How Fetch: Mean Girls at 15

Mean Girls hardly invented the high school movie, but in 2004 it came damned close to perfecting it. That certainly seemed to be the consensus at the time and immediately after. Tina Fey's savvy script took the 'Buffyisms' of Sunnydale and accentuated them; saw the jagged edges of Jawbreaker and smoothed them. Based on a … Continue reading How Fetch: Mean Girls at 15

Review: Ready Or Not

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell Throughout 2012's past-lives cascade Cloud Atlas, a recurring phrase bounces into the mouths of some of its many characters; "The weak are meat, and the strong do eat." It's a neat catchphrase for the theme of exploitation coursing through the intermingled narratives. Ready Or … Continue reading Review: Ready Or Not

Why I Love… #108: The Last Movie

Year: 1971 Director: Dennis Hopper Stars: Dennis Hopper, Stella Garcia, Samuel Fuller The Last Movie is a hard movie to love, and maybe a harder one to make a case for. It's a deeply broken film; as fragmented as its creator was at the time. The tales of its making are the stuff of cinematic … Continue reading Why I Love… #108: The Last Movie

Review: The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang Stars: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Shuzhen Zhao It takes a significant amount of hubris on the part of a critic, a blogger (*glances both ways*) or a casual viewer to look at a work of art - the result of many, many collaborations - and say, "I wouldn't change a thing". Have we done any … Continue reading Review: The Farewell

Review: Ad Astra

Director: James Gray Stars: Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland We all live, for the most part, on the surface. We deal with what's in front of us and we get through the day and we enjoy the people we decide to share our time with. There's a world underneath that, though. That inner place, … Continue reading Review: Ad Astra

Review: Night Hunter

Director: David Raymond Stars: Alexandra Daddario, Henry Cavill, Ben Kingsley Looking for all the world as though Oscar Isaac said, "No", Henry Cavill stars here in a criminally uninspired throwback to the 90's glut of po-faced serial killer thrillers. He plays tough, uncompromising Lt. Marshall; an angry tower of a man, grumpily waving his gun … Continue reading Review: Night Hunter

Review: The Souvenir

Director: Joanna Hogg Stars: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton Joanna Hogg's latest is her most ambitious project yet, so ambitious that the second half won't even reach us until next year. The sense of largess unfurls to the viewer, who is asked to process a lot. It's no understatement to say that I … Continue reading Review: The Souvenir

Review: Hustlers

Director: Lorene Scafaria Stars: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B Hustlers has been called 'the female Goodfellas' which assumes that the two films and their audiences ought to be delineated by gender, which therefore does a disservice to both. Just as women can take pleasure and nourishment from Goodfellas (a film which I, a man, have … Continue reading Review: Hustlers

Why I Love… #107: Talk To Her

Year: 2002 Director: Pedro Almodóvar Stars: Javier Cámara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling Echoes and opposites permeate all facets of Talk To Her, Pedro Almodóvar's slyly coiled melodrama, his first film following the worldwide embrace of All About My Mother. The opening shot of the film sees two dancers on stage; the one in the background an echo of … Continue reading Why I Love… #107: Talk To Her

Review: Her Smell

Director: Alex Ross Perry Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Gayle Rankin, Agyness Deyn Brady Corbet's self-serious essay on stardom Vox Lux culminates with Natalie Portman's Celeste powering out her greatest hits, letting all of the carnage of her personal life fall away in a dance of pop purity. Now imagine that instead of cutting to credits, a … Continue reading Review: Her Smell

Review: IT Chapter Two

Director: Andy Muschietti Stars: Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy Andy Muschietti's IT felt like a culmination of everything popular horror had been trying to do in the cinema for the past 10 years. It was a grandiose, nostalgia-laced funhouse of jump scares. It moved sleekly, it looked gorgeous and - as with King's doorstop source … Continue reading Review: IT Chapter Two

Minutiae: The Opening Scene of The Naked Kiss

This week sees the UK blessed with a bluray release of Samuel Fuller' 1964 film The Naked Kiss, added to the Criterion Collection's slowly growing roster on this side of the Atlantic. It's a most welcome opportunity to rediscover one of the more outrageous and sensational films in the director's canon. While not my personal … Continue reading Minutiae: The Opening Scene of The Naked Kiss

Review: The Beach Bum

Director: Harmony Korine Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron Matthew McConaughey's perma-stoned poet burn-out Moondog careers through his life like an intoxicated playboy crashing his jetski into a pier somewhere down along the Florida Keys. The spectators will stand, slack-jawed, Moet & Chandon in hand until, lo and behold, that fortuitous bastard comes bobbing … Continue reading Review: The Beach Bum