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Showing posts from September, 2016

Don't Breathe (2016)

Directed by Fede Alvarez, Home Alone 6 Don’t Breathe stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette and Daniel Zovatto as three young burglars that pick the wrong house. Stephen Lang plays their apparent easy target: a blind man with a ridiculous Tom Hardy-esc voice, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash hidden in his house. Their new host manages to turn the tables though, and if you have seen the trailer you will know what I mean when I say that this is one of the most original concepts for a horror film I’ve seen in a long time.
This was the third time my friend Eve and I had tried to go to see something together at the cinema. Hail, Caesar! (2016) didn’t happen when phone batteries and ridiculous traffic conspired against us, and The Usual Suspects (1995) didn’t happen when Odeon forgot to get the rights to show it! So when we found ourselves running nearly 30 minutes late in awful traffic again, we were close to giving up and banning each other from going anywhere near the same cinema…

Hell or High Water (2016)

David Mackenzie continues to resist typecasting of his work by following up his 2013 prison drama, Starred Up, with what feels like a modern western, Hell or High Water. The successful unearthing of scripts that were previously black listed seems to be a recurring theme at the moment, and it was Taylor Sheridan’s Hell or High Water that won the 2012 survey of as yet unpublished scripts. Chris Pine and Ben Foster play down-on-their-luck brothers who turn to bank heists for necessary funds. Jeff Bridges plays himself a wisened Texas Ranger close to retirement who is assigned the job of putting their run to an end alongside his partner (Gil Birmingham). I had only heard good things about this going in to it and was gutted I had missed an exclusive preview a few weeks back so this is one I was really looking forward to.
So often there are comparisons between the merits of modern television shows and films. Which is better? Obviously, both obviously have their merits and there’s more th…

My Movie Bucket List

The summer I graduated from university I took the opportunity of a bit of downtime to start to work through those films “you need to watch.” There are loads of books and online lists of all of the films you need to see before you die (one of which I really enjoyed working through recently), but there are some films that find their way on each. I’m talking about those films where people’s jaws drop to the floor if you were to mention that you haven’t them. “OMG you would LOVE that!… HOW have you never seen that?... You haven’t LIVED until you have watched it,” etc etc.
That summer I made full use of the LoveFilm offer of a free month’s subscription, and then eventually succumbed to paying for a few more. The idea of renting DVDs online seems dated already but at the time it was a great chance for me to get hold of all of the classic films I wanted to work through. I would have a list of films I ‘needed’ to watch and I would receive one on the doormat every other day. I then had to…

My Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has those films they may be a tad embarrassed to admit they liked. They went to the cinema with their dark shades on and hat pulled right down. They hide the DVD in a cupboard and only take it out to watch when they’re alone and the curtains are pulled. Well here are mine. What do critics know anyway?

Vertical Limit (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes = 48%
I actually remember going to the cinema with my Dad and brother to see Chris O’Donnell jump, slide and fall from icy mountain faces. The film’s story may be a bit clich├ęd, but the action sequences are absolutely brilliant. You’re in for a thrill ride right from the start when Peter (O’Donnell) and Annie (Robin Tunney) have to witness their Dad cut himself loose and fall to his death to save them. Years later Peter is left pulling together a ramshackle climbing crew up K2 after the elite team his sister was a part of are hit by an avalanche during a climb. With his sister trapped down a crevasse, he’s then faced with fierce terrain, life t…

Stand By Me (1986)

Stephen King’s 1982 collection of short stories, Different Seasons, contains four novellas – three of which were eventually put to the big screen. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Apt Pupil (1998) were given movie interpretations with opposing success, but it was the 1986 coming of age film, Stand By Me, that I was compelled to put on this week. This may have had something to do with a certain Netflix television series, and the lingering impression its 80s homages seems to have made on everyone I know that has seen it.

If you have somehow managed to avoid it (stop and go watch it now if that is the case), Stranger Things is a Netflix supernatural horror series written and directed by the Duffer Brothers. It’s a story of a group of boys and when they come across a girl going by the name of Eleven as they look for their missing friend. The creators unashamedly use its 80s setting to pay faithful homage to works synonymous with that period. Those brilliant nods to Steven Spielber…

Young Frankenstein (1974)

The great comedy collaborative act of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder came together again in 1974’s Young Frankenstein. The two worked together on the screenplay together before Brooks directed Wilder in the lead role. The film is a spoof of the early Universal horror classics Frankenstein (1931), and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Brooks considers it his finest work as writer-director. The film tells the story of the great grandson of Dr. Frankenstein and his struggles to shake off the reputation of his ancestor as he tries to make his own way in the world of science. When he receives word he has inherited his family estate in Transylvania, he uncovers the science behind his predecessor’s plans to play god and bring the dead back to life.
I was inspired to put on Young Frankenstein last night for a couple of reasons. The most obvious was that of the passing of Gene Wilder. I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t seen many of his films at all, but the news of his death did strike a c…