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15 articles


Film Review: Meru

13 hours ago

★★★☆☆ Anyone with a fear of heights should look away now. Jimmy Chin and Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's Meru is at its dizzying best when the filmmaking duo allow the facts and images of an astonishing feat to speak for themselves. Described by Buddhists as "the centre of the universe," the knife-edge summit atop the Shark's Fin of Mount Meru sits over 20,000 feet up in the northernmost reaches of India. The precarious sliver of snowy ground is the pinnacle, both literal and figurative, of the climbing world. Chin, veteran mountaineering partner Conrad Anker and new recruit Renan Ozturk spent years planning, and a number of weeks in the attempted execution, of the impossible. »

- CineVue UK

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Film Review: I'll See You In My Dreams

14 hours ago

★★★☆☆ In what was his penultimate big screen appearance before an untimely passing, James Gandolfini starred alongside Julia-Louis Dreyfus in Enough Said. The awkward, bittersweet dramedy about getting back in the dating game after a spell on the sidelines is a worthy companion piece, precursor even, to Brett Haley's I'll See You In My Dreams. In a splendid turn, Blythe Danner features as Carol, a 70-something widow who loses a loyal canine companion and finds herself alone and a little bereft. Card games with the girls, golf and bountiful wine all prove unfulfilling and the menace of an unwelcome rodent house-guest doesn't help her fragile sense of well-being. The love, laughter and tears that follow make for a reassuring, poignant watch.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Bigger Splash

15 hours ago

★★★★☆ I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino returns to UK cinemas this week with A Bigger Splash, his starry remake of the classic Jacques Deray film La Piscine. Regular collaborator Tilda Swinton plays Marianna Lane, a rock star who has achieved the heights of world-renowned fame but is now in retreat from the pressures of show business on the small Italian island of Pantelleria while she recovers from a throat operation that has rendered her speechless. Together with her documentarian boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts), himself a recovering alcoholic, she lounges about naked, has lots of loving sex and soaks up the Mediterranean sun. That is until the arrival of ex-producer and old flame Henry (Ralph Fiennes), who lands on the island with his estranged daughter Pen (Dakota Johnson).

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Deadpool

15 hours ago

★★★☆☆ From the very first pan of its opening titles, Tim Miller's Deadpool brandishes its meta credentials with the title character's cocky, abrasive relish. As the camera glides through a SUV suspended mid-somersault, the cast are introduced as stereotypes ('hot chick' or 'British villain') while a floating Starbucks cup bears the scrawled name Rob L. in reference to the comic's creator Rob Liefeld. It's a little thing, but its seminal to this take on the superhero movie that shakes its easter eggs around front and centre. What's more, Deadpool has enormous fun doing it, even if the overall product can't quite live up to the verbal diarrhoea of its trash-talking star. That's not a problem unique to this movie. Deadpool himself has always been more popular than his books have actually suggested.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Rams

20 hours ago

★★★★☆ Grímur Hákonarson's award-winning tragicomedy Rams is an affecting feature about sheep which also speaks reams about the human condition. Hákonarson focuses on two estranged brothers who share a passion for sheep farming. Set in a remote part of Iceland, Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) own adjacent land but have not spoken to each other in decades. They keep to themselves and avoid any form of verbal contact with one another. Wandering ewes are wordlessly returned if they stray onto each other's land. When forced to communicate, Gummi's sheepdog is employed to convey their hastily scribbled messages.

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- CineVue UK

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Rotterdam 2016: The Bride review

8 February 2016 2:44 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ The bold and deeply felt symbolism of Federico García Lorca's famous matrimonial drama, Blood Wedding, makes it ripe for cinematic treatment. There are rich thematic veins to be opened in the writer's text and his beguiling visual motifs are screaming from the page to be fully realised on screen. Carlos Saura's flamenco effort Blood Wedding in 1981 is the most notably previous attempt to adapt the material and Paula Ortiz now has another crack of the whip in the form of the ravishingly beautiful and appealing, if somewhat unremarkable, La Novia - or The Bride.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: The American Dreamer

8 February 2016 2:43 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ Lawrence Schiller and L.M. Kit Carson could hardly have better timed their thirty-day intersection with Dennis Hopper that formed the raw materials of the quasi-documentary The American Dreamer. They caught Hopper fresh from Easy Rider when he was a generational icon, high on his success - and just plain high - and boldly attempting to establish a reputation as a serious filmmaker. The film was shot and edited in early 1971, in the eye of the New Hollywood storm, but never received a release beyond as companion piece to Hopper's Easy Rider follow-up The Last Picture.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: Five Dolls for an August Moon

8 February 2016 2:40 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ Gratuity is the watchword for Italian giallo cinema; blood, nudity and violence are all hallmarks of the genre. It is more than a little surprising, then, that Mario Bava's Five Dolls for an August Moon is a rather tame entry in Arrow Video's latest slew of high definition giallo releases. 'Tame', of course, is a relative term, and while Bava's film can't quite boast the sheer volume of sex and gore of What Have You Done to Solange? or Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Five Dolls for an August Moon still retains an impressive body count, impossibly buxom cast and an Italian aesthetic of opulent excess.

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- CineVue UK

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Rotterdam 2016: Préjudice review

8 February 2016 2:38 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ Notions of marginalisation, responsibility and the ambiguities of nature versus nurture all collide in Antoine Cuypers' handsome and austere feature debut, Préjudice. The film is built around enormously compelling performances from Thomas Blanchard and Nathalie Baye, as an antagonistic son and mother. They take the leads in a taut chamber piece that pulls at the loose threads of a family with a precision for excruciating social tension and a refusal to offer easy answers to thematic waters which in turn beget labyrinthine ethical tributaries. Both compassion and frustration are easy to justify throughout the drama - but precisely who is deserving of which remains a far murkier question.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Janis

8 February 2016 2:01 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ "Take another little piece of my heart," Janis Joplin famously wails in Piece of My Heart. In Janis: Little Girl Blue, Amy Berg has lovingly reassembled those pieces, seemingly scattered over the most musically-critical decade in our recent history, and shaped them back into the bright star that was Joplin herself. While it is a documentary in the classic sense (talking heads, reels of historical footage, even a re-enactment of Joplin's letters), there is such a warm nostalgia for the subject that we do not seem to mind the familiar tropes. Berg brings us a softer, more vulnerable side to Joplin without trading on her name. There are some great nuggets: insightful anecdotes from former band members of Big Brother & the Holding Company as well as her family and archive footage help make this a wonderful portrait.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: Wild Orchid

8 February 2016 1:56 PM, PST

★★☆☆☆ If Wikipedia is to be believed, the orchid family is one of the two largest families of flowering plants known to man; they're everywhere, going wild without a whisper of a care and making love in expensive hotels. But sadly, not all orchids are quite so relaxed; some lack self-confidence and need a little help to loosen up and explore their flowering sexuality and this (almost) truth seems to be the pungent metaphor at the centre of Zalman King's exceedingly odd, but still pretty awful Wild Orchid. Emily Reed (Carré Otis) is a polite young Mid-Western lawyer who heads to New York to seek her fortune and sexual awakening.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review Show of Shows

8 February 2016 1:18 PM, PST

★★★☆☆ In an act of alchemy thoroughly appropriate to his subject matter, Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson manages to be both clear and misty-eyed about the traditions of the circus and vaudeville in new archive documentary The Show of Shows. After the interlocking segments of his wonderful feature debut Of Horses and Men, Erlingsson crafts a paean to a dying form of entertainment, fusing together carefully gathered footage of a variety of performances into several themed sections. Despite avoiding narration, the film captures a sense of heart-swelling wonder in one instant and reminds us of the darker aspects in the next. This is brilliantly assisted by an original score from Georg Holm and Orri Páll Dýrason of Sigur Rós, in collaboration with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Kjartan Dagur Holm.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Vision of Paradise

8 February 2016 11:14 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆ Once in a blue moon, pop culture is delivered a figure cut from such a radical and innovative cloth that it hardly knows how to handle it. This figure achieves such a legendary status that they reach a cult-like standing in the consciousness of others. Such is the status of reggae producer and musician Lee Scratch Perry, who now lives in a rarefied state replete with mysticism, pontificating at length and at will to any willing listener on all he sees and believes and continuing to make some of the most intriguing and trippy music on either side of the Atlantic. Volker Schaner's documentary, Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise covers more than a decade of Perry's life.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: The Martian

8 February 2016 11:12 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Is there a current Hollywood star more effortlessly convincing as an scientist-cum-astronaut than Matt Damon? If Ridley Scott's latest foray into the realms of science fiction, The Martian, is to be considered as evidence, then the answer is 'not likely'. Based on the novel by Andy Wier, here Damon excels as botanist Mark Watney, who is forced to rely on his expert know-how and good old American can-do attitude to survive after been left for dead on the surface of the Red Planet. Fortunately, as the quote in the trailer suggests, he's perfectly able to "science the shit" out of his predicament and keep audiences thoroughly entertained while doing it.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: The Lobster

8 February 2016 11:02 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ There were few films at Cannes last year with as strange a central premise as Yorgos Lanthimos' first English language offering The Lobster, written with his long-standing collaborator Efthymis Filippou. Bearing the macabre tone of his previous works Dogtooth and Alps, Lanthimos plants the audience in a bizarre world where being single is anathema. If you aren't coupled off you are whisked away to a sanitary hotel in the countryside where you have 45 days to find a romantic partner or pay the price. If you're still single at the end of the allotted time you are turned into an animal of your choosing. This premise, though outlandish, is in essence an exploration of how in modern society singletons are treated with disdain and suspicion.

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- CineVue UK

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15 articles



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