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16 articles


Film Review: 'The Guest'

4 hours ago

★★★★☆Rightly selected as the opening salvo of this year's well-attended 15th Film4 FrightFest in London, fervently followed American genre director Adam Wingard's The Guest (2014) had the difficult task of coming after the excellent besieged family bloodbath You're Next (2013), which had audiences howling with delight back in in 2011. The Guest once again sees a group of people under threat in their own home, but on this occasion the danger comes very much from within. Wingard's latest was warmly received after its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and it's easy to see why - gleefully channelling B-movie pulp whilst simultaneously lacing it with a delicious self-awareness.

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Venice 2014: 'Fires on the Plain' review

8 hours ago

★★★★☆A tubercular nightmare vision of war in all its bloody ferocity, Tetsuo (1989) director Shin'ya Tsukamoto's Fires on the Plain (2014) stormed into competition at Venice with a loud and frankly mad rush to seize its objective, regardless of the cost. Shot through with the same élan that saw steam punk body horror Tetsuo grind itself a cult niche, Tsukamoto adapts Shohei Ooka's novel Nobi - already filmed in 1959 by Kon Ichikawa - into a fever dream of defeat, cannibalism and madness. The war is going badly for Japan and Private Tamura (Tsukamoto himself) is with his ragged unit in the jungles of the Philippines, sick with TB and unable to be of much use to anyone as the Imperial Japanese Army prepare to retreat.

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Venice 2014: 'A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence'

9 hours ago

★★★★☆Tragedy says "We all die", whilst comedy says "Ah, but life goes on". Entering the race for the Golden Lion, Roy Andersson's first feature film in seven years - the brilliantly titled existential comedy A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014) - is essentially a tragi-comedy which says "We all die and life goes on". A compendium of sketches and tableaux, running jokes and even musical numbers, Andersson packs his film with thought-provoking deadpan humour: think The Fast Show, but Swedish and obviously not particularly pacey. Just to get things rolling nicely, a number of people drop dead. A corpulent man suffers a fatal heart attack while uncorking a bottle of wine (pictured below).

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- CineVue UK

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Blu-ray Review: 'Stolen Kisses' & 'Bed & Board'

9 hours ago

★★★★★If The 400 Blows (1959) constituted the songs of innocence for Antoine Doinel, then Stolen Kisses (1968) and Bed & Board (1970) make up his songs of experience. Made in relatively quick succession almost a decade after director François Truffaut's iconic debut, they found Jean-Pierre Leaud's hero mired in the negotiations of adulthood. The key to understanding Doinel's transitions is Antoine & Colette (1962), a modest short film made by Truffaut as a part of Pierre Roustang's omnibus project, Love at Twenty (with Shintaro Ishihara and Marcel Ophüls). A portrait of teenage Antoine's pursuit of beauty Colette, the semi-autobiographical work introduces us to the primary drives of his adult life.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Next Goal Wins'

21 hours ago

★★★★☆With a title like Next Goal Wins (2014), you'd be forgiven for thinking that British filmmakers Mike Brett and Steve Jamison's debut documentary is all about the beautiful game - but you'd be wrong. At the centre of the story are the players who belong to the worst football team in the world, American Samoa, who in 2001 lost a staggering 30-0 to Australia. This tremendous defeat has left scars, particularly for the goalkeeper who played that fateful match, Nikki Salapu. Over a decade on, however, the spirit of the team can't be kept down, as they once again attempt to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Their chances are beyond slim, but they receive aid in the form of Dutch coach Thomas Rongen.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Mr. Morgan's Last Love'

21 hours ago

★★★☆☆In Sandra Nettelbeck's wistful romance Mr. Morgan's Last Love (2013) Michael Caine plays Matthew Morgan, a retired American professor living in Paris several years on from the death of his wife (Jane Alexander). A lonely grief-stricken man, Matthew wanders the city, eating his usual fussily ordered sandwich, visiting his wife's grave and occasionally lunching with Colette (Anne Alvaro) in a platonic friendship/English lesson. Apart from this weak connection, Matthew has withdrawn into his self, isolating himself from the world, stumbling through his days and the gorgeous city in a grief numbed daze and even refusing to learn French, almost stubbornly protracting his isolation and melancholy.

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- CineVue UK

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Venice 2014: 'These Are the Rules' review

1 September 2014 3:12 PM, PDT

★★★★☆Ognjen Svilicic's These Are the Rules (2014) is a modest work of quiet desperation, but it's obvious restraint and slow unwinding has a powerful, unsettling and ultimately moving effect. Middle-aged bus driver Ivo (Emir Hadžihafizbegović) lives with his wife Maja (Jasna Žalica) in a tidy, if dreary high rise apartment. It is a life of routine where something always need to be done: shoes by the door, door handles to be fixed, a new battery for the car. Their relationship is based on low level bickering, which - it becomes apparent - is actually another species of affection, watching TV and eating together. One morning their 17-year-old son, Tomica (Hrvoje Vladisavljevic), comes in having spent the night out.

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- CineVue UK

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Competition: 'Bad Neighbours' on Blu-ray

1 September 2014 11:02 AM, PDT

The war with next door between married couple Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron gets ugly in Nicholas Stoller's Bad Neighbours (2014), the hit Us comedy that's packed to the brim with laugh out loud moments in the outrageous comedy. To celebrate the film's DVD and Blu-ray™ release on Monday 8 September following its box office success earlier in the year, we've kindly been provided with Three Blu-ray + UltraViolet copies of Stoller's raucous crowdpleaser to give away to our funny-boned readers, courtesy of the home ent team at Universal Studios. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.

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- CineVue UK

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Venice 2014: 'Three Hearts' review

1 September 2014 10:40 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆Director Benoît Jacquot returns to the Venice Lido with Three Hearts (2014), a slickly presented and thespy relationship drama which flounders on its own lack of originality, humourlessness and absence of credibility. Marc (Benoît Poelvoorde, in his second film of the festival), a tax inspector from Paris, misses his train and finds himself trapped in a provincial town for the night. A chance encounter with a woman Sylvie (the obligatory Charlotte Gainsbourg) leads to a Before Sunrise-style wander through the streets until sunset. The encounter is chaste and coy - they neither exchange names nor phone numbers - but the two are obviously attracted to each other and arrange to meet in Paris at a fountain.

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- CineVue UK

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Venice 2014: 'Senza Nessuna Pietà' review

1 September 2014 10:38 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆Screening in the Orizzonti sidebar of the Venice Film Festival, Michele Alhaique's gangland romance Senza Nessuna Pietà (2014) is a slickly made yet brutally clichéd piece of implausible and ultimately inconsequential nonsense. Mimmo (Pierfrancesco Favino) is a construction worker who sidelines for his criminal uncle collecting debts and roughing people up. A burly giant of a man, he really has a gentle heart and is pained by the violence he must perpetrate, especially at the behest of Manuel (Adriano Giannini), his sadistic conniving cousin, an epically unattractive squirt of sleaze. Things come to a head when he's tasked with ferrying a young prostitute, Tania (Greta Scarano), to and from a tryst with Manuel.

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- CineVue UK

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Venice 2014: 'Hungry Hearts' review

1 September 2014 10:14 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆Saverio Costanzo returns to Venice in competition with his second film, Hungry Hearts (2014), a claustrophobic drama about a young couple and their conflicting views on parenting. Adam Driver plays Jude (Thomas Hardy would be a good point of reference here), a lanky engineer living in New York. He meets Mina (Alba Rohrwacher), an Italian working at the embassy, in unfortunate comic circumstances. He is having an awkward toilet moment and she accidentally locks herself in the bathroom of a restaurant with him. There's a kooky feel to the opening scene which is played out in a necessarily cramped close up, which will have Driver's fans from HBO's Girls getting perhaps the wrong ideas.

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- CineVue UK

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Venice 2014: 'The Cut' review

1 September 2014 10:14 AM, PDT

★★★☆☆Medz Yeghern is the synonym Armenians gave to the brutal extermination of their people by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to the end of First World War, which also gave a new word to the English language - 'genocide', coined by Raphael Lemkin. Also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the state-sponsored murders were widely seen as foreshadowing the modern techniques of murder that would be brought to terrible perfection by the Nazis during the Second World War. Turkish-German director Fatih Akin has chosen this catastrophic event for his new epic film, The Cut (2014), which screened in competition at the 71st Venice Film Festival and tells the tale of a father's search for his family.

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- CineVue UK

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Toronto 2014: Read our Tiff programme preview

1 September 2014 10:07 AM, PDT

This Thursday (4 September), the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival will kick off in Canada with David Dobkin's courtroom drama The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. Over the proceeding week and a half, before the cinematic cornucopia reaches its conclusion with Brit Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos, festival-goers will attend almost 300 feature films and over 100 shorts. The jam-packed programme, taking in various theatres across the city, comes bursting with a staggering 139 world premieres as well as an array of films already lauded on this year's international festival circuit. Since its inaugural incarnation back in 1976, Tiff - as it's affectionately known - has grown into one of the world's primary annual film festivals and the 2014 lineup looks like a particularly strong one.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'I Am Divine'

1 September 2014 9:41 AM, PDT

★★★★☆In 1998, independent director Steve Yeager chronicled the lifework of transgressive eccentric John Waters in Divine Trash. The documentary's success manifested itself into a warranted trophy at that year's Sundance Film Festival for Best Documentary. Yeager comfortably capsuled the work of Waters' subversive world and scrutinised the workings of his gregarious troop of deviants, the Dreamland crew. Amongst the director's habitual go-to's was the 300-pound transvestite accredited with the now lionised stage name, Divine. Of all of Waters' malformed masterpieces, Divine - or Harris Glenn Milstead as she was christened - was the most schismatic, carnal and pivotal to the destruction of conformity.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'Bad Neighbours'

1 September 2014 9:40 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆Nicholas Stoller's Bad Neighbours (2014) is a tired and contrived effort which once again posits Rogen as an adult fighting with his adolescent urges (a character trait which first emerged seven years back with Knocked Up) in a routine which is really beginning to grow stale. Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are a reasonably balance young couple enjoying the early stages of parenthood. Their suburban bliss is shattered one day by the unexpected arrival of a rowdy hard-partying college fraternity next door. The house leaders, Teddy (Zac Efron, replete with severely ripped, cartoon-like torso) and Pete (Dave Franco) are a popular campus duo intent on turning every night into a drug-fuelled riot.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

1 September 2014 1:01 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆That (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb's first instalment in this Marvel franchise reboot, 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, failed to live up to its presumptive title was something of a disappointment, as a refreshing take on the web-slinger was much needed after the bloated mess that was Sam Raimi's previous trilogy closer, Spider-Man 3 (2007). Returning to directing duties for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Webb - aided by screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci and Jeff Pinkner - clearly goes for the taken sequel analogy that bigger means better, yet his (and Marvel Studios') drive to piece this sequel together with a larger ensuing collage ultimately proves to be its unfortunate undoing.

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- CineVue UK

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