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18 articles


Glasgow 2015: 'Second Coming' review

8 hours ago

★★★★☆ The feature debut of playwright Debbie Tucker Green, Second Coming (2014) opens with a shot of a murmuration of starlings. Their symbolic meaning - and particularly their endlessly beguiling flight - is often interpreted as purporting to familial relationships and improved communication. Both are vital elements of this terrific British drama that places God in the kitchen sink. Ostensibly a high-concept premise, what transpires is a scintillating psychological drama that explores the effect of an unexpected and unannounced pregnancy on an Afro-Caribbean family in London. The immaculate nature of the conception just adds further tension.

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- CineVue UK

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Glasgow 2015: 'My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn'

9 hours ago

★★★☆☆ Liv Corfixen's My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (2014) starts from the unfortunate position of being wide open to comparison with another behind-the-scenes peek, Eleanor Coppola's Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991). Where that film followed the incredible disasters that befell Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) shoot, this documents the far less eventful making of Danish enfant terrible Refn's Only God Forgives (2013). While Corfixen's film - clocking in at just under an hour - is little more than a DVD extra, it's also an intimate look at her husband's struggle with artistic satisfaction and her own with a life indentured to his blossoming career.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Catch Me Daddy'

9 hours ago

★★★★☆ Daniel and Matthew Wolfe's music video for The Shoes' Time to Dance starred Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal as a unaffected serial killer preying on Dalston's swelling hordes of hipsters. Unsurprisingly the promo went viral and gained them instant notoriety. Their debut feature Catch Me Daddy (2014) is a film that engages in a far more pertinent aspect of contemporary culture, combining British values and Islamic beliefs under a shared canopy of greed and dominant masculinity. Ostensibly a Western set within the rolling Yorkshire dales, the Wolfe brothers' naturalistic approach is tinged with flashes of alchemy; an abstract fairy tale for a society we've become tragically apathetic towards.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

23 hours ago

★★★☆☆ As the sequel to a film that hinted at a follow-up in the first outing's final scenes, John Madden's The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) offers just as much joy, heart and chuckles as its hugely successful predecessor. With director John Madden once again at the helm, the core cast is back to once again wend their way through a bustling Jaipur, dealing with new careers, young love and fresh beginnings in their twilight years. The audience is dragged into a world even more technicolored than before; one brimming with light and music, designed to evoke the eternal charm of India more prominently than ever.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'White God'

24 February 2015 12:00 PM, PST

★★★★☆ It's entirely fitting that Kornél Mundruczó begins his latest film with a dedication to the late Miklos Jancsó. Not only would the famed Hungarian auteur have had an enormous impact on his compatriot, but the latter's White God (2014) wears those influences proudly on its collar. Jancsó's preoccupations with the abuse of power are clear to see in this surreal and compelling new work, though Mundruczó has re-jigged the allegory from the oppression of the Communist regime of decades past, to that dished out to the marginalised in modern society. In this instance, the victim is a dog who decides that enough is enough, and leads his canine companions in brutal rebellion.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Hinterland'

24 February 2015 9:54 AM, PST

★★★★☆ Harry Macqueen's impressive directorial debut, Hinterland (2014), which he also scripts and stars in together with folk singer Lori Campbell follows two childhood friends who reconnect in their late twenties and go on a road trip to Cornwall. Lola (Campbell) is back in London after working for some years in America as a singer- musician. Harvey (Macqueen) picks her up in the city and drives her to his family's holiday home where they had spent much of their youth. Over one weekend they try to capture some of their childlike exuberance for simple pleasures. They take a boat trip, attempt to fish, walk along the windswept Cornish coast (it's February and desolate), sit around a fire, talk and drink.

It soon becomes apparent that Harvey is in love with Lola. Less clear are her true feelings for him. We learn that Lola only returned because her father has left her mother for another woman. »

- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'A Dark Reflection'

24 February 2015 4:00 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆ When it comes to passion projects and coherent filmmaking, there are sometimes odd disparities. There are pitfalls when a director or writer becomes so entrenched in the material that they fail to create a concise or cohesive work. For Tristan Loraine's A Dark Reflection (2015) the passion that comes through from his credits as writer, director and producer is present but it appears to have clouded the ability to present the audience with a story that is full of faulty wiring and stilted performances. Our heroine is Helen (Georgina Sutcliffe), a journalist recently returned to England from an assignment gone awry in the Middle East.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'It Follows'

24 February 2015 2:10 AM, PST

★★★★★ With It Follows (2014), David Robert Mitchell has delivered one of the best horror films of the decade. A beautifully rendered vision of the teenage psyche in the 21st century, it's a stylish, intelligent and densely textured masterpiece. While there are traditional scares and a familiar antagonistic force, the fear at the heart of the picture is terrifyingly human. We not only see the fragility of our younger selves reflected in its myriad horrors, we are confronted with the realisation that the nightmare of our teenage years is not ephemeral - it will haunt us throughout our lives. It Follows is the very essence of horror; sex, death and the bruising shackles of youth. »

- CineVue UK

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Weekly Round-up: 'Blackhat', 'Burgundy'

23 February 2015 10:43 PM, PST

Welcome to our regular weekly round-up of the best DVD, Blu-ray and cinema releases over the past seven days in the UK. We'll also strive to keep you updated on upcoming festivals, events and the latest trailers from across the web. Come back each Friday to see what our talented team of writers are recommending and catch up on all the week's new releases. As an independent film site, our aim is to reach out to the largest audience possible, whilst also highlighting and championing some of the more diverse and less known new releases from the world of cinema. We can only do this with your help and support, so please feel free to add your comments and let us know what films and events you'd like to hear more about. For regular updates or to continue the conversation, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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- CineVue UK

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Oscars 2015: Main award predictions

23 February 2015 10:43 PM, PST

Later this evening (and into the early hours for those of us in the UK), the 87th Academy Awards ceremony will take place at Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre, with director Richard Linklater's Boyhood going up against Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel for most of the main awards including Best Director and Best Picture. British hopeful Eddie Redmayne will go head-to-head for the Best Actor Oscar, while Julianne Moore is hotly tipped for the Best Actress gong for her turn in Still Alice. Elsewhere, in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette lead the race for their respective roles in drumming drama Whiplash and Linklater's well-represented Boyhood respectively. Here are our predictions for the main awards.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'The Boy Next Door'

23 February 2015 2:14 PM, PST

★☆☆☆☆ The inclusion and modern interpretation of literary classics like Homer's The Iliad and tales of Oedipus the King juxtaposed with the detrimental dialogue present throughout the entire film is just one of many reasons as to why Rob Cohen's The Boy Next Door (2015) will be remembered as one of the worst movies of the year. The sub-par acting, overdramatic cinematography and horribly predictable shock value of the film makes it all the more difficult to sit through without laughing at the ludicrous production or checking a cellphone to gauge how much torture one is expected to sit through before it finally ends. Worst of all, however, is the warped desire to sexualise the misogynistic actions of the lead sociopath.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Serena'

23 February 2015 2:00 PM, PST

★★☆☆☆ 'Tis a pity: given the star power and promises of period drama, Serena (2014) fizzles onscreen very quickly. Through casting switch-ups and an extended production window, the hope of a solid product would naturally be quite high. Even with the bankability of of its lead actors firmly in place, and an acclaimed helmer in Susanne Bier, it bows under the pressure of high expectation. Although it is a beautiful film to look at, the heartlessness soon shines through, exposing problematic constructions within a thematically intriguing story. Caught in the throes of the Great Depression, logging baron George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) is awash in debt and worry.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Doc of the Dead'

23 February 2015 1:23 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ There was a time when the zombie was considered the less illustrious horror stablemate to the sexier, more outwardly alluring vampire. The shift in popularity has risen significantly of late, and given the increasing prominence of the zombie mythos in mainstream entertainment, Doc of the Dead (2014) is both a welcome and long overdue look into the history and cultural impact of the humble flesh-eater. With the added movie geek credential of being co-produced by popular online cinematic commentator RedLetterMedia, director Alexandre Phillipe has carefully put together a documentary which appeals to both dyed-in- the-wool George A. Romero devotees and newer, Walking Dead-era converts.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Pictures of the Old World'

23 February 2015 12:04 PM, PST

★★★★★ "You should have come when I was in bloom," says one of the people interviewed by Dušan Hanák in his beautiful and staggering documentary, Pictures of the Old World (1972). A series of stills by Slovak photographer Martin Martinček were the inspiration, and Hanák seeks to capture the lives of the same elderly Tatra villagers in his own chiaroscuro collage. He begins utilising the same verdant metaphor as his aforementioned subject, asserting that the people he is presenting are rooted in the soil they came from, unable to be replanted for fear of perishing. While death is a very real element of this poignant tapestry, its underlying concern is life.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Fury'

23 February 2015 11:56 AM, PST

★★★★☆ The second film of director David Ayer's increasingly prolific career to be released this year following groggy Arnold Schwarzenegger shoot em' up Sabotage (2014), Fury (2014) is an epic Second World War action drama that - like each of his previous works - looks to examine the inner workings of violent men in violent circumstances on an even grander historical scale. Executive produced by leading star Brad Pitt and written by Ayer himself, the film is a bravura depiction of the harsh brutalities of war that, though monotonous, is an entirely rousing entry in the annals of great WWII cinema. Set in the spring of 1945 during the last month of the European Theatre of war, Pitt plays sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Birdman'

23 February 2015 7:16 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Director Alejandro González Iñárritu has toyed around with the elasticity of the medium before, most notably in the daringly non-linear 21 Grams (2003). With Birdman (2014) he once again attempts to turn the format on its head, concocting a visually exhilarating commentary on the pitfalls of celebrity and the process and art of performance. Presented as one continuous shot, it is a dizzyingly immersive experience to behold - jumps in time and between scenes are masterfully blended together. This is also the film's Achilles' heel, though, with the technique endlessly threatening to overpower the emotional content.

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- CineVue UK

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Oscars 2015: Iñárritu's 'Birdman' wins Best Picture, Best Director

23 February 2015 7:09 AM, PST

Something of a surprise success story on the night given recent results, the two biggest accolades of the 87th Academy Awards were reserved for Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, the recipient of both Best Picture and Best Director Oscars as well as Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Best Actress went to Julianne Moore for Alzheimer's weepy Still Alice and Best Supporting Actress to Patricia Arquette for her wonderful turn in Linklater's Boyhood. Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel found itself restricted to the technical awards but still managed a haul of four Oscars, whilst Damien Chazelle's Whiplash finished on three gongs, including Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons. Finally, Eddie Redmayne picked up Best Actor for The Theory of Everything.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Effie Gray'

23 February 2015 12:00 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Euphemia 'Effie' Gray was just twelve years old when esteemed Victorian art critic and writer John Ruskin wrote a novel for her called The King of the Golden River. It was a fable and the fairy tale looked like having a happy ending when some seven years later, Ruskin and Effie married, but things were not to turn out well. Due to an intense aversion to his young wife's body – an infamous case of Victorian repression – the marriage was never consummated and began to slowly decay until Effie made the courageous step of seeking an annulment. Richard Laxton's Effie Gray (2014) is a straightforward and somewhat televisual retelling of the oft-told story from a script by co-star Emma Thompson.

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- CineVue UK

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18 articles



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