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Blu-Ray Review: Mulholland Drive

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch

Cast: Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Justin Theroux, Robert Forster, Michael J. Anderson, Angelo Badalamenti

Cert: 15

Running time: 146 mins

Year: 2001


Film:
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What’s the story: Aspiring actress Betty arrives in LA hoping for movie stardom. She meets glamourous amnesiac Rita, and the two begin a dangerous journey to uncover Rita’s past.

What’s the verdict: According to David Lynch, the abc studios executive who viewed the Mulholland Drive pilot, did so at 6am in the morning. While working on other things. With the sound turned low so as not to disturb him. Said exec declared Lynch’s effort at a follow-up to the abc bankrolled Twin Peaks, “boring”.

Shot in 1999, the pilot languished for 18 months as an aborted projected...

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The Handmaiden

the-handmaiden-posterDirector: Park Chan-wook

Writers: Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo kyung, Sarah Waters (novel)

Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Jo Jin-woong

Cert: 18

Running time: 144mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: In 1930s Korea, when the country was under Japanese rule, a pickpocket posing as a handmaiden schemes with a local conman to rob a Japanese noblewoman of her fortune.

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What’s the verdict: Since making an impression on the global stage with the military thriller JSA back in 2000, South Korean director Park Chan-wook has become one of the most audacious and exciting directors on the scene.

A Park Chan-wook movie is not watched, but experienced. The films are playful, dark, violent, shocking...

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The Neon Demon

The-Neon-Demon-posterDirector: Nicolas Wingding Refn

Writers: Nicolas Wingding Refn, Mary Laws, Polly Stenham

Cast: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks

Cert: 18

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Jesse (Fanning), a young small town girl hits the bright lights of LA seeking her fortune as a runway model. Supported by make-up artist Ruby (Malone), Jesse becomes the target of jealous fellow models Gigi and Sarah (Heathcote and Lee) and menaced by an intimidating motel manager (Reeves).

The-Neon-Demon---Elle-Fanning,-bloody-throatThe-Neon-Demon---Elle-Fanning,-Jena-Malone

What’s the verdict: Intoxicating, dazzling, erotic and mysterious. OR: head-scratching, ponderous guff. Yep, director Nicolas Winding Refn’s second film to be booed at Cannes is as marmitey as could be expected.

After skewering machismo in both the Oscar...

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Carol

Carol-poster---Blanchett,-MaraDirector: Todd Haynes

Writer: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel, The Price of Salt)

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, KK Heim

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2015


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The lowdown: Heartbreaking and intoxicating, Carol is a majestic experience. Cate Blanchett is on Blue Jasmine-level form as Carol and Rooney Mara delivers her best performance to date as Therese, two women who fall for each other in 1950s New York. This threatens a custody battle in which society woman Carol is embroiled and store worker Therese’s relationship with her decent but dull boyfriend. Haynes has total control of the emotions and sumptuous visuals in a film that echoes Wong Kar-wai’s In The Mood For Love. No small praise indeed.

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The full verdict...

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Passion (2012)

Passion-Poster1Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth

Cert: 15

Running time: 105 mins

Year: 2012

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The lowdown: Brian De Palma is a long way from his glory days with this latest clunker.  Attempting to recapture the dark eroticism of Dressed to Kill, he ends up floundering in a sea of Body Doubles and Femme Fatales.  Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are warring advertising colleagues locked in a deadly psychosexual game of cat-and-mouse, but the only thrills to be had are from the unintentional chuckles.  A rush remake of the French film Crime d’Amour starring Kristin Scott-Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier, this is not De Palma’s worst (that’s still Mission To Mars) but the director has truly lost his (Carlito’s) way.

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The full verdict: Passi...

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