Monthly Archives October 2016

The Accountant & Doctor Strange – The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Episode 14 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis tackling The Accountant and Doctor Strange. One is off-the-wall and totally barmy. The other is flat and by the numbers. But, which is which?! The two Robs also discuss the thrill of seeing both films with the general public and the oddness that inevitably comes with it. Oh, and they also chat about how ordinary the new Jack Reacher is. All in just over one hour!  How can you resist that?

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Train to Busan

train-to-busan-posterDirector: Yeon Sang-ho

Writer: Yeon Sang-ho

Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Soo-an, Ma Dong-seok, Jeong Yu-mi, Choi Woo-sik, Ahn So-hee, Kim Eui-sung

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Seok-woo and his estranged daughter Soo-an take the KTX fast train from Seoul to Busan and soon discover they must fight for their lives during a zombie outbreak.

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What’s the verdict: It is not as scary as the British rail service when a single flake of snow falls from the sky. But, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan joins such locomotive nailbiters as Runaway Train, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Horror Express as a first class example of how to keep excitement and tension on the right track.

A zombie film by way of a disaster movie, main characters are efficiently set up while the undead apo...

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Doctor Strange

doctor-strange-posterDirector: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong

Cert: 12A

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: After a serious accident, brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange embarks upon a quest to heal his shattered body. But, he discovers the universe has many more exciting and dangerous things to offer.

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What’s the verdict: Watching Doctor Strange is similar to observing Alan Partridge ordering a cinema ticket over the phone.

“Inception. IN-ception. IN-SEP-SHUN. Inception…?”

Or is it Matrix, Matrix, Matrix? Or Batman Begins, Batman Begins, Batman Begins? Or Avatar: The Last – oh God no, not that one.

What Doctor Strange definitely i...

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The Best Films of the 2016 BFI London Film Festival

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Another BFI London Film Festival belongs to the ages. And this 60th anniversary festival was done proud by some of the best cinema you will see this year (or next dependent upon UK release patterns).

Below is Electric Shadows’ Top 10 of this year’s LFF. Please note that in Brexit Britain immune systems seem to have fallen as low as the pound. With a heavy cold racking this gutsy scribe’s constitution, part days and bed rest replaced full film indulgence. This meant Personal Shopper, Certain Women (the LFF’s Best Film winner), The Birth of a Nation, Dog Eat Dog and Ethel and Ernest were all missed in favour of Lemsip and blankets.

All the above movies seem like Top 10 contenders.

Press screening scheduling clashes meant Elle was chosen over Manchester By the Sea and Your Name over ...

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Brimstone

brimstone-posterDirector: Martin Koolhoven

Writer: Martin Koolhoven

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Paul Anderson, Kit Harrington, Carice van Outen, William Houston, Emilia Jones

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 148mins

Year: 2016




What’s the story: In the American Old West a young woman and her family are targeted by a dangerous, mysterious preacher.

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What’s the verdict: Hell on earth is a fitting description for the world writer/director Martin Koolhoven creates in Brimstone. A Job style tale of one woman’s nightmarish struggle against a demonic stalker, and a patriarchal world in general, it is one of the most unusual horror movies of recent memory.

The 19th century American frontier is the vast stage on which this savage thriller is played...

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The 2016 BFI London Film Festival Round-Up – The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Episode 13 of The Electric Shadows Podcast rounds up the 60th BFI London Film Festival. Rob Daniel and Rob Wallis run through their Top 10s, discuss what was good, what was bad, and why queuing this year was an issue. Rob D, heavy with cold, also tries to break the sound barrier by blowing his nose.  If you like what you hear, please subscribe to The Electric Shadows Podcast on iTunes.

More of Rob Wallis’ musing on movies can be found at his site Of All The Film Sites. Check it out (after listening to the podcast)…

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Free Fire

free-fire-posterDirector: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Michael Smiley, Sam Riley, Jack Reynor, Babou Cessay, Patrick Bergin, Noah Taylor

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: IRA gunmen, a South African arms dealer, mediators and hired muscle all converge on an abandoned factory in 1970s Boston to swap a truckload of guns for a briefcase full of cash. Inevitably, things don’t go according to plan.

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What’s the verdict: A good argument can be made for Ben Wheatley being Britain’s most versatile filmmaker. Kill List resembled Alan Clarke tackling Taxi Driver. Sightseers was Mike Leigh does The Honeymoon Killers. A Field in England resembled a Thomas de Quincey opium fantasy seared onto the bi...

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Prevenge

Director: Alice Lowe

Writer: Alice Lowe

Cast: Alice Lowe, Jo Hartley, Kavyan Novak, Gemma Whelan, Tom Davis, Kate Dickie

Cert: 15

Running time: 88mins

Year: 2016




What’s the story: Believing her unborn baby is telling her to get revenge on certain people, mum-to-be Ruth (Lowe) embarks on a bizarre killing spree.

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What’s the verdict: No surprise pregnancy often crops up in horror films. An alien being growing inside you, controlling and distorting your body, altering your mind; it’s all good horror fodder.

Rosemary’s Baby, Inside, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, The Brood, Alien – just some examples of impregnation trepidation cinema.

Prevenge is an imaginative, funny, clever addition to the foetal attraction canon...

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The Wailing

the-wailing-posterDirector: Na Hong-jin

Writer: Na Hong-jin

Cast: Kwak Do-won, Jun Kunimura, Chun Woo-hee, Hwang Jung-min

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 156mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: In a rural South Korean village the locals begin to act psychotically deranged, murdering loved ones. The villagers believe a Japanese stranger is to blame and a slow-witted police sergeant must solve the mystery before it comes close to home.

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What’s the verdict: Six long years have passed since writer/director Na Hong-jin’s blistering action thriller The Yellow Sea. Unfortunately, when watching The Wailing you are left wishing he had spent a year or so more fine tuning this horror epic.

Overlong but underdeveloped and often incoherent, The Wailing boasts a number of stand-out moments but collapses under its own...

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The Autopsy of Jane Doe

the-autopsy-of-jane-doe-posterDirector: André Øvredal

Writer: Ian B. Goldberg, Richard Naing

Cast: Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael McElhatton, Olwen Catherine Kelly

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 99mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Late one night father and son coroners Tony & Austin Tilden (Cox & Hirsch) take charge of a “Jane Doe” corpse. As they investigate cause of death, shocking secrets are uncovered.

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What’s the verdict: Hot off the cold heels of Swiss Army Man, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is another 2016 movie where the central character happens to be deceased. But, where Swiss Army Man was a bedfellow to Weekend at Bernie’s, The Autopsy of Jane Doe snuggles up closer to the similarly titled The Corpse of Anna Fritz (minus the kinkiness).

Troll Hunter director André Øvredal proves he...

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