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13 articles


Film Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer

11 December 2016 9:43 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ I Am Not a Serial Killer has a promisingly schlocky title, but Billy O'Brien's adaptation of Dan Wells' Ya novel (scripted with Christopher Hyde) never quite escapes its adolescent inspiration. John (Max Records, last seen as the kid in Where the Wild Things Are) lives with his mom (Laura Fraser) in Clayton, a small town in the frozen heart of America. Here, he helps with his mother's mortuary business which has begun to get more business due to the activity of a suspected serial killer in the vicinity.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Krisha

9 December 2016 12:39 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ If Hollywood has taught us anything it's never to organise a family dinner. From August, Osage County to Xavier Dolan's latest, It's Only the End of the World, family repasts are a reminder that get-togethers are frequently times of emotional outbursts, melodramatic explosions and smashed crockery. Trey Edward Shults' debut movie is the emotionally pummelling Krisha, a fraught portrait in hysteria. The eponymous protagonist played by Krisha Fairchild, Shults' mother, is a former flower child in her sixties, visiting her sister (played by Shults' aunt) for Thanksgiving in a Texas suburb where a large extended family is gathered for the meal.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: The Ardennes

8 December 2016 1:05 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Blood runs deep in The Ardennes. Here we have a fraternal tale of resentment and revenge which shifts gears from brutalist kitchen sink drama in Antwerp's bleak, unforgiving suburbs to something of wholly demonic, biblical proportions in latter stages that take place under wintry skies, isolated in the film's titular forest. Robin Pront's debut may not present a picture-postcard marketing opportunity to the local tourist board and certainly won't entice anyone to the area but the director's first feature has sufficiently impressed to be selected as Belgium's Foreign Language candidate at this year's Oscars.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Life, Animated

7 December 2016 5:59 AM, PST

★★★★☆ We all love a Disney movie. Many childhoods have been warmed by their glow and generations are defined by what set of Disney characters are close to their hearts. For older viewers, the animals of Bambi and The Jungle Book were childhood friends, for the youngest among us perhaps the liberated women of Frozen and Moana provide inspiration. Owen Suskind, however, found more in the Disney universe than most, rescuing him from what his father calls "the prison of autism".

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: Three Wishes for Cinderella

7 December 2016 3:33 AM, PST

★★★★☆ For all of the great opportunities that film festivals give to explore the cinema of other cultures, it's always worth remembering that they're curated with international audiences in mind – and often for those with a love of auteur-driven arthouse fare. In many cases, the films that travel well aren't those that achieve domestic success. This could be said of the Czech Republic: UK film fans might associate the country with the Czech New Wave, or a modern vein of satirical social realism, but remain unaware of the national obsession with cinematic fairytales.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Snowden

6 December 2016 5:28 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆ It's hardly a surprise that Oliver Stone would want to make Snowden. He's always been a filmmaker with a political conscience and his recent comments on Pokémon Go would suggest a healthy distrust of the surveillance state. It's a shame then that his political thriller about Edward Snowden, based on The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena, is a clunky and turgid affair, albeit one with a few bizarre moments thrown into the mix to keep audiences on their toes.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: The Birth of a Nation

6 December 2016 5:26 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Sometimes there are films that have such a whirlwind of media attention and extraneous commentary that it's nigh on impossible to discuss them in isolation. Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation was already hauling around significant baggage by re-purposing the title of D.W.Griffith's 1915 film - which was technically revolutionary and morally repugnant - for a story of black rebellion. Then came its rapturous reception at its Sundance debut amidst the palpable outrage of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, subsequently marred by the ongoing tumult of charges made against Parker while he was a student.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: The Unknown Girl

6 December 2016 3:41 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Social realist veterans Jean and Luc Dardenne return to the big screen with their latest work The Unknown Girl, a thought-provoking but messy tale about a doctor who feels immense guilt for a patient she failed to help. Adèle Haenel plays Jenny Davin, a young Gp who refuses - despite the protests of her intern, Julien (Olivier Bonnaud) - to let in a visitor who buzzes after practice hours.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Chi-Raq

5 December 2016 8:50 AM, PST

★★★★☆ From School Daze, Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X onwards, fans of Spike Lee have come to expect a certain well-articulated intelligence and socio-political engagement to the Atlanta-born director's bold and unflinching brand of cinema. The last decade or so has seen a number of near misses, but with Chi-Raq, Lee once again lands resounding punches left, right and centre, deftly swinging a wrecking ball at the societal ills of contemporary America to devastating effect. Somewhat remarkable, then, that he takes a Greek play first performed in 400 BC as his framework for a biting meditation on gang violence.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: Lo and Behold

5 December 2016 8:22 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ "I think anyone who claims they know what's going to happen to the internet is not worth listening to." This summation of the way we understand and can predict the interconnectivity of the future seems an apposite way to begin a discussion of Werner Herzog's expansive, nebulous investigation in Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. The notion that we can't really know anything is catnip for a director who revels in intricate philosophical enquiry. Audiences undoubtedly excited by the lip-smacking prospect of an intent documentary from the man who asked a journalist, baffled, whether Pokémon Go resulted in murder.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: The Royal Tenenbaums

5 December 2016 8:11 AM, PST

★★★★★ Matched only by the Coen brothers and Tim Burton for inimitable style, Wes Anderson remains one of the most interesting and idiosyncratic working American directors, and it was the 2001 The Royal Tenenbaums - his third feature - that surely secured his reputation as such. Indeed, with a stellar cast, gorgeous art direction and a surprisingly moving story, it's a contender for Anderson's best work to date. Gene Hackman leads as the fallen patriarch of a successful but dysfunctional upper-middle class family, scattered to the wind by parental separation, trauma and mutual resentment.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: Videophilia

5 December 2016 6:29 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Following his 2010 documentary Reminiscences, director Juan Daniel F. Molero returns for a challenging and visually impressive second feature with Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes). Billed as a 'non-love story', its use of digital visual technology and an immediate, raw style give Molero's Lima-set film an ultra-contemporary authenticity that leaves glossier high-minded attempts, such as 2012's Cosmopolis, in the dust. Amateur pornographer and paranoid sleazebag Junior (Terom), meets teenage Luz (Muki Sabogal) in a sex chatroom before developing a relationship of sorts in the real world.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: The Squid and the Whale

5 December 2016 5:07 AM, PST

★★★★☆ It's curious that both of this month's Criterion releases - The Royal Tenenbaums being the other - share so many thematic and narrative similarities. Unsurprising given that Wes Anderson directed the Tenenbaums and produced this effort, both films revolve around dysfunctional, wealthy urban families with troubled patriarchs. But where The Royal Tenenbaums is broadly a warm American fable, Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale tells a far darker and more uneasy story. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney are both superb as recently-divorced authors Bernard and Joan Berkman, bringing depth and humanity to roles that could so easily be reduced to tyrant and victim.

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- CineVue UK

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