Why I Love… #131: Special Effects

Year: 1984 Director: Larry Cohen Stars: Zoë Lund, Eric Bogosian, Brad Rijn Larry Cohen made cheap, dirty, gritty films. Not the kind that got a lot of respect on release (or, in most cases, later on for that matter). They were often genre pictures that belayed a scabrous social critique. His most popular and irreverent … Continue reading Why I Love… #131: Special Effects

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

Why I Love… #128: Marathon Man

Year: 1976 Directed: John Schlesinger Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider, William Devane In the 1970s America was wrestling with a number of demons. Vietnam. Watergate. A decade of politicised assassinations. A country that once sold itself as young and idealistic suddenly found itself wading through an antagonised adolescence (with plenty more growing pains set to … Continue reading Why I Love… #128: Marathon Man

Review: Parasite

Director: Bong Joon-Ho Stars: Song Kang-Ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong Throughout his career, writer/director Bong Joon-Ho has been preoccupied with matters of class and entitlement. From the underdog family at the centre of monster-movie riff The Host to the very premise of train-bound sci-fi Snowpiercer. Bong has a penchant for asking us to root for … Continue reading Review: Parasite

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: Angel Has Fallen

Director: Ric Roman Waugh Stars: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith Seemingly made for the six people left who still think that 24 ought to be a thing, but with half the budget of a standard episode, Angel Has Fallen is the second sequel to silly but harmless action thriller Olympus Has Fallen. Industrial … Continue reading Review: Angel Has Fallen

Time Capsule: Demonlover

Director: Olivier Assayas Stars: Connie Nielsen, Chloë Sevigny, Gina Gershon Having been wooed by Olivier Assayas' recent output (Personal Shopper and particularly Clouds Of Sils Maria) its been gratifying to find the UK's independent labels responding to a desire to work back through his catalogue. Earlier works have been made available on physical media thanks to … Continue reading Time Capsule: Demonlover

Review: Bird Box

Director: Susanne Bier Stars: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson In 1988 John Carpenter made They Live, an apocalyptic sci-fi yarn that spoke of the blindness in society to rampant, soulless consumerism and also complacent, illadvised trust in authority. It received lukewarm responses and achieved a middling box office performance. It has become a cult classic, as … Continue reading Review: Bird Box

Review: Cam

Director: Daniel Goldhaber Stars: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters Of all professions, the oldest is among the most stigmatised by cinema. Sex workers do not carry much credo on the silver screen, especially in horror where they are almost always unsympathetic victims to whatever raving lunatic is wielding a knife this month. Don't get … Continue reading Review: Cam

Review: A Simple Favour

Director: Paul Feig Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding We can always count on trashy movies hitting the multiplexes year in and year out, but goddamn, few recently have been as gloriously knowing and deliciously entertaining as the latest from Paul Feig, the man behind the beloved Bridesmaids and the besmirched Ghostbusters reboot. Whatever you make … Continue reading Review: A Simple Favour

Review: Upgrade

Director: Leigh Whannell Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson Do you fondly recall the late 80's/early 90's boom in pulpy, violent sci-fi thrillers? Leigh Whannell sure does. The creator of Saw and Insidious returns here with a terrific ode to these pictures of yesteryear, employing many of their tics without resorting to cheap-shot homage or empty … Continue reading Review: Upgrade

Review: The Equalizer 2

Director: Antoine Fuqua Stars: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders Back when I was a teenager I had a VHS copy of U.S. Marshals, the also-ran sequel to The Fugitive. That film's star Harrison Ford had bolted the fledgling franchise. Instead it was Tommy Lee Jones who reprised his role, hunting down Wesley Snipes with … Continue reading Review: The Equalizer 2

Review: Revenge

Director: Coralie Fargeat Stars: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe Of all of horror's myriad subgenres, the rape revenge film is one of the most troubling and misunderstood, in part because the films themselves divide distinctly from one another. Calling attention to all the most negative connotations are movies which treat the abuse … Continue reading Review: Revenge

Review: A Quiet Place

Director: John Krasinski Stars: Millicent Simmonds, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt Don't buy popcorn when you go to see A Quiet Place. Go to see it. Absolutely go to see it. Take your best friend who loves an instant classic creature feature. But don't buy popcorn. Don't take snacks. Eat beforehand. If you can, try not to … Continue reading Review: A Quiet Place

Review: Red Sparrow

Director: Francis Lawrence Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Edgerton Director Francis Lawrence and the star of his three Hunger Games features, Jennifer Lawrence, reunite for something altogether different (yet naggingly familiar) with this smooth, slick and wholly soulless spy thriller based on a book by Jason Matthews. J-Law stars as Dominika Egorova, a renowned Bolshoi … Continue reading Review: Red Sparrow