Scene from Murnau's Faust

Home Entertainment

Keanu the interviewer in Side by Side

13 May 2013-05-13

Out in the UK this week Side by Side (Axiom, cert 15, DVD) A documentary about the digital revolution in movie making that runs through the whole process – first the workings of the old photochemical technology which was king for more than 100 years and then on to how digital has changed everything, from cameras and acting, to editing and effects, the print and the projector. His Matrix experience apart, Keanu Reeves initially seems an unlikely guide to the whole thing. But he’s not just a voiceover, he’s the interviewer and producer of the documentary and it’s probably thanks to his clout that it gets access to pretty much anyone it wants. … Read more
Rosamund PIke and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

2 February 2015-02-02

Out in the UK This Week Gone Girl (Fox, cert 18) Authors are often not the best adapters of their own work for the screen, because they’re too close to the original – Norah Ephron’s Heartburn (a novel and film about her disintegrating marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein) being the classic example. But Gillian Flynn does an impressive job turning her smash novel into a big screen property, keeping most of the plot curlicues, and maintaining for as long as possible the “did he/didn’t he” structure. Ben Affleck plays the husband painted by every shred of evidence turned up by the police as the murderer of his disappeared high-maintenance wife (Rosamund Pike). It’s another example … Read more
Agata Trzebuchowska in Ida

24 November 2014-11-24

Out in the UK This Week Ida (Artificial Eye, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD/digital) Pawel Pawlikowski’s thematic follow-up to 2004’s My Summer of Love is a drama about a novice nun in early 1960s Poland, made in the style of a Polish film from the early 1960s – black and white, old-school Academy ratio (or close), bleak but pungent Eastern Bloc locations. The arthouse stylistics are really the only exception you might take to the film – brilliantly done though they are – because they introduce a barrier between the audience and what is essentially Sideways minus the wine and sunshine, a sometimes comic road trip about this young woman, who discovers she is not by … Read more
Tom Cruise hangs onto a cargo plane in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

23 November 2015-11-23

Out This Week Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Paramount, cert 12) Tom Cruise’s desire to be James Bond really gets the better of him in M:I5, a flabby action spectacular which has visited Vienna, London, Langley, Paris and Havana within its first 20 minutes or so, right after the pre-credits sequence which sees Jason Bourne, hang on, Ethan Hunt clambering onto the outside of a cargo plane as it’s taking off. A stunt done for real, we’re told, and impressive whether it was or wasn’t. Christopher McQuarrie wrote and directed, so there’s plenty of that “who is the real bad guy?” attitude that was the making of The Usual Suspects, but here is … Read more
Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in Labor Day

4 August 2014-08-04

Out in the UK This Week Starred Up (Fox, cert 18, DVD/Blu-ray/digital) Starred Up is a British prison drama, a phrase that usually strikes fear into the soul. But this one is an exception. Jack O’Connell isn’t the only reason for it, though he’s convincing as a young lag toughing his way to the top. The script pulls its weight too, with lots of tiny details – like our guy peeling off his top before some argy-bargy and dousing himself in baby oil so the screws can’t get a hold of him – and an awareness that a prison drama only has a certain number of places it can go (the showers, the top dog’s … Read more
Catherine Frot as Marguerite

18 July 2016-07-18

Out This Week Marguerite (Picturehouse, cert 15) The story of the socialite who sang like a scalded cat is also told by the film Florence Foster Jenkins. But this is France, the singer has been renamed Marguerite and instead of Meryl Streep there’s Catherine Frot in the lead role as the rich woman whose wealth buys her the appreciation – grins set to “fixed” – of her retinue of hangers-on in the select musical soirees she finances out of her own pocket. I’ve not seen FFJ, but have heard that it doesn’t go for the easy joke at Jenkins’s expense. If that’s true then director Xavier Giannoli and co have taken the same tack with Marguerite … Read more
Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult in Equals

3 October 2016-10-03

Out This Week When Marnie Was There (StudioCanal, cert U) Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the guy at Studio Ghibli who isn’t Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata, this is Japanese animation studio’s final, so Ghibli say, film. And it’s a typically sweet, anglophile story about a typically bereft child called Anna finding typical solace in the supernatural realm – a ghost, called Marnie, who lives in the big deserted house over the bay from Anna’s aunt and uncle. Adapted from Joan G Robinson’s Norfolk-set classic, it’s slow-moving and less loaded with drama than Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies or Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, but it’s undeniably sweet, and charms with its familiar Ghibli-style animation – 2D, … Read more

Popular Posts