Review: Palm Springs

Director: Max Barbakow Stars: Cristin Milioti, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons The time-loop conceit commonly referred to as the 'Groundhog Day' device endures, enough to be credited as a subgenre in its own right. For a time, any TV show with a remotely fantastical element had a go at it (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Buffy … Continue reading Review: Palm Springs

Review: Sound of Metal

Director: Darius Marder Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci Isolation is a persistent concern in Darious Marder's seismic awards hopeful, Sound of Metal - one of the more interesting contenders in this year's crop, as its word-of-mouth groundswell trumps the more calculated prestige trappings of most common contenders. It's the underdog in the mix. The … Continue reading Review: Sound of Metal

Review: Antebellum

Directors: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz Stars: Janelle Monáe, Gabourey Sidibe, Kiersey Clemons At the beginning of 2020, Antebellum was poised for a spring release, but then the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, shuttering theatres here, there and everywhere. The business went into hibernation, in a sense, but VOD releases - particularly of indies and foreign … Continue reading Review: Antebellum

Review: Godzilla vs. Kong

Director: Adam Wingard Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Demián Bichir, Brian Tyree Henry As far back as a candid 2014 interview with The Dissolve, Adam Wingard expressed his ambitions. Having garnered attention for two of the decade's most purely enjoyable genre flicks (You're Next and The Guest), Wingard openly admitted he didn't want to remain at the … Continue reading Review: Godzilla vs. Kong

Review: Minari

Director: Lee Isaac Chung Stars: Steven Yeun, Alan S Kim, Han Ye-ri Conflicts of the head and the heart perpetuate throughout Lee Isaac Chung's rural American drama Minari. Korean immigrant Jacob (Steven Yeun) has moved his family from urban California out to the verdant fields of Arkansas to start-up a farm. On arriving he dismisses the … Continue reading Review: Minari

Review: Violation

Director: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli Stars: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Jesse LaVercombe, Anna Maguire The rape-revenge sub-genre has been a troublesome thorn in the side of cinema for some decades. Grueling, exploitative, gratuitous... but maybe also cathartic, bold and necessary. Its some of the toughest territory to willingly wade into. Lately, however, a crop of vivid female voices … Continue reading Review: Violation

Review: I Was at Home, But…

Director: Angela Schanelec Stars: Maren Eggert, Clara Moeller, Jakob Lassalle Abderrahmane Sissako's superb 2014 film Timbuktu opens and closes with imagery of a dashing springbok. In that film, the animal acts as a kind of totem for the irrepressible spirit of the Mauritanian people and their desire to escape Jihadi impingement. A fitting visual metaphor … Continue reading Review: I Was at Home, But…

Review: Deadly Illusions

Director: Anna Elizabeth James Stars: Kristin Davis, Greer Grammer, Dermot Mulroney In 1988 and long before her Sex & the City stardom, Krstin Davis 'starred' as one of a handful of colourful teenage victims in campy slasher gem Doom Asylum. Given her success since, its safe to assume that this kooky credit isn't among Davis' … Continue reading Review: Deadly Illusions

Review: Locked Down

Director: Doug Liman Stars: Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lucy Boynton Comfortably rich and locked down due to COVID-19, catastrophic narcissist Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his former partner Linda (Anne Hathaway) are imprisoned together in their beautiful London townhouse. Paxton enjoys binge-drinking, pretending to off himself and shouting poetry at his poor, suffering neighbours. Linda (the … Continue reading Review: Locked Down

Review: Judas and the Black Messiah

Director: Shaka King Stars: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Dominique Fishback Released from prison after a BS stint for stealing ice cream, charismatic orator and Black Panther Party Chairman Frank Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) steps into the recently burned Chicago HQ to find newly painted walls and freshly carpeted floors. He's astonished. How? The answer is the … Continue reading Review: Judas and the Black Messiah

Review: Notturno

Director: Gianfranco Rosi If the world is getting smaller thanks to the freer access to information and ideas, then borders have become the natural pressure points at which differing cultures and sets of values intersect. These geographical lines - which can seem somewhat arbitrary to those looking from afar - are fractal lines of tension … Continue reading Review: Notturno

Review: The Dark and the Wicked

Director: Bryan Bertino Stars: Xander Berkeley, Marin Ireland, Michael Abbot, Jr. Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael Straker (Michael Abbot, Jr.) are siblings, reunited when they return to the rural Texan homestead to look after their parents. Their father (Michael Zagst) is comatose, and their mother (Julie Oliver-Thouchstone) has taken her own downturn due to the … Continue reading Review: The Dark and the Wicked

Review: Fire Will Come

Director: Oliver Laxe Stars: Amador Arias, Benedicta Sanchez, Elena Mar Fernández The opening of Oliver Laxe's Fire Will Come is some of the most haunting, arresting imagery I've seen in film of any form for quite some time. We're in a dimly lit forest at night. In the gloom the stark spines of the trees are … Continue reading Review: Fire Will Come

Review: Wrong Turn (2021)

Director: Mike P Nelson Stars: Charlotte Vega, Daisy Head, Bill Sage For the better part of a decade, the Wrong Turn franchise terrorised straight-to-DVD horror with a slew of tawdry sequels that ranged from bad and really very bad. Indeed the otherwise functional 2003 original came to feel like something of a minor masterpiece by comparison. … Continue reading Review: Wrong Turn (2021)

Review: Willy’s Wonderland

Director: Kevin Lewis Stars: Nicolas Cage, Beth Grant, Emily Tosta Nicolas Cage has comfortably settled into a mid-career groove of plentiful straight-to-VOD productions that tilt toward his strengths in manifesting either world-weary boredom or wide-eyed mania. Kevin Lewis is the latest director to be blessed with the actor's largess, and this cheap but cheerful horror … Continue reading Review: Willy’s Wonderland