15th Jan2015

Review Round-Up: ‘D.I.Y.’ & ‘Life Itself’

by Nicky Johnson

D.I.Y.

diy

No, this isn’t an informative article about building shelves and benches but rather the first major short film from Josh and Mitch and Jam Flicks, better known for their adverts. Cantering around one man, Andrew (Anton Saunders), who’s left broken after discovering his wife has had an affair. Unable to confront her about it, he tracks down the man she’s sleeping with and goes to his place of work – a D.I.Y store.

This is easily the best short film I’ve reviewed so far. There’s almost nothing to it; no real action, or strong dialogue. In fact then entire script is basically the guy serving Andrew and being bemused with his spaced out behaviour. It all pretty much rests on Saunders’s acting and portrayal of a man torn between doing nothing and brutally assaulting the man sleeping with his wife. Fortunately, he does a stellar job.

I would’ve like to have seen more, if I’m honest. This a simple, subtle, gripping ten minute watch, but I would’ve happily sat through another ten and took a bit more story and interaction. Inter-cutting the mundane shopping conversation with snippets of Andrew losing it in his car, or coming home to find clothes everywhere and screaming into his wife’s lovers jeans is a brilliant way to add backstory and context, but I’d still like to see more.

That said, I’ll refer you to my second paragraph – D.I.Y. is easily the best short film I’ve reviewed so far. I’d love to see if they make more like this but next time, preferably one with a bit more meat to it. As it is though, this is definitely worth 10 minutes of your time

**** 4/5

Life Itself

ebert

Review by Dan Clark

Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself explores the impact and legacy of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. Directed by acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) with Martin Scorsese (The Departed, Raging Bull) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Moneyball) as executive producers, this feature documentary recounts Roger’s inspiring and entertaining life – a story that is by turns personal, wistful, funny, painful, and uplifting.

I like to fashion myself an amateur movie critic. Well, maybe critic is too strong of a word. I like to write opinions on movies and share them with the world. I also love to read and listen to movie reviews and it all started because of Roger Ebert. Even before I knew his name I was reading his reviews in the newspaper.

Life Itself gets to what makes Ebert such an important figure in the movie industry. Some of the best parts were seeing the partnership and rivalry between Ebert and Gene Siskel form. Never did I realize just how deep their rivalry ran. Life Itself reminds us just how much Ebert did for the world of film, but also how his life was much more than just watching movies.

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