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Samina Awan in Love + Hate

Love + Hate

      My heart often sinks when “the movies” decide to do a story of love across the racial divide. Too often the result is melodrama overplaying relatively unimportant differences (like skin colour) while underplaying the ones that do matter (ie culture). See Ken Loach’s Ae Fond Kiss, for example. Or, from the other … Read more
Bryan Greenberg and Uma Thurman in Prime

Prime

    Uma Thurman’s had a strange career. In between wondrous hits like Baron Munchausen, Dangerous Liaisons, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill there have been total duds like… where do we start?… The Truth About Cats and Dogs, The Avengers and Be Cool, to pick just three from many. Prime falls definitely into the latter … Read more
Jennifer Aniston as a French maid

Friends with Money

    Having struggled to escape the long shadow of Friends, Jennifer Aniston ends up in a film with Friends in the title, playing the singleton with three married couples as chums. Nicole Holofcener’s follow-up to 2001’s Lovely & Amazing walks the same line – it’s a gentle comedy exploring human foibles. Then, families were … Read more
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the white knight star of Brick

Brick

    Careful use of Spanish-flavoured old LA locations, low-slung camera angles and a devotion to hard-boiled dialogue, often maddeningly mumbled, make director Rian Johnson’s debut one of the most authentic nu-school noirs for some time. All the genre types are there – the honourable loner  (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the femme fatale (Nora Zehetner), the urbane … Read more
Jamie Foxx is Django, in Django Unchained

20 May 2013-05-20

Out in the UK this week     Django Unchained (Sony, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) If you could cross Gone with the Wind, Shaft, and A Fistful of Dollars, you might end up with something like Quentin Tarantino’s lavish entertainment starring Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx as unlikely amigos out to rescue a female slave (Kerry … Read more
Justin Rice, Andrew Bujalski and Rachel Clift in Mutual Appreciation

Mutual Appreciation

      A micro-budget black-and-white indie drama, written and directed by one of its co-stars, Andrew Bujalski, who plays the college lecturer graciously helping out old school friend and budding rock musician Alan (Justin Rice) after he relocates to New York. Failing to commit, being vaguely rubbish, avoiding maturity, just sort of drifting about, … Read more
Jude Law in eXistenZ

eXistenZ

    Combining two fields of interest of director David Cronenberg – the mediated-reality musings of Videodrome and the body horror of almost everything else he’s done – eXistenZ is about a video game designer dropping into the gamesworld she’s created, accompanied by a good-looking marketing trainee, to work out if it still all works … Read more
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT

    Can the sewer-dwelling Mutant Ninja Turtles dudes named after renaissance painters really still be teenagers? Just one of the many questions raised by the latest animated iteration of the once popular franchise that can trace its origins back to a comicbook spoof of the early 1980s. Foremost of those questions must be “Why?” … Read more
Martin Lawrence, John Travolta, Tim Allen and William H Macy

Wild Hogs

    Four suburban guys, all losers in different ways, go on a cross country trip on their Hogs – that’s Harley Davidsons to the uninitiated. The guys are John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy. En route to wherever they get mistaken for gays, find themselves on the wrong side of … Read more
Slavoj Zizek: the philosopher at work

Zizek!

      The media’s love-in with “the wild man of theory”, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, continues with this documentary about the bear/clown himself. Starting with Zizek’s rhetorical question, “What would be my spontaneous attitude towards the Universe”, Astra Taylor’s film continues in a playful vein through a US lecture tour and ends up … Read more
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon

Reno 911!: Miami

    A feature length version of the Comedy Central TV show. And, obeying a law that stretches back at least to the dawn of TV comedy, the format goes on holiday. To Miami, as the title suggests, where Reno’s precinct of variously useless cops suddenly find themselves the only police in town with a … Read more
Unicron – as voiced by Orson Welles – in The Transformers: The Movie

The Transformers: The Movie

    As a new multi-squillion-dollar Transformers movie directed by Michael (Pearl Harbor) Bay comes down the pipe, someone obviously thought a quick cash-in was in order. So here’s the old Transformers from 1986. On the upside: the voice talent is of the “well I never” variety. In what other film would you get Robert … Read more

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