Monthly Archives January 2017

Jackie (2016)

Director: Pablo Larraín

Writer: Noah Oppenheim

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch, Caspar Phillipson

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Weeks after the assassination of President John F Kennedy, a journalist (Crudup) is granted an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy (Portman), who recalls moments of her life as First Lady.

What’s the verdict: From the opening close-up of Natalie Portman’s pinched, pale face and the strings of Mica Levi’s woozy score, it is clear Jackie aims for something beyond a standard soup-to-nuts biopic.

Director Pablo Larraín (who had a better 2016 than most with this and Neruda) and writer Noah Oppenheim (a long way from his scripts for Allegiant and The Maze Runner) con...

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T2 Trainspotting

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge (screenplay), Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting & Porno novels)

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Anjela Nedyalkova

Cert: 18

Running time: 117mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: Twenty years after Mark Renton (McGregor) stole £16,000 from his friends, he returns to Edinburgh from Amsterdam. Recovering junky Spud (Bremner) is happy to see him, and Simon aka Sick Boy (Lee Miller), running a failing pub, tries to get Mark involved in a plan to open a massage parlour. But, the psychopathic Begbie, out of prison after a long stretch, seeks revenge.

What’s the verdict: “Nostalgia is why you’re here.” So Sick Boy, now known as Simon, spits at Renton on a trip to the Scottish countryside.

Twenty-one years after the ...

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Blu-Ray Review: His Girl Friday

His-Girl-Friday---Criterion-Collection-coverDirector: Howard Hawks

Writer: Charles Lederer (screenplay), Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur (play)

Cast: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Helen Mack, Joe Qualen

Cert: U

Running time: 92mins

Year: 1940


Film: medium_5

Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns (Grant) schemes to keep his ex-wife and best reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) from marrying new fiancé Bruce (Bellamy).

His-Girl-Friday---Cary-Grant,-phoneHis-Girl-Friday---Cary-Grant,-Rosalind-Russell

What’s the verdict: Renowned as the archetypal screwball comedy, 76 years on from its original release His Girl Friday remains sparkling and surprisingly relevant. With a few wince-inducing comments that betray its age.

On the surface this is the madcap rom-com territory Howard Hawks previously traversed to great effect in 1934’s Twentieth Century and Bringing Up Baby four years later...

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Live By Night

live-by-night-uk-posterDirector: Ben Affleck

Writer: Ben Affleck (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)

Cast: Ben Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Brendan Gleeson, Robert Glenister, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Remo Girone, Chris Cooper, Chris Messina

Cert: 15

Running time: 128mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Against the backdrop of Prohibition Boston and Florida, Irish First World War veteran turned small-time crook Joe Coughlin finds himself working for the Italian mob during the liquor wars.

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What’s the verdict: Ben Affleck returns to the work of Dennis Lehane for his latest delve into the life on the other side of the law. His directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, based on Lehane’s book of the same name, drew critical gushes. Live By Night is attracting as much fire as lead character Joe Coughlin.

Which is surprisin...

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Moonlight dominates Online Film Critics Society Awards

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The powerful coming-of-age drama Moonlight dominated the 2016 Online Film Critics Society Awards, winning a total of four awards out of seven nominations.

The film beat out competition from La La Land, Arrival, Jackie and Manchester by the Sea amongst others to be named Best Picture. Barry Jenkins won Best Director and Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris won Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

The Online Film Critics Society’s Governing Committee said, “We’d like to congratulate all involved with Moonlight for the power and humanity of this extraordinary film. Topical and relevant, it is a timely reminder of that which unites us being greater than that which divides us.”

la-la-land-posterDamien Chazelle’s La La Land, which tied with Moonlight for seven nominations, won ...

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2016 – Rewind And Re-View

2016. We’ll not dwell on what an awful year it was. Suffice to say there was a lot happening in the movie world, some of it bad, some of it rather wonderful. Here is Electric Shadows’ take on the year in film.

As is customary, we’ll begin with…


WORST FILM OF THE YEAR – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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OfAllTheFilmSites.com editor Rob Wallis and myself begun The Electric Shadows’ podcast this year. For said podcast we have spent approximately 12 hours watching or discussing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “Visionary” director Zack Snyder’s superhero magnum stinkus is mean-spirited, miserable, ugly, incoherent and fundamentally misunderstands its two titular heroes...

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