Monthly Archives August 2014

White Settlers

White Settlers - Pollyanna McIntosh - posterDirector: Simeon Halligan

Writer: Ian Fenton

Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Lee Williams

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 80mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: After making a terrifying impression in Lucky McKee’s The Woman, Pollyanna McIntosh is the one terrorised in Simeon Halligan’s low budget suspenser. An English couple cross the border to Scotland, moving into a large, remote farmhouse. But, what the local welcoming committee lack in congeniality they make up for in violence. Nothing original, but Halligan stages a number of well-executed shocks in the lean running time.

White Settlers - Pollyanna McIntosh, houseWhite Settlers - Pollyanna McIntosh, house, table

The full verdict: An opening shot prominently displays a “Welcome to Scotland” sign, eliciting a knowing giggle: any film named White Settlers starring Pollyanna McIntosh is not going to be Local Hero.

And these Scots...

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Stage Fright (2014)

Stage Fright - Allie MacDonald, Minnie Driver, Meat Loaf, posterDirector: Jerome Sable

Writer: Jerome Sable

Cast: Allie MacDonald, Meat Loaf, Douglas Smith, Minnie Driver

Cert: 15

Running time: 89mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: The stalk n’slash genre gets a Glee-ful makeover with this full-on murderous musical. A summer camp for performing arts becomes the setting for bloody mayhem, one of the chief victims being musical theatre. Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver offer spirited big name support in a film that won’t be getting a Rocky Horror or Phantom of the Paradise-like cult following, but has a cheeky lightweight charm.

Stage Fright - killer, lightbulbStage Fright - Allie MacDonald, kabuki make-up

The full verdict: “I’m gay, I’m gay, but not in that way!” So sings a closeted hunk in one of the many full-blooded musical numbers that pepper Jerome Sable’s infectiously fun debut.

Clearly paying homage to the giallo an...

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The Expendables 3

The Expendables III posterDirector: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford, Kelsey Grammer, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell, Terry Crews

Cert: 12

Running time: 126mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Sly gets the band back together for another no-brow barrage of (old)boys and their toys mayhem, joined by newcomers Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer and Harrison Ford. But, it’s Mel Gibson who steals the show as a big, bad international arms dealer the over-the-hill action men must bring down.

BRAY_20130917_EXP3_12791.dngThe Expendables 3 - Mel Gibson

The full verdict: Like the first two instalments, The Expendables 3 has a plot...

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Calvary

Calvary - posterDirector: John Michael McDonagh

Writer: John Michael McDonagh

Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, Pat Shortt, M. Emmet Walsh

Cert: 15

Running time:

Year: 2014

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The lowdown: John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson follow acerbic off-kilter thriller The Guard with an even darker look at contemporary Ireland. Gleeson is Father James, targeted for murder by one of his parishioners who suffered years of sexual abuse from a now dead priest. Ferociously good writing and performances, topical barbs, a large dose of James Joyce and leavening Father Ted-style irreverence make Calvary a powerful, compassionate and unforgettable film.

Calvary - Brendan GleesonCalvary - Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly

The full verdict: Calvary opens with a confessional scene in which one of Father James’ flock recounts horrific abuse by...

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The Raid 2 Blasts On To Blu-ray

The Raid 2 - DVD cover - Gareth EvansIt’s not often we feel compelled to write a piece on the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of a movie.

But then again, The Raid 2 sits at the top of our films of the year thus far list, so we’re prepared to make an exception.

If you have already experienced the baseball bat to the noggin rush that is Gareth Evans follow-up to The Raid, then you know to be excited.

If you have yet to be exposed, be prepared for a 5-star all-out explosion of cinematic verve. A film we called “The Godfather Pt II of action movies”, a film that was 18 months in pre-production and sets itself the not inconsiderable challenge of re-writing the rule book on ballistic filmmaking.

As is standard these days, extras-wise the Blu-ray trumps the DVD, boasting three featurettes, two live audience Q&As and a delet...

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Mood Indigo

Mood Indigo - quad posterDirector: Michel Gondry

Writers: Michel Gondry, Luc Bossi, Boris Vian (novel)

Cast: Romain Duris, Audrey Tatou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 94 mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: Director Michel Gondry returns to his cut and paste comfort zone after the big budget bloat-fest of The Green Hornet. Enlisting the assistance of Monsieur ‘Populaire’ Romain Duris and the ever-adorable Audrey ‘Amelie’ Tautou, it’s an existential love story with visual gags and a too-cool-for-school score. Shame it’s all surface.

Mood Indigo - Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, benchMood Indigo - Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, cloud ride

The full verdict: For this dreamy but detached adaption of polymath Boris Vian’s sci-fi/romance novel: Froth on the Daydream (the title wisely changed to that of a Duke Ellington song), Michel Gondry uses every cinematic trick in his arsenal, including split scre...

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