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Far from Heaven

    Todd Haynes wasn’t the first director to pay homage to Douglas Sirk, creator of teary melodramas such as Magnificent Obsession and Imitation of Life. Fassbinder had had a go with Fear Eats the Soul, a homage to All That Heaven Allows. And Haynes took the same source material for Far from Heaven, which … Read more

Le Procès aka The Trial

    An arch bullshitter of the first water, Orson Welles fell on Franz Kafka’s The Trial like he fell on everything – mountainously. Kafka’s is a simple story – about Joseph K, a man arrested for an unspecified crime, who is taken through a legal process, all the way protesting he’s innocent. Is he? … Read more

Strangers on a Train

    Remakes are always being mooted – one far-fetched internet rumour had Ricky Gervais starring in one of them – but whatever eventually pops out, it’s unlikely to eclipse this warped 1951 original, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Patricia Highsmith, surely one of cinema’s most misanthropic couplings. Hitchcock, as book after book … Read more

Keyhole

    “That penis is getting dusty” – a line of dialogue in wonky auteur Guy Maddin’s latest film, another arthouse exploration of arthouse themes delivered in high contrast monochrome, from a camera on a bungee and via an editor with attention deficit disorder. There are a couple of famous names too, just to lure … Read more
Toby Jones in Berberian Sound Studio

4 January 2013-01-04

Out in the UK This Week Berberian Sound Studio (Artificial Eye, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) “A dangerously aroused goblin prowls the dormitory” – a line that says it all from the never-seen film that soundman Toby Jones is working on in Peter Strickland’s follow-up to the brilliant, Romanian-set Katalin Varga, a brilliantly overheated, Italian-set homage to … Read more
Jeremy Irvine and Dakota Fanning in Now Is Good

Now Is Good

In Love Story, the 1970 weepie in which boy meets girl and girl dies – sorry, that’s it – it is, let me reiterate, the girl who dies. It always is, sickness being part of the female condition, in mainstream Hollywood of the era anyway. Different decade same idea in Now Is Good, a boy-meets-girl-and-girl-dies … Read more

26 November 2012-11-26

All distribution, certification info applies to UK only Ted (Universal, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Descending occasionally into Family Guy droning, Seth MacFarlane’s comedy about a guy (Mark Wahlberg) and his walking, talking, living teddy bear otherwise riffs rude and hilarious on popular culture – hookers and hookahs to Diff’rent Strokes and Ming the Merciless. Ted – … Read more

3 December 2012-12-03

All distribution, certification info applies to UK only   The Dark Knight Rises (Warner, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD/Download) The series has been overpumped but Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film is definitely the best of the bunch, a luxuriously long, character-packed comicbook adventure all the better for featuring Christian Bale’s caped crusader very little. The Dark Knight … Read more

10 December 2012-12-10

All distribution, certification info applies to UK only The Expendables 2 (Lionsgate, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Jason Statham helps action OAPs Sly, Arnie, Dolph, Bruce, Jean-Claude and even, god love him, Chuck Norris into their combat gear in a second tranche of lobotomised ass-kicking so ridiculous the franchise might run for ever. The Expendables 2 – … Read more

17 December 2012-12-17

Blu-ray and DVD releases this week. Distribution, certification info applies to UK only The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Cinefile, cert 15, DVD) Tonally similar to his Marius et Jeannette from 1997, Robert Guédiguian’s latest drama, about a Marseilles union official questioning his principles after he’s violently burgled by a comrade, is warm-hearted and delightful, Ken Loach … Read more
Arthur Christmas and Grandsanta

19 November 2012-11-19

Out in the UK This Week   Arthur Christmas (Sony, cert U, Blu-ray/DVD) There have been some terrible British animations in the past few years. Anyone remember Valiant? But this comic adventure re-imagining the Christmas delivery round as something that’s grown into a gigantic FedEx-like operation, with Santa Claus now almost as redundant as his … Read more
Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple in Killer Joe

9 November 2012-11-09

Out in the UK This Week Killer Joe (Entertainment One, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) French Connection/Exorcist director William Friedkin returns to form and hands a decent role to Matthew McConaughey, who plays a dead-eyed contract killer menacing a family who thought they’d hired him to kill the materfamilias for insurance gain. As with The Exorcist, Friedkin … Read more

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