Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

***originally written 30 December 2011*** If David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo achieves anything that Niels Arden Oplev’s movie doesn’t, it will hopefully be selling the idea to the rest of Hollywood that there is an audience for thoughtful, intelligent adult-orientated cinema again. With the critical and commercial success of Drive, and following … Continue reading Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Review: The Thing

***originally written 2 December 2011*** Welcome to a cave of forgotten nightmares. When news first broke a couple of years ago that there was going to be a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing (it’s official title – and one that it’s going to be helpful to refer to it as) the initial reaction, at … Continue reading Review: The Thing

Review: The Rum Diary

***originally written 28 November 2011*** I apologise in advance that this review is for the most part built as a comparison to two other larger cultural icons. The Rum Diary arrives laden with a curious amount of so-called ‘counter-culture’ expectation thanks to the creative minds behind it. Based on the formative writings of the same … Continue reading Review: The Rum Diary

Review: The Ides Of March

***originally written 4 November 2011*** Poor George Clooney. Having been gift-wrapped A-list status in the mid-to-late nineties, The Most Charming Man In Hollywood has made concerted efforts not to waste the opportunity. Constantly favouring smaller, quirkier projects rather than the typical superstar vehicles, he has become a respected presence for his dogged pursuit of the … Continue reading Review: The Ides Of March

Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

***originally written 25 October 2011*** I need to talk about Kevin. Directed by Lynne Ramsay and based on a best-selling book by Lionel Shriver, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a striking and problematic film that treads a tightrope walk between the sinister and the outright unbelievable. It wins out just, just, on the … Continue reading Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Review: Melancholia

***originally written 17 October 2011*** Kirsten Dunst plays Justine, and she has just been wed to Michael (Alexander Skarsgard). They’re an altogether unfairly beautiful couple, and their wedding reception has been planned lovingly by Justine’s sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and heavily financed by Claire’s rich husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) at a lavish country house complete … Continue reading Review: Melancholia

Review: Drive

***originally written 9 October 2011*** I know nothing about cars. Really, despite God knows how many cumulative hours of Top Gear, nothing has stuck. Even my housemate Tom knows how to approach me on the subject of cars. This brief conversation happened just yesterday: Tom: I got a new car. Me: Oh yeah? What kind? … Continue reading Review: Drive

Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

***originally written 26 September 2011*** Tomas Alfredson directed Let The Right One In. That was my entry point to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Not it’s none-more-British setting, nor the none-more-British line-up of elite acting talent. No. I was attracted by the prospect of following the further development of the Swedish director’s career following one of … Continue reading Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Review: The Guard

***originally written 12 September 2011*** The Guard doesn’t appear to have had a lot of publicity, or perhaps I’ve just not been in the right places to see it. But there doesn’t appear to have been much buzz about it. Mentioning to several people that I wanted to see it prompted at best questions as … Continue reading Review: The Guard

Review: The Skin I Live In

***originally written 29 August 2011*** It’s amazing what you can achieve on a large property with a basement or an out-house. If the horror genre and tabloid sensationalism have taught us anything, it’s that if a story’s setting involves either one of these mysterious areas of interest, then you can be sure something unsavoury is … Continue reading Review: The Skin I Live In

Review: Super 8

***originally written 10 August 2011*** J.J Abrams likes secrets. From the marketing strategy of Cloverfield, to the entire bait-the-audience storytelling of Lost (and we’ll come back to Lost later), Abrams knows that what interests the audience the most is often what they either don’t know, or can’t see. And so we come to his new … Continue reading Review: Super 8

Review: Hobo With A Shotgun

***originally written 2 August 2011*** How does a film review best serve its readers? More precisely, how does the reviewer best advise others? Is it to set aside personal preference and instead speak as though to the masses? And in doing so might one end up recommending only the most broadly palatable films? How does … Continue reading Review: Hobo With A Shotgun

Review: The Tree Of Life

***originally written 13 July 2011*** The first 15 minutes of The Tree Of Life, Terrence Malick’s new Palme D’Or winning opus, may put you off, dealing as they do, quite frankly, with the intense grieving process that parents go through at the sudden death of a child. Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain – the parents … Continue reading Review: The Tree Of Life