Category Reviews

Greyhound

Director: Aaron Schneider

Writer: Tom Hanks

Cast: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, Elisabeth Shue

Producers: Gary Goetzman

Music: Blake Neeley

Cinematography: Shelly Johnson

Editors: Mark Czyzewski, Sidney Wolinsky

Cert: 12

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: 1942, the North Atlantic. Greenhorn captain Ernie Krause (Hanks) helms US destroyer Greyhound, leading a convoy of supply ships from America to England, battling a deadly wolfpack of enemy U-boats.

What’s the verdict: Greyhound’s journey to the screen has been almost as fraught as the eponymous ship’s North Atlantic crossing. Originally intended as a March 2019 release, it was shunted back to June 2020...

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Director: David Dobkin

Writer: Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan

Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Eitan Evan, Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy

Music: Atli Örvarsson

Cinematography: Danny Cohen

Editor: Greg Hayden

Cert: 12

Running time: 123mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: All his life, Lars Erickssong (Ferrell) has dreamt of Eurovision Song Contest victory. Long-time friend and musical partner Sigrit Ericksdottir (McAdams) shares that dream and an unrequited longing for Lars himself. When events propel the duo from their tiny Icelandic fishing village to the big stage of Eurovision, they find themselves with a one in a (741) million shot of Europop glory.

What’s the verdict: Will...

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Relic

Director: Natalie Erika James

Writer: Natalie Erika James, Christian White

Cast: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin

Producers: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw

Music: Brian Reitzell

Cinematography: Charlie Sarroff

Editor: Denise Haratzis, Sean Lahiff

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 89mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: When the mentally and physically frail Edna (Nevin) goes missing, daughter Kay (Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Heathcote) fear the worst. At Edna’s remote house in Australian woodland, Kay and Sam begin hearing odd noises. Matters grow even stranger when Edna reappears.

What’s the verdict: One of life’s great horrors is watching the body age and decay...

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Tokyo Story

Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Writer: Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda

Cast: Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, So Yamamura

Producers: Takeshi Yamamoto

Music: Takanobu Saito

Cinematography: Yuharu Atsuta

Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura

Cert: U

Running time: 136mins

Year: 1953


medium_5

What’s the story: Japan, 1953. Elderly couple Shukichi (Ryu) and Tomi (Higashiyama) travel from the south of the country to visit their adult children in a Tokyo suburb. But, they are largely ignored, save for their widowed daughter-in-law, Noriko (Hara).

What’s the verdict: That some audiences may be daunted by the prospect of viewing Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 masterpiece is understandable.

First up, it’s a masterpiece from 1953, originating in J...

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Nolanverse: 10 Ways to Spot You’re Watching a Christopher Nolan Film

On location for Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan shows Kenneth Branagh the way home

‘Coming To Theaters’ announces the new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Perhaps wisely, it is not date specific. That current 17th July release may end up as wobbly as the temporal laws in the film itself.

But, we will see Tenet at some point in the next twelve months, preferably sooner rather than later. The trailers for Nolan’s 11th theatrical outing promise the you’ve-forgotten-all-about-your-popcorn-event-cinema experience we’ve now come to greedily expect.

Since debuting with 1998’s Following, Nolan’s films have ventured into deep space, deep inside the mind, redefined the superhero movie, and showed us what new ground (air and sea) can be covered in the war movie.

Like his character...

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This Way Out

Director: Staten Cousins Roe

Writer: Staten Cousins Roe

Cast: Poppy Roe, Katie Brayben, Christopher Gilling

Producers: Giles Alderson, Poppy Roe

Music: Laurence Love Greed

Cinematography: James Layton

Editor: Esther Gimenez

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 18mins

Year: 2013



What’s the story: Minnie (Roe), the director of a euthanasia centre, must hit a target of ten “clients” in ten days or be closed by the Euthanasia Licensing Board.

What’s the verdict: 2019’s A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life is a British psycho movie to savour, mixing mirth and murder in one delicious cocktail. The feature debut of Staten Cousins Roe, its darkly wry humour is also present in Roe’s award-winning 2013 short film, This Way Out.

A sketch...

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Blu-ray Review: The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

Director: Yasujirô Ozu

Writer: Yasujirô Ozu, Kôgo Noda

Cast: Michiyo Kogure, Shin Saburi, Keiko Tsushima, Kôji Tsuruta, Chishû Ryû

Producer: Takeshi Yamamoto

Music: Ichirô Saitô

Cinematography: Yûharu Atsuta

Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura

Cert: U

Running time: 115mins

Year: 1952


FILM: 
EXTRAS:


The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice is released as part of the BFI Japan 2020 season

Click here for Japan 2020


What’s the story: Frustrated well-to-do housewife Taeko (Kogure) is exasperated when her niece Setsuko (Tsushima) refuses to enter a traditional arranged marriage. Taeko’s own marriage reaches a crisis point when her husband Mokichi (Saburi) sides with Setsuko.

What’s the verdict: Due to his famed minimalist style and...

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Blu-Ray Review: Funeral Parade of Roses

Director: Toshio Matsumoto

Writer: Toshio Matsumoto

Cast: Pîtâ, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshio Tsuchiya

Producers: Sumiko Fujisawa, Mitsuru Kudo, Keiko Machida

Music: Jôji Yuasa

Cinematography: Tatsuo Suzuki

Editor: Toshie Iwasa

Cert: 18

Running time: 105mins

Year: 1969


FILM: medium_5
EXTRAS:


Funeral Parade of Roses is released as part of the BFI Japan 2020 season, now on BFI Player

Click here for Japan 2020


What’s the story: In Tokyo, 1969, transsexual Eddie (Pîtâ) attempts to forget the traumatic events of her past.

What’s the verdict: Always referred to as the film Kubrick cited as an influence on A Clockwork Orange, Funeral Parade of Roses dazzles over 50 years since first release.

A stunning tapestry film, it is pitched so...

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Gangs of London

Director: Gareth Evans (plus action sequence director in certain episodes), Xavier Gens, Corin Hardy (various episodes)

Writers: Peter Berry, Claire Wilson, Carl Joos, Joe Murtaugh, Lauren Sequeira, Gareth Evans, Matt Flannery

Cast: Joe Cole, Sope Dirisu, Michelle Fairley, Lucian Msamati, Paapa Essiedu, Narges Rashidi, Orli Shuka, Asif Raza Mir, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Brian Vernel, Valene Kane, Colm Meaney, Mads Koudal

Producers: Hugh Warren, Ed Talfan

Music: Jeremy Stack

Cinematography: Matt Flannery, Laurent Barès, Martijn van Broekhuizen

Editors: Johnny Rayner, Sara Jones, Harrison Wall

Cert: 18

Running time: 9 hours (approx.)

Year: 2020



What’s the story: When London crime boss Finn Wallace (Meaney) is murdered, his volatile son S...

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Shudder Sunday

For those of us social distancing alone, technology is not only a conduit to reaching friends and family, it often becomes a friend or cool cousin. When lockdown rules are relaxed, it will be interesting for us lone stay-at-homers to mingle with real people again, rather than exclusively talking to faces on Zoom. I foresee awkwardness.

Technology, specifically a Roku box and my TV, enabled me to spend last Sunday with Shudder, immersing myself in independent horror cinema. By independent I don’t mean cheap, but rather imaginative, surprising and exhilarating film making.

No, Shudder are not paying me or offering a free subscription to write this. To prove it, on the Roku box cast and director details are not listed for any of the movies...

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