24th Apr2017

‘The Life of Oharu’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshiaki Onoe, Benkei Shiganoya, Tsukie Matsuura | Written by Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoshikata Yoda | Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi The overarching Buddhist message of Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1952 epic should provide a clue as to the sheer depth of misery our eponymous heroine must endure in her lifetime. Death, and another chance in the […]

18th Apr2017

‘Solaris [1972]‘ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Jüri Järvet | Written by Andrei Tarkovsky; Fridrikh Gorenshtein | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky It’s Will Self’s favourite movie, it spawned a good remake which barely nudged the box office, and it has been described as the Soviet answer to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It combines the laid-back, character-based […]

10th Apr2017

‘City of Tiny Lights’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Riz Ahmed, Billie Piper, James Floyd, Roshan Seth, Cush Jumbo | Written by Patrick Neate | Directed by Pete Travis I could watch Riz Ahmed in almost anything, but there are limits, tested here by this deeply mediocre British mystery thriller. Adapted by Patrick Neate from his 2005 novel, City of Tiny Lights is helmed by […]

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03rd Apr2017

‘The Autopsy of Jane Doe’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Olwen Kelly, Ophelia Lovibond | Written by Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing | Directed by Andre Ovredal Grantham, Virginia. A house-full of grisly murders. The body of an unidentified female is found half-buried in the basement. Down the road is the Tilden Mortuary and Crematorium, a family business that has been […]

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30th Mar2017

‘The Love Witch’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Samantha Robinson, Gian Keys, Laura Waddell, Jared Sanford | Written and Directed by Anna Biller If Viva was Anna Biller’s ode to 1970s sexploitation films, The Love Witch is the auteur’s loving – and really quite lovely – homage to the 1960s horror heyday of Hammer Films and Roger Corman. Funny, seductive, and in the […]

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29th Mar2017

‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Yunosuke Ito, Go Kato | Written by Kazuo Koike, Tsutomu Nakamura | Directed by Kenji Misumi, Buichi Saito, Yoshiyuki Kuroda Producing six films across two years (1972-1974) is no mean feat, especially when you consider that they mostly retain their quality throughout. Based on the 28-volume manga series by Kazuo […]

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24th Mar2017

‘Free Fire’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Michael Smiley, Sam Riley, Jack Reynor | Written by Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump | Directed by Ben Wheatley From A Field in England to a High-Rise in London to a warehouse in a US dockland, you cannot say writer-director Ben Wheatley is predictable. Except Free Fire […]

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18th Mar2017

‘Get Out’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root | Written and Directed by Jordan Peele Blumhouse Productions is on something of a commercial and critical winning streak at the moment.  Aside from providing a platform for Joel Edgerton’s excellent The Gift, it is […]

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10th Mar2017

‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

There are many questions I was expecting to ask of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. How have Nintendo expanded beyond the increasingly regimented boundaries of their second flagship franchise? How will our hero, Link, fit into a world of Witchers and Far Cries, which have perfected their open worlds over the past […]

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06th Mar2017

‘Multiple Maniacs’ Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole | Written and Directed by John Waters It may not be immediately apparent how this – his second feature, a meandering, 16mm extravaganza of micro-budget bad taste made in 1969 – could be John Waters’ highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes.  But in a way it makes sense: […]

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27th Feb2017

‘A Cure For Wellness’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Celia Imrie, Ivo Nandi, Adrian Schiller, Harry Groener | Written by Justin Haythe |  Directed by Gore Verbinski Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is a cocky young executive working for a New York financial services firm. The board summons him and explains that there are unsavoury business shenanigans afoot. The source […]

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24th Feb2017

‘Cul-De-Sac’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lionel Stander, Françoise Dorléac, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier | Written by Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach | Directed by Roman Polanski Roman Polanski’s taste for dark absurdist comedy is in full swing in 1966 comedy-thriller Cul-De-Sac. It’s his second English-language film, sandwiched between Repulsion and Fearless Vampire Killers. Compared with his towering classics […]

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21st Feb2017

‘Fences’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Stephen Henderson | Written by August Wilson | Directed by Denzel Washington Based on the stage play by the late August Wilson, Fences is the third directorial effort from Denzel Washington. The period is the mid-1950s, and we zoom from Pittsburgh, to the street, to […]

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15th Feb2017

‘The Founder’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Justin Randell Brooke, Kate Kneeland, Patrick Wilson | Written by Robert D. Siegel | Directed by John Lee Hancock Is there a more American director working in film than John Lee Hancock? He’s covered the Alamo; yanked Republican heartstrings in The […]

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14th Feb2017

‘Hidden Figures’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell | Written by Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder | Directed by Theodore Melfi 1961. Yuri Gagarin is about to leave Earth, and Alan Shepherd is not far behind. The USA is desperate to beat the Russians […]

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10th Feb2017

‘Mildred Pierce’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett, Butterfly McQueen | Written by Ranald MacDougall, Catherine Turney | Directed by Michael Curtiz The shadow of Casablanca will always loom over Michael Curtiz’s bumper filmography, but time has been nearly as kind to Mildred Pierce, an adaptation of James M. Cain’s 1941 novel. A Joan […]

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09th Feb2017

‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Eddie Izzard | Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington | Directed by Chris McKay The Age of Animation rolls on, and we’re in a pretty […]

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02nd Feb2017

‘T2 Trainspotting’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Anjela Nedyalkova, Kelly Macdonald | Written by John Hodge | Directed by Danny Boyle 20 years on, the idea of a sequel to a film that was so entrenched in a time and place in modern British history might seem like folly. And while it’s […]

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31st Jan2017

‘Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams’ Review (Criterion Collection)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Akira Terao, Martin Scorsese, Mieko Harada, Mitsuko Baisho | Written by Akira Kurosawa | Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Ishiro Honda Made in 1990, in the twilight of his career, this is the kind of out-there movie that only an auteur of Akira Kurosawa’s status could have brought (or had financed) to fruition. He had […]

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25th Jan2017

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughan, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington | Written by Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan | Directed by Mel Gibson Andrew Garfield goes to Japan to face a powerful enemy, and finds his Christian faith and pacifist opposition tested to the limit in a realm of violent conflict. But enough about Martin Scorsese’s Silence. […]

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24th Jan2017

‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Luke Wilson | Written and Directed by Wes Anderson The final part of Wes Anderson’s “Owen Wilson trilogy” (the last Wilson co-wrote) is a typically oddball family opera. From the opening scene we see the Anderson tropes: A muzaked cover of a […]

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23rd Jan2017

‘The Squid and the Whale’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, David Benger, Anna Paquin | Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach As they bicker over the tennis net and over the dinner table, there’s tension in the Berkman family from the start. The year is 1986, and a pair of middle class Brooklyn parents […]

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