Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Dragged Across Concrete (2018) Directed by S. Craig Zahler. Starring Troy Kittle, Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. ***1/2 Harnessing the strengths of his decidedly uncommercial (almost novelistic) narrative style but also suffering from the pacing and framing weaknesses which make it tricky to fully engage with his work, Dragged Across Concrete evidences the best andContinue reading “Dragged Across Concrete (2018)”

Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). Directed by Robert Aldrich. Starring Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland and Joseph Cotten. ***1/2 Robert Aldrich and Bette Davis do their damnedest to re-bottle the Baby Jane magic in this superior slice of Southern Gothic – a thematic sequel to the 1962 picture although lacking the creative tension that Joan CrawfordContinue reading “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)”

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019)

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019). Directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Starring Maxwell Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Aissa Maiga. ****1/2 Billed as an uplifting story of a boy saving his village from the Malawian famine of 2001 and while it may well eventually be just that the remarkable thing about Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut isContinue reading “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019)”

Wild Rose (2018)

Wild Rose (2018). Directed by Tom Harper. Starring Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo. **** A troubled upbringing rooted in a working class, Scottish environment proves to be surprisingly fertile ground for the artistic development of an aspiring country musician in this deeply rooted, realistic and inspiring tale of chasing your dreams and becomingContinue reading “Wild Rose (2018)”

The Red Shoes (1948)

The Red Shoes (1948). Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Starring Moira Shearer, Marius Goring and Anton Walbrook. ***** Ballet on film has never looked as stunning as it does in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s classic cinematic take on Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Red Shoes.  Creating a potent tale of obsessionContinue reading “The Red Shoes (1948)”

The Shape Of Water (2017)

The Shape Of Water (2017). Directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Starring Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones and Octavia Spencer. **1/2 The Creature From The Black Lagoon meets Amelie by way of glossy Douglas Sirk-lite melodrama in a heavily stylised version of 1950’s Baltimore for a tale which sets itself up as aContinue reading “The Shape Of Water (2017)”

Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)

Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017). Directed by S. Craig Zahler. Starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Udo Kier and Don Johnson. *** S. Craig Zahler follows up his cracking horror-western Bone Tomahawk with a morally dingy, uber-violent dive into the grindhouse neo-noir prison flick in Brawl In Cell Block 99. Sticking with the same genre-collisionContinue reading “Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)”

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Directed Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Henry Travers. ***** So intense is the finale of this picture that it is always a surprise to me that the sequence of this movie which everyone remembers – George’s breakdown, wish that he had never been born andContinue reading “It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)”

Dangerous Moonlight (1941)

Dangerous Moonlight (1941). Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. Starring Anton Walbrook, Sally Gray and Derrick De Marney. **** This tale of a shell-shocked amnesiac Polish bomber pilot and ace classical pianist might hang its hat on a particularly melodramatic framing narrative but within that it spins a pretty interesting tale, asking some pretty pertinent questionsContinue reading “Dangerous Moonlight (1941)”

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017). Directed by Jake Kasdan. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. *1/2 The beautiful, tactile, textured, hardwood Jumanji board game is traded in – or rather, inexplicably, magically transmogrified into – a rather dull 90’s style video console in Jake Kasdan’s empty, vacuous sequel.