Month: December 2020

Dylan Gelula and Cooper Raiff


  Shithouse is an attention-grabbing title for a film. It’s a title likely to put some people off, which is a pity because Cooper Raiff’s feature debut is a fantastic film. Writer/director Raiff also stars, as a homesick dorky freshman at university miles from where he grew up. Alex has

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Ana Luiza Ros and Tavinho Teixeira

The Cannibal Club

  Sperm, vomit, blood and a critique of middle-aged masculinity, you can’t accuse The Cannibal Club of a lack of originality. It’s a musical, no of course it isn’t, it’s a horror film but one that’s careful about the way it doles out the bloodshed. As the curtain rises, trophy

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Stormtroopers resting between takes

Elstree 1976

  The Kickstarter-funded Elstree 1976 looks like it’s going to be about Star Wars, not least because of the packaging and that being the year that the studio to the north of London was booked out by George Lucas to make his epic space adventure. It is, tangentially, but in

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Major Prentis in a prison cell

Shuttlecock aka Sins of a Father

Shuttlecock, it says on the IMDB, with the year 2020 in a bracket. Doesn’t that face look like Alan Bates, I thought to myself as the grainy image of a middle-aged man appeared on the screen. Since Bates died in 2003 this seemed unlikely. Up come the opening credits and

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The family (plus guest) line up for a Christmas photo

Happiest Season

  Gooey, sentimental Richard Curtis movies are the template for this wannabe starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as Abby and Harper, a romantically linked couple going back to Harper’s parents’ for Christmas. Being a mainstream movie about homosexual love – Lesbians, Actually – these young women are not in-your-face

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Barkeep Mark (left) and the daytime regulars

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

  A day in the life of a Las Vegas bar, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is also a portrait of the lifestyle of the professional barfly. It’s actually the last day in the life of this bar, because the Roaring 20s is about to shut up shop for good. So

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Eleanor and Mackenzie in the snow


  Godmothered is Disney product. Written to a Disney template, cast, directed, lit and edited in an efficient business-like Disney way, it’s a comedy fairytale that popped off the production line and onto screens wrapped up all nicely and ready to go. Its story even resembles an existing Disney film,

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Herman Mankiewicz at work in bed


  Mank is the story, well known to film nerds, of the writing of Citizen Kane, for many the greatest film ever made. More exactly it’s two stories, one about writer Herman Mankiewicz dishing the dirt on press baron William Randolph Hearst (his model for press baron Charles Foster Kane)

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Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbott

Black Bear

  Aubrey Plaza fans, here’s your film. In Black Bear she plays one, two, three or even four roles, depending on how you’re counting, as an actor/director trying to hash out a screenplay out in a cabin in the woods. From the first instant that Allison (Plaza) arrives at this

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Zed in hospital gown

Mogul Mowgli

  Mogul Mowgli jumps into debates about authenticity and cultural appropriation – often conducted by people with no skin in the game on behalf of people who do – and does a decent job of trying to make itself heard above the din of the culture war. It does it

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