The Room

Kate and Matt

Weirdo sci-fi The Room has plot to spare and every time it feels like it’s about to hit a dead end of genre familiarity, the cul de sac reveals itself to be a road to somewhere else. The first “dead end” comes early on. After a boastful credit sequence during which much has been made of the fact that this is an “original idea by Christian Volckman”, with “written by” input by blah, and “collaboration and dialogs” by blah and blah, a strangely familiar story appears to get going. A couple who have moved out of the city and bought a doer-upper in upstate New York. They unload boxes, they throw old furniture … Read more


Timothy Olyphant in Hitman

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 26 June First barcode scanned, 1974 On this day in 1974, a packet of Wrigley’s chewing gum became the first product to be scanned by a barcode reader for commercial purposes. The so-called Universal Product Code had been in development since the late 1940s, when Bernard Silver, a Pennsylvania graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology had overheard a local supermarket owner bemoaning the fact that there wasn’t a system for automatically scanning items through a checkout. Drexel went to work, first using ultra-violet inks (they faded), then Morse code in which the dots were stretched to become lines, fatter ones … Read more

The Expatriate aka Erased

Aaron Eckhart and Liana Liberato in The Expatriate

Perhaps the first thing that needs to be asked before discussing this action thriller is “what the hell happened to Aaron Eckhart?” Having started out in a clutch of interesting films either written or directed by Neil LaBute, he went on to play alongside Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich, after which stardom seemed assured. But since then he’s turned up in film after film that delivered less than it promised – The Core, Thank You for Smoking, The Black Dahlia, The Wicker Man. Before pausing at The Dark Knight, the over-rated second instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Then continuing on down – Rabbit Hole, Battle Los Angeles, The Rum Diary. Which brings … Read more