda Rousey, Emily Ratajkowski

Cert: 15

Running time: 104 mins

Year: 2015

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The lowdown: The ride ain’t over, says the poster and it’s not wrong. Everyone returns for another go-round in this big screen spin-off of the male Sex and the City, from main cast to series favourite celeb cameos. Joining them is a whiff of over-familiarity and a grasping for past glories. Hitting the reset button and largely ignoring the final season’s ending, it’s business as usual for the gang. Meaning Entourage may have gone big screen n’ widescreen but feels like five episodes strung together. Aquaman level box office is unlikely...

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Blu-Ray review: Wild Tales

Wild-Tales-posterDirector: Damián Szifrón

Writer: Damián Szifrón

Cast: Ricardo Darin, Erica Rivas

Cert: 15

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2014

Blu-Ray Region: B

 

The lowdown: Outrageously entertaining collection of six stories, managing to blend slapstick comedy, ultraviolence, class war, urban terrorism, and the worse wedding party in Argentinean history. Tied together with the piano wire of revenge as a central theme, this is breathlessly accomplished and, Oscar and Palme D’or nominations later, puts writer-director Damián Szifrón on the map. Pulp Fiction meets Fight Club goes some way to describing the delights in store.

Wild-Tales---plane-passengersWild-Tales---road-rage

The full verdict: Portmanteau films risk outstaying their welcome long before the end credits roll...

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Man Up

Man-Up-posterDirector: Ben Palmer

Writer: Tess Morris

Cast: Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Rory Kinnear, Sharon Horgan, Ken Stott, Harriett Walker, Ophelia Lovibond

Cert: 15

Running Time: 88 mins

Year: 2015

The lowdown: Break out your beer goggles and practice your chat-up patter for a raucous rom-com from the director of The Inbetweeners. Simon Pegg and Lake Bell generate genuine chemistry but ultimately this ‘deceit cute’ comes on like a desperate date trying too hard to be everything you want, instead of a fun fling while you’re waiting for the real thing to come along.

Man-Up---Lake-BellMan-Up---Simon-Pegg,-Lake-Bell

The full verdict: Romantic comedies are a tricky mixture...

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