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8 articles


Film Review: Hitman Agent 47

2 hours ago

★☆☆☆☆ The second adaptation of the successful video game series, Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) is no good whatsoever. Everything about it feels tired and half-hearted, as if it exists purely for the studio to hold onto the rights and make as much money as possible with minimal effort. Living on the fringes of society, Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is a hired assassin - a killing machine with no moral compass. His latest assignment is to track down Dr Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), the man responsible for engineering the program that bore him. With the CIA and shady organisation 'The Syndicate' on his tail with plans to militarise the tech, he's forced to rely on Dr Litvenko's daughter Katia van Dees (Hannah Ware) for help.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Barely Lethal'

2 hours ago

★★★☆☆ All genres go through cycles and phases. The High School movie is currently deep into a self-referential phase, in thrall to the classics of yesteryear. Barely Lethal (2015) is part of this trend, loudly winking at Mean Girls (2004), Clueless (1995), and even quoting a monologue from The Breakfast Club (1985). If only this lineage were more deeply embedded in its DNA, Barely Lethal it might have been more satisfying than the window-dressing that it is. The premise gives it a leg up on some of its competition. Raised in a secret military programme for training spies, Agent 83 (Hailee Steinfeld, Mvp of this year's Pitch Perfect 2) fakes her own death and escapes, determined to live an ordinary teenage life.

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- CineVue UK

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FrightFest 2015: 'Landmine Goes Click'

3 hours ago

★★★★☆ Levan Bakhia's Landmine Goes Click (2015) is the kind of genre flick that comes along sometimes - where a director's intentions can be misinterpreted. The brutalisation of three female characters is horrific, but it would be a presumptuous leap to suggest the film itself flexes a misogynistic creed. Such assertions would woefully misconstrue Bakhia's thematic subtext, which is an examination and comment on the male mind warped by patriarchal thinking and a manipulative form of self-exculpation/cowardice. Its spiritual relation is perhaps Gaspar Noé's Irréversible (2002), a violent fantasy saga about two men filled with blind rage doling out vile retribution, after one's partner is raped in a Parisian subway.

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- CineVue UK

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FrightFest 2015: 'Cherry Tree' review

4 hours ago

★☆☆☆☆ David Keating's silly and unsuccessful folklore horror film, Cherry Tree (2015), suffers from a list of ailments no old crone in a woodland cottage, with her library of esoteric books, magic spells and potions, could ever save or transform into a superior version. She'd look the film straight in the eye and wish it the best of luck. The issues and problems cripple what could have been a gnarly genre piece. Because everybody loves sexy witches being evil, right? Among many, one of the most peculiar creative decisions is to pretend it wasn't filmed in Ireland, with the cast suppressing their Irish lilts in favour of, sometimes, strained attempts at Rp or Thames Valley intonations.

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- CineVue UK

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FrightFest 2015: 'Aaaaaaaah!' review

4 hours ago

★★★★☆ Steve Oram's directorial debut Aaaaaaaah! (2015) comes on like a collaboration between Dogme '95 and Chris Morris. It's hard to think of another film closely like it in British cinema. It really is that out-there and singular. You can bet your bottom dollar on Aaaaaaaah! becoming a cult oddity in years to come, but it's equally fair to say that the general cinema-going audience would be left nonplussed. It's an experimental work for the arthouse crowd, certainly, but it's also one of the funniest and most poignant movies of the year. The lives of gorillas and other primates, their hierarchies, interactions and rituals, serve as chief inspirations for Oram's anthropological social satire/horror-comedy.

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- CineVue UK

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FrightFest 2015: 'Sun Choke' review

4 hours ago

★★★★★ Ben Cresciman's intense psychological horror film, Sun Choke (2015), is the story of a woman staring into the abyss of nothingness and liking what she sees: absolute nothing, a retreat from the chaos of the light. It's been likened to grand auteurs such as Bergman, Lynch and Polanski, and those debts are easily enough to pull out. However, the director's approach and 'treatment' of his protagonist, Janie (the astoundingly good Sarah Hagan), and the depiction of her mental illness and form of disassociation is perhaps more informed and closer in spirit to the 1981 German production, No Mercy, No Future, by Helma Sanders-Brahms.

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- CineVue UK

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FrightFest 2015: 'Deathgasm' review

4 hours ago

★★★★☆ With What We Do in the Shadows, Housebound and now Deathgasm (2015), New Zealand is fast becoming the go-to place for crowd-pleasing horror comedies. Jason Lei Howden's directorial debut is primed for unalloyed genre thrills, making you laugh until your sides hurt and subverting the rom-zom-com format. If fears going in hinged on the suspicion that Deathgasm was an attention-grabbing title and nothing much else, worries dissipate soon enough, as a laugh-out-loud banquet of blood, made in the spirit of Evil Dead II (1988) and Peter Jackson's Braindead (1992), plays out on the screen. Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) is a heavy metal fan spinning the black circle for Satan.

At least, that's what his God-bothering aunt and uncle think. As with many kids who find solace in extreme music and subcultures, it's got nothing to do with religion or devil-worshipping. Brodie's only friends in the world (apart from his beloved record collection) are two RPG nerdlingers, »

- CineVue UK

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FrightFest 2015: 'Emelie' review

5 hours ago

★★★★☆ Despite a third act change of tone, that plays out like a hybrid of Home Alone (1990) and The Shining (1980), there is still plenty to admire in Michael Thelin's debut movie. For much of its brisk eighty-two minutes running time, Emelie (2015) is a devilishly good thriller of notably transgressive bent, giving the slasher and home invasion formats a rare matriarchal focus. However, once it has to commit to the familiar trope of the plucky protagonist fighting back against the unwelcome intruder, it loses something vital; the edge and suspense evaporates into a formulaic duke out, and certain generic obligations are dutifully fulfilled.

Sarah Bolger plays the titular character, a demented babysitter spurred into criminality by tragic events, and it's the kind of performance that crops up and wows only once in a while. Her star-making, nuanced portrayal of a young mother driven to recreating the past, while wrecking the lives of others, »

- CineVue UK

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